Foods to Consider When Stocking Your Pantry at Home
By Stephen R. Farris
It seems our grandparents, and their parents before them, knew quite a lot when it came to stocking up and storing food for long periods of time. Of course, back then, it wasn't easy to get to a grocery store, or much less having one close by.
They were met with obstacles, such as transportation, road conditions, or the creeks and rivers may have been out that prevented them from traveling to town. So the next best thing was to take food items they grew, such as green vegetables, carrots, potatoes, corn, squash, etc., and preserve them. This usually meant that the ladies of the house would gather and spend a couple of days or so, cooking and canning these garden bounties.
If done correctly, canned foods can last a couple of years when stored in the right conditions. Sometimes longer. Now that they have plenty of vegetables -- and homemade, canned pickles -- there still needed to be some additional staple items to complement meals, such as beans and rice, and of course, meat.
So if you're into the whole canning scene like your grandparents may have been, check out a few other choices you may not have considered when it comes to stocking up the pantry for long periods of time.
While grains may not have near the storage life (usually 3-6 months, depending on the type of grain), they're great to have around, especially when combining some of those canned veggies into a casserole or soup. Consuming whole grains could also reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease.
Most jerky these days comes vacuum packed and available from a variety of meat sources, such as beef, turkey, venison, salmon, chicken, and buffalo, just to name a few. Chances are, your grandfather probably made some of the meat from hunting into jerky. If packaged and stored correctly, jerky can have a shelf life up to a year. If meat jerky is not your thing, there's also fruit jerky available, such as banana, coconut, and jackfruit.
Nuts and seeds can last (under normal conditions and packaging) up to six months stored. They're great for snacks between meals, but you can use them in some of your dishes as well.
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