Archive for March, 2024

Food Storage Calculator Updates

So as I mentioned last time, I’m trying to update the LDS Food Storage Calculators of old into something that fits my family (and hopefully many other families) better.

To show you where I’m starting from, and where most of the other Food Storage Calculators are basing their numbers, here is an example: LDS Food Storage Calculator

Now, if you are a good cook and are prepared to use those ingredients, more power to you! But right off the bat, in the grains section half of it is devoted to Wheat. First, at least in our family, we have multiple Celiacs and gluten sensitive folks. Those sensitivities are also growing in the general population. So having that high a percentage of wheat is a likely recipe for requiring 2 extra outhouses. Plus, if its a grid-down situation, grinding wheat is a labor-intensive process, and you’ll be burning a good bunch of the calories you’ll get by baking bread.

The legumes is another minor challenge. Again, most families aren’t regularly cooking split peas or soybeans, so I’m adding more of what we eat, and removing things we don’t. As an example, I’m bumping the Peanut Butter up by a factor of 10. It’s easily portable and stores for a couple of years (if you don’t get the organic). One jar of peanut butter (1lb) is basically the equivalent of 1 short day’s worth of calories; you could live on it. Again, Peanuts and Peanut butter are both good storage foods, though like wheat, there’s a lot more people who are allergic to peanuts today than their were 40 years ago, so plan accordingly.

At the end, I hope to have a more usable point to start a conversation on food storage with a bunch of y’all!

If you have a favorite shelf stable (at least 1 year) food you’d like to consider us putting in the new calculator, please let me know!

As always, if you need anything, hit us up at Discount Mylar Bags.

Links: https://www.happypreppers.com/Pioneers.html This is an interesting link to a pioneer crossing the US in the 1800’s, and what they would take with them for a 6 month journey.

https://grandpappy.org/hfoodaff.htm He was the one who came up with the original ‘year’s worth of food’ recipe back in 2008 or so, and updated in for inflation for about 5 years. I can’t find the original list, but I’ve seen in online. You can find his new more modest lists here now. This list is also an inspiration for our new updated FSC. He has an older looking site, but it has a lot of cool stuff available.


03 2024

Updating the Food Storage 1 Year Plan for a New Generation

There are a lot of great preparedness resources out there in a world. There are hundreds of awesome blogs, Youtube channels, Instagram feeds, etc related to prepping. However, I’ve been looking around at the Food Storage Supply ecosystem (the sellers of food storage products), and I realize that even though there are some slick new brands out there, almost all of them are regurgitating products and information that’s been around for years. Some of them have taken information directly from my websites and passed them off as their own. (including one of my own suppliers lol, that was a shock!) A couple have based their entire bag size lines on what we’ve done. They do say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, so I guess we’re doing something right!

No company other than Discount Mylar Bags (us) has really added anything new to the space (Such as SteelPak Bags, foil-packed desiccant, slow-acting oxygen absorbers and heat and serve meal pouches) in years, and it doesn’t look like any of them care to. Sure, they’ve got great photos, beautiful packaging and awesome marketing, but that’s what many of the modern companies are…marketing outfits who picked a product that did well over the past few years. Not 2 decade preppers who really want folks storing food. (I apologize if I sound a little frustrated! I am in fact jealous of their marketing talents!=))

One of the most egregious copy and paste jobs I’ve been examining are the Food Storage Calculators that have popped up on some competitors’ pages. The original source of info, the LDS, put together a recommended food storage list based on their average congregant. So yes, I think its a great starting point for a discussion on food storage, and I based my original food storage on it…in 2007. But almost 20 years prepping now and I recognize that for my average customer, these guides are outdated or unrealistic, recommending foods most folks have never cooked with. I would never make these recommendations to beginning preppers. I also think it’s funny that the folks copying these Food Storage Calculators to their websites have the original mis-spellings that have now been copied for multiple generations.=) These competitors aren’t actually looking at them, its just another widget for their website. However, the main problem is the original guide was intended for a group of people who practice homesteading, farming, and being self-sufficient. In 2024, that’s not most preppers.

Now, if that IS you, that’s amazing! But from the beginning, I have been trying to get anyone and everyone prepping. Urban young adults, rural octagenerians, suburban moms…everyone! A week at a time, a month at a time. Just something so that when something bad happens, you have a little to fall back on. Sure, I still think a full year’s worth of food for each person is the gold standard, but if you have an a 20-lb bag of rice, an 18-pack of Kraft Mac and Cheese and 3 boxes of Pop-Tarts put back, you are literally doing better than most of America.

Over the last 5 years I’ve revamped my food storage to more closely match my very picky, not homesteady family…because that’s who we are. Not folks who are prepared to grind hundreds of pounds of wheat when the power goes out, or folks who are going to forage my 30 acres of miserable scrubland looking for herbs. In other words, we’re #preppernormal, not #prepperhardcore. I respect and honor you if you have a homestead and survival skills, it’s just not something that fits our lifestyle. I have enough on my plate trying to keep several small businesses going, helping to home school 4 kids, and find the time to pursue a couple of my own dreams (writing a book, publishing a board game). And somewhere in there I’m trying to squeeze time in to make videos, write a blog, and read some good books.=) So I prep where I can (which mainly means putting stuff back), but I’ll never be Les Stroud. And I long ago came to the conclusion, that’s OK. It’s possible the world may not end, at least not in the post-apocalyptic manner many talk about. It’s possible we go through a long, slow decline a la many empires, where who’s in charge is less important than making sure our families are fed.

So while I wish more folks were super preppers (including myself in a universe where there are 95 hours in a day), from my conversations with 100’s of preppers over more than a dozen years, most are more like my family. Folks putting stuff aside to give a little leg up in an emergency or grid down situation…but we’re not the folks overhauling our entire lifestyle.

So over the next little bit, I am going to revamp and unveil a new, more up-to-date food storage recommendation guide. Yes, it’ll be a little less healthy than the original LDS guide, it’ll have a bit more focus on long shelf-life processed foods, but for many families, it will match our current diets and lifestyles more. And of course, you should always add or subtract foods that fit your family, but I’ll also have the reasons for recommending each food based on my family and experiences.

Next blog, I will let you know what I am using as my starting point, my criteria for including a product on my storage list, and the specifics of how many calories I’m aiming for.


03 2024