Food Storage

Food Storage Recommendations.

These are the food storage amounts per year for an average adult man. The foods listed are those which grow in Canada, or which (like spices and baking soda) have traditionally been shipped. For the average adult female and children older than six, multiply the weight by 0.75 for a year's food storage.
For children under 3, multiply by 0.3. For children 4-6, multiply by 0.5.  For adults engaged in manual labour, multiply by 1.5
It is best to have more than one year's worth of food storage on hand, so that a poor harvest in the fall, or an emergency in early spring, does not leave you without food. If you have the space, work on having 18-24 months worth of food on hand (so calculate for your family and then multiply by 1.5 or 2). And please, personalize for YOUR family - if you don't eat pickles, or if you're allergic to wheat, don't store them!

Grains - 300 pounds
Barley; Rolled oats; Oat groats; Rye; Cornmeal; White Flour; Wild Rice; Whole wheat (possibly quinoa and other exotic grains if they are grown locally)
Legumes and Nuts - 75 pounds
Pinto beans; Small red beans; pink beans; Navy beans; White pea beans; Chickpeas; Black beans; Great Northern beans; Lentils; Dried green and yellow peas; maple peas; marrowfat peas; Australian winter peas; Cranberry Beans; dark and light red kidney (possibly adzuki, kintoki and otebo beans); Peanuts; Almonds; Horsechestnut; Hazelnuts (filberts); Walnut; Pine nuts. (I do not recommend soy beans or soy products)
Sprouting Seeds and Beans - 20 pounds
Alfalfa; chickpeas, broccoli; radish; red clover; celery; sunflower; lentils; hard winter wheat (many, many other options)
Meat, canned, dehydrated, cured - 100 pounds
Bacon; Beef; Jerky; Chicken; Corned Beef; Devilled meat; Ham; Ground beef; Lamb; Mutton; Pepperoni; Pork; Tuna; Salmon; Sausage; Turkey; Veal; Game meat
If able, store meat "on the hoof".  A wide assortment of meat is a good idea. 100 pounds will give enough for 1 1/2 servings of meat per day - make up the rest with beans, eggs and dairy products.
Soup & stew, ready to eat - 78 pints per person
Deduct the meat and vegetables used in these from their respective categories.
Fat/oil - 2 gallons oil, 5 pounds solid
Butter; Ghee; Oil; Lard; Tallow
Sugar - 150 pounds
Hard candy; Honey; Maple syrup; Refined White Sugar; Molasses (FDA recommends 60 pounds, but that does not include home canning or a very active lifestyle)
Salt - 25 pounds
 Sea salt, Morton's Tender Quick (Salt is vital for preserving, cleaning wounds, soaking sore muscles, rinsing mouth/tooth infections, cooking, preparing hides, only about 5 pounds/year necessary for eating)
Tomatoes, including juice - 95 quarts (6 lbs = 1 quart) = 6 bushels fresh tomatoes
Dehydrated, tomato sauce, tomato soup, juice, canned diced and whole
Dark green and yellow vegetables - 39 quarts or equivalent
Greens; Carrots; Sweet potatoes; Spinach
Vegetable pickles - 20 pints or moreDill pickles, sweet mixed pickles, sauerkraut, pickled cauliflower
Fruit pickles - 20 quarts
Pickled pears, peaches, crabapples, watermelon rind or others; or just make more vegetable pickles
Other vegetables and fruit - 135 pounds dried; 170 quarts canned
Asparagus; Beans; Beets; Broccoli; Cauliflower; Celery; Corn, sweet; Green beans; Onions; Parsnips; Peas; Peppers; Pickles; Potato; Pumpkin; Rutabaga; Rhubarb; Sauerkraut; Squash; Sweet Potato; Turnip; Apples; Applesauce; Apricots; Peaches; Berries; Cherries; Grapes/Raisins; Pears; Peaches; Plums/ Prunes; Melons
Juice/Beverages - 38 litres
Apple juice; Apricot nectar; Cranberry juice; Grape juice; Plum juice; Prune juice; Tomato juice
Dairy - 75 pounds powdered milk and 48 cans condensed
This is the recommended amount, although a non-factory substitute would be preferred, especially for the many who cannot tolerate cow's milk products. Consider making and storing hard cheese, and ensuring that spinach and other greens are stored (canned or dehydrated).
Spices - determined by family tastes
Allspice; Basil; Cayenne; Chili powder; Cinnamon; Cloves, whole; Cocoa; Cumin; Curry; Garlic; Ginger; Liquid smoke; Nutmeg; Onion; Oregano; Paprika; Peppercorns (these store 2+ years in glass jars); Poultry Seasoning; Soy sauce; Tarragon; Thyme; Turmeric; Vanilla; Vinegar (various types); Worcestershire sauce
Baking powder; Baking soda for cooking and cleaning (10 pounds or more); Bleach; Borax; Cream of tartar; Instant dried yeast; Ivory Soap or lye to make soap (15 bars per person per year); Listerine (all-purpose antiseptic); Plain gelatin; Rennet; Yogurt starter; Dehydrated sourdough starter; Washing soda; Shampoo and conditioner or extra baking soda and apple cider vinegar
Canning supplies
Pressure canner (not cooker!); half-pint, pint, and quart jars preferably with glass or reusable plastic lids; canning utensils (lid lifter, jar lifter, funnel(s)); rodent-proof containers for storage

Some of the amounts can only be determined by personal taste, and it is wise to try and live on food storage for some time to figure out exactly what your family needs, likes and hates.


  1. I can't help but notice that all of those numbers add up to a whole lot of food for one person in a year.

    I think that I can keep my entire family fed for a year on those rations.

    Justin G

  2. Have you ever tried it? And I don't mean that to be snarky - HAVE you ever tried living off food storage?

    After two years of trying hard to live on locally produced, home-preserved foods, and of watching Old Order Mennonites who still grow and preserve almost all of their own food, I sometimes think that it's not enough.

    Pickles for example - 60 pints, or 30 quarts, of pickles is far less than half of what my family needs. I plan on 1 quart each of pickled beets, mixed pickles and sauerkraut weekly. So that means about 150 quarts of pickles to get us through a year.

    My Mennonite friends put up 300+ quarts of tomato products for small families like ours, and my friends with 7 or 8 kids just laughed when I asked how much tomatoes they put up. Every Mennonite root cellar I look at (and yes, I always ask to see their food stores!) has at least a dozen gallon jars filled with applesauce.

    When looking at food storage, I think it's a good idea to look at people who are actually living with it on a regular basis. :)


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