Buckets and beans for long-term food storage

By Pat McLene

Bartending jobs are on the rise as manufacturing jobs disappear
Bartending jobs are on the rise as manufacturing jobs disappear

Why we prep

Here’s another reason why you – and your friends and family – should prep:

In any given month, a large number of workers are being hired or are leaving their current jobs, illustrating the dynamism of the U.S. labor market. – Ben Bernanke

Waiters and bartenders rise to record level as manufacturing workers drop most since 2009

Improving the outlook for U.S workers isn’t about creating millions of minimum-wage jobs. It is about creating sustainable, skilled employment that allows Americans to earn a fair wage with benefits that allows them to pay for housing and food on the table and sustain a middle-class lifestyle. – James P. Hoffa

The simplest successful economic system occurs when production equals consumption. This means the basics for survival, food, and protection are available for the community as a whole.

When production increases beyond mere subsistence, incomes rise, a skilled middle class develops, and luxuries become available.

Production in excess of basic demand creates and fuels the service industries. Vacations, theme parks, movie theaters, concerts, and yes, bars and restaurants, exist because of the development and growth of the producer (middle) class.

But when more and more members of the producer class (and their children) begin to lose their jobs, or can’t find jobs suitable to their education or skill sets and are forced to take employment for low wages in job fields without the chance for advancement … it means the wheels are coming off the track.

Prepping won’t give you a job. But it will give you time. Time to ride out a short-term system reset, or time to make well-thought-out decisions during periods of greater upheaval, while others are reacting in panic.

Prepping means NOT having to act in haste … and therefore not needing to repent at leisure.

And that’s one of the reasons we prepare.

The mailbox


Today’s mailbox focuses on a short exchange in which a poster questioned the long-term storage of rice as described in last week’s column.

She wrote: “Hate to tell you, Pat, but that rice you bought in 2001 can’t be any good. The 90 lbs of rice we stored (properly) lasted 2 or 3 years before it spoiled. Legumes last longer, however. Just thought you’d like to know. Maybe you’d better check your rice.”

I hate to have to disagree with a reader, but maybe the problem concerns the type of rice being stored. While it’s true that the storage life of brown rice is severely limited because of the fatty acids it contains, the storage life of polished white rice is practically forever. (Meaning, a lot of experts will use the term “… up to 30 years.” That’s forever as far as I’m concerned.)

To further my assertion, here’s a video made by a guy who put a bunch of white rice into a bucket in 1991 and opened it 17 years later. Note that he didn’t do anything to it other than putting it in a resealable bucket. That rice was a bit oxidized but still quite edible.

[jwplayer o502F2Ip]

You know, grain is one of God’s most amazing creations. A plant is “born.” It grows, flowers, produces seed and dies. But that seed (grain) can survive dormant in the soil for years, waiting for the proper conditions to germinate. Those seeds can be eaten by the animals of the field and air, transported long distances, pass through the creature’s digestive tract and then be deposited elsewhere (with a handy coating of fertilizer), ready to recreate its parent. There have been examples of thousand-year-old seeds taken from archeological digs that have been planted and produced. Here at the ranch, we routinely plant and harvest vegetables from six-year-old seeds that haven’t been stored in anything other than the paper bag we kept them in.

Grain is the ultimate prepper food to store. It’s cheap in bulk, high in nutrition, long-lasting, and combines well with other stored foods for a balanced diet. Grains like wheat, rice, barley, oats and a host of others should be in your long-term food supply.


And it’s easy to do. The simplest way is to simply buy two 25-pound bags of (for example) rice, put one bag where pests can’t get to it, eat up the other bag, buy another one, and rotate. Each of those bags contains around 15,000 calories, sufficient for one person for over a week.

But if like me, you’d rather have a larger supply available, you’ll need to consider dedicated food containers such as sealable barrels and buckets. A 50-gallon used food-grade barrel will set you back about $25 or $30. These barrels were originally used to transport things like pickles or sauces and can often be a bit odoriferous even after being sanitized. Me, I don’t mind that. I just figure it as additional flavoring for free. Make sure you only get the wide-mouth variety, because once you load a barrel with 350 pounds of rice, you’ll find it difficult to extract your grain without a tractor or forklift.

Thinking about getting prepared? Check out the WND Superstore for all your needs – from informational books, movies to shovels, water purifiers, and food from soup to nuts!

But maybe your space is a more limited? Well here’s the answer. Get thee to your local grocery store or bakery and ask for some of the buckets they use by the dozens. These bakery buckets originally contained icing, glazes, etc. The types you want are round and have rubber-sealed lids, and usually come in two sizes: two gallons, and three-and-a-half gallons.

Many bakeries or bakery departments go through so many of these buckets that they just throw the empties away; but if you ask nicely, they’ll be glad to have you haul them off. Other bakeries have gotten wise and may charge you $2 or $3 each. Free is better, but even if you have to pay, you’ve just gotten an inexpensive pest-proof reusable container that can hold up to 25 pounds of grain or beans. They are also stackable, so you can put towers of four or five buckets deep in a closet, which quickly adds up to an impressive food storage system.

So how exactly do you load your buckets with food for maximum long-term storage? And how do you do it as cheaply as possible? We’ll go into those details next week, because my editor here at WND starts to pull out his hair when I get too long-winded and I’d hate to be responsible for his going bald.

But do consider this: just four of those bakery buckets full of beans and grain pushes your prepper food supply out to 30 days per person, and takes up about the space of a kitchen chair. So go get some bakery buckets and beans, and meet me back here next week.


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