Preparedness blog

Top 10 Food Storage Myths

By Ben from Ready Store
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We often hear myths about why people can’t prepare food storage for their families. Here are a few:

10. Natural disasters don’t happen much around me, I don’t need it
Thinking that food storage is only good in case of a natural disaster is a mistake. It can be helpful in times of unemployment, economic hard times and more.
To suppose that you live in an area where natural disasters don’t occur is also a mistake. Earthquakes could strike anywhere along with lightning storms, wind storms and even man-made disasters.

9. I’ll need to learn how to grind wheat and care for chickens
While survivalist skills are helpful, they aren’t necessary for you to be prepared. Focus on knowing how much food you need to survive and how to prepare and use that food.

8. All I need is a gun
We often hear people say that they don’t need to prepare, all they need is a gun to take the food they want from others who prepare. So, let me get this straight. You’d rather be faced with the idea of killing someone else than make actual preparations?

I would much rather prepare than be faced with an idea like that.

7. Someone else, like the government, will help me with food
Typically, government agencies don’t step in to disaster areas for food relief for a few days - and even then, they can’t feed everyone! You might even have a disaster in your area and it’s not declared a “disaster area” by the government. That means no government agency help!

It’s important to remember that you don’t just use food storage in natural disasters too. You can use food storage to guard against unemployment or simple power outages.

6. Food storage tastes disgusting
Gone are the days of just grain and potatoes in food storage. With modern technology, you now have access to fruits, vegetables, and full meals that just require water. Freeze-dried food storage items are a great way to have a wide variety of entrees, desserts, drinks and more that have a shelf life of 20-30 years!

5. Society is prepared enough that I don’t need a personal food storage
This is closely related to the myth that the government will help you with food. Natural disasters can put a strain on supply chains and you might not be able to go to the store to get your groceries. Many times, natural disasters like earthquakes can even put stores out of business because they can’t handle the wrench in the routine.

4. Only fanatic extremists and doomsdayers have food storage
Recent TV coverage has brought many people to think that food storage is activity of doomsdayers and extremists. However, being self-sufficient and prepared is not extreme - it’s just smart. Communities and religious organizations have been told to prepare with food storage for decades.

3. I don’t have room to store food
When you’re exhausted because haven’t eaten anything after an emergency, you’ll wonder what you were doing with all that extra space!

There are all sorts of little nooks and crannies in your home where you could store food and not even notice it was there. Under your bed, for example. You might have to get a little creative, and it might not be all in the same place, but everyone has enough room for at least a couple weeks supply of food. Even if it is under your bathroom sink.

2. I have enough extras on my cupboard or in my fridge
I was interested today and went to my cupboard. I purchased a few cans of beans, corn, tomatoes etc. They all will expire within one to three years of my purchase. (Actually one of them had already expired six years ago! haha) Having extra food in your cupboards is always a good thing, but food designed for use in an emergency will be so much more usable and beneficial.

1. Food storage is too expensive and I can’t afford it
Food storage doesn’t need to put you in the poor house. You can collect little by little and make food storage a priority in your budget! Food storage is an investment in your future. You’ll have food on your shelf, no matter what situation comes your way, for decades! Check out our post about how to meet your food storage goals on a tight budget.

Your comments
What do you think? What myths have you heard about food storage preparation?

12 years ago
12 years ago at 10:38 AM
I've acutally eaten from my food storage when it was time to rotate. The dehydrated fruits, and granola are great.
Richard L.Doty
12 years ago at 10:39 AM
I live in South Dakota, This year we have had some really heavy snow and recently ice storms that have left many people out of power some for days some for weeks. I think any family who lives in a rural area in the Dakotas should have at least 2 weeks of MRE's for the winter storms and the spring floods that may follow. Rich Doty
12 years ago at 10:42 AM
Also, balance your food storage, some canned short-term things that you regularly use, and rotate those. I try to keep 2-4 weeks of those items on hand. freeze-dried and dehydrated for the long-term. also, don't forget MREs and food-bars in your bug-out bag, along with water, for the grab and go emergencies.
Michael Melton
12 years ago at 11:13 AM
Actually, I have been expanding our storage supply over the past year. Actually, it is planning for the family in a responsible manner.
12 years ago at 11:32 AM
The key is to store things you already eat and as you eat them, replenish them. Every time I use a can of diced tomatoes (for example) in cooking, I buy at least two more when I go to the store, one to replace what I used, and another extra. It's an easy way to build your food storage without going into debt over it. I keep three or four extra loaves of bread in our freezer and enough supplies on had to bake my own if that were necessary. If you store powdered milk, use it for cooking NOW so you're used to the taste because I can guarantee when the time comes that you have to use it and you've never tried it before, you won't like it. As far as storing water, if you ever drink juice, that plastic is heavy enough to use for storage, so each time you empty a juice container, rinse it out and fill it up. It may not amount to much, but it'll be more than the nothing you would've had. We live in an apartment so space is VERY limited for storage, but we've stored parts of our food storage under our daughter's crib and in her closet (because what kid needs a whole closet to themselves?) and that has proven to be very helpful. There's a foot of space or more above our cabinets in the kitchen and although it's not pleasing to the eye, there's food storage there, too.
tom t.
12 years ago at 12:01 PM
I live in the city,directly down the street from a supermarket.They are resupplied daily,a truckers strike or any kind of storm slows them now.If we get hit any kind of disaster they will be out in two days.I stock food,water,medical and means to defend it.
12 years ago at 12:33 PM
Coming from New Orleans, can you say Katrina? At least once a year we had power outages! And no one anywhere has never had a power outage. Wait didn't the ENTIRE eastern seaboard lose power a few years ago because of an antiquated power grid? Yes, lets wait for FEMA!
Robin m. Dawe
12 years ago at 5:29 PM
All you have to do is watch the news about Haiti and the people there. That should be reason enough to have your own emergency food and water stockpile. They are going on 3 weeks now. Do not expect anybody to come to your rescue for days or weeks. Ask New Orleans and Katrina victims.
12 years ago at 6:11 PM
we have about 90 days of food and water, but it's all standerd store bought stuff. we realy should add some longterm, freezedried stores to our supplies.
5 years ago at 9:05 AM
Learn to dehydrate too!
12 years ago at 6:20 PM
Our family uses several of the Mountain House and Saratoga products instead of canned, fresh or frozen veggies. They are just as good as fresh or frozen and you don't have to worry about spoilage.
12 years ago at 4:48 PM
When my husband was told at the beginning of last year that he was one of those that would be forced into early retirement, I utilized the time remaining to really beef up our food storage. We are not in a situation where we have to live off of it exclusively, but I am integrating it into our regular meals so that we are now used to the taste and texture and are finding lots of new and innovative ways to use it. It has indeed freed up money for bills etc and is a true blessing to know that I have it fall back on. The powdered eggs are in the fridge and I will never again buy tomato paste, now that I have used tomato powder. The meats are great stretchers and work wonderfully in soups and stews. We have even incorporated TVP and find it quite versatile and tasty. I recommend food storage to everyone and have had opportunities to teach about it on a couple of ocasions this year. It's comfort, and a great sense of security to know that we will not be hungry.
12 years ago at 9:47 PM
I'm thinking of buying, but if I don't have electricity in an emergency, how will I heat the water to add to the freeze dried food? Could I use the hot water from the kitchen faucet? Is that hot enough? Does it have to be boiling? In an emergency my electricity goes off but my gas so far has stayed on, and my heaters are gas-fired.
el m.
12 years ago at 8:35 AM
I purchased several 50 lb. bags of rice for storage and when I got home I thought, where am I going to store this? I knew that I had to get creative. I bought a new trash can and put the bags in it,then I covered the can minus the lid, with a piece of round plywood and covered that with a beautiful cloth. Instant end table. Then I put my lamp & accessories on the top and nobody is the wiser that it's food storage.
Ken Becker
8 years ago at 9:38 AM
Food storage is also great for Camping. If you plan on a long trip, with lots of hiking, freeze dried food is a great way to keep the load light and still be able to eat. No need for hunting wabbits! As for water. I have seen many ways to purify it. Iodine or bleach are the best, but leave a horrible taste. You need these to kill the microbes that will make you sick. Here's my solution: Use a capful of bleach per gallon of water, or 4-5 drops of ioding. THEN get water bottles with Pure or Brita filters (you can have the pitchers if it is at home). The filters clean out all the chemicle taste while the chemicles clean out the microbes. Clean tasting water that won't make you sick. I'd recommend a "Life Straw", but I haven't tested those yet. Also, in the case of a long erm disaster (no one wants to think it, but wars happen), keep some seeds handy to eventually plant. Heriloom Tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, carrots, maybe even some fruit like strawberries. And no, this doesn't make you a paranoid nutcase. It makes you prepared to take care of your family. Outfitting an RV with armor plates, 4wd, and lined with lead(radiation)makes you a nutcase.
Keith C
7 years ago at 6:22 PM
Bottom line is this; (1) People that think food storage and preparedness are for the extreme are also the same ones destroying this country. (2) People who are willing to just sit back and look for a handout from the government are the same ones who vote radical liberal Marxists into office. There was a time (when sanity ruled) that food storage and preparedness was a given. If you didn't work you didn't eat. You prepared for the future because that future was uncertain. Not today though. Heck, today, you can just vote Democrat, and live off of me and my family.
Janet Hodges
7 years ago at 2:30 PM
I think that comment sense is required these days.My husband is a carpet installer and winter work is scarce.I have been using dried foods to supplement our groceries for years.Hunting helps add to our meat supplies.There are times during the winter when knowing I have food on hand that I can fix is a blessing. If you have ever been hungry you will understand!
Peppermint Patty
4 years ago at 9:22 AM
Shelf life of prepper food is a myth. I've tested that. Blame it on life factors but it can go bad sooner. It's a myth that you'll be able to use it easily or at all. You might have to evacuate or have no means to prepare it. The reasons for prepping,we tell ourselves, are sometimes a myth. The way you will handle a real situation is a myth. You never know if you'll freak out so bad that you won't be able to handle it. Our panic mode is not predictable even if you're stocked with all the emergency supplies. If fear and anxiety drives your prepping, it might also spark a meltdown when things don't feel as safe and comfortable as expected. Experience and good reactions can't be bought and stored for later. Imagining and reading about a scenario is not a guarantee that you really understand what it will actually be like. I'm religious and value bible lessons and faith but I think that it's a myth that a person will stay religious and faithful and can keep good judgement during their hardest times. People have lost their religion during the worst time.