The Latter-Day Saints Church is always prepared with food storage for emergencies, which is why they have a standardized 3-month list for food storage items.
A 3-month food storage list from the Latter-Day Saints Church contains at least 90 to 100 lbs of grains, 14 to 16 lbs of legumes, 7 to 9 lbs of dairy, 15 to 17 lbs of sugar, 2 lbs of salt (+ assorted herbs and spices), and 7 to 9 lbs of fats - for every average adult per household.
When it comes to unforeseen circumstances, it never hurts to be prepared. It is becoming an ever more popular practice for people to have a stockpile of food storage supplies at their homes. This is a fundamental measure that so many people are taking to be ready for when disaster strikes so that they are prepared for emergencies and can guarantee their basic needs. At the end of the day, emergencies happen whether we like it or not and the least that we can do is take some basic precautionary action, which is why the Latter-day Saints Church of Jesus Christ has a 3-month list of food storage items. To help you understand everything that you need to know about the contents of this food storage list, we are going to take a closer look at each food item in more detail.
After years of working as a representative of the Latter-day Saints Church that specializes in food storage preparation, I have had an extensive amount of experience working with this community in planning and orchestrating their food storage item lists. My experience has taught me that the best way to be prepared for an emergency is to have a minimum of 3 months worth of food stored at home.
Food Storage List (3 Months)
The one thing that every individual and family needs to consider when it comes to emergency situations is whether their basic needs are going to be met. The ultimate way to guarantee your personal safety and that of your loved ones is to be ready with an adequate supply of food storage items, which is why the Latter-Day Saints Church does not just request that their members have food storage at home but they actually require it.
When it comes to food storage, the more the merrier! While many people around the country tend to have just a week or twos’ worth of supplies The Church recommends that each household have an ample supply of at least 3 months’ worth of food storage, but ultimately, having extra items in the stockpile is never a bad idea, as this will ensure your safety even better. A minimum of 3 months of food storage provides a balanced amount of supplies and it also enables you to assist members of your community in short-term emergency situations.
These days, there has never been a more vital time to stay prepared with food storage at home. We have seen natural disasters and emergency situations arise much more frequently than we have in past decades. When these unfortunate occurrences unfold, the first things that we see go at the stores are essential items such as food. The people who are unprepared in these situations tend to hit the panic button, drive down to the store, and buy everything that they can get their hands on. This is something that you can avoid for yourself simply by thinking in advance and being prepared.
Now, it is important to note that 3 months’ worth of food storage, does not mean that you should get 3 months’ worth of your favorite snacks and goodies when you prepare your stockpile. Food storage is all about preparedness for emergency situations, which means that you need to prioritize the food items that are going to be the most essential for your survival. This means that the things that should be stored are foods that are healthy, hearty, and will provide you and your family with all of the nutrients that you need. Let’s dive right into the Latter-Day Saints Chruch 3-month food storage list.
If you are in an emergency situation, you are going to need to make sure that you and your loved ones have got plenty of energy and sustenance to stay alive and healthy. While there are plenty of food items that you might want to throw into your food storage stockpile based on tastes, what you really want to focus on is taking care of your basic needs first.
There is no food item that is more important for you to incorporate into your food storage stockpile than grains. Grains are the most fundamental source of nutrition that you need to keep you going, which is why you want to make this the primary item that will dominate your food storage.
Before you begin buying large amounts of grains for your food storage, you should first think about exactly how much you need. If you are living on your own, then you just need to focus on enough grains for a single-member household. However, if you have got a family to take care of, then you are going to need considerably more grains to ensure that everyone in your home has at least a 3 month supply of grains.
To adequately supply the average adult with enough grains to last them 3 months in an emergency situation, you should plan to have at least 90 to 100 lbs worth of grains in your food storage stockpile (give or take). You should ultimately decide what will be more necessary for you based on factors such as your Body Mass Index, as some adults need considerably more than others and some need a bit less. If you want to play it safe, it never hurts to have an extra 10 to 20% more than what you initially think you need.
If you need to have enough grains to supply the average-sized American family of 4 people per household (2 adults and 2 children), then you are going to need to plan accordingly. Your kids will need to eat a bit less than you provided that they are aged 12 and under. You should plan to have roughly 300 to 320 lbs of grains for the average American family. With that being said, if you have teenagers in the house who are above the age of 12, you should add an extra 20% on top of this figure to ensure that you have enough grains.
Here are some examples of common grain products that you should add to your 3-month food storage stockpile:
Now, before you drive down to the store and begin buying just any type of grain products that you see on the shelf, you should first understand that grains come in different shapes, sizes, and levels of nutrition. You want to make sure that your belly stays full but, at the same time, you want to be able to give your body food that is going to benefit it optimally.
There are plenty of simple grain products out there such as white rice and white bread, but all in all, these food items are essentially empty calories that are not going to provide you with the nutrients that your body needs over a prolonged period of time - especially if you are planning a 3-month stockpile of food storage goods.
As you shop for your grain products, try to prioritize buying items that are labeled as ‘whole wheat’. Whole wheat or whole grain products are considerably healthier for you as they will have complex carbohydrates that will give you your bang for your buck when it comes to nutrition. The golden rule with grain products is the browner the better. You will find that there are often whole wheat or whole grain options available for just about every type of grain product that you look at.
The above-mentioned grain items are fantastic for a food storage system. However, you should also consider incorporating some less traditional grain products that are not as common but even healthier such as quinoa, buckwheat, and chia seeds. The best way to approach your grains is to have a variety of different products read to go. Each grain that you choose for your 3-month stockpile is going to have unique characteristics and nutrients - all of which will do wonders for your body.
In addition, having a variety of different grains is a great way to keep your palette happy. If you are in a situation where you need to be eating your food storage items for a 3 month period, you are probably going to get tired of eating the same thing every single day. To keep your food options from getting old, have as many different grain products as you can in your stockpile so that you can actually enjoy your meals.
The next item(s) on your list should focus on meeting your other nutrient needs, which would be protein. This is a fundamental nutrient that your body cannot live without - especially for prolonged periods of time, as it is responsible for balancing and delivering essential hormones and so many other vital bodily processes.
Traditionally, when we think of protein, we tend to associate it exclusively with meat products. While meat does have a whole lot of protein, the truth is that this protein is actually not as suitable for food storage systems. Although meat is rich in protein, it can prove to be challenging to store which makes it less practical. Furthermore, this type of protein is actually less healthy than other protein sources such as plant-based proteins, which is why the Latter-Day Saints Church recommends that its members have a substantial amount of legumes in their food storage stockpile.
While you do need a lot of legumes to last you for a 3-month food storage system, you do not need nearly as much as your grains. For the average adult, you should plan to have at least 14 to 16 lbs worth of legumes in your food storage system. However, if you feel that you may need more than this, you should plan accordingly to ensure that you are well-stocked.
With that being said, if you are planning a food storage system for an entire family, then you will need quite a bit more legumes in your stockpile. For the average family of 4, you should plan to have at least 50 to 55 lbs of legumes in your food storage system. If you have children who are over the age of 12, however, you should add an additional 10% on top of this for every child in your family. Let’s take a look at some common legumes that are great for a food storage system:
- Kidney Beans
- Black Eyed Peas
- Chick Peas
- Green Peas
The vast majority of the legumes that you buy for your food storage should be dried. This means that you are going to have to soak them and cook them in order to incorporate them into your meals. This is a much safer and more reliable way of having legumes in your stockpile.
However, you may also want to add some canned legumes into the mix, which can be especially useful if you ever experience issues with having access to a stove or a fire. Canned legumes are great to have as a backup, as these are already cooked and can be eaten right out of the can or thrown into most meals very easily.
Just make sure that you carefully consider the weight of canned legumes as they have already been soaked in water and will have roughly 30% added weight to them. In addition, to canned legumes, you can also add some nuts into this section of your food storage system. Nuts are a great source of protein and can be eaten without any preparation, which makes them perfect for snack items.
If you are relying on your food storage stockpile, you have got to have some dairy to add to your diet. Milk products can be very beneficial to your stockpile, as you can incorporate some of them into your meals but you can also just enjoy them on their own without any cooking being required.
Now, when you go shopping for your dairy products for your food storage system, you need to be very selective with what you pick. The shelf-life of dairy products is very short. So, you can’t afford to add anything that is fresh into your stockpile. Some people often try to add things like ‘long life milk’ to their food storage system but that is also not advisable - no matter what the expiration date says, as these products are still subject to contamination and often come in packaging that is quite delicate.
What you are going to want to focus on when shopping for dairy products are ones that are labeled as dried. Dried dairy products are a fantastic addition to add to your food storage, as they take up very little space, will last for a very long time, and can be just as delicious as a lot of fresh products. Let’s take a look at some dried dairy products that are perfect for your food storage system:
- Powdered milk
- Powdered cheese
- Canned Cheese
Whether you just want to have a tall glass of milk or get creative with your dairy products such as adding powdered cheese to your legumes and grains, having these kinds of food items in your food storage system is a great way to diversify your meals.
With that being said, you are going to want to make sure that you have an adequate amount of dairy products to last you 3 months. This means that for the average adult, you are going to want to have at least 7 to 8 lbs of dairy products in your food storage system, which you can increase by a pound or two if you feel like you will need it.
However, if you have to supply your entire family of 4 with enough dairy products to last 3 months, then you are going to want to have at the very least 25 to 27 lbs of dairy inside of your stockpile. If you happen to have children that are above the age of 13, then you should plan to add roughly 15% for every child in your household to this number.
If there is one thing that your palette is going to crave after some time of eating food storage goods, it is something sweet.
It goes without saying, that food storage items are not the most glamorous or the most satisfying things that you could hope to eat but that does not mean that you can’t have something that you can enjoy from time to time.
The best thing that you can add to your food storage to satisfy your cravings is some sugar. Sugar is an incredibly useful and dynamic item to add to your stockpile, as it will store for prolonged periods of time and you can also use it in a lot of different ways such as for cooking and also for mixing in with other foods.
If you are an average adult, you should plan to have at least 15 to 17 lbs of sugar inside of your food storage system. This should be more than enough to take care of your basic sugar needs. However, if you plan on using sugar in more creative ways such as for cooking, you might want to consider adding an additional 20% on top of whatever you buy.
However, if you have got a family to feed then you are going to need considerably more sugar in your stockpile. For a family of 4 people, you should plan on having at least 50 lbs of sugar in your food storage system to last you 3 months. If you happen to have any children who are the age of 13, then you should add an additional 5 lbs of sugar per child. You can also add an additional 10% or so to your final amount if you plan on using sugar in your cooking frequently.
Salt & Spices
One of the most important things that you can keep in your food storage system is salt.
This is an item within your cooking that will really add flavor to everything and it will tie your meals together. So, do not overlook this essential item in your 3-month stockpile, as you will be eating a lot of bland food otherwise.
For the average adult, you should plan to have at least 2 lbs of salt in your food storage system to last you 3 months. However, for the average family of 4 people, you should plan on having at least 6 lbs of salt.
Salt is going to be a great addition to your system as it will pretty much never go bad and it is incredibly easy to store. With that being said, in addition to salt, you should consider throwing some additional things that will go well with it into the mix such as various spices.
Spices and herbs are going to only make your food storage items taste better, which is going to be very beneficial if you are eating the same things every day. There are so many different spices for you to consider, but ultimately, the ones that you choose will really be up to you and your own personal taste preferences. Let’s take a look at some common herbs and spices that are great choices for your 3-month food storage system:
- Chili Flakes
- Curry Powder
The great thing about having various kinds of herbs and spices in your food storage is that they take up such a small amount of space and will last for ages, so long as you store them properly.
While most of us out there are trying to lose a few pounds of fat, this is actually a very beneficial item for your food storage system.
There are a lot of different fats out there - some good - some bad. You are going to want to have an adequate amount of the good ones ready to go in your food storage stockpile, as these are not only healthy but will be great for your meals.
For the average adult, you should make sure that you have at least 7 to 8 lbs of fats inside of your stockpile. However, if you have a family of 4, then you will need considerably more - with 25 lbs being the recommended amount. For families with children over the age of 13, you should add an additional 15% on top of this figure. Here are some common fat items that you can add to your food storage system:
- Canned Butter
- Vegetable Oil
These items are all going to be great for cooking and for adding flavor to your food. However, you may want to consider some alternatives that are healthier and more beneficial to your diet. Some great alternatives to these items would be to use fats such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and canola oil. These have considerably more nutrients and added benefits but they are also better for cooking given that they have a higher smoke temperature than traditional fat products.
Extra Food Items
If you have compiled the above-mentioned food items with their recommended quantities, then you should have the right amount of food to last you 3 months - based on the Latter-Day Saints Church’s specifications.
These items have an abundance of nutrients, are easy to store, and will provide you with everything that you need. However, if you have taken care of all of your essential food items for your stockpile and happen to still have room left over for additional goods, there is no reason that you can’t add some of your favorite food items to the mix.
The extra items that you choose are pretty much up to you but just as before you should try to prioritize things that are going to be beneficial to you and are going to last in a food storage system for a long time. That means that you should avoid adding items that are fresh and have a short shelf life. Let’s take a look at some examples that the Latter-Day Saints Church suggests:
- Beef Jerky
- Corned Beef
- Canned Sardines
- Ramen Noodles
- Dried Fruit
We all have our guilty pleasure foods and although they may not be as important as the essential items in your food storage list, it is nice to have something to treat yourself in an emergency situation. Just make sure that you prioritize the most important items on the list first and have room for any extras.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker