The Perfect Survival Food

The Perfect Survival Food

Have you ever watched through your fingers as the host of your favorite survival show chows down on squirming bugs or decomposing entrails, and thought to yourself “Well, I’m a gonner, because there’s no way I’m ever eating that”? Well, don’t throw in the towel just yet.  If you do ever find yourself in a real life food shortage emergency, with some planning and a little knowledge, you won’t have to chase away the buzzards for your next meal.

2,000 calories per day, per person. That’s what it takes for the average human to maintain their health and weight. And if you are active or the weather is cold, it could take twice that amount... just to maintain. There are many great prepackaged long-term food storage options out there. We even sell a variety of them on our website. And I truly believe these are an excellent choice as an emergency food supply. However, these freeze-dried, vacuum sealed buckets of nutrition can be, understandably, quite expensive. Especially if you want to eat for more than 3 or 4 days. The good news is that there are a lot of foods that you can buy right off the shelf that last just as long or longer than the dehydrated, commercially packaged survival food, and cost considerably less.

In a study done by Brigham Young University in 2005, they created a list of foods that, when stored properly, will last between 15 to over 30 years. And a few foods that have no expiration date at all. With a little creative meal planning and forethought, you can give your pantry a survivalist make-over that will keep your family fed in an emergency and not drain your bank account. Here is a list of some food items that keep on keeping on:

30+ Years

  • White Rice – Store white rice in an airtight container, such as a bucket or can, in a cool, dry place, and this widely used staple will last for over 30 years.
  • Wheat – Another great multi-purpose grain that exceeds the 30 year shelf life when properly stored.


15 – 30 Years – Keep these items in a pouch or can with an oxygen absorber:

  • Dried Pinto Beans
  • Oats
  • Flour
  • Dried corn
  • Instant Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Powdered Milk
  • Dried apples


To Infinity and Beyond – These foods will outlive you:

  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar (white or brown)
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Soy sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Flavoring extracts – Vanilla, lemon, maple, etc…


The key to keeping these foods viable for long periods is in the way they are stored. Food quality has 4 enemies: H.A.L.T. – Humidity, Air, Light, Temperature (heat). Mitigating these 4 things will help preserve your food against bugs and spoilage for years to come. We recommend keeping a few recipes with your food supply so you know what to do with all those raw ingredients. Also, if possible, it’s a good idea to store your long-term food in a different, more secure location, than your daily meal items in case of an emergency.

Whether you are planning a 1 week emergency food supply or you want to live off the grid indefinitely, keeping a supply of these dry goods on hand can help keep you and your family fed and healthy. Or use them to supplement your stash of commercially freeze dried meals. At Geo Survival, we believe the more options you have, the better your chances of survival.

Related Links:

National Center for Home Food Preservation

Five Different Shelf Life Studies

BYU Food Shelf Life Study - PDF


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