Saturday, July 5, 2014
Portion Sizes, Critically Important*
How do you 'know' and 'control' the number of meals you have available in your long term food storage? Here's how I calculate the number of meals available in dry bulk storage before I have to hunt, trap, fish or scavenge (beg) for other foods.
Your Long Term Stored Food is typically stored based upon weight or by gallons in buckets. Mine is based on Gallons. I bag all my bulk dry foods in one gallon quantities in Mylar bags with absorbers and store 4 gallon bags per 5 gallon bucket. 4 bags is all I can fit into a single 5 gallon bucket. The exception is my Hard White Wheat, All Purpose White Flour, Sugar and Salt, these are stored bulk in 5 gallon buckets. The reason is once I open the wheat or flour I use it up quickly like in 2-6 months. Salt and Sugar last forever if just kept dry.
What I do is prepare every food item I store so I know exactly how much dry food it will take to make 2 cups when prepared. For planning purposes I use the amount of 2 cups of prepared food for each meal for each person. This may seem like a lot to eat but I'm betting I will only have time to eat 2 meals a day and because of the stress I will be hungrier than I'd normally be. If it's too much to eat I can always cut back and prepare less. That will increase the amount of stored meals available.
Here's how I went about measuring stored Spaghetti.
A Spaghetti Measure:
You can buy these in most supermarkets for a couple dollars. They have holes to measure the number of servings of spaghetti. This one has holes to measure for 1, 2, 3 or 4 servings. Using one of these will prevent preparing to much pasta for each person.
Shown here with a single serving measured.
The same single portion weighs 3.5 oz. or 4.5 servings per pound of spaghetti.
Here is the same portion cooked. Prepared it makes almost 2 cups. Good enough for storage calculations.
Same portion in a 6 inch diameter by 1.25 deep paper bowl
Food storage is to save your life when a disaster event happens and when everyone around you is in chaos. You are truly on your own! It is important that you test prepare every item you store so you can know how many meals you really have in stock. From the above test I also now know how much tomato powder is needed to make spaghetti sauce to match the 108 meals available from the stored spaghetti.
Warehouse stores sell spaghetti in 6lb bulk packs. Four packages (24lbs total) fits nicely in a 5 gallon bucket. I Mylar bag each 6lbs with an absorber. This 24 lbs makes 108 servings per bucket.