Wheat, Most Important for Long Term Food Storage
Ask any Prepper or Food Storage Specialists and they will tell you the most important food item you should have in you long term food storage is wheat. There are many reasons for this. Wheat provides many great nutrients to sustain life and many uses that give you options in preparing it to eat. Of all the food items you store wheat will out last them all, including your stash of Twinkies. Wheat and grains are also fairly easy to store compared to most items. Pound for pound, wheat is one of the least expensive storage foods.
Use Strong, Tight Containers
5 gallon round buckets are best because they are durable and when they are stacked close together they will have air circulation around the buckets. Wheat can give off some heat so circulation around the containers is important to allow that heat to escape. I love 5 gallon buckets because they are easy to stack and move. Sealed metal #10 cans are just as good. In my opinion, 10 cans are just inconvenient for bulk storage of grains. Buckets and cans keep vermin from chewing into your food storage, unlike double bagged grain. The most important thing about your grain container is that it keeps the oxygen and light out. I always buy my grain commercially packaged so I can’t screw it up. If you are planning on packaging it yourself see this link for information on doing that. Commercially packaged grains don’t cost much more and really simplifies things.
Where to Place Your Food Containers
A dark, colder room is best. It is ideal to have the room 30 to 70 degrees but not necessary. Warmer rooms will work fine as long as it is sealed well. Make sure containers are slightly spaced to allow some air circulation. If using metal cans, place them on boards instead of the cement floor so the cans don’t rust. The most important thing in storing grain is to keep oxygen out, protect it from high temperatures and light, and away from moisture.
Have a Way to Grind Your Wheat
You can use your wheat without grinding it but that highly restricts the best ways of preparing wheat goods, like anything that uses flour. I guess you could get two flat rocks and rub the wheat between them, just don’t share any of it with me. If you plan on making baked goods you will need a way to make your wheat into flour. Many people get all the wheat they will need in their food storage but forget getting a way to grind it into flour. A good grain mill should be part of every food storage check list. A cheap hand mill is what a lot of people get but if they had to use that grain mill for very long they may be quite disappointed with it. I suggest that you get a good quality hand mill for you food storage. Electric grain mills are nice but, if things got bad, electricity might not be an option.
Keeping it Fresh
As far as I know, commercially sealed buckets or cans of wheat should last 30+ years if not indefinitely. I have read a rumor that archeologists have found grain that was still editable in a pyramid that was thousands of years old; I have not found the original source for this comment yet. Having said this, I still think it is a good idea to rotate your wheat to keep it as fresh as possible. I always label my buckets with a date and use the oldest one first, this is a common practice and I’m sure most of you do it. If you are worried your wheat has gone bad you can test it. Try sprouting it, if it sprouts within a week then it is still good.
Using Whole Wheat Flour
You should start and learn to use whole wheat flour now in your diet, don’t wait till an emergency occurs. There are two reasons I suggest this. One, its healthier for you than store flours. Two, your body needs time to adjust to eating more grains. A quick change to a diet high in whole wheat can cause you some digestive discomfort for a period of time if not gradually done. If you are not going to use all the fresh flour you have milled that same day the best thing to do is put what is left in the refrigerator or freezer in an air tight container. This will keep it fresher and more nutritious than leaving it at room temperature.
Places to Buy Bulk Wheat & Grain
These grain suppliers have bulk grain available in bags or buckets.