Building a usable supply of fruits and vegetable is difficult for some preppers. Many of us struggle with this aspect of prepping, but there are a few simple steps you can take if you’re looking to add fruit or vegetables to your prepper stockpile.
It is difficult in a SHTF situation to get the fruit and vegetables the human body needs, but without them, you and your family can be at risk for a nutritional deficiency disease such as scurvy (which results from a lack of vitamin C) and immune systems will be compromised.
According to Before It’s News, one of the first things you should actually do, is avoid certain produce. Whenever possible, focus on organic produce for your stockpile. The use of pesticides in conventional farming is rampant. Even the Environmental Protection Agency has been forced to admit that the ingestion of pesticides can cause health problems. The government agency warns of the risk of “birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time.” Especially at risk of harm from pesticides are prepubescent children and the unborn. It is also a good idea to just avoid GMOs (genetically modified organisms) if you can. Particularly avoid anything non-organic that contains corn or soy ingredients. There are questions about health risks and GMOs are engineered to withstand even higher dousing of pesticides than other conventional fruits and veggies.
Now that it’s understood what to avoid, you can begin to build your stockpile of fruits and vegetables. Go here to find a list of the produce that will help protect your body against radiation in the event of nuclear war.
There are many effective ways to preserve fruits and vegetables that you acquire fresh. Whether you harvest them from your own property, buy them at the farmer’s market or a local orchard, or even make a bulk purchase from the discount bin at the grocery store, having the supplies and skills to quickly preserve them can allow you to make the most of your windfall. Dehydrating is probably the easiest way to create a stockpile of small, already individual serving sized chunks of produce. This can be done without a dehydrator, and right in your oven. Canning is always another alternative but be sure to store your items carefully, as glass jars break more easily. (Think Earthquakes) You could also try root cellaring for things like onions, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, apples, and winter squash in a cold room.
When purchasing fruits or vegetables already in a state you can store them in, look for the following:
Dried: Dried fruits such as raisins, banana chips (without sugar), and dried cranberries can pack a lot of nutritional punch into a tiny serving size. Think of them as concentrated vitamins. An adult serving of raisins is only 1/4 cup, which means that you can pack a lot of nutrition into a small amount of space with dried fruits.
Canned: Canned goods such as tomatoes, green beans, and peas can go a long way towards providing nutrition. The benefit to those rows of tin cans is that you don’t require power to store them safely, and they are fully cooked so you don’t even have to heat them up in a grid down situation. You can also find many varieties of canned fruit but beware of heavy syrups. Opt for fruit canned in juice if possible. Plus, the containers they already come in aren’t easily broken.
Frozen: Frozen fruits and vegetables are the closest to fresh that you can get. This is a great way to build a stockpile for times when money is tight, but don’t put all of your produce in the freezer. During an extended power outage, you stand to lose a large portion of your deep freeze contents. If you do purchase a large amount of produce for the freezer, have canning jars, lids, and an off-grid method for canning them if the electricity goes down for the long-term. Frozen fruits and vegetables can also be dehydrated right in your oven and saved for your stockpile.
Freeze-dried: This is a more expensive option, but freeze-dried fruits and vegetables maintain their nutrients, require little storage space, and need no special storage conditions. You can add a great deal of variety to your pantry with a selection of freeze dried ingredients and the foods, if sealed correctly, can last up to 25 years. You can find a wide variety of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables HERE.
Other useful information can be found here, in the book The Prepper’s Blueprint. Hopefully, these few (and by all means, there are many more) ideas can get you on track to having a surplus of nutrient-rich produce in your prepper stockpile.
H/T Before It’s News