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The 12 Most Important Food Items To Stockpile

September 24, 2012 by  

The 12 Most Important Food Items To Stockpile

Building a comprehensive food stockpile is a daunting task, to say the least. For that reason, I recommend you begin stocking your home grocery store with basic foods that will enable you to survive during a relatively short-term (two weeks to three months) emergency and then gradually expand your inventory to enable you to survive a long-term emergency (one year or longer) that includes a full array of food and non-food items necessary and tailored to your family’s needs and likes.

When considering what to store, keep in mind young children, babies, elderly family members and your pets. Keep special needs items on hand also such as baby food, formula and pet food. Don’t forget the toilet paper.

The following 12 categories of food items (stored somewhere in your home) could very well save your life and the lives of many others in an emergency situation.

1) Garden Seeds

I suggest you purchase non-hybrid garden seeds. The seed can be harvested from your own garden and saved from year to year. If we have a situation where garden seeds are not available, you will have your own. Garden seeds are a great barter Item. Garden seeds have a shelf life, so check the package for the expiration date.

Basic garden seeds to have on hand that will grow in most climates are: asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beets, cabbage, cantaloupe, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, green onions, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, melons, mustard greens, okra, pole or bush beans, parsley, parsnips, peas, peppers, pumpkin, radish, rutabaga, spinach, squash, sweet corn, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, and watermelon.

Alfalfa Sprouting2) Sprouting Seeds

Many different whole grains, beans and legumes, as well as seeds, will sprout when soaked overnight. When you sprout these foods, they provide an excellent source of enzymes and nutrients that you would normally eat if you had fresh vegetables. After sprouting these seeds, grains and legumes, their vitamins and minerals increase by 75 percent. Sprouts can be used in place of salads and in stir-frying.

The most common seeds and legumes for sprouting are alfalfa; broccoli; lentils; radish; red clover; salad blends; sprouting peas; sunflower; wheat; and legumes such as adzuki, garbanzo, kidney, mung, pinto, red, beans and soybeans.

3) Grains

Wheat is the most common grain and the main constituent of bread. In many cultures, whole grain bread is considered the staff of life.

If you are allergic to wheat, there are other grains that you can use such as barley, buckwheat, amaranth, Kamut®, millet, quinoa, rye, spelt, triticale corn, farina, germade, oats and rice.

White rice stores much longer, but brown rice is much more nutritious. Brown rice can be stored in the freezer to extend the shelf life.

4) Beans And Legumes

A wide variety of beans are available, such as black beans, great northern beans, lentils, navy beans, pinto beans, or dried split or whole peas. Beans are a great source of protein. When combined with rice, they become a complete protein. They can be cooked whole in soups, stews or by themselves. They can also be sprouted. Beans can be ground into flour and used to make refried beans or thicken soups. Dried beans and legumes last at least 15 years if kept sealed and in a cool storage area.

5) Spices And Bouillons

With grains, rice, beans, pasta and other staples, you will need spices to make the bland food more palatable. Dried or granulated bouillons, gravy mixes and dried soup bases are very important and can be mixed with canned meat to flavor any rice or pasta dish.

6) Canned And Dried Soups

Canned soups that your family enjoys should be part of your emergency food. These soups are easy to fix and ready to eat. Canned soups can be great starters for a larger pot of soup or stew. Cream-based soups can be used as a gravy or sauce. Purchase soups you normally eat and rotate them.

Dried soup mixes will last much longer than canned soup. They are very important to store. And let’s face it: In a stressful situation, anything that’s easy to fix will be great.

Butter Powder7) Dried Eggs And Dairy Products

Dehydrated eggs are considered a protein food. Dried eggs are great for long-term storage because you can add a small amount of water to the powder and it reconstitutes into the equivalent of fresh eggs. They can be used in scrambled eggs and omelets or in any recipe calling for fresh eggs.

Dried dairy products are also great to store because they last a minimum of five years and can be reconstituted to the equivalent of fresh milk, chocolate milk, butter, buttermilk, sour cream and cheese similar to mac and cheese sauce. Dried dairy products last a minimum of five to 15 years if kept cool.

Tomato Powder8) Canned Or Dehydrated Fruits And Vegetables

I suggest you store dehydrated, freeze-dried and commercially canned fruits and vegetables.

Dehydrated food weighs less and is much easier to store than wet-pack food. It requires far less space than wet-pack canned food. Dehydrated food will yield at least double and triple its dry weight and is less expensive. Add water to restore it to its natural state. The taste is still great, and the food value is excellent. Dehydrated foods store from five to 20 years, depending on the product. Dried fruits and vegetables are great for snacks. These dehydrated or dried foods are available here.

9) Protein Foods And Canned Meats

Protein foods are one of the most important foods to stockpile. Canned meats are an excellent food to store. I suggest you store tuna, salmon, Spam, beef dices, beef stew, chicken dices, beef, ham and sausage. Canned meats with a canned cream soup for the sauce are great over any rice or pasta dish. I stockpile canned ham so I can add it to my beans along with some dehydrated vegetables. It makes a great ham and bean dish.

Freeze-dried meats are available on the market and come in gallon-sized cans as well. They can be rehydrated and used in any dish calling for meat.

10) Baking Ingredients

Basic ingredients for baking include things like wheat for grinding into flour, powdered milk, whole dried eggs, baking powder, soda, salt and yeast. Sweeteners include sugar, honey, maple syrup and stevia. Fats and oils include butter powder, shortening, olive and vegetable oil.

11) Fun Foods

Fun Foods are foods such as canned juices, drink mixes, jams, jellies, condiments, olives, pickles, popcorn, pudding, salad dressings and anything else that would be considered extras. You might not consider putting these items in your storage, but they are a nice supplement to the food you already have. It makes a meal more interesting if you have some fun foods on hand. I keep several gallons of popcorn in my food storage.

3-Chees Alfredo with Chicken12) Pre-Made Meals (Just Add Water)

I’ve been testing a line of nutritious fast-and-easy gourmet meals by GoFoods Global that will store for a minimum of 15 years. You just add water, cook for 15 minutes and eat. It reminds me of the pre-packaged food from the grocery store like soup mixes, Hamburger Helper® and Rice-A-Roni®.

Some of the features of GoFoods pre-packaged meals are:

  • The food is dehydrated from premium-grade, fresh raw fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains, beans and legumes.
  • All meals are complete with everything in them. All you do is add water.
  • These meals can be used every day for fast, convenient and healthy food.
  • There are no genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in GoFoods.
  • There is no added monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • No ingredients are imported from countries using illegal fertilizers and insecticides.
  • They contain no hydrogenated oils.
  • They are packaged for long-term storage in Mylar® pouches.

The company lets you try before you buy; simply go to Click on “sample” to receive three packages of sample meals that will feed two to four people per package. All you pay is $9.95 for shipping.

Emergency Food Storage & Survival HandbookMeals include soups like cheddar broccoli, Italian chicken, vegetable beef, tortilla, corn chowder, minestrone, chicken noodle, chili and potato cheddar. Entrées and other baking items include chicken pasta Alfredo, cheesy chicken rice casserole, beef stroganoff, au gratin potatoes, instant seasoned potatoes, pancake mix, corn muffin mix, cornmeal dumplings, granola, powdered milk, wheat bread mix and buttermilk biscuit mix. Check it out at or email me at

This information came from the book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook. To purchase any of my seven books or other products including dehydrated food, water storage, water purification and preparedness products, go to

–Peggy Layton

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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  • http://PersonalLiberty Hugh

    Hi Peggy Layton, Thanks for your informative article about food storage, etc. I have one minor correction or comment to make. Technically asparagus can be planted from seed, but to tell you the truth, I have never seen the seeds for sale at a nursary or garden center. Asparagus is normally sold bare root in the spring. Many plants are sold bare root instead of my the seed, such as: grapes, black berries,strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus. These are just some of the edible plants that can be purchased bare root. Roses and trees can be purchased this way too.

    • Barbara Dahl

      I purchased asparagus seeds from a major catalog 4 years ago and had wonderful luck with the seeds. I babied them along all summer and planted them in the fall. Unfortunatly, I do not remember which catalog they were from. But they are available. Try googling “asparagus seeds for sale.”


    I can’t believe Flashy, Robert Smith or eddie47 are not blogging about this article; and how stupid it is to plan for the safety and future of your family, simply because its on Bobs website.

  • dan

    hahaha…just reading and really enjoying this review when ,voila,It’s Peggy.! Been to your site
    site many times … nutrition , recipes and advice without the nonsense .

  • Roger Augustus

    I have enough canned and dried foods for about 7-8 weeks, and enough toilet paper, propane, batterries, etc for about 6-7 weeks. I need to buy seeds, though. Here in TN the FBI has been raiding survival food stores and canneries; this come son the heels of a conference in China about using food as a weapon. Buy your stuff at Mega-Mart, and dress preppie.


      ARE you kidding me?? The FBI actually raiding survival stores??? For what reason?? What part of Tenn and do you have he name of the store and exact location?? This is outrageous… Thanks for the info..

  • http://none tony

    What about SOY BEANS? I am getting two opposite comments:- 1) soy beans are cheap and nutritious,
    2) SOY beans have disastrous hormones that make you fat and sterile
    I am a senior.I have been cooking for myself,in 76 countries.for almost 80 years,
    ( I am an ex-combat-cameraman)
    So far I am still alive & healthy,Perhaps I should write a cookbook called “Men Cooking”- “A survival guide.”
    I also produce the best red wine ( I ca’nt call it Claret) at about 3cents a bottle.!

    • Vigilannie

      Something like 98% of soybeans are genetically modified.

    • Wineman

      First, avoid the soybeans. They mimic estrogen and are GMOs. Second, no one can produce good wine for 3 cents/bottle.

    • Chuck

      What i read is that fermented soy is good and unfermented is bad.

    • Mario

      Chinese love soybeans and eat soybean oil everytime they can.If it’s so unhealthy, how to Hell they manage to grow to 1.4 billion population? Doesn’t seem you’re barking to the wrong tree? And, ah,by the way, I definetely saw much, much more people disformed by obezity here in the States, than I saw in China…So, what gives?…

  • steven

    Sir please look up the health Ranger and if possible send information to him.
    Google health Ranger, and he should come up.aka natural news. I do believe.
    He has brought up the fact that armed FDA thugs have been raiding natural food and raw milk farmers with SWAT teams.

    Remember the schizophrenic, hypocritical view our government takes, FEMA says be prepared but the Department of Homeland Security, puts you on a terrorist watch list. If you store away more than seven days worth of food and water.

    Go figure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gary L

    Give it some time.

  • RichE

    Having been someone that’s actually tried living off the land: hint> the seeds don’t plant themselves.

  • BimBam

    Dried eggs??? Aren’t they oxidized cholesterol like powdered milk??? Who knows maybe the they will cancel out the radiation from a neutron bomb.

  • Henry

    Triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack) is a man-made crop developed by crossing wheat (Triticum turgidum or Triticum aestivum) with rye (Secale cereale).
    Not the kind of food I prefer.

  • Joystarr

    You can live forever on beans, rice, fry bread and vitamins and minerals. Be sure to get gallons of oil to fry your bread and you gotta have lots of water. Go to GFS Gordon’s Food Service and get honkin! They have bean seasoning powders and also liquid butter. Flour and rice in bulk Start storing now-They also have propane stoves and propane. Or have plenty of firewood to cook with outside. Peace to you all! We have 4-5 months and then look out.



  • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Ringer

    Water, Water, Water……..or else.

  • Peggy Layton

    Water will be another article.

  • Pingback: September 24, 2012

  • FreedomFighter

    Another Good reason you need to stock up on Longterm storage foodstuffs:

    Interview-Why she loves welfare, food stamps, and Obamacare

    Yes she is doing a farsical skit, yet so true, stock up…

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

  • Scubaguy

    No one has touched the issue of where to store all these goodies. I live in a residential area in a single story home on a concrete foundation (slab). How can I expect to store these the foods safely during a serious storm (high winds, twister,water issues, etc.) I’ve no basement and living on a corner lot, not much space to do any building on my property, which would survive. Although we will most likely survive, serious structural damage would most probably wipe out storage areas in my home. Any ideas or comments?

    • FreedomFighter

      Get Peggys books (excellent), and this guy

      You will be well armed with the right information

      Laus Deo
      Semper fi

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  • Mario

    What a stupid and narrow view! And 110% American!!!
    Live in a big city, prepare for the worse, stock food for when everything breaks!…
    Got news for you all !….
    When a kind of society breaks, only the laws and rules of previos regime falls! Of corse there will be a bunch of personal or mob accounts settling, but the society as a whole survives. Always did, and excepting a nuclear idiocy, always will ! Think about it!…Germany survived Weimar Republic melt down, WWII, and now calls the shots in Europe. Argentine made the biggest sovereign default about 13 years ago, and now is heading for another one. Iran, after the Shah, didn’t became a desert!…
    What I’m trying to say, all this [expletive deleted] about pilling foods, toilet paper. amo, and cigarettes is just that- A BIG [expletive deleted]!!!
    Now, I don’t say I don’t see trouble ahead…Actually,I’m more concerned about what’s going on lately then I ever was in my life. And believe it or not, I am one of the guys who got rid of Ceausescu in Romania back in ’89.
    But I disgress!…The point of the article was what to store for the case Moon will fall on the Earth…Bad news again…If that happens, your stockpilling would be worthless… for the only reason you’ll be dead already…
    Otherwise, if you want to survive in a melt down ( which, by the way, is always government sponsored ) learn and perfect a skill humankind cannot go whithout.I will let you figure what’s that for yourselfs… Do the bid!

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