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.
- Cooking fuel and equipment
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.
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.
- Bulgur (steamed cracked wheat, shorter term storage)
- Dent corn (to grind into cornmeal)
- Barley, hulled or pearled
- Oat groats (whole oat grain; this is good for breakfast)
- 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)
- Apple slices, soaked (add to breakfast cereal)
- Dried cranberries
- Dried dates
- Dried apricots
- 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.
- 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
- 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.)
- 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!)
Apple box cooker & charcoal
There are many varieties. This is one good brand.
Sample Cooking Ideas with Basic Foods
Ways to use wheat
- Sprout it (soak for 12 hours, change water frequently, drain water, sprout)
- Soak it (soak for 24–36 hours, change water frequently, it can be very chewy—the more you soak the more edible)
- Crack it (use a wheat grinder or just a hammer if nothing else). Boil it.
- Grind it and make bread.
- Use it as a meat substitute (make “wheat meat” by using the gluten as a kind of meat substitute)
- 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
- Mix ingredients together in bowl then move dough to counter.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
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