Long Term Food Storage-PT 1 Nutrition

Long Term Food Storage-PT 1 Nutrition

I won’t go too far into nutrition, but need to cover the basics to explain the reasons behind the way I’ve approached things. Proteins have two main functions, firstly to promote growth. Secondly they maintain supplies of enzymes, hormones, antibodies to regulate body functions. Proteins are made up of amino acids, approximately twenty act like building blocks. Nine of these are essential, that our bodies cannot do without or synthesis them itself.These include; isoleucine, leucine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, histidine, valine, phenylalanine. Proteins from animal sources contain all essential amino acids. No single vegetable contains all of these and need a combination to provide a complete protein. �

In contrast to animal products, most of the foods derived from plants rarely have the complete array of the 9 essential amino acids you need to survive. For example, rice is quite high in the total amount of amino acids it contains, but misses out on several of the 9 required by the human body. For this reason, from the perspective of getting enough of amino acids in your diet you cannot survive indefinitely on rice alone like you could on beef.�

Plants have provided a means to obtain the complete amino acid array we need to survive without having to consume any animal products at all. This is done by mixing and matching. What some plant based foods lack in amino acids, other foods have. For example, eating just beans or eating just rice will result in not obtaining all the 9 essential amino acids you need to survive. However beans and rice complement one another so that by combining them into the same meal you will receive all the amino acids you need to maintain health.�

��Rice / Chickpeas

��Corn / Lentils

��Corn / Rice

��Corn / Beans

��Beans / Rice

��Rice / Lentils

��Pasta (Wheat) / Chickpeas�

To achieve a complete amino chain with vegetables; beans, corn and squash need to be used in combination. These are also refered to the three sisters. Corn, beans and squash also complement each other nutritionally. Corn provides carbohydrates, the dried beans are rich in protein, balancing the lack of necessary amino acids found in corn. Finally, squash yields both vitamins from the fruit and healthful, delicious oil from the seeds.

Many societies throughout history have hit upon the right food combinations that together provide the complete amino acid set necessary for survival. For example beans on corn tortillas in Central America, soybeans and rice in the Far East, cornbread and pinto beans in southern US. When laying in your preparedness food supplies you would do well to emulate those who have successfully figured out the correct combinations necessary for health and survival.

Examples of Foods High in Amino Acids

  • Grains include wheat, oats, rice, barley, and corn.
  • Seeds and Nuts include almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
  • Legumes include peanuts, soybeans, lentils, peanuts, and a wide variety of beans.

Food Combinations for the Essential Amino Acids

For example, beans (a legume) when combined with rice (a grain) are an excellent source of the complete array of essential amino acids. Combining rice with nuts is still a good combination, but not optimal as compared with the beans and rice combination. Therefore if you have these kinds of foods on hand you can optimize your diet by making food combinations.

If you add some milk products, in the form of powdered or canned milk or long lasting cheeses, your options are increased. For example a glass of milk with a whole wheat sandwich is an excellent combination for obtaining the essential amino acids.�

Carbohydrates consist of two types 1) Simple e.g.; sugars and 2) Complex e.g.; starches.� Sucrose the most commonly eaten (sugar) have no nutrients and is used mainly for taste and fast energy. Complex carbs are from potato’s wholemeal bread and flour products.Before being used by the body must be broken down into simple sugars and absorbed through the small intestine. Then used as energy or as a reserve to maintain blood sugar levels, between meals or during exercise.� �

Apart from providing energy, carbs are needed to metabolize protein, so they can be used for the above functions.� To release the energy from carbs the body needs sufficient quantities of vitamins. Everything is connected.When I first started to research long term food storage, complete proteins were never really mentioned. Everything was based around old methods.�

Mormon Four�


2.�Milk Powder



This provides the basic minimum to stay alive, (but who would want to on this) and needs to be incorporated with foraging.�

An alternative is the Kearney Diet of;�

��Red Wheat


��Pinto Beans

��Olive Oil


Which is slightly better at providing complete proteins, but very limited to recipe ideas.�

A One Year Grub Stake consisted of;�

��Split Peas





��Dried Eggs

��Cooking Oil




��Baking Powder

��Baking Soda


I wanted to combine these and add a few more essentials to increase variety and nutrition. I also wanted to separate Long term, Medium term and Short term.�

Long Term (5-10 years) are items that could be brought gradually, stored in plastic food grade tubs, sealed and wouldn’t be touched.�

Medium Term (1-2 years) items used all the time and rotated fortnightly, mainly tinned foods with a three to six month supply.�

Short Term (6 months-1 year) essentially foods used in homemade MRE’s to be used in my BOB kit or backpacking trips.


About 20 years ago, someone noticed that the people in one remote village (A) on the East coast of Mexico were very healthy, yet the people in another remote village (B) about 70 miles away were not healthy. Their diets were virtually identical: a little fish, their home grown beans, some corn, and a few vegetables. The soil conditions and water available for gardening were virtually identical, and the villagers used similar clay crocks or jugs for storing their harvests.

Another obvious difference between the two villages was that the first one was able to store beans from one harvest to the next, but the poorer villagers often ran out of stored beans, as bean weevils destroyed their dried beans.

The people in village A were healthy and industrious, their children full of energy, with strong limbs and teeth, ran to their tasks and games as healthy children do. Meanwhile, in village B, the people were listless, did less work, and the children all had symptoms of rickets and scurvy.

So what could make such a tremendous difference in the health of people in two neighboring villages? After considerable study, it turned out there were two things the people of the distant villages were doing differently.

In village A, a watchful villager had noticed that bean weevils had to brace themselves against one bean in order to gnaw through the hard outer shell of another bean. So they only filled their storage crocks three-fourths full, and once a month would shake them. The shaking of the beans would by itself kill the been weevil larvae, and thus their beans would remain unharmed in storage.

Again, in village A, persons long before had noticed that beans were hard to digest, which meant that all of the food value was not being extracted from them. So they added a teaspoon full of wood ashes (lye) to the soaking water for their beans, then rinsed the beans and discarded the soaking water before cooking. The lye altered the state of the lysine in the beans, so the available amino acids were much more readily assimilated by the human digestive tract. It worked: they were healthy.

You are wondering if the researchers took those lessons from Village A back to Village B, and everything turned out just fine, like in a fairy tale, right? Well, they tried, but the B villagers said they had been growing and saving beans for years, they knew what they were doing, and something as simple as shaking their beans was dumb, and they weren’t going to put any wood ashes in their beans. Sounds like the tale of the ant and the grasshopper to me!


Before they are eaten, the raw bean seeds should be soaked in water for several hours and then boiled for at least ten minutes in new fresh water to degrade a toxic compound – the lectin phytohaemagglutinin – found in the bean which would otherwise cause severe gastric upset. This compound is present in many varieties (and in some other species of bean), but is especially concentrated in red kidney beans and white kidney beans (Cannellini beans). Although in the case of dry beans the ten minutes required to degrade the toxin is much shorter than the hours required to fully cook the beans themselves, outbreaks of poisoning have been associated with the use of slow cookers whose low cooking temperatures may be unable to degrade the toxin. Sprouts of pulses high in haemaglutins should not be eaten. Kidney beans, especially, should not be sprouted.

This is the most commonly used bean used for refried beans (fresh or canned) and in many dishes at Tex-Mex restaurants. Rice and pinto beans served with cornbread or corn tortillas are often a staple meal where there is limited money for meat, as the combination of beans and corn creates all the protein amino acids needed in a meat substitute. When it comes to making chili, if a bean is added, this is the one typically used, although the kidney bean, black bean, and many others may also be used in other locales.�