Are you a stockpiler? Or are you a hoarder?
There has been an uptick in the number of people wanting to prepare themselves and their families for another potential crisis. Over the years, many have made the argument that when preppers stockpile supplies it is nothing more than glorified hoarding. But is hoarding if there is a specific purpose to it? If you are stockpiling items to have on hand to use specifically for emergencies, then it is not hoarding. Regardless of what side of the fence you are on with this, the important thing is not whether or not you “hoard” or “stockpile” food, but that you do it.
No one knows what will happen in the future, but based on some of the things that went missing quickly off shelves last year after the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic, we have some idea of what we should be hoarding and stockpiling. Make sure what you store for the long term is going to not decay and go bad.
In the book, The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals, Tess Pennington uses the following essential food staples as the basis for the recipes. The following foods are all popular food staples that should be considered as must-haves for your emergency pantries. These items are also very affordable and versatile, thus making them worthy of being on your storage shelves for extended emergencies.
Top Food Items To Own:
1. Canned fruits, vegetables, meats, and soups
2. Dried legumes (beans, lentils, peas)
5. Pasta sauce
6. Peanut butter
8. Flour (white, whole wheat)
9. Seasonings (vanilla, salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, pepper, taco seasoning, etc.)
11. Bouillon cubes or granules (chicken, vegetable, beef)
12. Kitchen staples (baking soda, baking powder, yeast, vinegar)
14. Unsweetened cocoa powder
15. Jell-O or pudding mixes
16. Whole grains (barley, bulgur, cornmeal, couscous, oats, quinoa, rice, wheat berries)
17. Nonfat dried milk
18. Plant-based oil (corn oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, olive oil)
20. Seeds for eating and sprouting
21. Popcorn (not the microwavable kind)
22. Instant potato flakes
23. Packaged meals (macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, Ramen noodles, etc.)
24. Purified drinking water
25. Fruit juices, teas, coffee, drink mixes
This is just a standard beginner’s list of the things you should consider storing. As a reminder, don’t forget about sanitation supplies, medical supplies, as well as food for your pets. You can get an in-depth look at how to create a foundation of preparedness with our 52-Weeks To Preparedness series. When you go to the grocery store the next time, take a look around and make a mental note of the food items that look like there are limited quantities of or have been picked over. If they are on the above list, that is a great place to start!
One Additional Tip:
Keep dietary restrictions in mind too. Often there is whey in drink mixes and packaged meals, and as mentioned before, my daughter has a severe milk protein allergy, so all dairy is out. So we don’t stockpile some items because we don’t consume those foods at all. We also make sure any packages of meals are labeled “vegan.” If a disaster happens, and something is consumed that shouldn’t be, there could be a whole new mess of problems compounding, including how to get medical care, so it’s best to think ahead and avoid any tragedy before it occurs! I even check all bouillon and make absolutely sure that there are no dairy products at all in them. Often, that means I have had to stock up on vegan vegetable bouillon only.
What I stock up on are cans of full-fat organic coconut milk. I use it to make soups and sauces that we can all eat, and there’s usually an abundance of it on the shelf! During store implemented limited purchases in the aftermath of the panic buying last spring, this coconut milk was always stocked, and there was never a limit. I cannot say that about canned tomatoes! This is also an excellent option for vegans who do not use real milk. Plus, it doesn’t go bad like real milk will in the refrigerator. We have several dozen cans in our prepper pantry. I also stock up on nutritional yeast. If you haven’t had it yet, give it a try! It has a slightly cheesy flavor and is a great way to add some nutrition to a salad or a dairy-free sauce. It has become a staple for us, and we buy it in bulk online.
There is no way to know when disasters or emergencies may strike. Or for that matter, there is no way to know how others will react to those disasters either. But based on what happened in March of 2020, I would make sure I had several rolls of extra toilet paper on hand as well! We should all be prudent and be ready for whatever we can be before a bad situation can affect our livelihood and well-being.