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We are all undoubtedly learning a hard lesson right now. Grocery store shelves in my area have been wiped clean. I have one roll of paper towels left, and there are none to be sold within 100 miles. And while a roll of paper towels is the last thing I am concerned about, food has been wiped out too. Store are missing night-time trucks because warehouses are backlogged. If you didn't have a food stockpile before this crisis, it's time to start putting something together. I am here to help, with a list of food to stockpile in your pantry.
I use these Anchor Hocking Glass Jars to store my dry goods in my pantry.
Why should I worry about stockpiling food before a pandemic (or other emergency)?
In order to escape the buying frenzy, a stockpile should be added to throughout the year. I set aside a portion of my weekly budget (for the last two years) for stockpile items. These are items that we will set aside in case of emergency (like now). I only buy items that we will eat, because otherwise it would be a waste, and I only focus on the pantry, as refrigeration (electricity) can be precarious.
It all started for me when I read William Forstchens' book One Second After. An accurate account of what life would be like in the event of an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse). The author was asked by Congress to write the book as a way to relate to the American people, the precarious position we live in today; being exceedingly reliant on the grid and supply chain. It will open your eyes, it is riveting. Now is a great time to read this book.
While we aren't experiencing an EMP, we are experiencing, right this second, a worldwide pandemic. Among the 30 books I have read on the topic, The Jakarta Pandemic (Steven Konkonly) is the one that hits home right now. While it is fiction, it is a case study in the accuracy of human behavior. It is the perfect book to read right now if you want to understand what can happen in a pandemic.
Why should you stockpile supplies? In a pandemic, you want to be in a position to batten down the hatches, and stay in, avoiding contact with the public. This means having enough healthy food to feed your family already on hand. Grocery stores in reality, only have a one day supply of food when something really bad happens and no more trucks are coming. Once the supply chain is disrupted (manufacturing > warehouse > trucks > local stores), the real emergency sets in. You need to be prepared.
Even though I practice stockpiling throughout the year, I still needed things right now. I went to the stores in order to see exactly what people were taking, and what people were leaving. I wanted to familiarize myself with how this is happening in real time.
There are lessons to be learned right now, and I am ready to learn them. I took my daughter so that she could see peoples behavior, and the empty shelves. This is a great learning lesson for children, being open about the reality will leave them empowered. They will remember this as adults and hopefully be prepared for any emergency.
What I noticed during my time at the grocery stores was that people were taking dry goods, frozen foods, fresh meat, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper/paper towels. They mostly, at each place, left fresh produce. If only fresh produce is left in your store, buy as much as you can and prepare it for long term storage either in the freezer or by canning.
People were also leaving candy, chips, and convenience foods like instant rice, and pre-packaged meals. I found that very interesting. Big box stores were wiped out of food, while smaller grocery stores still had enough (but not of toilet paper and paper towels).
I calmly took what I needed and moved to the next store. Between four stores, I found what I needed.
Food To Stockpile In Your Pantry
Stockpile Rice, Beans, and Pasta During A Pandemic
Rice, dry beans, and pasta will last inevitably. There is no solid expiration date; these items should be at the top of your list. Rice can be combined with beans to make a complete protein, and pasta is versatile enough to combine with almost anything to be a complete meal. I choose brown rice, and whole wheat pasta to still try be a little healthy.
Stockpile Flour and Yeast During A Pandemic
Flour and yeast are at the top of my list of food to stockpile in my pantry. Flour and yeast can be combined with milk, water, eggs, and other basics to create any baked good. Bread, pasta, pizza crust, cake, tortillas, flatbread, crackers, naan, and so much more. This is the workhorse of your pantry. I choose whole wheat flour. The bonus is, most people choose white over whole wheat and so you may still be able to buy these items.
Stockpile Canned Diced Tomatoes, Canned Vegetables, and Coconut Milk During A Pandemic
Canned tomatoes and vegetables have a long shelf life (usually around 2 years); they always make a good choice to stockpile. My family, on average, requires 100 large cans of diced tomatoes per year. Diced tomatoes can be used for spaghetti (see our magic bullet marinara sauce), pizza sauce, chili, tomato soup, casseroles, and more. I would stockpile tomatoes first. Canned vegetables are what they are, not as versatile, but still important.
Why you should stockpile coconut milk in a pandemic
Coconut milk is always something I have at least 40 cans of. In a pandemic, when you are relying on your pantry; coconut milk is a work horse. Here is why: It contains some things that may come in handy when nutrients are lacking: electrolytes, lauric acid (antiseptic properties), significant iron (which you may be missing from meat), and Zinc which can help with diarrhea.
Stockpile Chicken Broth, Shelf Stable Milk, & Coffee During A Pandemic
Chicken broth and bouillon can be used to make soups, which is a staple of pantry and survival cooking. If you don't have enough money to buy broth, buy bouillon, but be advised that it is high in sodium.
There is no chance that I would like to live without coffee in the morning, so I choose to stockpile that as a necessity. I usually have at least four large containers available.
Why you should stockpile Parmalat, shelf stable milk during a pandemic
This one is a big deal for me. I have a baby who just finished drinking formula and switched over to milk. He still depends on whole milk to fill his belly and provide brain-boosting fat while he is learning to eat normal meals. Shelf stable milk can be a good source of fat, vitamin A, vitamin D, protein, and calcium for the whole family. This is my number one food to stockpile in my pantry.
Stockpile Protein & Healthy Fats During A Pandemic
Olive oil is a great food to stockpile in your pantry and can be used for cooking just about anything and is a good source of healthy fats. Peanut butter lasts opened in the pantry a long time. It is a good source of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Canned meat like tuna and chicken, give you solid protein options for casseroles, sandwiches, and soups.
Stockpile Quick Cooking Oats & Instant Mashed Potatoes During A Pandemic
If the power runs out you can still rehydrate quick oats and instant mash potatoes with cold water. You can eat the potatoes as is, or you can use them to thicken soups and top casseroles. Oats are as versatile as potatoes. Add fruit and sugar or Swerve, jelly, frozen fruit, whatever you have. Savory oatmeal is good too. I have made oats for brunch with garlic and lamb chops on top.
Stockpile things that you like during a pandemic
Food to stockpile in your pantry can include things you like. Protein powder, onions, and quinoa are things that I like. Aside from the onions, these items can be pricey and come in smaller quantities. Stockpiling things that you like helps make your time at home more enjoyable and boost morale. That's a really important part of weathering the storm.
How long should I plan to be prepared for in a pandemic
I'm not a doctor, but I am a prepper. You should be prepared for this to last a year, or until a vaccine is developed. For COVID-19, the current pandemic, it will continue to be highly contagious until a vaccine is developed. Once we all start leaving our houses again, it will become a problem again. It could abate once it goes through enough of the population, but in order to be really prepared you should have enough food to last a year.
For many people that is not financially realistic so plan on taking it 30, 60, 90 days at a time. It is never too late to work on being prepared. If all that is left in the store is fresh produce, learn how to preserve it and put it in your pantry. If you don't have the money, buy a little now and buy some seeds. Our grandparents planted victory gardens and kept chickens at the governments request, to ease the burden on manufacturing. With hard work, being prepared is possible for almost anyone. For those unable to help themselves, be a good neighbor; that is all we have.Print
Here is a list of items that you may want to stock up on to get you through a pandemic, natural disaster, emergency, or job loss.
Parmalat Shelf Stable Milk
Instant Mashed Potatoes
Set aside a portion of your grocery budget each week or month and use that only toward your stockpile. Over time, you will be able to fill your pantry and withstand an emergency. If you are struggling in the current pandemic, buy fresh produce and begin to prepare it for long term storage, by canning or freezing. If you are able, plant seeds now.
- Category: Pandemic
- Method: Prepare
- Cuisine: World Cuisine
Keywords: pandemic, how to prepare, food to stockpile, how to stockpile food, why are grocery stores empty, what to cook pandemic, food to buy pandemic, emergency preparedness, prepping, preppers