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What is the long term food storage reality? It seems there are two approaches:
1. Off the shelf cans & items you can yourself
2. Buying MREs and foods from the long shelf life food providers

with #1 you need to practice First In, First out, but aren't you then always eating potentially poor quality food?
Or is the secret just to realize that you can only have stores 2 years deep. If you have not become self sufficient 2 years after SHTF, you are not going to make it.

With #2, what is the thinking? Enough for 2,5 10 years? Or is it a 1-2 years supply that you can buy, store and forget?
It seems #2 can be quite expensive...but I would be willing. With this approach you must trust the supplier. Otherwise you may find you have a store of garbage when the time came: For example: WISE FOODS KNOWLEDGE REPORT
Sine we don't have crystal balls and don't know when SHTF is coming, the plan would need to replace the store with fresh at some point. Perhaps a FIFO here too, but do you really want to eat this stuff as you would #1

Just trying to flush out the master plan and determine what the best approach or hybrid approach might be.
Interested in your master food storage plans
 

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You missed #3 which is probably the best. That is learning how to pressure can, dehydrate foods, etc. There is also vacsealing dry goods in mason jars.

Having a tiny garden, my veggies & fruit come from the farmer's market or roadside stands. I know the quality of what I preserve. Same goes for any meat I preserve. Most any meat can be pressure canned. And there is making soups & stews with meat to your taste making it more palatable.

Foods for field use are as simple as dehydrating fruits & using a valseal with bags to seal them.
 

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I only have a month's supply of food/water on hand for myself, my husband, and our dog. Because is any situation, bugging in would not be an option (small apartment, inner city, huge metropolitan area). We have mostly MRE's, as well as some freeze dried and canned goods. We've been able to get new, sealed cases of MRE's for around $35 a case. Because we'd be on the go, I'd rather have something that requires no preparation to make or eat, without having to boil any water. I know they're bulky, but broken down they aren't so bad. And neither of us mind the taste, we regularly rotate them out by eating them while doing any camping/hiking.

Once we make a move out the city when my husband leaves the military next year, I want to be able to grow/can food myself. We're planning on moving to as remote a place as we can, and both have experience growing different fruits/veggies and raising chickens. And once we're in a better location, we want to extend our food supplies to at least a year or so worth, while becoming more self sufficient. It's a lot of planning to do, and we've only just started, but everyone has to begin somewhere!
 

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Personally I would think there is no need to store more than 6 months worth. Enough to get you through a winter, after that you need to be able to create your own food for something longer than 6 months. If it really comes to a point that it's going to be longer than 6 months there is alot more you need to worry about. The only things I can think of that you would need more than 6 months are going to be pretty damn bad. Water would be more of a worry than food for my thoughts.
 

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Personally I would think there is no need to store more than 6 months worth. Enough to get you through a winter, after that you need to be able to create your own food for something longer than 6 months. If it really comes to a point that it's going to be longer than 6 months there is alot more you need to worry about. The only things I can think of that you would need more than 6 months are going to be pretty damn bad. Water would be more of a worry than food for my thoughts.
A human being simply needs more water than food. A 6 month supply of food is probably good enough, since after that, you will need to find a way to make food. There are exceptions to this though, such as luxuries. I store a lot of tea, since I love it. Also, storing raw sugar is a good idea, since you will have a hard time producing this yourself. I'm sure we can think of other luxury food items that we would rather not do without, if we don't have to.
 

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Well #2 pretty much covered it, but there is a lot too number two.

I know that I have ample room to grow a years worth of food easily and then some, but on that
garden space I can't grow rice, can't really grow a large supply of lentils or other beans. Good
thing for me is those two items fall under #2 with 25 year shelf life in 42lb buckets from Costco.

In the case of the lentils is 638 servings in a 42lb bucket. My wife and I could probably enjoy
two servings a day and not run out because I keep an extra couple on hand - fact is I'd ration
them longer because I can't replace them in SHTF or grow them. So I'd probably enjoy them
once or twice a week with things I can grow.

Bulk foods are available in #10 cans, buckets like I mentioned, and other means. Some have
a real long shelf life - like Rice/Beans can go 25 years. That makes it very easy to stock up on
them. I buy one of those costco buckets of each a year but it takes me more than a year to
finish them off. So I'm always gaining in supply.
 

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Enough stores to get you threw to not the next planting season, but the next harvest season. Yes, six months of stores is a good goal but a year is even a better goal.
Shorter length of growing season in the north means more important for more stores. Further south you go the more you can have multiple garden crops each year. Easily do two crops per year where I live.
 

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My personal goal is one year stored up, a full year that we could survive with no extra inputs, but then supplementing that with food we grow ourselves. You never know what you might be facing. For me, what if there was a draft or my husband couldn't make it home from his job 3 states away? It's me and the kids and I might not be able to grow as much as I'd like, or risk having it taken from me. I think a balance of canned goods/basic grocery, long shelf life foods and also some MREs is what I want to aim for. As I'm able, I want to add 5 years worth of longer term foods like freeze dried, etc.
 

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As to the canned food from the store, if you buy things you normally eat, and rotate your stock, you should be able to stay well within the "use by" dates.
Basically; as you use it, replace it. Many of the canned goods have shelf lives of 2 or more years, depending on what is in the cans, of course.
Just check the dates when you buy them. I've found items at the grocery with as much as a two year difference on the same shelf.
 

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A human being simply needs more water than food. A 6 month supply of food is probably good enough, since after that, you will need to find a way to make food. There are exceptions to this though, such as luxuries. I store a lot of tea, since I love it. Also, storing raw sugar is a good idea, since you will have a hard time producing this yourself. I'm sure we can think of other luxury food items that we would rather not do without, if we don't have to.
I hear ya on the tea, I am a good old Southern boy I enjoy my Tea. I would stay work on the staples first and Luxuries second. but ya I am on the same page with ya.
 
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