14 Prepper Foods You May Be Storing Wrong
Whether you’re a prepper anticipating a SHTF moment, or just a begrudging regular at the grocery store, there’s nothing worse than pulling out produce you just bought, only to find it spoiled. Survivalists, in particular, have to be careful when it comes to storing food for the long haul. Luckily, Crow Survival is here to make sure your prepper food pantry is in tip-top shape.
Keep reading to find out what you may be doing wrong with your perishable and long-term food storage.
Prepper Foods You Might Be Storing Wrong
While there’s no way to make milk last 25 years like some survival food kits (we’re not magicians here), learning how to preserve perishable foods is just as important on your survivalist journey. In emergency situations, every last inch counts – so make sure to keep it good for as long as possible!
Milk is one of those things that seems to be going bad before you’ve even enjoyed the first bowl of cereal. Often times, milk gets thrown into the refrigerator door after being hurriedly mixed into morning coffee while we’re running out the door. But, did you know the fridge door is actually one of the worst places for it?
Your milk will spoil much quicker if kept in the refrigerator door because that is the warmest area of your fridge, constantly being exposed to warm air each time it opens. Think about how often you forget to grab ingredients while cooking and have to open, close, and repeat. And don’t even get me started on the kiddos.
Those little ones will stand there searching for a snack until you can practically feel the milk curdling.
If it takes your household more than two days to finish up a milk carton, keep it toward the back of the fridge where it’s cooler. It might be a bit inconvenient, but you’ll thank yourself later when the stuff actually stays good until its expiration date. The top shelf near the cooling vents is best for cold, tasty milk!
2. Raw Meat
Sure, raw meat is another thing you can’t necessarily save for 25-year emergency food supplies. But knowing how to preserve it ahead of time is incredibly beneficial. How many of you are guilty of keeping that juicy steak or chicken breast on the fridge’s top shelf?
We all get into a habit of throwing things wherever they fit after a hefty grocery haul. On top of threatening meat’s freshness and life span in your fridge, top shelf meat storage presents another issue. Unless it’s wrapped very well or in a sealed container, juices from the meat can seep out and drip down onto other foods, contaminating them without you even realizing!
To avoid this food poisoning mess waiting to happen, keep meat in a container or on a plate to keep those juices from seeping where they’re not supposed to.
Just like with milk, try not to keep it at the front where it can be frequently exposed to warm air; stick it in the back! Sealing meat in an air-tight bag, like food storage in Mylar bags, is another way to prevent those issues from happening and help you enjoy it for longer.
Maybe you’ve placed onions in the refrigerator’s crisper door, thinking you’re doing them a favor by keeping them fresh for as long as possible. However, you may find them going bad on you far quicker than they should. Instead, keep them out on the counter and away from the sun until you cut them.
Upon cutting the onions, place them in a special onion container, which you can find on Amazon and at local grocery stores. If you don’t have one, don’t worry; a traditional Tupperware will still do the trick. Also, be sure not to place them next to potatoes.
Who knew onions and potatoes had a secret rivalry? You might find they both spoil a lot quicker while in each other’s company. Speaking of potatoes…
Just like with onions, it’s best to keep your raw, uncut potatoes out of the fridge. Refrigerating them can actually turn their natural starch into sugar. So, if you prefer sweet tasting potatoes, maybe keep them in there (just kidding).
Storing taters in the fridge can also alter the texture – and not in a good way; think gritty to the max. After the potatoes have been cut or cooked, they should be kept in the fridge at that point. Food preppers, one of the best food storage methods: If you cut those taters a day before you’re planning to cook ‘em up, place them in water, then into the fridge for avoiding discoloration.
Keeping this delicious, starchy survival food fresh has never been easier!
5. Celery, Carrots, and Asparagus
Fresh veggies are essential to our health and survival, even in extreme situations. These veggies are unique in the fact that while they all share the same storage preferences, they can’t get along together. What’s with all these moody fruits and veggies?!
To keep these yummy vegetables crisp, cut them into sticks, then submerge them in water in food storage plastic containers or glass. Say goodbye to brown celery and wilting asparagus!
Whether you’re a pasta connoisseur, soup fiend, or sandwich lover, tomatoes are a staple in every diet. Has your refrigerator’s veggie drawer been filled with red? You might want to reconsider your storage!
Keeping tomatoes in the refrigerator can cause them to lose flavor. The cold air can also alter texture by making the tomatoes quite mealy. For the best results, just keep them on the counter at room temperature and let them get some air.
Also, be sure not to layer them in the bowl or plate; if one spoils, the others will be right behind it. Spread those tomatoes out to keep them tasty!
Keeping avocados in perfect, guac green condition isn’t always easy. Cutting into one could mean brown mush or under ripeness, and thus unusable avocado. It’s best to keep them stored on the counter at room temperature.
Once they start to ripen, place them in the fridge to slow down that process for all the mouthwatering freshness when you’re ready to eat! Not to mention, all those healthy fats would be amazing during emergency situations.
Your body needs all the veggies it can get, whether you’re in survival mode or not. If you’re not going to eat corn on the cob right after picking or purchasing, storing it in the husk is ideal. Keep the corn cob in the refrigerator for fresh, crispy goodness.
Also, keep the corn, even in the husk, away from other fruits and veggies. It will spoil the corn rapidly. With its own space, your corn will delicious for days.
Believe it or not, fruit dishes aren’t just in the kitchen for decoration or as a catch-all for everyone’s junk. That’s where you should keep bananas, because storing them in the fridge can cause the peels to blacken. Plus, the actual bananas will not ripen.
Storing them at room temperature is the best option. Keep the banana bundle together and on the counter. You can then tightly wrap the stems with plastic wrap to help lengthen the shelf life.
If they start ripening too much, just wrap them up and stick ‘em in the freezer for breads and muffins when you are ready to bake. Overripe bananas are a bummer, but there’s no disappointment that fresh banana bread can’t solve. Not to mention, preppers can keep the fruit supply frozen for up to six months.
10. Dried Fruits
While fresh fruits aren’t exactly ideal as long-term survival foods, dried fruits are perfect for a doomsday prepper. At a glance, dried fruits may seem to be indestructible just in a bag on the counter. However, that’s not exactly the case.
They become easily contaminated if not stored properly, when moisture is allowed to seep in. Dried fruits should be packaged when they are not warm, because warm fruits will sweat, producing unwanted moisture. The container you choose should be dry and airtight, such as freezer bags, canning jars, plastic freezer containers, or a vacuum-sealed container or bag.
Then, place these sealed fruits in a dark and cool area, or the freezer. If left unopened, they should last for up to a year with no issue!
Now that we’ve got bread on the brain, let’s talk about storing it! It’s the most delicious when kept on the counter or in a bread box. But if it’s going to be longer than a few days before you can enjoy it, throw it in the freezer for later.
Wrap it in a couple layers, such as bags, to keep it fresh. When ready to use, unwrap the frozen bread. You can either let it dethaw or bake it to get that warm, doughy freshness.
It might seem silly to consider condiments as we cover prepper foods, but everyone deserves flavor and sauce – even in survival situations. There’s no real reason to keep ones like ketchup and mustard need to be in the fridge, although there’s no problem if that’s your preference.
Mayonnaise, on the other hand, can’t be kept in the pantry. Similarly to milk, you can make sure it stays good for longer by keeping it toward the back of your fridge. Don’t keep it in the door where it’s exposed to warm air.
You may have seen that it’s becoming a trend to put everything – from olive oil to lunch meat, in clear, cohesive containers. However, apparently many olive oils are solid in dark containers for a reason. Light and heat can cause oxidation, which leads to the oil either losing its flavor or turning rancid.
Keep it in a dark container, in the pantry, and away from heat and light. In fact, it’s best to store all of your oils this way.
Fresh herbs can take any meal from drab to fab in seconds. Lots of herbs prefer to be stored in the crisper, so you might assume the same about basil. However, basil will wilt and darken in cold temperature.
It’s best to store fresh basil by snipping the ends, then place the herb in a class container, like a mason jar or room temperature water. And then, just keep that on the counter to the basil’s wonderful flavor.
14. Flours and Sugars
Survivalists should still be able to indulge in the joys of baking, so flour and sugar are prepper essentials. If you use them regularly, then it should be fine to keep them in the original packaging, even after opening. The packaging is typically meant for storage, making it easier for us.
No need for special food storage containers for pantry! However, if they are going to sit for a while, especially after opening, it would be best to transfer the unused foods into an airtight container like a mason jar or sealed plastic container. This will keep them fresh for much longer and keep pantry moths out.
Long Term Food Storage Solutions
As a prepper, knowing how to preserve all types of food is essential. But, us survivalists also know that there may be a scenario where trips to the farmer’s market or grocery store for fresh meat and produce won’t be possible. If you’re looking to be uber prepared in the case of an emergency situation, Crow Survival has got you covered with some epic survival food companies.
Luckily, there are tons of brands striving to make prepping easy and accessible for all.
Head to Readywise for everything long term survival kit to water filtration systems and survival bags. Their meals will be ready with just water, and can store food up to 25 years. Enjoy tasty brown sugar cereal, cheesy pasta, and hearty soup in containers for long term food storage.
Nutrient Survival is another incredible preparedness food company. Shop their meals for tons of vitamin and minerals, protein, and fiber. Lastly, picky-eater preppers or those with dietary restrictions and allergies should head to Valley Food Storage.
All their tasty meals are made with clean ingredients, high-quality calories, and without unhealthy fillers. Whether you’re looking to start a small stockpile of food storage for preppers or fill the entire house with survival food bins, these brands have got you covered.
Yes, you may find your kitchen counter getting fuller with these tips, but at least the fridge will feel nice and clean! Learning how to maximize your food and use as much as you can is the key to being a good prepper. So, while you build that long-term stockpile, work on preserving perishable foods.
And don’t forget to check out Crow Survival for plenty more prepper advice!