One thing that you do not want to leave out of your foot storage stockpile is a reasonable amount of vitamins, but how do you store them long-term?
The thing about food storage systems is that they are generally designed to meet our basic needs during emergencies, but the problem with this is that they sometimes lack certain essential vitamins that we need for our long-term survival. Having the right vitamin supplements in your food storage is the ultimate way to ensure that your body is getting everything it needs, but you need to store them in a way so that you can maximize their shelf life for as long as possible.
For long-term storage for your vitamins, you should buy vitamins that are in a pure tablet form (without additives), keep them in a controlled environment, package them in air-tight containers, as well as keep them in a cool, dry, and dark place - away from any threat of contamination.
When so many people plan their food storage systems, one of the most common items that get overlooked is vitamins. This is surprising considering how vital vitamins are for our health and survival, but it is also understandable in some ways given that not all people take vitamin supplements regularly. So many of us get our vitamins from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables, so we do not think about taking additional vitamins from supplement products. However, in a survival situation, you will likely not have access to the same goods that you do normally and one of the hardest things to keep in your diet will be your vitamin intake. That is why you want to have a substantial quantity of vitamins in your food storage but you must store them properly so that you can have them in the long run. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at long-term food storage for vitamins in more detail.
After decades of working as a professional survivalist, I have had an extensive amount of experience keeping vitamins for long-term storage. My experience has taught me that the best way to store vitamins long-term is to keep them in an optimal environment that is free of contamination.
Long Term Storage for Vitamins
We are finding that the practice of keeping a food storage system at home is becoming increasingly popular. In recent years, we have been reminded of the importance of being prepared and self-reliant, with natural disasters becoming more extreme and global pandemics in full swing, there has never been a more important time to take action and ready yourself for the next survival event.
The sad truth is that disasters tend to strike when we least expect it and although the course that they take tends to be out of our hands, how much they impact our livelihoods is something that we can control. When situations like these arise, the most important thing that we can all do is be ready, so that we know that our safety is secured and that our basic needs are being met.
One of our most basic needs is having the right vitamins in our system to help us stay physically and mentally healthy. This is such a crucial part of a food storage system given that there are very few food items in most people’s stockpiles that can provide these essential vitamins. If the survival situation only lasts for a short period, then vitamin storage is not such a big deal, but if it lasts for months or even years, then you could be in a heap of trouble without them.
Luckily, vitamins are not all that difficult to store, as they are not nearly as perishable as fresh food items like animal products and produce. However, they are still subject to contamination and at the very least, nutrient depletion if kept in the wrong conditions. That is why you are going to want to store your vitamins properly so that you can make the most of their shelf life. Keep reading to learn everything that you need to know about long-term storage for vitamins.
Vitamin Additives & Selection
When you head out to buy your vitamins for your long-term storage, you are going to find so many different options on the shelf to choose from. Now, naturally, you are going to want to pick the vitamins that are going to be the most beneficial for your storage system but you also want to pick the ones that you feel you are going to need the most based on the nutrients that you will be deprived of in an emergency.
Ultimately, the best way to determine this is to assess your storage goods for their nutrient value so that you can create a system based on what your food is going to supply and what it is not. This will vary for each individual/household, as we may all have different goods in our stockpiles. Personally, I like to keep a lot of multi-vitamins inside of my storage system, as I know that this one supplement is going to provide my body with the majority of vitamins that it needs to survive.
Now, multi-vitamins are a fantastic starting point but if you want to be truly prepared, it is always wise to have more than what you need. If you want to have your vitamin storage and intake secured, it never hurts to buy a variety of different vitamins that your body will need in bulk.
As you browse your options, you will see that there are going to be vitamin options in different forms and with different ingredients. Given that some people have a harder time consuming vitamins than others, it is very common to see supplements and vitamin products that have added ingredients in them such as flavor enhancers.
Although these ingredients will certainly make your vitamin intake more palatable and appealing, you want to avoid putting these in your storage system at all costs. The reason for this is that these additives can significantly lower the shelf life of your vitamins. Vitamins that have been altered for easy consumption and use are not going to be ideal, which is why you should select options that are in their purest tablet form - without additives.
Vitamin Storage Conditions & Containers
When picking out your vitamins, you will also notice that each one is in a different container. Luckily, just about all of the vitamins that you will have to choose from will already be in a container that is designed for optimal shelf life.
This makes vitamin shopping for your food storage rather practical, as the factory-sealed container is already going to be a huge boost in maximizing the shelf life of the product. However, there are some key features to look for to squeeze some more years out of your vitamins.
When assessing containers, you want to get vitamins that are going to be the least exposed to external conditions. The reason that this is so important is that vitamins (much life food) may be sensitive to things like moisture and sunlight. Technically, vitamins are at a much lower risk of contamination than food products, but they can still go bad if not cared for. What is prone to happening with vitamins that are not stored properly is that they begin to diminish in quality.
When vitamins are exposed to adverse environments and conditions the nutritional value that they have will begin to deteriorate. This can be especially problematic for long-term vitamin storage given that you are going to be reliant on these supplements for your health and you may not have any other options available to you for a long time.
With that being said, you want to choose vitamins that are in air-tight containers that will let as little light in as possible. If you see vitamins that are in cheap plastic containers that are seethrough, these are not going to be the most advantageous for your long-term storage. Bottles and containers that are non-transparent are going to be your best bet.
Once you have picked out your vitamins, one of the best ways to ensure their shelf life is to keep them sealed and completely unopened. If stored properly like this, they should last considerably longer than what is written on the label. Although the label may say just a few years for the expiration date, you should be able to get away with upwards of 15 years if you store them properly.
The factory-sealed vitamin containers that you bought are a great starting point for long-term storage, but you may want to go the extra mile with how you store them. To play it safe, we recommend taking some air-tight containers and double packaging your vitamins. This not only adds additional support for keeping them air-tight and away from moisture, but it also gives them more durability.
Vitamin Storage Locations
As we just mentioned, you want to keep your vitamins as dry and cool as possible - with no moisture or sunlight. Now, the container system that you have in place is already going to do wonders to keep this from happening.
However, you will need to take this a step further to seal the deal with your long-term vitamin storage. Your vitamins need to be kept in a safe location(s) around your home. Depending on how many vitamins you plan on storing, you may need to select a couple of spots so that you are not putting all of your eggs in one basket. Let’s take a closer look at some ideal places for long-term vitamin storage.
A great place to store your vitamins is going to be your pantry. This part of your kitchen was designed to optimally store dry goods, which is why it is perfect for keeping vitamins.
What you will want to be mindful of is keeping your pantry secure. If a lot of family members have a habit of rummaging around in there, you may want to consider a spot with less activity.
There is no better place to store your vitamins than in your freezer.
This is the coolest and driest place in your home and you can make your vitamins last for decades/indefinitely if you decide to keep them here. You can do this in your kitchen or (even better) in a chest freezer.
If you have got a basement in your home- use it!
Basements tend to stay cool, dry, and stable throughout the majority of the year, which means that your vitamins should be very safe here. Just make sure that you do not have an issue with pests getting into them.
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