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Canned Foods
What to stock in a Prepper's Kitchen

Bread in a can? Butter in a can? Bacon in a can? Canned hamburger meat? Yes, it's all
available! In uncertain times, having a variety of foods will give your family a gourmet
edge on survival. Well fed, your family will be better able to deal with the gravity of the
situation and will fare better than others who are not prepared or to those who've
simply stocked rice and beans.

Mind you,
rice and beans, when cooked together, form a complete protein and the
combination will ensure brain and muscle functioning to meet survival needs; however,
having comfort foods and foods that are as close as possible to what you were eating
before the catastrophe will give you a boost in morale. This is a psychological edge
that's very easy to attain with planning.

Did you know you can eat canned food right out of the can? You can also cook in the
can to save precious water for cleanup! Just remove label before you heat. If you're
amassing cans as part of your strategy, here is the best canned food for prepping list.

The Happiest Canned Food List:

#1: Yoder's Bacon in a can.
Did somebody say bacon? We sure did! Top on our list of the happiest canned food is
Yoder's and from Yoder's comes bacon in a can.  ruly a prepper's miracle. With smoky
flavor and a long shelf life, you'll be glad to have this canned bacon in your preppers
shelf. You get about 40 servings per can of fully cooked bacon, pre-drained of fat. This
stuff has a 10 year shelf life!

#2 Red Feather Butter in a can.
No way! They make butter in a can? Yes! Emergency canned butter by Red Feather,
includes 24 cans of smooth and creamy butter (not that powdered stuff). Imported
from New Zealand with an indefinite shelf life, the ingredients are simply pasteurized
cream and salt. That's it! Each can contains 12 oz of butter - which works out to three
traditional sticks of butter. You'll also find butter powder, below. Butter powder is an
easy way to add the extra rich taste of butter without any added fat or calories. Want
bread with that butter, read on to the third happiest canned item to pack.

#3. Canned bread: B&M Brown Bread.
A classic New England taste, Brown bread in a can is a New England favorite! The
tradition is to serve canned brown bread, such as the B&M brown bread, with an can
of pork and beans. B&M brown bread has a base of molasses. There are two varieties.
Also available with raisins, you'll find B&M Brown bread in a can in the upper left hand
of the page. Brown bread in a can is a New England favorite! The tradition is to serve
canned brown bread, such as the B&M brown bread, with an can of pork and beans.
B&M brown bread has a base of molasses. There are two varieties.

#4: Hamburger meat in a can.
Hamburger in a can will be a real treat in uncertain times to make Sloppy Joes,
meatloaf, tacos, lasagne, spaghetti -- you name it (hamburgers too). Having meat on
hand is an important prep for protein. And while you can get freeze dried hamburger
meat, having ground beef in a can is the next best thing to fresh. It's ready to eat
without the fuzz of reconstituting and you have two wonderful options:
  1. Made the Amish way, try Yoders canned hamburger!
  2. Try also Keystone hamburger meat.

#5:  Canned cheese.
How cheesy is this? Cheese in a can! We're not talking a whizzy cheese here for
snacks, but a cheese you can use to cook dinner! There are two kinds of cheese in a
can to savor:

  • Bega Cheese in a Can: Trust us when we say, they are going to "beg-ya" for
    more of the Bega canned cheese! Indeed, preppers can be choosers with Bega
    canned cheese. This processed cheese in a can is great-tasting cheese that you
    can slice or grate. Imported fresh from Australia, it has a long shelf-life (up to 10-
    15 years when stored properly).

  • Kraft Cheese in a Can: Kraft has your everyday food needs and your emergency
    food needs covered with the introduction of their processed cheese in a can.

#6: Yoder's Canned beef taco meat.
Another top quality Amish product is beef taco meat. Open a can of Yoder's taco
seasoned be for the whole family (especially the kids) when the lights are out and you
can serve a familiar meal. Yoder's taco meat is as good for emergencies as it is for
everyday food storage.

How to Fight Food Boredom

  • Try before you buy! The ultimate prepper rule is only buy shelf-stable foods you
    will actually eat. Just about every prepper has jumped the gun a bit and
    purchased food they don't really like, and then they learned the expensive way.
    It's important to try a sample before you buy a case. Experiment with food
    storage and then stock up when you find a can that becomes a family favorite.

  • Create new recipes. Hawaii cooks with SPAM, above left, is a delight for SPAM
    lovers looking for a taste of the island.

  • Combine cans. Create "bunker stew" like Doomsday Prepper Allen Sostrin, by
    combining your five favorite cans into one satisfying new combination. Make a
    three or four bean salad by opening up a variety of cans and adding your own
    seasonings. Make your chili a little different than you made it the last time: add
    corn to it or macaroni to make a chili mac.

  • Add condiments and food extenders. Think about what you'd serve with that
    can of  tuna! Stock up on macaroni and cheese in boxes (and the freeze dried
    varieties if your family should accidentally eat them all). Pasta sauces will help
    your stockpile of spaghetti noodles, but try new sauces, like a canned clam
    sauce!

Canned Desserts
Canned desserts can add variety to your meals and here are some to try:

  • Ambrosia Canned Custard is an English tradition. Give it a sample if you like
    pudding.

  • Try Almond paste if you like the taste of marzipan. You can roll almond paste into
    shapes like Play-Doh to keep the kids entertained.

  • Canned applesauce has other varieties. Look for applesauce combined with
    apricot!

  • In addition to canned pumpkin for a pumpkin pie, be sure to add a sweet potato
    puree

  • Canned fruits are excellent pie fillings. Go beyond your usual favorites: think
    blueberry, or pineapples for a pineapple upside-down cake.

How to store and sort your cans

  • Strategy: Have a food storage strategy for your canned goods: including proper
    labeling, stacking, stock rotation, a bartering supply, and redundancy. Your food
    should have multiple locations also because you never know how disaster might
    compromise your reserves whether it's vermin, looters, building collapse, flood or
    other catastrophe. Redundancy is okay. In fact, it's better to have too much than
    too little!

  • Expiration dates: Consider Expiration dates. Know that canned foods from the
    store generally have a two year shelf life; some more, some less, but generally
    cans you buy from food distribution centers that will last two years from the date
    of purchase. The shelf life has more to do with the flavor and consistency than
    anything else. Canned food is actually commercially sterile and can last well
    beyond the date if it's intact and not dented nor bulging. Not that you'd want to
    eat your canned goods 25 years after the expiration date, but it's good to know
    that you could eat the contents of the can if it has not been compromised
    (swollen, dented or corroded)!


  • Stock up on canned liquids.
  • Look for water packed canned goods with high liquid content, such as soups,
    broths, condensed milk and coconut milk.
  • Stash special drinks for family members to improve their morale! A root beer can
    go a long way to calm a child, and provides the added boost of sugar for energy.
  • Pack canned beverages, such as seltzer water, and as pineapple juice.
  • Save liquids included with canned foods that you'd ordinarily dump, such as the
    water with beans or syrups included with fruit because they could be your
    lifeline for essential hydration.

  • Never store cans in a damp basement or garage, which can cause the cans to
    rust. Store canned goods at 75° or below, in a dark and dry place. If you live in
    Arizona and the air conditioner goes off, store your cans in the coolest place
    possible.  

  • Store cans in a protected area. There's no use storing your cans in the garage
    near the bags of rice, which will attract mice. Rodent droppings on your cans is a
    serious health issue. Always wash cans before opening them.

  • Consider storing your cans like fine wine, horizontally not vertically in large
    sealed. One resourceful budget friendly idea, is to recycle soda can cartons to
    accommodate your canned goods.

  • FEMA advises to "Throw out canned goods that become swollen, dented, or
    corroded."

  • Organization:

  • Organize your cans by categories: meats, veggies, fruits, soups. This will enable
    you to quickly find what you need in an emergency.

  • Use a Sharpie marker to date cans in your own larger print. This will enhance
    your storage system by making it easier to see and sort.

  • Sort cans by dates, so that you first use the items about to expire before you
    dig into rations for later dates. Consider buying a can storage system that
    enables you to rotate your stock.

A Word about Sodium Content:
Check the sodium content of your canned goods. Salty foods increase your thirst, and
extra thirst threatens your water supply by depleting it faster than if you had low
sodium goods. Donate the foods with high sodium to food banks, and find alternative
canned products.

Manual can openers:
Many Americans have electric can openers, which won't do any good if the grid goes
down. Stock up on them because can opener may be an excellent bartering tool! Get
extra manual can openers and store your canned goods with them at every location.
You don't want to be in a situation where you have all this wonderful supply of food
and no way to open the cans.

We're happy to hear your prepping ideas and survival food suggestions. We may even link
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, plus get tips on  sanitation, self defense, and more at happypreppers.com
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------------------------------------------------- Revised 12/02/14
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