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Survival Skills: Top 23 Items for Emergency Food Supplies

Updated on October 13, 2016

Next to water, storing the right foods for survival is essential to ensuring long term prosperity. Choosing the right foods for an emergency food supply can be overwhelming. Let me take some guess work out of what foods are best suited to start adding to long term food storage. In a survival setting having alternative proteins, nutritious foods, and core ingredients for making homemade items will be essential. readily available.

There are a few food items that can be stored safely and remain viable longer than you will be around to consume them. These foods are an essential part of any emergency food supply. Even if you are only preparing for short term in the case of a natural disaster and the recovery that follows. If you have your eyes on long term food storage for survival these items are a valuable asset.

These Emergency Food Supply Items Have Indefinite Shelf Lives

As I mentioned there are items you can add to your long term food storage that will be around and still as good as day one even after you are gone. Making them a great choice for survival especially for those with young children. No doubt your children's children will be enjoying these foods for generations to come. As long as these emergency food supply items are stored in a cool dry place and remain sealed they can be stored forever:

  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cornstarch
  • Bouillon Cubes
  • Corn syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Ghee
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Soy Sauce
  • Distilled White Vinegar

These emergency food supply items can live on and on in your long term food storage and be used to create an abundance of different dishes. Most of these are pretty common items most people may already have in their homes. With the exception of Ghee. Ghee is a clarified butter that has had all the moisture removed. Making it a great choice for long term storage, since there is no moisture it will last indefinitely.

When storing honey long term it may become crystallized. That in no way means that it is not safe for consumption. Simply heating the honey and stirring will melt the crystals and leave you with a smooth honey again.

Storing cornstarch will allow you to thicken sauces and soups. Creating a more filling dish even when emergency food supplies are being depleted.

Did you know that foods could be stored indefinitely?

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Bone marrow is full of nutrients and good fats that help provide us with energy. Making marrow broth is simple and can be preserved and added to your long term food storage.
Bone marrow is full of nutrients and good fats that help provide us with energy. Making marrow broth is simple and can be preserved and added to your long term food storage.

The Most Nutrient Dense Food For Emergencies

Organic Spirulina Powder: 4 Organic Certifications - Certified Organic by USDA, Ecocert, Naturland & OCIA - Vegan Farming Process, Non-Irraditated, Max Nutrient Density (8 oz.)
Organic Spirulina Powder: 4 Organic Certifications - Certified Organic by USDA, Ecocert, Naturland & OCIA - Vegan Farming Process, Non-Irraditated, Max Nutrient Density (8 oz.)

Spirulina is one of the most nutrient dense superfoods in the world. It contains over 375% more protein than tofu, and 3900% More Beta-Carotene than Carrots. I use spirulina for the health benefits associated with the nutrients. It is a fantastic choice for long term food storage on nutrition and health benefits alone. It can be added to juice, or smoothies. However you consume it, there is no denying that it has a place in emergency food storage!


Energy Support Foods

Proteins will be an asset in a survival situation. Protein is responsible for providing much needed amino acids to our bodies. Amino acids are a crucial part of producing muscle growth and energy for our bodies. In survival settings experiencing adrenal fatigue is not uncommon. Our bodies and minds are stressed and our adrenaline will be pumping. Here are the foods that you should consider for long term storage and your health and energy:

  • Bone Marrow Broth
  • Chia Seeds
  • Lean Beef
  • Poultry
  • Salmon
  • Spirulina

Bone marrow broth may not seem appetizing to those who are not connoisseurs of the culinary world. But it is valuable as far as survival foods are considered. Bone marrow is actual an extremely nutritious and a great source for omega-3 fatty acids and many other equally important nutritional elements. A fatty acid deficiency can weaken the immune system and affect brain functions! Bone marrow can usually be obtained fairly cheap in many areas, as a bi-product of the butchering process some butchers do not even charge for bones. Canning bone marrow broth is the best option for adding to your emergency food supply.

Salmon is a great choice for needed health and nutritional benefits of your long term food storage. The downside is that there is no way to store canned, smoked etc. to increase the shelf life. The top shelf life is around 6-8 months. Though you can raise salmon at home. A bit on the expensive side as an aquaponics set up is the best but requires a cool set up versus the common warm ones.

Chicken and Turkey can be raised in order to have a long term (fresh) supply of protein rich paulry. If you do not want the labor of love that comes with raising your own poultry sources you can just as easily can both chicken and turkey for storage.

Lean cuts of red meat are a great choice for long term storage. Red meat is very versatile and can be preserved by canning, and making jerky to add emergency food supplies. Red meat is a great source of not just protein and amino acids, but B12 and B6 vitamins that provide the body with energy.

Some people scoff at spirulina as a survival food. Though it is amazingly nutritious, they can't get past the thought of eating a pond scum (microalgae). It is protein packed though, 60% of its dry weight is protein. It is also a powerful antioxidant with a host of other nutritional vitamins. It stores with ease for long term storage in dry form.

Chia seeds (I saved the best for last) are a great option for protein and vitamins. They have a wonderful stand alone flavor that I would compare to walnuts. They are also easily incorporated into other foods. Just a few tablespoons can give you the same amount of protein as consuming servings of foods like red meat, and poultry.

Apples are loaded with vitamins and nutrients!
Apples are loaded with vitamins and nutrients!
NESCO FD-37A, Food Dehydrator, White Speckled/Marbled, 400 watts
NESCO FD-37A, Food Dehydrator, White Speckled/Marbled, 400 watts

My nesco dehydrator comes in very handy for preserving my apple harvest and many other fruits and vegetables. Dehydration allows for easy storage in bags, and takes up less space than canning jars. Freeing up space for other survival items.


Fruits and Vegetables For Emergency Food Supply

It goes without saying that fruits and vegetables are essential for a nutritious diet. Nothing beats the nutritional value of fresh fruit. Though you have several options for adding nutritional fruits and vegetables to your emergency food supply. The two best options for long term storage of fruits and vegetables are:

  • Canning
  • Dehydration

Of course you can freeze fruits and vegetables if you choose. Canning and dehydrating for proper long term food storage will extend their shelf life greatly. Or an even better option is to plant fruit trees and enjoy knowing you will always have a harvest to depend on. The two fruits you should be storing are:

  • Apples
  • Cherries

Both apples and cherries have wonderful nutritional content. Both can be used in pies, as well as being a delicious treat if you choose to dehydrate them.

Vegetables make a great addition to the bone marrow broth I mentioned earlier. You can easily create some amazing soups with the addition to these nutritious vegetables:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Watercress
  • Chinese Cabbage

Canning these 4 vegetables will provide you with ample nutrition in your emergency food supply. Kale is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals essential to proper nutrition. Though I must admit I am still looking for a way to make it more palatable. Kale is extremely bitter and peppery and takes a bit of preparation to make it consumable as a side dish. I prefer to go for powdered kale, and add it to things like yogurt or smoothies to reap the health benefits.

Watercress is another great nutritional vegetable, that is also believed to have cancer fighting qualities. Canning watercress soup is a delicious way to take advantage of this vegetable, and add to your long term food storage.

Spinach is much more palatable than kale (my personal opinion). It can be prepared a wealth of ways, though when canning it does tend to get a bit of a slimy texture. It is another great vegetable to use in powdered form. I add powdered spinach to homemade noodles so the kids get the nutrition without me fighting them over eating 'this weird green stuff'.

Chinese cabbage is very versatile as an ingredient and as a part of your emergency food supplies. Even when canning you have many options. Chinese cabbage is great pickled, made into sauerkraut, or even making your own kimchi.


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    • Cynthia Hoover profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Hoover 

      2 years ago from Newton, West Virginia

      Thank you Jodah! I am really passionate about having emergency food supplies on hand, just in case the need would arise. I think it is a worthy investment into a family's future to have long term food storage at the ready! We never know what will happen. Even something as simple as a job loss can make food a scarce commodity in the home.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      A fantastic article, Cynthia. You have listed a very good selection of foods for long term storage as survival rations should the need arise. Thanks for researching and sharing this info.


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