Canned food will do right by you in an emergency.

Stockpiling food is one of the no-brainers when you are prepping for a potential disaster. Most grocery stores stock less than two days’ worth of food, which will quickly get gobbled up when a panic hits. Store shelves could go bare in a matter of hours.

When you’re preparing your emergency food supplies, don’t ignore canned foods. Get them double-bagged at the grocery store. They take up little space because they stack very well.

As far as taste, calories and sodium are concerned, that’s not what you should be concerned about when it comes to surviving the first few days of a crisis. When you’re hungry and don’t have much else to eat, canned food will taste pretty darn good to you and your family. Calories, sodium and weight-watching are the last things you should worry about in a crisis situation. You can use all the calories you can get in that scenario, and if the stress is causing you to sweat, the sodium will come in handy.

Don’t get the wrong idea here; buying and storing freeze-dried and dehydrated survival food is a great idea. Many brands offer 25 years of storage life and they store easily. But it’s a very good idea to also keep a good stock of canned foods in your basement and in another location.

Here are 7 reasons why you should include canned foods in your survival stash:

1. Price. When you purchase items in bulk, you can save up to 75 percent by acquiring mostly canned foods rather than freeze-dried or dehydrated foods. Even if you’re not able to buy in bulk, you will still save money with canned foods.

2. Long-Lasting. Many canned foods have a shelf life of between one and several years. You should still rotate your supply occasionally and eat the contents if the expiration date is getting close, but there’s peace of mind knowing that most canned foods last a long time.

3. Variety. People will eat the same thing over and over again if they’re hungry enough, but everyone appreciates having choices. You can acquire a wide variety of canned foods that should keep pretty much everybody in the family happy for a while.

4. Nutrition. Canned foods can be nutritious and rich in protein, which you and your family will need for keeping up their strength. And again, don’t worry about calories. You’ll need those extra calories when you’re in survival mode.

5. Water. There’s very little water in freeze-dried and dehydrated foods (although there is usually a small amount), but most canned foods contain the water that will make preparation easier. Yes, that also makes them heavier, but that shouldn’t matter if you’re able to stay put to ride out a crisis situation.

6. Familiarity. Most families normally eat foods such as chicken, beef, ham, fish, vegetables, stews, beans and pasta, all of which plus many more are available in canned form. In a time of crisis, familiarity will go a long way toward “normalizing” what you and your fellow family members are going through.

7. Safe storage. Bugs and rodents can sometimes infiltrate boxes and bags, but seldom do they break through a can. If you find a little creature that’s strong enough to do that, hire it for your prepper team.
A surprising number of foods that you probably eat on a regular basis are available in canned form. Nutritious and rich in protein, they include vegetables, soups, meats, fish, stews, beans, pasta and a lot more. If the time comes when you need to rely on the canned food that you have wisely stored, you’ll be glad if you provided your family and yourself with a nice variety.

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