Why Keep Long-Term Food Storage
Preparing for a disaster situation is a very important, yet very overlooked, life practice. Just last year we experienced a pandemic, with this year bringing us widespread grid failure and ransomware attacks. These unprecedented times are proof now more than ever that we need to be prepared for an earth-shaking disaster. Being prepared for an emergency ensures that you and your family can not only stay calm and level-headed while trying to survive but also stay safe and healthy.
The first things that need to be assessed in a disaster are shelter, food, and water. The ease at which we can get food in today’s America has created a generation of citizens unaware and uninterested in how and where their food is made. The advancement of production has also erased most worries of food scarcity in US citizens, making long-term food storage a non-essential to many. Not only is food storage essential, but it could also be what makes the difference between life or death in emergencies.
You’ve Stored Food, What Now?
Let’s say you have an impressive prepper pantry full of freeze-dried this and powdered that, have you tried cooking with it? Have you considered making meals with only those items and no help from the fresh food you have in the fridge? Cooking is doable with fire, but have you ever tried cooking with none of the electrical appliances you’re used to? Well, we made a meal using items only from our food storage so you don’t have to.
The Recipe Test
We made Hawaiian-style Spam fried rice with ONLY food storage from our prepper pantry. Here’s a link to the recipe, if you’d like exact measurements and ingredients to make it yourself! There were a few changes that needed to be made when we began cooking to ensure we only used long-term food storage.
The first thing we did was raid the prepper pantry to make sure we had everything necessary for the dish. Rice, vegetables, egg substitute, and Spam were our main ingredients and, fortunately, we had it all available. Seasonings and condiments aren’t vital in this meal, though they definitely make a difference in taste.
Perishable items like eggs and some of our vegetable ingredients would have been impossible if we didn’t have Thrive products in our pantry! Check out Thrive here to browse their huge list of freeze-dried products that they have.
The recipe is best made with day-old rice that’s gotten sticky (which is great if you’ve made too much the day before and can’t afford to waste food during a scarcity), but it is possible to boil the rice fresh and then let it sit and cool while the rest is cooked.
We cooked the diced Spam over high heat and then set it to the side. Next, we reconstituted the onions in water and gave them time to soak. We mixed the egg powder with water and sugar and cooked the mixture in the same pan we used for the Spam. We thought it would be interesting to go out and collect fresh eggs from the chickens (not technically cheating since the eggs would be accessible during an emergency and wouldn’t need to be refrigerated!) and compare the egg powder to the real thing. The textures were surprisingly similar, with the powdered egg being slightly sweeter with less of the eggy flavor we’re used to (thankfully much closer in taste than I was expecting).
Then we combined our seasonings (using soy sauce, salt, pepper, and Thrive’s garlic powder and ginger powder) and veggies over the heat. Once those were ready, we added our rice and Spam and let everything mix. Once everything was thoroughly cooked, it was time to plate!
When I took my first bite my eyes widened. It was not only better than I was expecting, it was good! If I wanted to eat this for lunch on a regular day, I couldn’t imagine how satisfying it would be in worse circumstances.
Digging into long-term food storage and cooking with it is something I think all preppers need to do. Hypothetical planning can’t compare to real-life experience. Playing out scenarios could be life-saving in a disaster situation. Being able to call upon experience during an emergency reduces fear and stress, making you calm and efficient.
Cooking with long-term food storage gave me a feeling of optimism. It’s doable. Not only is it doable, but it’s also not that hard. It was a confidence boost knowing that there’s one less thing to worry about in a disaster. Having access to a tasty cooked meal could not only be the means to survive but also a means to comfort, which will also be scarce in the times that we prepare for.