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High-nutrition food storage

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | May 25, 2008

People in my community are dedicated to storing a year’s supply of food (myself included), and we are blessed to have many preparedness experts around us.   I struggled for years to achieve a food supply that we would actually eat, that wouldn’t go to waste because it’s so nutritionally inferior or has such a short shelf life.   (I threw out a lot of stuff over the years.)

I feel that I now have a solid food storage I can rotate into our diet.   So I’m including here a list of what’s in The Hatch.   That’s what we call our cold-storage room in the basement, in honor of our favorite ABC TV show, Lost.   I hope it helps you, and if you’re a preparedness guru, please share any ideas on what YOU store.

I know some of you will have to get creative, space-wise, to achieve any kind of storage, and perhaps you will want to consider starting with a three-month supply of food.)   Tons of natural disasters in the last couple of weeks, along with an international food shortage and skyrocketing fuel costs, have put food storage at the forefront of many of our minds.

I’ve put at the top of this list the things I feel are most nutritionally valuable in my list (the least important things are at the end).   For length, I’ve left off the list all the non-food items and dog food.




Raw sauerkraut (from my garden cabbage)

Organic extra virgin coconut oil

Extra virgin olive oil

Raw legumes: small red, black turtle, small white, pinto, garbanzo, and 11-bean mix, plus lentils and split peas

Grains: popcorn, wheat, Kamut, quinoa, rye, oat groats, rolled oats, brown rice

Shredded coconut


Nuts and seeds: raw almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cashews (many of these are in my upright full-size freezer)

Coconut juice (canned)

Raw apple cider vinegar (gallons are on sale right now at Good Earth, locals!)

Sweeteners: raw honey, raw agave, real maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, stevia

Spices: sea salt, kelp, cinnamon, cocoa powder, baking powder, basil, oregano, cayenne

Natural peanut butter

Whole-grain pasta

Canned: Powdered milk (to make kefir/yogurt)

Whole eggs

No-sugar-added spaghetti sauce

Canned diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce

Dehydrated fruits and vegs (bell peppers, onions, apples, bananas, mixed fruit)

Beans: black, vegetarian refried, garbanzos (for convenience)


Vegetarian chili

No-sugar-added applesauce

No-sugar-added peaches, mandarin oranges

Some other random items like canned black olives and liquid chlorophyll

Posted in: Nutrition, Robyn Recommends

11 thoughts on “High-nutrition food storage”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you! I was going to ask you to share your food storage ideas.

    Do you intend to use the powdered milk and eggs, or just throw them away as they go bad?

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is an awesome list! I really appreciating your sharing this with us. I am curious of the shelf life of coconut oil. My EVOO lasts for at least 6 months but I don’t know much about shelf life for coconut oil. I was also not aware that kefir and yogurt could be made from powdered milk. Is it used the same? How does your brown rice store? I had some go rancid when I canned it so I have been weary. Do you use buckets? I know I have a lot of questions but it is often hard to store things that are really healthy. We plant a garden and try to store as many seeds as we can but we could add many of these other items.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hey, Robyn, when you get back would you mind sharing a picture of your food storage set-up? What kind of conditions does one need for cold storage? Thanks!

  4. http:// says:

    I plan to use the dehydrated eggs and milk to make baked goods and kefir/yogurt in an emergency. 🙂 Milk should last a very long time on the shelf. Baking powder must be rotated, as its shelf life is limited to a year or two.

  5. http:// says:

    Natalie, I’ll make a note to post a photo of my cold storage and shelves and stuff. I just happen to have an unfinished basement with cold storage, lucky me (I didn’t always, so when we built this house, I made sure to have concrete cold areas). Some people do dig a cold storage against the house, in the dirt, with a wood lid. You can put vegetables like potatoes, onions, and carrots in it for the winter, along with raw sauerkraut and other preserved vegetables.

  6. http:// says:

    Also . . . coconut oil lasts 2 years on the shelf! (Some say more, but that’s what the companies I asked, when doing local group buys, guarantee.) It is highly stable and doesn’t go rancid quickly like many oils.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I have been trying to incorporate more whole foods into our diet and have been wondering about what to do about our food storage. I am sure I will have to throw much of it out in the next 3-5 yrs, but I can now start hopefully incorporating items that we will use and rotate through. Robyn I really appreciate your talent, and that you are sharing it with the rest of us.

  8. Rachel says:

    Thank you for that post.

  9. Lori says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Robyn!! I have been working on getting ours done, too, and it’s so challenging! I worry a lot as to how we will eat when we eat so much produce every week! I would also be interested in your list of other non-food stuff. Thanks so much!! Do you have websites that you buy your beans and stuff from? Do you buy canned or dry? Do you just use the LDS Cannery do can the stuff you buy in bulk? Sorry for so many questions! 🙂 I know you are busy and I appreciate your time. Many thanks for all you do! You have helped our family make the switch from the SAD to WFPB!

  10. Bryan says:

    Thank you very much for sharing your energy, knowledge and talents. Your program has permeated our life and has had an incredible impact on our health. I too am member of a community that is a proponent of a 1 year’s supply. I’m somewhat concerned for the day that we will be using our storage and it won’t be as nutritious as it needs to be to sustain our health or have enough “options” for our young children. Our economy in the area that my family and I live in is becoming a statistic of economic ruin. I’d like to reassess and add to our storage with the thought that others may need our assistance as well someday. Since this was written in 2008 and you products and knowledge have greatly increased, are there any changes or additions that you would make to this list?

    1. Anonymous says:

      I totally agree. It’s been about 8 years since this was posted and she has definitely gained new knowledge since then. I would appreciate a new post on this topic as well.

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