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Rice And Beans: A Good Choice For Long-Term Food Storage

February 21, 2011 by  

Rice And Beans: A Good Choice For Long-Term Food Storage

Did you know that if you combine rice and beans in a meal, it could replace the need for meat or other protein?

Rice and beans each contain certain amino acids that, when combined, form a complete protein. This is good news because if you are in a crisis situation and can’t get to the grocery store to get meat, you can use beans and rice.

Beans and rice in the dry form are easy to store and will keep for a long time. That is why we call them staples. They should be in everyone’s pantry.

Rice and beans are nutritious and filling. I suggest that you stock up on these items because they could very well save your life.

If you have rice and beans along with the basic ingredients for making flat bread or tortillas — it only requires flour, salt and water — you can make burritos by placing the rice and beans in the center of the flatbread along with a dab of bottled salsa.  You could eat this every day if you had to. Some Spanish cultures live on rice and beans as a staple.


Rice is a staple of about 70 percent of the world’s population. Rice is one of the most compatible and versatile foods in the world. When dried, rice can be stored for many years. This makes it ideal for long-term food storage.

Rice blends its flavor beautifully to any meal. It is used in Asian, Mexican, Indian and American cooking. You can use it with meat and vegetables as well as with sauces, and in soups.

Rice can be combined with just about any other food. It is filling, nutritious and inexpensive. I suggest you store rice in either 1-gallon containers or 5-gallon buckets with tight-fitting lids. Rice will store for 15+ years if stored properly. To purchase rice and beans in No. 10 gallon-sized cans, click here.

I have estimated the amount of rice to store based on one cup of rice per day, per person. Because rice in the dry form will double when cooked in water, you will need one and a half gallons of dry rice per person for a three-month supply, three gallons per person for a six-month supply and six gallons per person for one year. If you have six people in your family you will need 36 gallons or six six-gallon buckets per year.

White rice is better to store than brown rice. It stores longer and will not go rancid as will brown rice. However, brown rice is highly nutritious and is a complex carbohydrate instead of refined like white rice. If you want to store brown rice for a long period of time, see the instructions below under brown rice.

Rice is first milled, then cleaned and husked. Its cooking possibilities are endless. You can steam it, bake it, braise it and fry it.

There is no need to rinse or wash the rice before cooking. It contains valuable vitamins and minerals that can be washed away. Rice is one of the most easily digested foods and is non-allergenic.

There are several varieties of rice available on the market. They are:

White rice: This rice has the entire outer coating of bran removed. Some brands are enriched by adding extra vitamins and minerals lost in the milling process.

Long grain white rice: This rice cooks up plump and juicy. It is used as a side dish like pilaf or used in soup.

Medium or short grain white rice: This rice tends to be moister. It is used in rice puddings.

Precooked or instant rice: This rice is also called instant or Minute® rice. It is precooked and dried out again. Because it is precooked, this rice cooks up quickly and is great when you are in a hurry.

Parboiled rice: This rice has been cooked under pressure, which drives the nutrients from the bran of the rice to the grain of the rice. This rice cooks more uniformly and doesn’t stick together, is easier to reheat and retains its qualities much longer.

Brown rice: This rice is in its whole-unpolished state. It retains all its natural oils, proteins and vitamins. It has a chewy consistency with a slightly nutty flavor and requires more water for cooking and about twice the cooking time of polished white rice. This rice is the most nutritious rice because it is the whole grain and not processed. This rice does not store well because it contains some oil in the hull.  It has a tendency to go rancid faster and is not a good choice for long-term storage. However, because of its nutritional value, it is the best choice for short-term storage. It is best to keep brown rice in the freezer until it is opened. Keep it in the refrigerator after it is opened and use it up within six months.

Wild rice: This is not a rice, but a seed of a long shallow water grass. It is expensive because of the process of growing and cultivating it. It is worth the expense for special occasions. It has a nutty texture and a great flavor and lends itself well to fish and game meals.

Rice flour: People that are allergic to whole wheat or white flour can use rice flour as a substitute.

Rice cereal: This is good for babies or children. It is easily digestible and can be stored for several years.


Beans were one of the first crops cultivated by man, along with peas, lentils and peanuts.

Beans are classified as legumes. Dry beans and legumes are regarded as an important staple in countries where fresh vegetables are not available during the winter months. Beans can easily be stored in a one-gallon container or a five-gallon bucket with a tight-fitting lid.  They need to be kept dry and cool.

I suggest that you store a variety of beans. Start by purchasing a package of each of the different varieties. You should store more of the kidney, pinto and red beans.

There are many different beans on the market. They include; Soybeans, garbanzo, pinto, great northern, kidney, lima, black-eyed peas, black turtle, red beans, small white beans, navy, pink, lentils, split peas and whole dry peas.

These beans and legumes can be stored in the bags they come in. Place several bags into one plastic five-gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid. Beans are inexpensive and can be purchased for around $2 per bag. You can purchase a variety of beans in No. 10 (gallon sized) cans here.

Sprouting Beans

Beans can be sprouted and turned into a vegetable which you can use in salads. They are very nutritious when sprouted.

Sprouted beans are high in B complex vitamins, folic acid, niacin, iron, calcium and magnesium and provide protein and quick energy.

To sprout beans and legumes, first sort the beans to remove any dirt clods or rocks. Rinse the beans several times. Place them in a quart jar with one cup of beans to three cups of water. Let them stand overnight. In the morning, drain the beans and rinse them again.

Put a sprouting lid or a lid with holes punched in it so you can easily drain the beans. Beans should be rinsed and drained each day so that they do not go sour. After about three days of doing this the tails on the bean sprouts will be one-half inch long. Sprouts can be rinsed one final time and placed in a zip-lock baggie and stored in the refrigerator. Use them within a few days.

Bean Flour

As beans get old they are harder to cook. They don’t seem to soften as well as the newer beans. Older beans can be ground into flour using a hand or electric wheat grinder, grain mill or blender. This flour can be used to thicken gravies, soups and sauces. You can also make bean flour into refried beans by adding boiling water and a little salt. Cook the beans until they thicken up.  Store bean flour in the refrigerator.

Uses Of  Rice And Beans

Cookin' With Beans & Rice bookThere are many different uses of beans. I have written a cookbook called Cookin’ with Beans and Rice that features 154 pages of recipes for using beans and rice in meals. The book includes recipes for dishes like chili bean fudge, pinto bean spice cake, pinto bean punch, split pea soup, chili black beans and rice, refried beans, bean dip, Boston baked beans, beans and rice, enchiladas and much more.  The cookbook also includes many recipes for using rice. Some are chicken and rice casserole, oriental vegetables and rice, shrimp fried rice, Spanish rice, rice pilaf, wild rice, Indian curried rice, rice breakfast cereal, rice pancakes, rice salads, baked rice pudding and much more. There are also recipes that include both rice and beans.

To purchase beans and rice packaged in No.10-sized gallon cans, which are ideal for long-term food storage, ION stabilized oxygen for water treatment or to purchase a copy of this book and others I’ve written, go here.

To purchase healthy, gourmet, ready-made meals prepackaged with a 15-year shelf life and requiring only the addition of boiling water, go here. Watch the 10-minute video and click on the (try it before you buy it) button. You can try three free meals that serve two to four people each for just $9.95 shipping.

Peggy Layton

a home economist and licensed nutritionist, holds a B.S. in Home Economics Education with a minor in Food Science and Nutrition from Brigham Young University. Peggy lives in Manti, Utah with her husband Scott. Together they have raised seven children. Peggy owns and operates two businesses: One called "The Therapy Center", where she is a licensed massage therapist and hypnotherapist, and the other an online cookbook and preparedness products business. She is nationally known for publishing a series of seven books on the subject of food storage and also lectures and teaches seminars about preparedness and using food storage products. Peggy practices what she preaches, has no debt, grows a huge garden, lives off the land, raises chickens, bottles and dehydrates food and has time left over to operate her businesses. To check out Peggy's cookbooks and self sufficiency products go to her website To get a free sample of three different storable meals that have a 15-year shelf life go here.

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  • Christin

    Great article, Peggy Layton… thanks for the info.
    Thanks, Bob Livingston, for having her feature these life saving articles.
    I send them around to family, friends and neighbors.

    I’m glad you pointed out the fact that beans and rice make a complete protein and one can survive on that for a long period of time, but don’t forget you must have a WATER source to cook them.

    I was wondering… you mentioned we can store our own rice and beans in a cool dry place inan air tight bucket… do we need to add anything to keep them fresh or long lasting… someone mentioned a bay leaf before to draw out the moisture…

    • Granny Mae

      Use oxygen absorbers for longer storage and bay leaf for pest control.

      • Granny Mae

        Also a good idea to get Peggy’s books. They are full of good recipes and info. I think I have all of her books myself ! Great article.

        • Granny Mae


      • independant thinker

        Something I do not see mentioned is leather britches beans. Granny you might know what they are but I doubt most on here will have a clue. For those who do not know leather britches beans are green beans that have been strung and dried. As long as they are kept in a cool dry place out of sunlight they will store for at least a year. I have made them a few times and they are no more difficult than any dried bean to prepare for a meal. While not as good as fresh green beans they are not bad and certainly quite edible. I do not know about storing them for longer than a year but suspect it could be done if you thought it out.

        • Granny Mae

          Independant thinker,

          Yes I know about leather britches. A dear old friend of mine and I sat on her front porch one summer ans strung beans for a week ! She hung them in her family room around the fireplace and they dried just fine. After they were dry she put them in some big glass jars and placed them in a dark cabinet. By the following fall she had used them all up. I don’t know how long they would store but if you use some common sense they could keep for quite a while. Dry them in a warm dry area until they are very dry and hard. You can slide them off the thread and into a container that is kept air tight. Keep a oxygen absorber in with the beans and they should keep for a long time. Keep in mind that the biggest spoiler of food is air and light and humidity. If you keep your food dry, air tight and dark and away from moisture , it will keep for a very long time. Also remember to check on your food supply every so often. Sometimes conditions are not what we theought they were and when you go to get your food you can find it spoiled. Don’t wait till you need to use your food to find this out because then it may be too late to replace it and you could be in a world of hurt, so check it often. I just had a quart jar of meat go bad on me. After canning it I cooled it till the next day and then I removed the ring and washed the jar and top with warm water and a little soap so as to clean the jars before I put them away. Everything was fine at that time but a couple months later I discovered that the lid felt loose to me so I took it to the sink and sure enough it had lost it’s seal. I believe it was because the meat was a little more fatty than I like to use and in the processing it came out from under the lid. Well that day it vacuum sealed and was fine but it didn’t hold because there was too much grease between the rim of the jar and the lid. When I got to moving them around and handeling them putting them away it must have jarred the lid enough to move it on the rim and that broke the seal. I threw that jar of meat away and washed and sterilized the jar and made it ready to use again next time. I don’t take chances with my canned food. That is the only failure I have had this year. So check all of your food storage from time to time, even the containers you get from mail order. I have had buckets split on me. It may not be long and we will have to rely on our food storage so make sure it is in tip top shape right now so if there is a problem you can fix it before it is too late.

          • libertytrain

            So then what, do you just boil em up? The beans that is… :)

          • Granny Mae


            Yes you cover them with water and boil till ready to serve. I use a little salt pork or bacon, or bacon grease to flavor them. Keeping in mind that it doesn’t take a lot of bacon grease to flavor things. I use about a teaspoon of grease to a small pot of leather britches. A small pot to me is about the size you would use for a side dish of vegetable for a meal. Now if you are going to cook more than that I would suggest you adjust the fat acordingly but don’t go crazy. It is animal fat and for some people can cause cholesterol problems. I don’t have that problem. I use only bacon fat for this kind of thing and also real butter. I never use margarine for anything !

          • libertytrain

            Thanks Granny, I may try growing some if I could just get anything to grow here. Is there one bean better than another for growing with the idea of doing this? And I agree, I only use butter as well. And I’ve done a little of the bacon grease in a few things myself. By the way, fry up a little chopped up bacon in your mashed potatoes. To die for! (Though you probably have done that as well. :) )

          • Granny Mae


            LOL ! Yes I have used the bacon in my potatoes and I also fry my potatoes in bacon grease. Mainly because potatoes seem to absorb fat redily and the bacon grease has a tendancy to be slicker and keeps from sticking better. Check with your local extension office and ask them or a farm store, what is the best type of green bean to grow in your area and also when is the best time to plant them. In my area we have already planted english peas, beets, carrots and potatoes. Everything is up but the potatoes and I expect them in a week or two. Later we will plant corn and green beans and melons and cucumbers and squash and what ever else I can get my hands on. I am praying for a good garden this year. Last year was a big zero ! I don’t want another year like that with what is going on around the world right now ! Good luck . I hope you have an over abundance of veggies this year !

          • libertytrain

            Lordy Granny I am dealing with clay and have never been successful up in the mountains with growing. I am going to try some potatoes this year. I’m going to try some of the container growing too to see if that would work better. I’m just not on a good patch of land, mostly forest and like I said, clay.

          • Granny Mae


            We are growing the Tender green and also the Blue Lake bush type. My friend that grew the beans for stringing lived in Virginia and she grew the Blue Lake pole beans. She planted her corn and when it was up about a foot or so she planted her pole beans around the corn so the corn would be the support for the pole beans and the pole beans set nitrogen in the soil and help to feed the corn which are heavey feeders. I understand the Indians use to also plant squash in with the corn and beans too. The idea was that again the beans help provide nitrogen for the squash another heavy feeder and the squash acts like a mulch providing shade to the roots of the other plants ! You might want to give that a try ! I am going to try it this year to see if it helps with my garden being planted in sandy soil. I also read somewhere that the Native Americans planted a certain kind of corn that grew real tall and most of the corn I see today is not that tall. I have a picture of my grandmother and grandfather standing in front of grandpa’s corn field and that was the tallest corn I have ever seen ! Grandma was over six ft. tall and grandpa was clowning around and stood on a box so he could put his arm around grandma, so judging by thier size I can tell you that the corn must have been 8 or 9 ft. tall !

      • Christin

        Hi Mae,
        Haven’t heard/talked to you in a long time.

        Can you tell me where to get the oxygen absorbers?
        Do you know where one can get bay leaves for less that the expensive grocery stores prices?

        Did you buy Peggy’s books on her site on the computer?

        We have a large propane tank at our country place… is there a portable burner that also uses that type of fuel (if that fuel is still affordable and available in years to come)?

        • independant thinker

          I can answer one question for you Christin. There are several different types of portable propane stoves and lights and heaters available. Some are designed to use the disposable propane bottles and some are designed to run off 20 lb tanks or larger. There are adaptors that will let you use the ones designed for disposable tanks on the larger tanks. I suppose a person could get creative and refill the disposable tanks but it is my understanding that it is illegal to do so.

        • Granny Mae



          Where have you been keeping yourself ? I can tell you where I got my oxygen absorbers, The most reasonable price at the time, They had several sizes and a good price . I don’t remember what that was at that time but I do remember it was a good price. Also have gotten them at Emergency Essentials I have bought many things from them and found them to be wonderful people to work with. They can be a little pricey unless you shop their sales. They also offer group prices on different products from time to time which means you have to buy in case lots but if you have a friend or relative that you can go in with it is a good way to buy ! Now as for the Bay Leaf. I bought some a long time ago on line but I don’t know where. I just entered a search for bulk herbs for sale and came to this sight. There was every kind of herb you can imagine and they were not that expensive. Check them all out and see what you can find. I got my books of Peggy Layton from several sorces. One was from her web sight and several were from Emergency Essentials, and a couple came from a magazine I had. Her books are not that expensive and they are very good to have to help you in using food storage like the powdered milk of powdered cheese and such things as those. I especially didn’t have a clue as to how to use powdered shorting, but her books spelled it out for me and I had no trouble. I bought the books when I started buying the long term food storage to learn how to use the products before I had to rely on them and had no clue as to what to do with them! This woman has put a lot of work and thought into these books in making them simple enough for people like me to be comfortable using. I’m not into complicated by any means so her books fit my needs perfect. KISS guidlines ! For instance, I bought her book about cooking with powdered milk. I don’t know too many people that like to drink powdered milk, but if we are in a survival situation we may have to use powdered milk especially if we have small children, and adults need milk too, so in order to get your family to consume it you need to find ways to use it that will disguise the flavor or change the milk to a dairy product that everyone will use. Peggys Book Cooking With Powdered Milk shows you haw to do that. She tells you how to make yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, cottage cheese, Ricota cheese, sauces and chowders all from powdered milk. Now I don’t know about you but there are some ways in there that I can use for my family to be able to get milk in them. Milk is not just a source of calcium but also a source of protein, so it is very important. I can remember back in the sixty’s the welfare department gave out powdered milk , but they never trained people on how to use it and it just didn’t mix well. I read in the paper how there was piles of bags and boxes of powdered milk dumped along the road out in the country. After coming across Peggy’s book on Powdered milk I think back on that article in the paper and I think if only they would have had a copy of this book. It was such a waste and it didn’t have to be. I send a big thank you to Peggy for her hard work on these books and for keeping them simple! I also have, Cooking with Home Storage, Cooking with dried eggs, and cooking with Rice and Beans. I have several books by other authors too and they are all good books but Peggy’s are the most reasonably priced and the simplest to use, so I recommend them highly.

          • Granny Mae

            Another thing, Emergency Essentials sells a plastic pitcher that has a built in mixer for mixing powdered milk amd it works real well. In case anyone is interrested.

          • libertytrain

            Granny, one thing about powdered milk that I’ve used for years (especially the years I just didn’t keep milk in the house). I always used the powder for baking needs and things like pudding, cream sauces. Milk goes bad, powdered does not.

          • Granny Mae


            You are absolutely right. We have the forthought to do things like that but there are people out there that will just pitch it (powdered milk) or no purchase it because they don’t like the taste of it and never think to use it in recipes. My granddaughter was one of these people. She has changed her mind now as granny has showed her how to use the milk and given her one of Peggy’s books ! They were down and out and needed milk and couldn’t aford to buy it. I gave her a box of milk and one of those plastic pitchers I mentioned, and told her to mix it real good and put a little vanilla in the milk and sure enough they all accepted it with no more problems. You can also mix it half and half with whole milk to get kids started on it and also mix it with powdered chocolate. Years ago when I was trying to get my kids to use the powdered milk I even let them make the chocolate milk and put it on their cereal. They loved it ! I also remember that one of my boy’s cross country coach told them he ate popcorn for his cereal in the morning !!!! LOL ! For some reason that didn’t seem to appeal to them ! However I think a couple of them tried it out when they became adults and it was the topic of conversation over the Christmas Holidays one year !

          • libertytrain

            Great story. Vanilla? Hmm. I do recall when I was about 3, my mom stirring up powdered milk for us. It did have a kind of funny smell when she mixed it up.

  • Carlucci

    As much as I love white rice, it is not nearly as healthy as brown rice.
    I always try to eat brown rice, but have found that using a combination of white and brown to make something like fried rice is better than just using white rice. It’s the same principle as using whole wheat pasta mixed in with regular white pasta. It will take awhile for the combo to kick in and hit the blood stream, and won’t raise blood sugar as fast.

    The key to good fried rice is to chill the rice before using it. For some reason, the sauce will absorb into the chilled rice if it is added at the very end after sauteing the vegetables and meat.

    Canned beans are also good to have on hand. I have several junior league cookbooks from Louisiana that have fabulous recipes using canned beans. I made a recipe one time for a potluck that featured different types of canned beans, and it was the hit of the party.

  • Al Sieber

    Good article, I already have 50 lbs of brown rice and 100 lbs of different beans stored, thanks for the other info. in the article.

    • Granny Mae

      Al Sieber,

      Give one of Peggy’s books a try. I think you would like it and could use her suggestions for variety. I would suggerst the Beans and Rice book and the Powdered milk book !

  • JCF

    I love your articles. I have a few of your books Peggy. But, it seems I always glean something new or different from reading your information. We went to the city this last weekend and went to an Oriental market. We bought a 20lb bag of Jasmine rice. We went to Sam’s and bought a 10lb bag of pinto beans. We are storing in 1 gallon glass containers. Two 10lb bags of beans, which costs $5.47 each will fill four 1 gallon jugs. Keep the info coming.

    • independant thinker

      A possible source for gallon jugs as well as potato sacks is resturants. Pickels, mustard, mayo, and possible other things are often shipped to them in gallon jugs which they throw away in many if not most cases. I have aquired several just by asking them if they would save them for me. Some are plastic and some glass. I have gotten a couple of the old woven potato or onion sacks the same way and use them to store some of my home grown potatos and onions.

  • pacific_waters

    It is not necessary to consume a complete amino acid profile at one meal. The most recent research indicates that if the nody has sufficient stores it will assemble the necessary amino acids. Another thing to remember is that not all benas or rices are created equal, for example cannellinis contain more fiber than black beans,, some rices have a higher GL than others.

  • MN North

    Thanks so much Peggy for all the wisdom. I look forward to each article and I, too, send them on to family and friends as we prepare for whatever is coming. Have always wondered about combinations like rice and beans to make protein. Is it true that green peas and cheese also make a good protein? Or is it one of the legumes and cheese? Are there more combinations? Thanks again.

  • Peggy Layton

    Thank You JCF. I need the good feedback. I am so happy that my information is making a difference and that you are storing food. From everything I have been hearing, We are in for one of the hardest financial situations that our nation has ever experienced. Gas is predicted to go to an all time high, and all commodities like food, cotton, oil etc. will be out of sight. Our dollar will be hyper-inflated. Rice and beans are one of the most inexpensive food items you can purchase and yes you can store canned beans. The shelf life on canned beans is 2-3 years verses dried beans 10+ years. Water is more important than food. Store everything you can get your hands on and act quickly. We have no time to waste.

    • s c

      Peggy, I am sorely tempted to outline some of the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ that brought us to this point. What really matters is to deal with reality. Some folks who monitor this website will never understand what’s going on until it’s too late.
      If I could, I’d give truckers an immediate and sustained break at the diesel pump. Fuel costs will always make life better or worse at the grocery store, and our “leaders” – as usual – continue to ignore that fact of life.
      Thanks for the article, Peggy. Stock up, folks. Our elected leaders have not a clue. They are, indeed, a willing part of the problem.

      • Granny Mae

        s c,

        Boy you said a mouthfull there. My oldest son is into electronics and does some side work in CB’s for the truckers along I-75 and he said they are really feling it already and many are talking about parking their trucks if the fuel gets any higher because they simply can’t afford it. They are spending everything they get in fuel for the truck so they can’t make any money. It is time to look for food sources close to home. Have your own gardens and look for farmers close to your city. I am trying to encourage everyone I talk to, to have as much garden as possible at home. If you can’t turn your back yard into a garden then try some raised boxes or patio planters and hanging pots. Plant veggies like bush beans in with your flowers around your house. Line the walk way with gabbage plants or kale, grow salad tomatoes in a large pot they keep giving most all summer and you can dry them or even can them as long as you put a half teaspoon osalt to pints and a teaspoon of salt to quarts, and one tablespoon of lemon juice in the jar with the tomatoes. Todays tomatoes do not have the acidity they use to. Plus tomatoes can be canned in a water bath method. In other words you only need a pot tall enough to cover your jar or jars by one inch of boiling water. Put the lid on and process for pints 40 min and quarts 45 minutes. By process I mean that you bring the water to a boil and gently boil for the proper time. If you have no rack to put them on in the pot then fold a small towell and lay it in the bottom to keep the jars up slightly off the bottom of the pan and heat, this helps to keep the jars from breaking. Remember this is for doing just plain tomatoes, when you add anything else to the tomatoes you have to process them in a pressure cooker for the longest time of the added food product. The time is now to do something for all those that have been waiting. Do Not wait any longer !

        • Granny Mae

          Sorry for all the mistakes but I have a new puppy and for the last two nights he has kept me awake so now I don’t seem to know if I’m a foot or horse back ! It will get better and I’m not getting rid of him, he is so cute. I named him Bubba !

    • Granny Mae


      I would like to also say thanks for all the work you have put in to these books. They are formatted so anyone can use them even old lady’s like me ! LOL ! I have bought several and given them to my children and grandchildren and family and friends. I have even passed out a few to several women that have come to my home to learn how to do home canning. They get a canning book and one of your books and I talk to them about using that book and that type of food storage. I pray they have taken it all to heart and will make use of the books and info. It would be good to know how to make a home formula for babies if you have that info. I had an old timey doctor when I had my first baby , a long time ago, and he had me make my own formula but try as I might I can’t remember how to do it any more ! If you have such a thing please share it because I am worried that things are going to get bad enough that some young women may have to do just such a thing. Keep up the good work, we need you ! Granny

  • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Diego

    Do I not remember some of this information from the Y2K days, except that after placing the beans/rice into 5 gallon buckets we were to take them to be “filled over” in nitrogen gas (or something such), which by itself is supposed to be heavier than the atmosphere encapsulating that in the bucket, to keep the oxygen from deteriorating the food?

    • Al Sieber

      Diego, you’re right, nitrogen! a friend of mine stores his food in it.

    • Granny Mae

      That is true and you can also use dry ice. If using a bucket to store rice or corn or wheat in just put a piece of dry ice in the bottom and fill the bucket and place the lid on loosly for a time. I can’t remember how long, probably half hour maybe, and then snap the lid down tight and it is good to go. I just use my freezer. I freeze the rice or wheat or corn etc. for about a week and then pack it in big buckets and put in several oxygen absorbers. First I put a large mylar bag in the bucket and then fill it and add the oxygen absorbers, I use my iron and seal the mylar bag all but a small hole that I put the hose to my vacuum sealer. I vacuum the air out as much as I can and then I finish sealing the mylar bag with the iron. By the way you need a piece of board large enough to place across the top of the bucket so you can use it as an ironing board for the mylar bag. It works real good. You can get wheat , corn and rice from a farm store. I buy it in the 50 lb bags for about ten dollars a bag.

  • John D.

    Do not forget that you will need a way to Cook the beans and rice. If things get to the point where we are resorting to our stored supplies, will we have water and will we have what ever heat source one is currently using. Having all the stored beans and rice in the world would be worth little if there is no way to cook them. Also do not forget to store some salt as it makes beans and rice more palatable AND it is absolutely health essential. Sea salt has more “mineral” in it than the “refined” commercial salt one buys in the supermarket, but even the salt in the market is better than nothing.

    • independant thinker

      I have two 300 gallon food grade storage tanks I collect rain water in for my garden that I could use. I plan to purchase at least two more so I can reasonably expect to have some for personal use if needed. These tqanks are roughly 48x40x40 on a plastic pallet with a steel frame around them. They have an opening of about 4″ with lid on top for filling and a two inch outlet with valve for draining.

  • Fly By Night

    Many thanks all… for this informantion concerning beans and rice!!

  • chuckb

    great northern white beans are my favorite, cooked with salt pork (or without) and corn bread. next i would die for a bowl of chili and beans, of course that takes meat.
    refried beans are next on the list, muy bueno, if cooked properly. it seems every mexican has his own recipe, few mexican restaurants serve good frijoles.
    try using sea salt.
    i keep a small propane stove for emergency use, since we do have occasional loss of power during the winter.

  • Morning Star

    Thank you ever so very much Peggy Layton! Excellent info. I get so overwhelmed on the food and water storage do’s and don’ts. However, I know that I have to do the best I can, even though my family think that I’m wasting my time.

    Another thing I think worth mentioning is food storage backup and security. I try to find more than one place to store food and water in the event of a robbery or natural disaster. Everyone probably remembers the Katrina disasters.

    Also, I remember reading in a blog where a person said: “I don’t need to store food or water, I have a gun.”

    Really creeped me out.

    Thanks to everyone for the great ideas. Take care and good luck.

    • Granny Mae

      Morning Star,

      Sounds like you are off to a great start. Keep up the good work. You can never go wrong with a storage program because you can always use it !

  • Vic

    When storing rice and beans, be aware that you must also store fats and some animal product to give Vitamins A and D, which beans and rice will not give enough. I suggest owning chickens for eggs, or you can buy canned meats, especially fish.

    • Granny Mae


      Smart thinking. I raise chickens for that very reason, the only problem is most of us have to buy feed for the chickens and that could get scarse too. However I will keep them as long as I can and the way I preserve eggs is I make pickled eggs from them and can them. You can use most any pickeling solution that you like. Some like hot spicey eggs and then there are children that don’t so I use a pickeling solution for bread and butter pickles and do my eggs in that and they are a hit with most. My sons are into the hot eggs and the hotter the better, not me ! A little goes a long way for me. Any way I heat the hard boiled eggs in the pickeling solution until good and hot then I pack them in pint jars cover them with the solution and wipe the jar rim clean and place a hot lid on and tighten it down and put it in a water bath and process for the same time as I would the bread and butter pickles. They come out great and can be stored on the shelf in the dark cool place !

  • John

    Thanks again for the good information. Reccomend you get a multi fuel camp stove and a Katadyn Vario microfilter for your water. The Katadyn will filter 500 gallons of clear water from a stream or less from dirty water. Its easy to use and filters about 2 liters per minute. God save us all.

  • aa.sumana

    Rice gives more energy but not good for obesity & diabetic patients.I eat rice twice a day.Baby is give rice porridge.Rice can be used as medicine

  • Pete

    Thanks Peggy for the advice. I’ve been eating mostly beans for the past few months, unemployed right now ! I soak ‘em overnite. The next day I boil em for about 10 minutes. Then I strain ‘em and toss em into a crock pot for a few hours. Toss some lentils and celery and carrots, maybe a potato. Works great !

    Lost 26 pounds since Christmas. Thanks to the beans. I’m 324 lbs now. Hope to get down to 185 lbs by the end of the year. So let the bad times come ! I’m getting healthier …

    • Granny Mae


      God bless you! It is a tuff way to loose but for some of us it is the only way. I’m with you, keep your chin up!

  • ken M.

    Rice will attract bugs so either freeze, use dry ice or nitrogen to eliminate oxygen, or sprinkle diatomacious earth throughout.
    Also stock up on potatoes. We keep sweet potatoes for a year from one picking to the next. They’re very high on nutrition scale.
    Have a wood stove.

    • libertytrain

      Ken, how are you storing your sweet potatoes? Thanks for the other info.

    • Granny Mae

      If you use the diatomacious earth make sure it is the food grade and not the stuff they use around swimming pools ! Big difference. I know I use it for several things.

      • Granny Mae

        Ken M.

        I know what you mean about the bugs in the rice. I have had that experience and had to take a fine sive over a big cookie sheet and sift all the rice real good. I placed the rice in the freezer for a week and now it is good to go. I repacked it into vacuum seal bags and vacuum sealed them so there should be no more problems. Glad you mentioned it because I’m sure there are some out there that have run across the same problem and probably threw the rice out not knowing they could sift it and repack it !

  • Dan-in-CO

    For a GREAT emergency cooking implement, go to YouTube and search for SATELLITE DISH SOLAR COOKER. I’m in the process of building one now, and even without a mirror finish I can feel the heat that the concentrator produces. Check with your DirecTV or Dish network office.
    They are always pulling the competitors dishes off homes when people change service and the local installer says they just throw the dishes into the dumpster. The paint they use on the dish is tough stuff and required me to use paint stripper to remove it. You can find mirrored adhesive backed mylar that will reflect the suns rays.
    Search for Solar Cantina to buy the material.

  • Irene K

    Using a vacuum sealer should allow brown rice to be held longer. And it’s also good to know that in some societies (Thai comes to mind immediately) the only rice they eat is white rice, but it is balanced by other factors in their diet.

  • Arpad

    Man needs more than beans and rice and still have food storage

  • kl

    Please someone talk about buying organic rice, beans and powdered milk for long term storage. What about the concern for the RGBH from the cows in powdered milk. If anyone knows, how long and how do you store organic powdered milk and where can you get it inexpensively? I personally would never drink regular milk, it is so polluted. Anyone keen on this? Even if times are bad, you don’t need to put bad things in your body. Anyone have any answers??

  • FreedomV

    If you are that concerned about it you need to have your own cow or goats or support a local organic farmer- if you think it is expensive try paying for the animals and land. Personally I am OK with powdered milk and filtered water, but do support local farmers.

  • kl

    Maybe I’ll put this another way. Does anyone know of anyone selling organic powdered milk in no. 10 cans? Forget expense. And yes of course support local organic farmers. This way, there are no GMO’s in your food. Then we could get organic powdered milk from them. Get it??

  • MelO

    Sprouted beans MUST be cooked or they have a “green potato” effect. Green potatoes and bean sprouts are mildly toxic unless cooked.

  • DeniseP

    I am just starting out and feel I’m behind. I have a lot of young fruit trees. I am trying to get my garden going but working full time just makes me more behind. How much water do we need to store?

  • coal miner
  • Jessica

    The problem with powdered milk is that is goes bad after about a year, even in an airtight container, and starts to smell funny. Canned evaporated milk is much better, because it keeps for about 2 and a half years. Just check the expiration date before you buy it, to make sure you get the freshest milk possible. As for cooking in an emergency situation: if you live in a big city, then you’d better stock up on cans of Sterno and buy a little Sterno cooker. They’re very inexpensive.
    Here in hurricane country, everybody has one. If you’re fortunate enough to have a back yard, then learn how to make a firepit and build a long-burning campfire. Even a backyard grill will work, unless it’s a gas grill. Then you’re out of luck.

  • Jessica

    You will need at least 10 gallons a week for each family member. 5-gallon buckets with lids are perfect, but never use ones that have previously stored paints or chemicals. Restaurants, hospitals, schools, jails and nursing homes often throw out 5-gallon buckets that they get from institutional food suppliers. These will become very valuable in the future.

  • Jessica

    Oh, I almost forgot. If you have to resort to a questionable water supply, get some water purification tablets. You can buy them at camping supply stores, army surplus stores, and online. Real cheap. Just google “water purification tablets”.

  • Henry Ledbetter

    Thanks Peggy Let me suggest using propane for cooking if you can. We used about 10% of a 200 gal. tank for cooking this past winter. We use a propane cooktop and oven but also have an electric double oven. A barbecue grill with the smaller tank could also be used for a great number of meals.
    There should be portable water filters on the market that you simply pour the water through. Some suggest killing the bacteria with chlorine and then using the charcoal filter to remove it along with other bad stuff.


  • connie easter

    I’am very concerned about the way our country is going and I don’t like what I’m seeing. I am a realist and my husband and I are gonig to build a large pantry in our kitchen. My first guestion is “what are oxygen inhibitors and where do I get them? I also have some peach and plum trees, a very large blueberry bush and also blackberries. My yard is not large at all. I also grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, beans, squashs etc. and the best planters I have found to use are the large plastic buckets with the rope handles that people use for putting canned drinks in them with ice. I drill holes in the bottom for drainage and I use crushed cans in the bottom them add a good soil. You will need to feed your plants oftem. Last year my tomato plants were over seven feet tall and I had tomatoes coming out of my ears. You can find these plastic containers at Wal=mart sometimes for as little as $4.00 each. The other thing that I would mention is that if something really bad happened in this country I would advise everyone not to tell people that you have a large supply of food in your house because the ones who don’t have will be tearing down your door to get to it. I don’t want to scare anyone but in the worst case only you will be able to take care of yourself and your loved ones so that means you also need to get trained on how to use a firearm.—–Remember Katrina Be smart

  • Fali Roowalla

    Hello Granny,
    My Grandmother in India used to mix rice with castor oil for long term storage. She claimed that it would keep longer and fresher. What are your thoughts. I have never tried storing it myself. And yes I agree that rice and beans goes fantastic and if one cooks lentils, kidney beans, etc with some fried onions and add fresh tomatores or canned and add some spices it is very delicious and wholesome. Thanks for the suggestions I have noted them all.

  • weigh bridge

    A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment.

    There’s no doubt that that you ought to write more about this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but usually folks don’t discuss such issues.
    To the next! Kind regards!!

  • William

    You are talking about storage in 5 gallon buckets, but I have been using a Seal-A-Meal type device and storing my rice and beans in 5-10 lb lots, then storing them in a plastic container in a cool dry place. Will this work as well, it seems to take up less space for me.

  • Maira

    I appreciate, cause I found exactly what I was looking for.
    You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.


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