Did you know that rice is one of the most consumed foods around the world?
Rice can be used as a main dish, side dish, or mixed directly into a lot of different recipes. Some cultures eat rice daily and sometimes it is even served with every meal.
But why is rice a popular food to have? And what is the best type of rice for preppers to have?
I’m going to break these two items down, starting with the benefits of storing rice.
Why Rice Should be Stored
Personal preferences aside, rice is a great food item to store and have for several reasons. Here are just a few reasons why this simple food should be in every pantry.
- Price. Rice is incredibly affordable. At the time this article was written the average retail price of rice was $0.71/lb. At that price, a 50-pound bag would cost $35.50. That is a lot of rice for the money.
- Shelf Life. Depending on the type of rice and how it is stored, it can last anywhere from 12 months to decades.
- Less is More. A little bit of rice goes a long way. A general rule of thumb is that uncooked rice will triple in amount when cooked. So, one cup of uncooked rice will produce roughly three cups of cooked rice. This means it does not take a lot of stored rice to feed several people.
- Neutral flavor. Generally speaking, rice by itself does not have any flavor to it. This is a great characteristic because it can be added to almost any recipe and it will take on the flavor of that dish. This makes rice a great supplement for bulking up meals.
Types of Rice to Stockpile
While there are many kinds of rice I will be sticking with white rice and brown rice because they are the most widely used, and therefore the most popular and readily available.
White rice is the most popular kind to eat. This is probably because it is the cheapest and has a long shelf life.
White rice is also referred to as “polished rice” because the germ and bran have been removed from it, giving it a bright white appearance.
This process strips away some of the nutrition from the grain but gives it much longer shelf life. When stored under proper conditions, white rice can last for decades.
Brown rice derives its name from the grain’s color. The husk and bran are left on the grain which gives it a brown appearance.
Additional nutrients are found in this outer brown layer which is why brown rice is often a better food option to consume.
However, brown rice does not come without a downside.
Because there is more oil in this type of rice, the potential for brown rice to become rancid is higher. This gives brown rice a shelf life of roughly six months.
Best Rice for Survival: Top 4 picks
Bulk White Rice
Buying white rice in bulk is going to provide the best cost to servings ratio. It will also enable you to store it in several different ways.
Most grocery stores sell rice in 1lb, 5lb, and sometimes 10lb bags. The higher end of this range will allow a person to easily build up a rice stockpile rather quickly without having to go to a specialty store or order online.
- The cheapest way to build a rice stockpile
- Readily available at most food stores
- When stored properly, white rice can last decades
- Will require additional steps and resources for proper long-term storage
- Less nutritious than other varieties of rice
Bulk Brown Rice
Much of what was said above about white rice can be said for brown rice. It can be found at most food stores, is affordable and local stores often offer bags in different sizes.
However, the biggest difference with brown rice is that it is more nutritious and creates a heavier thicker flour when used in that manner.
- The cheapest way to build a rice stockpile
- Readily available at more food stores
- More nutritious than white rice
- When packaged properly, brown rice may last several years
- Much shorter shelf life than white rice
Bags of plain rice tend to take the spotlight over this choice, but I think boxed rice products should not be overlooked. Here are a few reasons why.
- The shape of the box is incredibly easy to organize and store
- They can have a shelf life of several years. According to the Minute webpage, Minute Rice can last up to two years from the date of manufacture.
- Generally, boxed rice cooks faster
- Different varieties and flavors available
- Affordable and sold at most grocery stores
- Boxed rice packaging is not ideal for long term storage because it is not airtight or waterproof
- Depending on the brand or variety, the rice may have undesirable additives that can shorten the shelf life
Ready Wise Mango Sticky Rice
This is a freeze-dried rice option that comes in a resealable pouch and provides two- and one-half servings per pouch.
Preparation is incredibly easy as it only requires the addition of roughly one cup of boiling water and a fifteen-minute “cook” time.
As the name suggests, the grains of rice stick together, and the mango flavor gives it a hint of sweetness.
- Easy to transport
- Extremely long shelf life
- Requires very little water to prepare
- Ready to eat in fifteen minutes
- The biggest downfall of freeze-dried products is the cost to servings ratio is quite high.
Augason Farms Long Grain White Rice
If you are interested in companies that sell survival foods, a bucket of long-grain white rice from Augason Farms would be an affordable choice.
One of their buckets of white rice weighs in at approximately forty-two pounds. After doing the math at the current price, that comes out to a price of roughly $1.80 per pound.
While this still costly as far as rice goes, you get much more bang for the buck when you buy in bulk over individual pouches.
- After purchase, it requires no additional steps for long term storage
- Reasonable price point
- The hard container provides extra storage protection
- Buckets stack and are easy to organize
- The carrying handle and the size of the bucket make it easy to transport
- Up to a seven-year shelf life
- More than double the cost of rice bought at the store
Last update on 2021-02-24 at 06:22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Q: How should rice be stored?
A: Moisture and air are going to be the two main enemies of storing rice long term.
Ideally, the rice should be stored in food-grade containers that are both airtight and waterproof.
The addition of oxygen absorbers may also help to prolong shelf life. Once the rice is sealed in its container, it is best to store it in a cool, dry, location out of direct sunlight.
Q: How many pounds of rice should be stored?
A: A rule of thumb is to store roughly 100 pounds of rice per person per year. By storing this amount, it will allow a person to eat at least one serving of cooked rice every single day.
Q: How long can rice be stored?
A: Rice sitting on the shelf without any special precautions can last up to one year.
White rice has the longest shelf life and can remain good for decades under proper storage conditions.
Q: How can I tell if my rice has gone bad?
A: Because rice has a neutral smell, if a rancid odor or any other type of smell that turns your nose up is detected, the rice has probably gone bad.
Additionally, anything that visually does not look right about the rice is also a good indication that it has gone bad. This can include discoloration, spots on the grain, or any type of growth.
It is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to putting anything into your body. If you have doubts about the safety of a food item, it is better to throw it away than to risk becoming ill.
I usually suggest storing a mixture of products when it comes to food prepping. This is primarily because it gives a prepper more options when it comes time to use eat and helps to prevent menu fatigue.
However, bulk white rice is going to be one of the best options around because of its low cost but more importantly, its long shelf life.
Ultimately, the best type of rice for prepping is going to be what best suits you, your tastes, your budget, and your storage capabilities.
Thanks for reading and stay prepared!
What type of rice do you like to buy for long term storage? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know!