The concept of rotating one’s food stockpile was started with the premise that you might as well eat your food instead of throwing it away. Rotating your stockpile ensures that you’ll always have good, unexpired food to help you through whatever situation comes your way.
Few people think about the fact that there are other benefits to doing this food replacement process. And since the main benefit as well as the “how to” has already been beaten to death, I want to talk with you today about these additional benefits because they’re almost as important as the main one.
Benefit #1: You Save Money
This one is obvious. When you take out the food that’s about to expire from your pantry, you’ll be able to eat it, so you won’t have to worry about going to the supermarket for a few days or maybe even a week depending on how much you want to replace.
Of course, this makes sense if you’ve made reasonable efforts to stockpile food that’s also cheap. If all you have are MREs, those are pretty expensive. But if your stockpile consists mostly of canned, dried, dehydrated, and freeze-dried food that you’ve made yourself, that’s another story.
Another way you save money this way is that you’ll shop for survival food more often, meaning you’re gonna know where and how to get it cheaper.
Benefit #2: You Learn To Live With These Foods
Not just you but also your spouse and kids. There’s a significant difference between the food you eat on a day-to-day basis and survival food. There is much to learn from opening up those freeze-dried meals and realizing you need this or that condiment to make them tastier.
Benefit #3: You Replace Compromised Food Before It Hits
Just imagine the shock and awe post-disaster when you open your pantry only to realize your entire canned food has been compromised. In fact, I remember seeing a discussion on a prepping forum where 5 or 6 people all woke up to find their cans of Spam swollen. Apparently one of the factories screwed up so anyone who bought Spam from a certain batch had this problem.
When you rotate your stockpile, you can quickly resolve these issues without putting your life in danger.
If you’re allergic to some of the food (yes, it can happen if you make a mistake), by eating it pre-SHTF, you’re gonna be able to call the paramedics if it gets really bad. Not a luxury you can afford post-collapse.
If you’re not careful and you eat a can of something that’s been compromised and you get botulism, you’d definitely want to have a doctor take care of you, plus all the medicine at your disposal, and a real hospital. Botulism is a terrifying disease that would probably be fatal post-collapse.
Benefit #4: You’re Always Sure Your Food Will Last As Long As Possible
OK, so there are plenty of foods with shelf life that ranges from 2-3 years to 20+ years, depending on a number of factors (you can find a full list here). In theory, you can leave most of them alone and not worry about rotation every 6 or 12 months. But that’s not ideal, and I have a very good reason to make this claim.
You see, when everything goes down the drain, you’re gonna want to have a food stockpile that’s as “fresh” as possible. You may not want to consume it right away and still hold on to it.
If the situation allows, you’ll want to focus on finding alternative food sources and keep your stockpile for when you REALLY need it. Or, you may just want to mix them up.
For example, if you’re a city dweller living in an apartment, you’re gonna want to hold on to your cans as much as possible. You’ll want to rely as much as you can on growing veggies indoors, urban foraging, and so on.
Anyone who’s played one of those strategy games where you’re supposed to collect food and wood, knows that it’s always best to start with the resources that are farther away and keep the ones near your camp site for later.
Why? Because the ones in your proximity are always easy to collect while the ones farther away are not. Same thing with your food stockpile, in a way, except for the fact that this is not a game. So post-SHTF, you shouldn’t get those supplies if that puts you in danger in any way.
Benefit #5: You Learn to Cook Survival Food In Advance
Cooking is one of those survival skills you want to have post-collapse because we’re not just talking about cooking regular food. We’re talking about survival food.
Take dehydrated foods, for example. It’s gonna take a little practice until you get it right, it’s not something you can do on the first try. It’s better to practice pre-SHTF when you still have something else to eat or can replace food you ruin.
Benefit #6: It’s The Perfect Excuse To Go Camping
If you were looking for an excuse to go camping with your family, why not take some of your stockpiled food with you? There’s no better place to eat your spam or to cook your dried beans than in the middle of nature.
In fact, if you create this habit while camping, you’re gonna end up rotating your stockpile a lot more often, which is a good thing!
Benefit #7: You Get to Experiment
Maybe you don’t like canned food, only dehydrated. You’ll never know that if you let your stockpile rot in your pantry instead of experimenting with it pre-SHTF.
Benefit #8: You Get to Check Your BOL Supplies
If part of your stockpile is stashed away at your bug-out location, you’re gonna want to check up on it from time to time. If you don’t have this excuse of rotating it, you might not check on it as often as you could and you could wake up with it missing in action.
And, let me tell you, it’s every prepper’s nightmare to bug out only to discover their BOL has been ransacked, and there is nothing left to eat except what’s in the bug out bag.