Food Storage. Healthy Eating.
People are sometimes surprised at how Pantry Paratus emphasizes both things, being under the misconception that a full pantry and a healthy one are paradoxical. I’m going to prove that wrong, and teach you how to switch to healthy food storage.
Why Food Storage Seems Unhealthy
This is how it is often done. Over the years of running expo booths at preparedness shows, I have witnessed a lot of crap being passed off for survival food at the surrounding tables. People often want something in boxes with an expiration date 5-10 years out (or longer!).
Sold! Write the check, load it up, done.
This is not being prepared for anything, and certainly not for the health consequences that might come from eating that stuff in a theoretical day when medical care is unavailable. What happens when that food runs out? Did that checkbox-checker learn any valuable skills, like baking bread when there is an egg shortage or making cheese from whatever milk is available—goat, sheep, or cow? If those skills aren’t routinely practiced, I daresay that they haven’t been learned at all. Any skill has a multitude of variables that will come into play during a worst-case scenario.
If you don’t routinely practice preparedness skills during good times, you won’t have a clue in an emergency.
If boxed and prepackaged food is your idea of a survival pantry, then you’re right—a prepared pantry and a healthy pantry are indeed juxtaposed.
Conversely, if your idea of a healthy meal requires a daily jaunt to the local health food store, where you buy only fresh organic fruits, vegetables, and some kind of congealed soy byproduct passed off as yogurt…then a prepared pantry and a “healthy” one are again at odds.
The Truth about a Prepared & Healthy Pantry
We were probably our healthiest at our poorest. Wilson left a mid-range six figure income and we moved across the country to pursue our dreams of living off the land and starting Pantry Paratus. Okay, there would have been smarter ways to do that, in hindsight.
If I didn’t grow it or barter for it, we didn’t eat it. A friend would offer out fruit from their tree, and then I’d trade jam for deer meat with someone else. We would trade our butchering services for nasty, tough goat meat. Okay, there would have been smarter ways to barter, in hindsight.
“Lord, if it ain’t dead, kill it. Amen.”
My point is that we grew or bartered much of what we ate, and we ate a lot out of our food storage. We had energy, we felt great. Here was the trick: we were eating traditional foods. We eat bulk grain such rice, quinoa, wheat. We eat fermented foods like kefir and homemade sauerkraut. We eat fresh fruits (from the neighbor’s apple tree, bartered plums, local berries) and we eat home-preserved ones, too (dehydrated peaches from the orchard one state over, banana chips, fruit leathers, pear sauce and pear rings).
We dig up our own vegetables or seek local sources (I just can never grow enough of my own tomatoes no matter how hard I try). Again, we eat those fresh or preserved (like our “sun dried tomatoes” or zucchini chips).
When you start with fresh foods, the food brings it’s own flavor and you can be a minimalist with spices. There is no need for preservatives or chemicals to mask or enhance flavors or colors. There is no need for over-processing or heating. You let the food be the star of the show. It’s delicious, healthy, and…easily preserved to stock your pantry for a rainy day.
Both Cheaper: Healthy Food & Food Storage
Shop from your own pantry. Today, I found one last jar of dehydrated strawberries tucked in the very back. Ah, not quite strawberry season in our neck of the woods, but getting close! Do you know:
- how much strawberries cost right now in the grocery store,
- what types of pesticides were used on those,
- and what unethical practices were used in those Mexican strawberry fields?
I am saving money, providing a far-healthier alternative to my family, and am living our my personal ethics…all by taking an hour last spring to slice and dehydrate my strawberry surplus.
What is an hour worth to you? I guarantee, if you took a trip to the store to buy those strawberries, you’re not only spending more time in the long run than I took to preserve my own, you are spending much more money (between the gas and other purchases).
Garden, use the farmer’s market, and local food co-ops.
No, healthy food is not cheaper if you are buying prepacked healthy foods—the organic burrito or the organic animal-shaped crackers. If you stick to growing your own on what you can, buying what you can from local sources, and supplementing the rest…if you can make your own “prepackaged foods” (foil-wrapped burritos in your freezer, for instance), you will save money.
Why Pantry Paratus is committed to both a Healthy Pantry and a Prepared Pantry
If I have a storage area full of emergency food but suffer from diabetes, chronic fatigue, or any other potentially food-related sickness, I will not have the strength to be what I need to be in the time of an emergency. If I have nothing but the best foods available at a local health food store, I won’t have the cash left over to build up my supplies of necessary items for future emergencies. In either situation, I would not have learned the skills I need to know.
Build your skills and by doing so, you will watch your empty pantry shelves fill up with nutritious and satisfying meals. Learn those skills & get equipped for healthy food storage at Pantry Paratus.