Any food is better than no food when you’re facing an emergency, but all food is far from equal when it comes to stocking a survival pantry. There are many factors to consider. First off, you’ll need enough calories to keep you going. Second, you’ll need a healthy blend of macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates). Vitamin, mineral, and fiber content are important, too. And the food should be something that is easy to prepare, with no-cook foods being preferable. As if that wasn’t enough to think about, add in factors like shelf life, food allergens, and taste. That super deal you got on a case of pickled pigs feet at the big box store won’t seem so super when you have to live off them for a week. Get ready to read some labels, as we put together a proper survival pantry.

Store Some Staples

Most of our grandparents probably made their meals based around a few important staple items. Go back a few more generations, and staple foods might be all you find. These items are the foundation for many meal plans, and a critical concern when stocking up. Buy these items on your next shopping trip, and store them in insect-proof/rodent-proof containers in a cool, dry, dark place.

RICE has been a global staple for centuries. When carefully stored, white rice can last for decades. The flavor and texture suffer a little with age, but there are few better staple items than rice.

BEANS are a little tougher to digest than rice, but are still a fine staple food item. Cook beans together with rice, or separately, by boiling them in water. Make bean soup to spread your food even farther.

PASTA is a great storage food, and it could outlast us all, if stored in a cool, dry, dark container. All you need to make pasta is boiling water, and you’ll have a filling meal that provides great energy.

CANNED FOOD is readily available, inexpensive, and durable. Any grocery store in the land will carry an incredible supply of canned goods. The cans are also rodent and insect proof.

Bring Wild Edibles Into The Mix

After eating a number of preserved meals, you won’t believe how delicious some fresh food will be. With proper identification and harvesting of wild edible plants, you can add something to your meals that will be most welcome. Use these options when it’s time to survive.

WILD SALAD: Any leaves, greens, and flowers that are edible raw, can be turned into a vitamin-packed salad. All you need to supply is the dressing. Store a few bottles of vinegar and oil dressing, as they have a long shelf life, loads of calories, and generally do not require refrigeration after opening.

FORAGED TEA: Pine needle teas, mint teas, and sassafras teas are a good way to keep everyone hydrated. You can also get Vitamin C from the pine, and minerals from the sassafras.

WEED STIR FRY: Roots, shoots, flowers, and buds can be sauteed or stir fried into a nutritious meal.

What do you store, and what do you expect to forage for your survival pantry? Please share your strategies in the comments.