Whole Food, Plant-Based (WFPB) Food Storage

By Jane Birch

What impact does switching to a WFPB diet have on food storage? Fortunately, it makes food storage MUCH simpler and MUCH less expensive! You no longer need to worry about storing oil, dried milk, powered eggs, canned meat, etc. Instead, you can focus on storing the basic items like wheat, beans, and rice. This is not just easy; it is cheap! And if you are eating a WFPB diet now, you’ll know just how to use these foods in times of need. See also: WFPB 72 Hour Kits.

For a good overview of the basics and information on where to buy the food, go to the LDS Food Storage site. Here are the areas you need to focus on for food storage. The basics will be covered below.

  1. Food
  2. Water
  3. Cooking fuel and equipment

Food Basics

This formula makes it simple and easy to get the foundation of your WFPB food storage. You need a little more than one pound of dry food per day per person for about 2,000 calories/day. Store in a #10 can with an oxygen absorber or larger buckets using dry ice.

  • Wheat, rice, corn and other grains: 400 pounds per person per year (e.g. 200 pounds of wheat and 200 pounds of rice)
  • Beans: 60 pounds per person per year (e.g. 30 pounds of pinto beans and 30 pounds of black beans)

Wheat: soft, hard, red, and white (red wheat is good for cracked wheat cereal and sprouting; white wheat is good for cooking and making bread)

Rice: white rice is less nutritious than brown rice, but it stores better and does provide calories in times of need. Brown rice will actually store well for 6-7 years if stored in a cool dark place. The longer you store it, the more likely you’ll have a rancid oil smell when you open it, but it is still edible (wash the rice, and it will taste fine).

Beans: whichever kinds you prefer

For additional vitamins

The wheat, beans, and rice will provide some, but not all of the vitamins you’ll need. There are various ways to get extra vitamins. Here are some examples:

Multi-Vitamin: Store multi-vitamins for times of need.

Pro-Vita-Mix: This is a great blend of sprouting seeds you can use to grow sprouts that will provide lots of vitamins. See more information here. See example Sprouter here.

Garden Seeds: Store a variety of seeds to plant in times of need. Heirloom varieties are best (because you can save the seeds of the plants that grow for the next year).

Vitamin B12: Store B12 supplements.

Vitamin C: You can use a supplement and/or store plant foods that contain Vitamin C: canned apricots, asparagus, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, spinach, strawberries and tomatoes. Some vitamin C is lost during the heat treatment, much of it dissolves in the cooking liquid and can be recovered by using the liquid. The vitamin C that is retained in the product remains stable during the shelf life (usually two years) of canned food. (Reference)

Vitamin A: You can use a supplement and/or store plant foods that contain Vitamin A: canned apricots, carrots, pumpkin, spinach and sweet potatoes. Vitamin A is present as carotenes, which have both vitamin and antioxidant activity. Carotenes are very stable during the canning process and little is lost. (Reference)

Food — Beyond the Basics

Once you have the basics, adding additional variety is nice, especially if you can work it into your regular eating plans.

More grains

  • Bulgur (steamed cracked wheat, shorter term storage)
  • Dent corn (to grind into cornmeal)
  • Barley, hulled or pearled
  • Millet
  • Oat groats (whole oat grain; this is good for breakfast)
  • Quinoa
  • Rolled oats
  • Whole wheat pastas (Shelf life of 1-2 years)

More beans (dried beans store longer)

  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Great northern beans
  • Navy beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Lima and baby lima beans
  • Lentils, both brown and red
  • Split peas, both green and yellow
  • Soybeans (to make soy milk)

More Fruits

  • Apple slices, soaked (add to breakfast cereal)
  • Applesauce
  • Raisins
  • Dried cranberries
  • Dried dates
  • Dried apricots

More Vegetables

  • Dried onions
  • Dried potatoes
  • Dried carrots, celery, etc.

Plant a Garden

  • We have been counseled by Church leaders to plant gardens.
  • Gardens provides us in expensive, fresh, nutritious plant foods “in the season thereof.”
  • Gardens provide greater variety at meal times.
  • Gardens help us develop self-sustainability and growing heirloom vegetables provides seed for a sustainable garden.

Other

  • Salt, yeast
  • Sugar, maple syrup, molasses, and/or honey. (Keep liquid sweeteners in original air tight container—preferably dark glass—in a cool dark pantry, away from sources of heat and changes in temperature.)
  • Other flavorings: seasonings, vegetable bouillon, soup bases, salsa, ketchup, peanut butter, hot sauce, spaghetti sauce, etc.

Find good places to store the food: basement, closet, under the bed. Heat, bugs and moisture are the killers of food storage.

See below for sample cooking ideas

Water Basics

  1. Store a minimum of 14 gallons to over 50 gallons (recommended) per person. (Store more if you don’t have a close source of running water.)
  2. Purchase a water purification method.

Cooking Fuel and Equipment Basics

You need fuel to cook food, but to make the best use of your fuel, get equipment that will allow you to cook food without fuel (or to extend the cooking time after the food is heated). Be sure to practice using these items so you’ll know what to do! Options:

Butane stove and box of canisters.

Practice for a week. It is safe to use indoors.

Wonder box (Great way to save fuel at any time!)

Short video to show how to use it.

Apple box cooker & charcoal

Short video to show how to use it.

Sun Oven

There are many varieties. This is one good brand.

Sample Cooking Ideas with Basic Foods

Ways to use wheat

  1. Sprout it (soak for 12 hours, change water frequently, drain water, sprout)
  2. Soak it (soak for 24–36 hours, change water frequently, it can be very chewy—the more you soak the more edible)
  3. Crack it (use a wheat grinder or just a hammer if nothing else). Boil it.
  4. Grind it and make bread.
  5. Use it as a meat substitute (make “wheat meat” by using the gluten as a kind of meat substitute)
  6. Roast it

See also: Why Wheat for Man?

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I’ve never made this bread, but I’ve heard from many others who have, and they report it works well! —Jane Birch

1 1/2 Tbl. instant yeast
2 c. warm water
1/3 c. honey (or some other sweetener; can use less)
3 – 4 c. whole wheat flour*
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 – 1/2 c. optional add-ins (oats, sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds, etc.)

Combine yeast, water and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer; let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy and bubbly. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour, any add-ins and salt and mix until combined. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until you get a soft dough. The dough should barely pull away from the sides of the bowl and it will still be a little sticky. Using the dough hook, knead for 4 minutes on low, cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down dough (spray hands with cooking spray) and put in a greased loaf pan. Let rise again until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove loaf and cool completely.

*If you use freshly ground wheat flour, you might need to add more like 5- 5 1/2 cups of flour.

*A couple tips from a reader: (1) When starting the yeast, let bubble ’til double! That’ll take longer than 5 minutes. (2) To tell if your bread is done, insert a thermometer. It should be at least 180 degrees!

Here is a similar recipe with step-by-step instructions and photos: Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Flat Bread/Naan

I am no cook, and certainly not a bread maker, so I was very happy when I found this super simple recipe. I feel a sense of empowerment to know I can so easily turn whole wheat into a bread! —Jane Birch

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
1/2 tsp. optional add-ins (ground flax seeds, sesame seeds, etc.)

Mix the flour with the water until combined well. Divide into 2-4 pieces and roll each into a ball. Put some flour on a hard surface and roll out one of the balls until it is thin. Place on a hot flat frying pan. Cook at least 30 seconds on each side. Eat warm is best!

Nice Soft Chewy Oil-free Tortillas

If you have more time, here is another simple recipe that makes very nice, chewy tortillas. It requires both kneading and letting the dough rest for a period. I used whole wheat flour, and they turned out great.

2 cups bread flour (All purpose or whole wheat can be used)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp unflavored soy (or other non-dairy) milk

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix ingredients together in bowl then move dough to counter.
  2. Knead for 5-10 minutes until silky smooth, adding flour as needed if dough is too slack. (Dough will NOT be as firm with this recipe – that’s OK.)
  3. Place dough back in mixing bowl and cover with towel. Let it rest for 40 mins to an hour. Separate the dough into six balls.
  4. Roll each ball into a tortilla (thickness is up to you), adding a bit of flour to keep the tortillas from sticking to the rolling pin and counter top – not much, just a bit.
  5. Place the tortilla in preheated pan and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side. Place warm tortillas on a plate with a napkin or towel over them to keep warm.

Note: This video is about the same recipe: Flour Tortillas (vegan, oil-free)

Meals

Breakfast: Cracked wheat cereal, add fruit and non-dairy milk

Lunch and Dinner: Rice and beans with a slice or two of whole wheat bread.

You can find a few recipes here: Food Storage Meals

Cooking rice or beans with minimum fuel

Bring to boil and then put into a Wonder box to continue cooking or cook in a sun oven.

 

Last updated: September 3, 2016

Comments

  1. Jane,
    Last week we watched the movie, “Forks over Knives”. Before we started, I stated, why are we going to watch this, I’m not going to change my thoughts on food.”

    Then the movies over and we start discussing how as a family we can make this work. As a Mormon who loves Geneology and Food Storage, when they showed the yearly food intake breakdown of how much a healthy person should eat of grains a year (300 lbs) and then the sugar and fat breakdown…. I actually had my husband pause the movie.

    That was my turning point. I turned to my family and said, “I think that’s the basic food storage recommendations.” That’s when the phrase, “eat meat sparingly” also jumped into my mind. I began to understand why the WoW food recommends are there. It was a huge enlightening moment for me.

    We are starting and using all kinds of great recipes. We went shopping and have whole foods in the house. We are making great strides for just beginning. We know we are also not perfect.

    I’m so glad to have found your sight and that someone else has been sharing the WoW story and how a WFPB diet really is following the WoW. It clicks for me now. I never understood how the other diets worked with the WoW but this is just amazing to have made the connection that you made years back!

    • What an amazing story, Carmella! Thank you for sharing this. I was never one who felt very excited about food storage before I learned to eat the Word of Wisdom way because I was storing all kinds of foods that I didn’t know how to use. Now I can store exactly what I eat, and I know I’ll be able to use it. I welcome your insights into how to improve this food storage page. I’m excited for you and your family in your new adventure. Let me know how I can help!

  2. Thank you so much for this great collection of how to build our WFPB home storage. I so appreciate the guidance as we try to rebuild ours. This is so helpful and reassuring. You are amazing, and I feel so blessed by your influence in my life. Thank you for all you do to let your light shine!

  3. I have enjoyed learning more about the Word of Wisdom from your sites, but wonder why the church asks us to store powdered milk, salt, sugar, and oil/fat if they are not good for us? The scriptures mention milk,butter, and oil In positive ways. If you say they are for times of famine, I would respond yes, but they need to be use and rotated. Restricting meat and processed foods with lots of salt, fat, sugar and white flour just makes sense, but the strict dairy and oil requirements you suggest seem to be going too far in your interpretation of the Word of Wisdom.

    • Great questions, Laurie! The Church leaves the interpretation of the Word of Wisdom up to us as individuals. As for food storage, the Church’s website recommends a focus on whole plant-based foods: “As you develop a longer-term storage, focus on food staples such as wheat, rice, pasta, oats, beans, and potatoes that can last 30 years or more.” Later, they add, “You may also want to add other items to your longer-term storage such as sugar, nonfat dry milk, salt, baking soda, and cooking oil.” Of course if those are the foods you and your family eat, they recommend you store those types of foods. Others do not need to store them if that is not what they eat. The can simply focus on the whole plant-based foods.

      In my opinion, just because the scriptures mention milk, butter, and oil in positive ways does not mean these are healthy foods for us to consume in the 21st century. The Bible also mentioned locusts and wine in positive ways, but that doesn’t mean we need to consume them today. The Lord gave the children of Israel a different dietary plan than He has given us.

      The Word of Wisdom does not explicitly state we should avoid dairy and oil, nor does not it explicitly state we should avoid “lots of salt, fat, sugar and white flour,” but if we learn that these foods are not healthy for us it, it “just makes sense,” as you put it, to not consume them. If we have enough wholesome foods stored for times of famine, we don’t need the store the less wholesome foods.

      People who are eating a whole food, plant-based diet with no dairy and oil are getting much better health results than people who are just reducing foods like salt, fat, sugar and white flour. It doesn’t make sense to me that the whole food, plant-based experts have come up with a diet that is more powerful than the Lord’s diet. Instead, for me it makes sense to use what the experts are learning to help us better understand the principles in D&C 89. That is up to each of us to decide for ourselves, of course!

      I wish you well on your journey! I’m happy to help in any way I can.

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