(NaturalNews) In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there's a lot of renewed interest in preparedness. One thing we all learned from the disaster is that when the power grid goes down, starvation isn't too far behind for those who have failed to store food.
It's easy to store a 72-hour supply of food just by shopping at the grocery store, of course: Canned soup, bread, peanut butter and even salted nuts are all readily available as long as you don't wait until the last days before a storm hits to buy some supplies.
But what if you're looking for food that keeps you alive during a long duration grid failure or natural disaster? What if you need to feed yourself and your family for 30 days or longer without a single trip to the grocery store? That's where you have to start thinking more strategically about storable food.
Personally, I want storable food to have the following characteristics:
1) High density nutrition: Provides a lot of nourishment while using on a small amount of shelf space.
2) Non-GMO: Throughout the storable foods industry, the vast majority of foods are loaded with TVP, GMO, MSG, yeast extract and hydrolyzed proteins. I want my storable food to be free of all that.
3) Multitude of uses: I want the food to be usable in a variety of different recipes so that it never gets boring.
4) Affordability: It needs to be affordable per ounce, so that it doesn't cost a fortune to stock up.
5) Shelf life: It needs to store for years without requiring any special attention.
6) Allergens: The food needs to be free of common allergens like gluten and soy.
7) Taste: It needs to taste good! Otherwise, who's gonna eat it?
Why chia seeds are the perfect storable survival food
1) Nutrition: Chia seeds are a very high source of omega-3s, which are linked to a wide variety of health benefits. They also contain magnesium, amino acids and a healthy assortment of minerals. They're almost like tiny vitamins.
3) Multitude of uses: Chia seeds can be soaked in water and tea to make a hearty beverage, they can be sprinkled on salads and cereals, they can be blended into bread mixes and pancake mixes, and they can even be added to sauces, dressings and dips. Chia is one of the most versatile superfoods on the planet.
4) Affordability: Chia seeds are a fraction of the price of many other superfoods on an ounce-by-ounce basis. In terms of the nutrition they provide, they're one of the most affordable long-term storable superfoods yet discovered.
5) Shelf life: Chia seeds easily store for 2 - 4 years without refrigeration, and 4+ years if refrigerated. They only require a dry, cool location. Better yet, chia doesn't go rancid very quickly like flaxseed does. And if you grind chia into a chia meal, it still has a long shelf life (1 - 2 years), unlike flax meal which goes rancid in less than 90 days.
6) Allergens: Chia contains no gluten, no wheat, no corn and no soy. It is widely considered a "universal" food because nearly everyone can eat it, including family pets and farm animals.
7) Taste: Chia tastes WAY better than flaxseed! The taste is actually more "neutral" than anything else, meaning it goes extremely well with almost any recipe you can imagine: Smoothies, cereals, bake mixes, etc.
The organic chia we offer is already packaged in moisture-proof barrier bags that provide a protective barrier against oxidation and moisture.
Currently, you can save $1 per bag by purchasing 7 bags at once. Take these 7 bags of chia and place them into a five-gallon plastic pail (which you can purchase at any hardware store). Then get some gamma seal lids from Amazon.com, which provide a screw-on lid to a five-gallon pail.
Store the pail in a dark, cool, dry place (such as a root cellar), and you're done! The pail is virtually rodent proof, and the gamma seal lid gives you easy access. The chia seed bags are individually sealed inside the five-gallon pail, giving you a double barrier against moisture and oxidation.
The five-gallon pail can also be packed with other complementary superfoods such as hemp seeds, buckwheat, quinoa or organic coconut sugar. Because five-gallon pails have handles, they're easy to grab and load into vehicles during an evacuation.
Here's another tip: Label each five-gallon pail with a permanent marker so you know what's in it. You can also create an emergency first aid pail containing a variety of health and medical supplies including colloidal silver, bandages and gauze, and even potassium iodide for protection against nuclear radiation.
For labeling difficult-to-label items such as plastic pails, I like to use sharpie paint pens (oil-based), which you can find at Amazon.com or art / craft supply stores.
Protecting the pails from insects
If you're worried about insects getting into the pails, simply purchase some diatomaceous earth (DE) and sprinkle it liberally along the bottom of the pail and even across the packaged food items you're placing in the pail.
DE is completely non-toxic to humans and is, in fact, edible. Many people actually take it as a supplement to aid in detox. Just be sure not to breathe the DE dust, because it contains tiny fragments of razor-sharp dust that are bad for your lungs. So hold your breath or wear a mask when sprinkling DE.
DE will kill any insects that attempt to walk through it. This works physically by "cutting" the exoskeletons of insects until they dehydrate and die. There are no chemicals in DE.
Be sure to keep plastic pails out of the sunlight because UV light renders plastic fragile and it will eventually crumble if kept outside. If you're looking to store food in something more resistant to sunlight, your best bet is to purchase surplus ammo cans, which you can find at various online suppliers.
The important thing is to stock up ahead of time so you're not caught unprepared when the next crisis strikes.
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.