Many people store groceries and there are many reasons to do so. When you store food, you not only need to keep an eye on your needs, you should above all be aware of the common mistakes made when storing food.
Having a well-stocked pantry is becoming a habit for more and more people and the reality of today’s world somehow forces us to think about the future. If you get it right, your pantry will sustain you during a disaster.
Food Storage Mistakes: Not enough staple foods
When you start stocking up on groceries, you first need to have some staples that are essential to even the simplest of recipes.
You can’t cook tasty meals without items like baking powder, yeast, soda, cooking oil, and egg powder. Store as much dehydrated and freeze-dried food as you can. Homemade and store-bought canned foods should not be forgotten. Always grab the staple foods that have a long shelf life.
Food Storage Mistakes: Monotony
One of the most common mistakes in food storage is monotony. Anyone who thinks that a few beans, some rice and wheat is enough to get you through tough times is wrong.
The human body depends on being supplied with a certain variety of carbohydrates, fats, proteins as well as vitamins and minerals. A balanced diet strengthens the immune system and keeps you fit and healthy. Therefore, you should make sure that you have enough variety in your pantry.
It’s the diversity that counts
Apart from the health aspect, it makes sense to store a wide range of foods just for the sake of a different taste.
Who does not know it? You just want to cook a few noodles quickly, put a handful in the boiling water and think to yourself: “That doesn’t look like much…” and tip a few more noodles. Ten minutes later, you’re standing in front of a mountain of pasta that could feed an entire football team. But since there is no football team in sight, your menu for the next few days suddenly becomes monotonous.
Already after the second or third meal you will be more or less fed up with the noodles – no matter how tasty they may be. This is referred to as food fatigue, which can easily be avoided with a more varied diet plan.
Also interesting: Small children in particular and some older people need comfort food. You will not be able to deal with such food fatigue, especially in stressful basic situations. The immune system shuts down and the risk of getting sick increases.
Tips for the pantry
Make sure your pantry covers all the important nutritional building blocks. In addition to an adequate supply of drinking water, you should primarily focus on fruit and vegetables to ensure a balanced diet. You should be able to find a mix of fresh fruit and vegetables here, as well as dried fruit, pickles and preserves. Make your selection based on what is in season and vary the preparation.
Legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils are particularly suitable for the pantry and are also rich in protein and vitamins. Paired with some rice, potatoes or wholemeal bread, they make a solid base for a variety of delicious dishes.
You should also plan for long-life milk, milk powder, hard cheese, as well as meat and fish preserves and spreads when storing food. Although animal products are not essential for survival, they are still part of the basic equipment for many people.
It’s also important to stock up on flavourings like tomatoes, broth, and onions. Make sure you also include a good supply of spices that you enjoy cooking with. So you can cook different variations with a few ingredients!
Lastly, you should provide flour, cooking oil, and sugar. Flatbread or small rolls can already be made from flour and water. As an alternative sweetener, we recommend storing honey.
Food Storage Mistakes: Not Enough Vitamins
The body’s ability to store nutrients decreases during tough times when we are exposed to a poor diet and high levels of constant stress. Children in particular are not able to store nutrients like adults, so healthy eating is particularly important here.
A comprehensive supply of multivitamins and vitamin C is important for a healthy life. You can add other vitamin supplements at will if your budget allows. Pay attention to the shelf life of the preparations and check them again before taking them.
Vitamin-rich foods for the pantry:
- Goji Berries: Goji berries are an excellent source of vitamin C and they have a dried shelf life of about two years. The berry is currently dubbed a “superfood” and can be used in salads, in granola, or in baking.
- Sea buckthorn berries: Sea buckthorn berries also contain a lot of vitamin C – up to 450,000 µg of vitamin C per 100 g. Furthermore, berries are a source of vitamin E – breastfeeding women, in particular, need a higher dose of vitamin E.
- Citrus fruits: Lemons, oranges, tangerines and clementines also have a high vitamin C content and should not be missing from your pantry.
Food Storage Mistakes – Elaborate preparation
Foods that don’t need to be cooked or require little prep are ideal for any pantry. These quick and easy foods will help you deal with any disaster scenario when you are mentally or physically unable to prepare your usual meals. Freeze-dried foods, Meals-Read-to-Eat (MREs) and canned foods require little prep and make great additions to your pantry.
Don’t forget to pack some candy or other sweets as well, as they have a positive effect on your mood. Having a few cheers in your pantry will help normalize any situation and make it more bearable. Psychological foods are especially important if you have children or if you have to care for the elderly.
Food Storage Mistakes – Wrong Containers
People throw away a lot of food because they don’t store it properly. Not having the right containers is one of the biggest mistakes one can make when storing food.
Food left in bags or in the original boxes becomes very vulnerable to moisture and pests. Always store your loose foods in food containers and use desiccants to avoid problems.
If you use plastic containers, make sure the ones you buy come with a food-grade plastic liner. Always opt for containers that can be used several times. Also, make sure your food containers are cleaned with soap and water and completely dried before storing them in your pantry.
Food Storage Mistakes – Not Testing and Adjusting
We have a full pantry and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, but most of us don’t put our work to the test. Putting your pantry to the test is a good way to see if you can improvise while you cook, and you’d better do that sooner rather than later.
Try to live with just what you can cook from the items you have in your pantry for a week. Write down what went wrong, what you miss and how the overall experience was.
This experience will help you figure out what to include in your pantry and what things to leave out. Most importantly, you have time to make the necessary corrections. Examining your pantry is a good way to see if you can improvise while cooking.
Food Storage Mistakes – No Plan B
Putting everything on one card is not a good idea. Especially when there are desperate people out there who would do anything for food. Having a plan B when it comes to your groceries is a good idea because you never know when you may lose everything.
Any disaster scenario that disrupts the food supply chain and leaves food in short supply will produce desperate people. Therefore, make sure that you store your supplies dry and safe. In the best case, you also have a small emergency package hidden in a separate place in case your pantry fills up or is infested by animals.
Regardless of the scenario, we might face, you must understand that your food is a precious resource.
- Pay attention to the best-before date printed on the packaging. Choose primarily foods with a sell-by date that is far in the future.
- Store your groceries in a dry place. We do not recommend storage outdoors or in a shed. Attics are also not well suited for food storage, as moisture quickly accumulates here.
- Store your stash away from sunlight. In general, make sure that the temperatures are rather cool so that your food lasts longer.
- Have a plan B: Don’t store all of your inventory in one place, split the products between at least two or more storage locations. In the event of a crisis or spoilage, you will not lose all your food at once.
You will have a well-stocked pantry and plenty of food if you avoid the food storage mistakes listed above. Food storage shouldn’t be complicated and is just a simple precautionary method to help you get through tough times.
Most food storage mistakes are made because people lack the right knowledge. It is better to educate yourself before starting food storage and you should make sure you have enough food to survive for a long time.
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Attention: The next crisis is already imminent. You urgently need to prepare now.