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Prepping For SHTF

Food Fatigue After SHTF / TEOTWAWKI

Food fatigue = eating the same thing over, and over, and over, and over,,,. Eventually leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies; extreme cases of malnutrition can lead to death.  Food fatigue, vitamin and mineral deficiencies go hand in hand.

Couple of examples:

Pellagra – vitamin deficiency caused by a lack of niacin. Seen in people who eat a diet of mostly corn based products.

Scurvy – caused by long term vitamin C deficiency.

Eat the same thing over and over and over,,, everyday, people develop food fatigue. When people get fatigued, they stop eating. When people stop eating, they starve and eventually die.

How do we prevent food fatigue? We stockpile a range of assorted foods, and we have a source of fresh food.

Lets say that some kind of long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation happens, what are your plans to ward off food fatigue?  Are you stockpiling a wide range of foods?  What are your sources of fresh food?  What are your renewable food sources?

Stockpiling Food

Lets talk about stockpiling food for a little bit. My food stockpile consist of four categories – canned foods, mylar bags, #10 cans and fresh food.

Canned Foods

Canned foods also includes boxed and jarred foods – assorted soups, black eye peas, chili, corn (creamed and whole kernel), green beans, honey, ketchup, lasagna, mac & cheese, mixed fruit, mixed veggies, oats, olives,  peanut butter,  peaches, pears, pickles (spear and hamburger slices), pineapple, ramen noodles, ranch style beans, ravioli, refried beans (pinto beans), rice, salsa/picante sauce, spam, spaghetti sauce, tamales, tuna fish, vienna sausages,,, you get the general idea.

Stockpiling canned foods for SHTF / TEOTWAWKI

To facilitate rotation of the canned foods, my wife and I bought several wire racks. New cans go in the top, old cans go out the bottom. Each wire rack holds around 12 cans. Each shelf holds 5 racks. Cut a piece of 1/8 plywood that goes on top of the racks for extra storage. When full, each shelf of 5 wire racks holds around 60 cans in rotation, plus whatever is top of the racks waiting to go into rotation.

With 4 shelves, and 5 wire racks per shelf, that is around 240 cans in rotation, plus whatever is on top of the racks.


The cases of fruits and veggies go on the bottom shelf, such as corn, green beans and mixed veggies.  Three and a half flats of cans fit across the bottom shelf.  Three flats fit well, fit 1/2 of the 4th flat hanging over onto the second shelf.  The flats will stack 3 high, each flat holds 12 cans.  That is 108 cans in 3 flats.

With the wire racks full, and 3 flats on the bottom shelf, you are looking at around 350 cans.  I have an additional 5 flats besides those on the bottom shelf.  Now you are looking at around 400 cans, give or take a few.

The canned goods are arranged to provide a balance of fruits, veggies and some kind of protein based food source.

Mylar bags – are for dried foods, such as beans, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, oats and rice.

Be careful storing stuff like mashed potatoes in mylar bags.  Some mashed potatoes contain butter or other animal bi-products that can turn rancid.

My stockpile of mylar bags are divided into two categories – 1/2 gallon, 1 gallon and superpails.  For the sake of discussion, the 1/2 gallon and the 1 gallon are being grouped together.

In the 1/2 and 1 gallon mylar bags I have mashes potatoes, mac and cheese, bisquick, shells and cheese.

The the 5 gallon superpails I have rice, beans and oats.

The goal of storing food in mylar bags – when stored in a cool place, foods like rice, beans and oats can stay viable for 20 years.

Rice makes a good side dish for just about anything. For some societies, rice is a staple food served with just about every meal.

Oats are a food food for man and livestock. Oats also contain vegetable protein. Add some boiling water, and you have a good quick meal. Have chickens? Add some oats to the chicken feed.

#10 cans of freeze dried food – Unlike regular cans you buy at the local grocery store, the contents of these cans have been freeze dried and have around a 25 year shelf life.

Dehydrated food is also sold in #10 cans.  If you buy some #10 cans, pay attention to whether the contents are dehydrated or freeze dried.  For long term storage, you want freeze dried.

The reason why I buy #10 cans is for the long term storage.  Having to rotate my regular canned foods is enough.  Not having to worry about the #10 cans is one less thing to worry about.

One of the major drawbacks to stockpiling #10 cans, they are expensive.  You could easily spend over $100 on just 5 cans.

Another drawback to the #10 cans is the sodium content.

Mountain House #10 can, beef stew, freeze dried, 1 serving:

  • Calories – 210
  • Sodium – 850mg
  • Vitamin A – 70% USRDA
  • Vitamin C – 25%

Some people will probably say “I will be working my ass off, so I need that sodium”. That might very well be true, but what about members of your group with high blood pressure or heart disease? Have you thought about them?

Combating Food Fatigue

Fresh Food – the renewable food source.  This includes a garden, fruit trees, and livestock.  My livestock of choice are chickens.  The chickens are not for eating, but rather for their eggs.

[Related Article – Stockpiling seeds for a survival garden]

Growing beans for a long term survival garden

Fresh food from your garden not only provides needed nutrients, but is also low sodium alternative to canned foods.

Peas and snap beans are easy to grow, easy to dry and can be stored for months.

Pecans are usually harvested in late summer, can be stored through the winter months and are packed full of nutrients.

Squash and zucchini are packed full of nutrients, pretty easy to grow.  If you have a pressure cooker, squash and zucchini can be stored in jars.

Radishes grow quickly and the whole plant can be eaten.

Fruit trees such as peaches, pears and figs offer an extra bonus because you do not have to worry about planting them every year.

Lets talk about chickens for just a minute.  After much thought I decided to add chickens as my source of fresh protein.  In early 2012 my wife and I set those plans in motion.

Related Articles

Chicken Coop Project Part 1
Chicken Coop Project Part 2
Chicken Coop Project Part 3
Chicken Coop Project Part 4

An average large egg contains around 6 grams of protein.
One cup of pinto beans contains around 15 grams of protein.

Eggs are easier to cook then beans.

We have gone from eating freeze dried food loaded with sodium, to eating fresh eggs, oatmeal, and the occasional freeze dried meal. I need to stockpile cornmeal to make tortillas out of, that way we have make breakfast burritos.

After all of the food we have stockpiled and the food we are growing, we have hunting and fishing.

A wild hog, deer, rabbit, squirrel, catfish, perch, trout, redfish,,, from time to time will help break up that food fatigue.

There is an old saying in the survivalist community, “beans, bullets and band-aids”.  A lot of people take a saying to heart.  They stockpile a limited food selection, firearms and first aid supplies, and little of anything else.  Those are shortsighted survival plans.

Lets see some comments and suggestions on how to ward off food fatigue.


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