What NOT to Stockpile for Food Shortages: 6 Things That Don't Last
I often talk about what to stockpile for food shortages, but today I want to discuss the things I would never stockpile long-term. I've got six items I don't stockpile by personal choice, but some come from personal experience. I'll go through these items and then explain why I don't stockpile those items for long-term storage.
I do buy flour. I have about 15 bags of flour stored for medium-term storage. I vacuum-seal the flour, and I put it in the freezer. I take it out and then put it in a storage box. I don't intend to buy more and keep it for the long term because I had issues with the flour mites.
They're like dust mites. I never had a problem with flour weevils, but mites are different. You can barely see them because they're pretty much translucent.
I've got 20/20 vision, and I'll see those critters instantly. If I open a bag of flour within two months, I seem to have an issue. I clean my kitchen cupboard; it's pristine. However, for me, the flour just doesn't seem to work.
I had so many issues with them that I chose not to invest my money in something that could potentially spoil. I have enough to be able to make it through if there is a shortage of flour.
Generally, when you buy flour, it's got a year and a half to two years of shelf life. If I vacuum pack it, it might give it an extra six months.
I have enough to bake a loaf a week if we have no bread. I can certainly make do. I have semolina flour, which I don't seem to get so many issues with, so if I have to, I can make some flatbreads. We can make do.
The second item I don't stockpile is everyday yeast. I'll buy one of those from Lidl's. They don't particularly have a long shelf life.
Unfortunately, with the yeast, it doesn't keep that well past the use-by date. I had one that was two months past the date, and it's pretty much unusable. It just doesn't seem to work. I've bought a bigger one that has until 2024.
So it's got two years since the production date. That's absolutely fine. That will more than suit me for what I need. With the amount of flour I have, you can freeze these.
However, as a prepper, we're preparing and trying to avoid storing stuff in the freezer. Because if, God forbid, we're going to have the power cut and suddenly the stuff we have in a freezer goes to waste, then all of your yeast will also go to waste.
So the alternative and the reason why I'm not stockpiling so much for the long term is that we can make a mama yeast starter.
Basically, you create a yeast starter, and you feed this with a little bit of flour and a little bit of sugar, and you keep it alive. You have to feed it pretty much every day. If you don't use so much yeast, you can keep it in the fridge and feed it once a week. It's very straightforward.
3. Ready-made prepared microwaveable rice
They have about a year's shelf life, which is fine. I have had a terrible experience with my microwaveable rice, which had rotten mold inside and was not even out of date. I bought it in the shop, and it was still within date, and it was absolutely rotten inside.
I find that anything that's over six months past the date becomes bad to taste and smells like plastic. It's probably still absolutely edible, and it's okay, but if it starts affecting the flavor, I'll throw it away. That's the reason I would not keep any more than ten packets.
4. Instant noodles and ramen noodles
It's also the exact reason for instant noodles and ramen noodles. Those have a year's shelf life. That's absolutely fine. The same as with rice; after a little while, I find they are becoming rancid and smelled like plastic.
I've eaten them a year past the date, but it's certainly not a pleasant thing to do. As it stands, I only keep them to what I'm going to eat within the time that the date is in, give or take a month or so.
5. Brown rice
Brown rice does not keep anywhere as well as white rice because it's got a higher fat content. If you vacuum seal brown rice, apparently, you can store it for a longer term. I choose not to.
I just don't see the point because white rice lasts a long time. If you properly seal white rice and keep it, I don't see the need to potentially risk my stockpile with brown rice, just in case. It just wouldn't keep.
6. Brown sugar
Brown sugar doesn't last as long as white sugar purely because of the moisture content. White sugar has 0.3% water. Brown sugar has anywhere between 2% and 4%.
So yes, it could keep long-term. It's got a couple of years' date on it but stockpiling for the long term; I don't see a purpose or point of doing so for the same reason as not stockpiling brown rice.
If I store it and it suddenly goes off in three years, I just wasted my money because it's not cheap, and you can make brown sugar with molasses and white sugar. So to me, it's a pointless idea to have this long-term because it's investing money in something that might not last.
What to stockpile for food shortages
Again, these choices for items I don't stockpile are based on my experience. We have a relatively limited space, so I make my choices based on that.
What are foods you don't stockpile? Share your experiences in the comments below.