Food Storage: Nutrition vs. Calories
When it comes to freeze-dried food storage and one’s diet there are many different opinions as to which is most beneficial to emphasize: nutritional value or calories? Ideally, you want to consider both in your food storage plan. Many food storage kits emphasize calories and
ignore proper nutrition to sustain life over extended periods. Empty calories that come from sugars should be kept to a minimum. There are a
lot of these products that give you cases and cases of powdered fruit drinks, potatoes and unusable grains. Just like in your daily diet, you
should have a balanced food storage diet that includes: vegetables, fruits, protein and carbohydrates. And most importantly, make sure you
can use the food. A 50 lb. bag of wheat might make you feel good, but do you know what to do with it?
Before we go any further let’s touch on a few definitions: Nutrition is the science of foods and the nutrients they contain. Nutrition
includes the study of the actions of the nutrients within the body, including ingestion, digestion, absorption, transport, metabolism and
excretion. There are seven major types of nutrients which are: carbohydrates, fats, fiber, minerals, protein, vitamins, and water.
Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins provide energy whereas vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water do not, but they’re also vital for other
reasons that promote health.
A calorie is a unit of energy that, when applied to food, gives us an indication of the potential energy that food possesses. 1 gram of
protein = 4 calories, and 1 gram of fat = 9 calories. When it comes to the amount of calories an individual needs to stay healthy the
requirement changes according the individual’s gender, age, weight, genetic predisposition, and also level of activity.
The types of food storage that would be best to sustain one’s self or family in an emergency situation, even though having been stored for
an extended period of time, should provide the highest amount nutrients possible. The amount of fuel provided is important, but if the bulk of
the calories lack protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables you’re just taking in empty calories which are not easily digested and don’t
provide your body with nutrients. Another thing to keep in mind is in most emergency situations the quality of sanitation decreases
dramatically. In addition to this, if a person is dealing with extra activity, high stress, and less sleep they will need nutritious meals
to provide their bodies with the health and energy needed to overcome and continue through the circumstances they face.
Basically, for food storage as well as a regular everyday diet, the emphasis should not be based on the quantity of food consumed, but on
the quality. That means storing good quality, nutritious meals and food stuffs is critical. However, if you are concerned that your food storage has lots of fruits, vegetables, protein and high quality meals, but may not have enough calories, you can always supplement or add
calories. An inexpensive way to do that is by adding high calorie emergency food bars. They are compact, lightweight, require no cooking
and are easy to use and eat. They are designed for high intensity, survival situations and are non-thirst provoking. You may want to
consider adding a few of these food bars to your food storage if you feel more calories are necessary.