Long-term food storage solutions are increasing in popularity in the last few years as more and more consumers become interested in survival kits and emergency preparedness. While there are plenty of first aid kits, coronavirus face masks and other survival products that won't need to be preserved, food needs to have a safe storage solution to prevent it from spoiling before the user needs it. Access to preserved, safe food to eat can be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.
Luckily, the market is filled with new companies producing unique ways for consumers to store their food. Gone are the days where users without a freezer were out-of-luck. Hundreds of innovative food storage inventions have saturated the market, creating an entirely new problem for consumers; how do we know which food storage methods are effective (assuming you are not into intermittent fasting of course)?
This guide should help illuminate the truth about food storage for readers. Including an introduction to the industry, a breakdown of the top food storage solutions of 2023, and a list of frequently asked questions, this guide should be a comprehensive source of information concerning modern food storage.
Top Food Storage Products
This 2023 long-term food storage guide will rank the top products for food storage and provide answers to commonly asked questions about food storage containers. Let’s review the products that we’ve found to offer the best options for consumers who want to prepare themselves for survival and emergency situations.
Mountain House Just In Case Classic Bucket
The Mountain House Just in Case Classic Bucket is a top seller on Amazon, offering a thick and strong pail that can be easily stored for when the user needs it. Offering a 30-year guarantee for longevity, this set is clearly built to last through the years until the moment strikes when it is needed. To make one of the meals, the user just needs water (which is not included) and enough patience to wait for about 10 minutes.
On Amazon, this 29-serving set is presently out of stock. However, it includes meals like beef stroganoff, chicken teriyaki, boodles and chicken, beef stew, and granola with milk and blueberries.
Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage Supply
Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage Supply, created to support one person, offers a thick pail with a whopping 29 pounds of food. Consumers can choose between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so consumers will have a little variety, in the event of an emergency. This set includes a shelf life of 20 years.
While Amazon ordinarily has this product in stock, it is presently fulfilled by third-party sellers, starting as low as $299. With an average of 1,854 daily, the user will get means like maple oatmeal, creamy potato soup, creamy chicken rice, hearty vegetable chicken soup, and others.
Mountain House 3-Day Emergency Food Supply
The Mountain House 3-Day Emergency Food Supply offers a small portion of food supplies to allow consumers to be ready in a short-term situation. Even though it only covers three days, this kit is ideal for a power loss or a small set, holding over the user with nine meals. Considering its 30-year shelf life, consumers can keep this with a box of other supplies as well, but the box is made up of cardboard, which means that consumers will need a more durable material to protect the box.
On Amazon, consumers can purchase a four-pack of these boxes when it becomes available again. The meals include scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, beef stroganoff, chicken teriyaki, pasta primavera, and rice with chicken.
Northwest Fork Gluten-Free Emergency Food Supply
When it comes to survival, consumers that can’t have gluten are at a significant disadvantage, unless they choose the Northwest Fork Gluten-Free Emergency Food Supply. This kit includes a total of 90 servings of stored foods, but the last of wheat in any of these products leaves consumers to settle with a ten-year shelf life, which is a small fraction of what the other kits above it on the list offer. Furthermore, there’s no plastic container included, so consumers will need to find a way to safely store these packages.
This product is presently unavailable on Amazon, though consumers may be able to find it with other third-party vendors. Some of the meals include oatmeal, green pea soup, black bean soup, and pinto bean soup.
Wise Company Emergency Food Supply
The lightweight Wise Company Emergency Food Supply offers 60 servings of food for the customer, even though it is a little smaller kit than others. The number of servings could realistically support one adult with three meals a day for about three weeks, but a family of four would easily be covered for about two weeks if they are all-consuming three meals daily. The hearty recipes offer plenty of sustenance, but the same entrees throughout the day may leave some wanting a little variety.
Amazon allows third-party sellers to fulfill this order, starting at $139.99. Some of the recipes include brown sugar & maple multi-grain cereal, creamy vegetable pasta, and tomato basil soup.
Augason Farms Freeze Dried Fruit
The Augason Farms Freeze Dried Fruit allows consumers to keep up a healthy diet in the event of a survival or emergency situation, which is surprisingly not a focal point of many other brands. Freeze-dried fruit is preserved at the peak of freshness and ripeness to maintain the nutritional value. The pail offers 199 servings of fruit that can be added as supplementation to another kit or fresh food.
Third-party sellers on Amazon allow consumers to purchase this kit for $250.00 and up. The fruits include strawberries, peaches, bananas, apples, raspberries, blueberries, and a drink mix for Apple Delight.
Chef’s Banquet Food Storage
The Chef’s Banquet Food Storage bucket offers 2,100 calories in each of the 30 days of food it offers, giving enough food for one person to survive for an entire month. The thick bucket should be stored in a cool and dry place, though it could last up to 20 years with the right care. The foods only require a little water to prepare, though the water is not included with the kit. Still, there are side sides, entrees, and other types of foods that contain no high-fructose corn syrup.
Amazon is currently out of stock for this kit. However, the user will have a steady rotation of oatmeal, potato soup, vegetable stew (beef flavored and chicken-flavored), mixed vegetables, instant potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and cheddar broccoli rice.
Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations
Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations offers their nutrients in the form of 3,600-calorie bars. While such a kit isn’t for the consumer that wants variety, the ability to keep the body sustained over an unknown amount of time. While some bars like this are dry, these are not, which means that consumers won’t have to worry about becoming overly thirsty when their consumption. The audience that they seem to be the most popular with include people who love the great outdoors who subject themselves to extreme temperatures, like sailors and fisherman. Each bar is contained in a foil package, but consumers will likely need a different storage container to protect the rations from vermin.
Legacy Premium Food Storage
The Legacy Premium Food Storage kit offers a 25-year shelf life for the 29 pounds of food it offers in its thick plastic tub. While it doesn’t quite have the same variety that some kits are known for, it still offers 120 huge servings to ensure that the user doesn’t go hungry when they are in the middle of the emergency circumstances. Every meal comes in a four-serving Mylar pouch, and is packed into the huge bucket. For consumers that are willing to bring along this heavy bucket, it is ideal for hiking and camping as well, since every meal just needs water.
This product is presently out of stock on Amazon. Each kit includes meals like white bean chili mix, enchilada beans and rice, macaroni and cheese, and potato soup, among others.
The Survival Tabs
While the Survival Tabs aren’t technically considered a replacement for meals, it helps to support the nutrients that consumers need for their days. The tablets are chewable, offering some carbs and fat as sustainable energy. Basically, they are a multivitamin, which should definitely be an added supplement and not the exclusive source of nutrients.
These tablets are available on Amazon for $148.95, giving users a 60-day supply.
Benefits of Long-Term Food Storage
One of the biggest benefits to long-term food storage is the security it offers in the event of economic instability and natural disasters. These types of circumstances have prevented people from having access to grocery stores and new food and storing up on food at home can help consumers worry less about at least one big problem.
These circumstances can happen more often than some people account for. By being prepared before a disaster strikes, consumers don’t have to worry about beating out other people to the store for the food that they need. As long as the food storage solutions are placed in a cool and dry place that it won’t be disturbed, the supplies could last decades.
One of the other key benefits of these options is the nutrients included in emergency food stores. The vitamins and minerals in these foods have to be highly concentrated to last through the years, and consumers are able to get the nourishment they need in times of disaster. Inherently, this feature makes food kits ideal for travel and camping as well, considering that the most rugged outdoorsmen don’t often have readily available electricity or cooking supplies.
Food Storage FAQs
Users probably have a number of questions about food storage processes and leading products. While specific product questions should be directed to relevant customer service representatives, this section will include answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about long-term food storage.
Q: What food is best for long-term storage?
A: Surprisingly, quite a few items qualify for safe long-term storage. Powdered milk can last 20 years or more, but only if it’s nonfat. Dried beans can last 30 years, and instant beans can last 25 years. Salt has an indefinite shelf life, and so does honey. Most fruits, vegetables, and meats can last up to 25 years if they're freeze-dried. Freeze-dried cheese can last 20 years, and pasta can last 30.
Q: How do you prep dry food for long-term storage?
A: Dried foods store best in air-tight containers such as heavy plastic materials. This is important; the containers cannot contain oxygen or allow oxidation to occur. Oxygen causes spoilage, and the presence of oxygen can also provide a catalyst for insect eggs to hatch inside of the food. To be sure that you're properly removing all oxygen from the package prior to storage, be sure to follow the instructions on your containers closely.
Q: How do you prep flour for long-term storage?
A: Store your flour in an airtight or sealed container. Dry storage containers are the most popular choice for storing flour, but you can also separate your flour into plastic bags and store it in a heavy plastic sealed bucket.
Q: Is storing food in plastic containers harmful?
A: Not all plastic containers release harmful chemicals, so most are safe. Generally, the plastic containers that have #2, #4, or #5 printed at the bottom are considered safe for food storage. Look for these numbers to ensure safe long-term food storage.
Q: Are there any risks to eating long-term storage food?
A: Most risks associated with long-term storage can be mitigated by following proper protocol and taking the precautions necessary to ensure that food is properly stored. The biggest precaution users can take to make sure their food doesn't fall victim to vermin or spoilage is to guarantee that their containers are sealed airtight and without the presence of oxygen inside the container. So long as foods are properly stored and safely contained, there is no reason why eating them would be risky.
Q: When can storing food long-term be helpful?
A: Many consumers always have a stock of long-term storage food ready-to-go. Food stored for the long-haul can be helpful in a number of situations, not all of them apocalyptic. In the case of a survival situation, a doomsday scenario, or a massive disaster, prepared and stored food can be a literal lifesaver.
Q: What makes a good food storage container?
A: Good food storage containers are typically made of thick, heavy, safe plastic. Additionally, the best food storage companies will provide in-depth instructions for how to prepare food in this particular container to maximize its shelf-life. Users should be sure to vacuum out all oxygen from the inside of the container before storing food; failing to do so could lead to infestation by vermin, as well as spoilage and, eventually, sickness if the food is then eaten.
The Bottom Line
As mentioned, survival is about being prepared and having a course of action planned out. We have reviewed products such as Ready Set JUDY, Nature's Miracles Book, Insider's Book of Secrets or How to Survive a World without Antibiotics, but no matter where you source your information or emergency preparedness intelligence from, the key is to make sure you have something set in motion or in already in place given an immediate threat or risky situation arising on the horizon.
Readiness for survival and emergency situations is extremely important for every household and stocking up on long-term food storage is a good way to prepare for a wealth of problematic circumstances. It can mean the difference between going hungry and surviving a disaster comfortably, and the only real requirement of anyone that takes on this endeavor is to store the kit properly. Learning what the best foods are for long term storage is smart to do “just in case” as preparation, planning and using the right containers from the right survival-minded companies are of vital importance for when it matters most.