When it comes to storing food for a survival scenario, many people focus on the big picture. We get our 50-pound sacks of grain, fill buckets full of rice, and ensure that we have plenty of carbohydrates. And we’ll fill similar containers full of various types of beans.
Then we start thinking about meat and vegetables, buying cans, ordering whole hogs or cows, and learning how to freeze, freeze-dry, and cure meat. And then we start stocking up on other essentials, like salt, sugar, honey, and important fats. But there’s one food group that doesn’t get much attention: nuts.
Nuts can be an important source of calories. They’re among the most calorically dense foods there are, chock full of healthy fats, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. But because most of us think of nuts as a snack, rather than as a food staple, we don’t give much thought to storing nuts for our survival larder.
That’s a shame, because properly stored nuts can come in very handy in a survival situation, either on their own or mixed with other foods. The eight most common nuts you’ll find for suitable storage are:
- Pine Nuts
Each of these nuts has a different use, but the approach to storing them is roughly the same. You’ll want to keep them in a cool, dark, and dry place that’s free from exposure to light, heat, oxygen, and moisture.
For most nuts, the same general rules of storage apply. That is, unshelled nuts will store longer than shelled nuts, whole nuts will last longer than chopped or sliced nuts, and unroasted nuts will last longer than roasted nuts. Storage in a refrigerator will extend shelf life, and storage in a freezer will extend it even further, possibly for up to two years.
You’ll know when nuts have gone bad because the fats have gone rancid, something you’ll be able to taste when you eat them. And because many nuts on store shelves may have been sitting there for some length of time already, when you buy nuts to store you’ll want to get the freshest nuts you possibly can.
By making sure that you store fresh nuts, and making sure that you rotate your supply on a regular basis, you can help ensure a quality source of healthy fats and protein for any survival situation you may encounter.