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Basic Food Storage


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    Basic storage is the foundation of any good food storage program.  It is composed of life-sustaining foods that store well for long periods.  A year's supply of garden seeds for planting should be stored so that the diet may be supplemented with fresh vegetables.  Where garden space is limited, a multiple vitamin pill should also be stored for daily use by each person during long periods of emergency.  Vitamins deteriorate over time and must be replaced by the expiration date on the container.

    The following recommendations are estimated for an average adult. The amounts in the left-hand column1 supply about 2300 calories per day for 1 year. The amounts in the right-hand column2 supply about 2400 calories per day for 1 year. Amounts for children are a percentage of the adult portion and can be estimated as follows:  age 3 and under - 50%; ages 4 to 6 - 70%; ages 7 to 10 - 90%; ages 11 and up - 100%.3  Families with young children should consider using the amounts in the left-hand column because of the milk recommendations.  Sixteen pounds of milk supplies only 1 cup of milk per day and is not enough for growing children or pregnant/nursing mothers.

300 pounds grains 400 pounds
60 pounds legumes 60 pounds
20 pounds fats and oils 10 quarts
60 pounds sugars 60 pounds
75 pounds powdered milk 16 pounds
5 pounds salt 8 pounds
  garden seeds and/or vitamins  


1 Based on recommendations from Essentials of Home Production and Storage published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1978

2 Recommendations in a letter dated January 20, 2002 and signed by The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Amounts were determined using information gathered in a study reported in August 1979 by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory entitled "Maintaining Nutritional Adequacy During a Prolonged Food Crisis."

3 Franz, Kay B. “Food Storage and Children,” Ensign, March 1998, 71.

Email for a Basic Food Storage Worksheet to help you get started.



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Last modified: 07/15/2013