Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Real Food Stockpile: Grains

June 2nd, 2011 · 72 Comments · Frugality

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In The Long Winter, a book in the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the family ends up in dire straits, trapped in a tiny new town with very few food stores, and no trains until spring. There’s a terrible blizzard about every 2-3 days that lasts 3 days, and no one can go anywhere to get food. They run out of everything except a bag of wheat.

Using a hand coffee grinder a half cup at a time, the girls grind wheat all day long to make a loaf of bread twice a day, and that sustains the six Ingalls for months. Months. Wheat may be hybridized differently now and demonized as a gluten attacker of the gut – my husband may be one of the millions affected by gluten intolerance – but you can’t argue with the fact that grain is the perfect long-term storage option.

  • Whole wheat and other uncracked grain kernels store for years without losing much nutrition and without too much fancy preparation
  • Grains have carbs for energy, some protein and some healthy fat
  • The downside: you do need water and heat in order to be able to eat them, and a grain mill would be helpful for recognizable foods (bread, crackers, biscuits, etc.) But – you don’t need too many other ingredients to make bread, especially if you know how to keep a sourdough starter (like Ma did in the Little House books! Have you ever noticed how much traditional food you can learn about in that series?).
  • Although you do need heat, an oven wouldn’t be absolutely necessary. If you had a gas grill and a pan, you could easily make pancakes, tortillas, pitas, or English muffins. Yum!

My brother is kind of an impulsive guy. A few years back when gas was projected to skyrocket one summer, he bought a 50-gallon drum of gasoline to store up. Recently he got worried about some food-related disaster and ran out to GFS to buy a 25-pound bag of rice. He’s pretty sure he and his wife-to-be and dog could live on it for a few months if they had to. It’s white rice.

He and I are pretty different, in case you didn’t guess. Winking smile

I tell you that story, honestly, to praise him for doing something while I just sit here and write about it. Then again, I have 100 pounds of whole grains and probably 25-40 of legumes in my basement, so I’m not feeling a fearful pressure to visit GFS. I also tell you about his choice because I want you to be more informed. White rice is missing the fats and proteins that brown rice would have going for it. And you’d still need water to cook it. UPDATE: A reader put me in my place – brown rice isn’t quite as shelf-stable as other grains. She says about 6 months; I’d guess a bit longer when UNopened. I used to keep my open bags in the fridge, but now that I buy in 5-pound bags, I just don’t have space. Here’s hoping we’re not eating rancid rice! :(

It does take a little more thought and effort to make sure you’re ready for a disaster, but even the smallest step counts for something!

How Much Do You Need?

The LDS church, experts in preparedness, recommend 5 pounds of rice or legumes (preferably both) per person per month. Here’s a food storage calculator if you’re interested in figuring out other amounts. Don’t forget you’d need to store water as well, and salt would be awfully nice!

How to Store

Whole grains don’t really need any special storage – I’ve heard of people getting wheat to sprout after it’s been tucked in a bag in the basement for 1-2 decades. However, you do want to keep the insects and critters away, so it’s wise to consider storage in plastic buckets. Some would say to also use mylar bags and even oxygen absorbers, but if you’re eating what you store and rotating it through, I don’t know that those would be necessary. Here’s my creative (and free) solution.

For example, I think my strategy for storing wheat is to simply make sure that I order backup bags when I crack into a new bag, instead of ordering more when I’m getting down to the end. That way I should always have at least a few months or more worth of wheat, rice, etc. on hand, but I’m always going through it, so no particular batch should have to be “stored” for more than a year.

I also have rolled oats on hand, but it’s important to remember that those aren’t exactly “whole” and have a shorter shelf life, technically. I wouldn’t keep them around more than a year, but I haven’t looked it up officially.

Here are some storage resources for you if you want to get serious though:

Milling the Grains

It’s all well and good to have 100 pounds of grain on hand, but without a grain Nutrimill grain millmill, it won’t be all that fun to eat.

I have a Nutrimill grain mill, but if  my electricity is out, I’m out of luck. There are grain mills that work without electricity (Wondermill is the brand I always hear about), and I’m strongly considering having one of those on hand, both because it would work when the power doesn’t and also because it can grind almonds into flour and flax seeds, which are too oily for the mechanisms in the fancy electric mill.

What About Storing Flour?

Storing bulk flour would negate the need for a new large appliance, but it’s a trickier situation. While white refined flour has an incredible shelf life, there’s a reason for that. Most of the nutritional goodness has been stripped away with the bran and germ. However, the bran and germ, once cracked (ground into flour) are going to cause whole wheat flour to go rancid rather quickly. That’s why it’s recommended to store whole wheat flour in the freezer.

The cash it would take to run a freezer to keep a substantial amount of whole wheat flour on hand would probably pay for a grain mill in a few years, so I kind of think it’s a wash. Doesn’t hurt to keep an extra 5-pound bag on hand for a brief emergency, but if you want to be ready to hunker down and wait out a month-long problem (or longer), you’re going to need to rely on whole, uncracked grains.

Bonus: you can also sprout whole grain for living nutrition if you don’t have any fresh produce available.

Other Things to Store

To make your bread recipes, often you’ll need salt, baking soda, and even eggs. Storing extra salt is easy – just buy it in bulk and it will last forever. Be sure to get healthy, unrefined salt! Baking soda and powder only has about a year’s shelf life before it starts losing potency, soda is so cheap that you can let a box expire and not break the bank. Just use old stuff for cleaning and keep fresh on hand.

If you do have a manual grain mill, keeping a large bag of whole flax seeds would be a wonderful idea. You can grind them and use 1 Tbs. flax meal with 3 Tbs. warm water as a substitute for an egg in baking recipes. Pancake problem solved! Here are more detailed instructions for the flax egg substitute.

What did I miss? How do you store and use grains? Are there any prepared grains that one can just “eat” without water or heat?

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72 Comments so far ↓

  • Laura

    I don’t know about the nutrition you could get from doing this, but growing up poor (and yes, mormon) we would chew the whole wheat berries we stored in our basement as a replacement for chewing gum. no water or heat needed, just good teeth!

  • Peggy

    Grains, after boiling for a couple minutes, can be put in a thermos to finish cooking (for several hours) which saves cooking fuel. You can Google “thermos cooking” for info on that. Sprouting not only increases nutrition, it decreases cooking time a little. I have heard some “prep people” say that when you remove grains from your stockpile to cook, freeze them overnight first to kill any bugs. Then, the bugs (which are almost always too small to see anyway) can be eaten along with the grain. It’s a protein boost, and “vegetarians” have been doing it for centuries. Hey, I’m not saying it’s a pleasant thought…

    Soccy Reply:

    I once served my whole family white rice with those little worms in it by accident. Because the rice was white, we couldn’t see the worms until it was too late. The kids were thoroughly enjoying the rice and even told me it was the best rice they has ever had. Once I saw what we were eating, I pushed my plate aside but let the kids finish their serving. I just didn’t let anyone get “seconds”. Eww. :/

  • Sara

    As a life long member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called Mormons) I have been raised on food storage. Although it is not a requirement of membership, it is strongly emphasized. We are encouraged to be as self sufficient as possible thereby enabling us to have less fear during fissure and an ability to help others.

    I am loving your series. Even though I have lived my whole life with a knowledge of long term water and food storage …… I don’t eat a lot foods that are commonly suggested to store long term.

    Thank you for offering up great solutions to WHOLE FOOD storage. And as a woman who has eaten A LOT of beans and rice……. I think this is an invaluable series you are writing.

    Katie Reply:

    Sara,
    You totally made my day; thank you so much! I get a handful of people who leave mean comments, hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, so when I started reading yours, I thought, “Oh, no, I’m going to get yelled at for mentioning the LDS church offhandedly or something…” Phew! And then you did the exact opposite – I totally don’t feel like I know what I’m doing here, but I’m so glad the compilation of resources has been helpful! God bless you! :) Katie

    Clark L Reply:

    Thanks for mentioning Latter Day Saint food storage in such a positive manner. We are counseled (not required) to store food against crisis, be it a storm, job loss, or natural disaster. Using such food storage is a lifelong learning process, and I am always looking for more information on using whole foods, using sites like yours. I know many who store food, LDS and non-LDS alike, and it is a comfort to know I can help feed my family if anything happens, especially in this economy. Thanks again, and I enjoy your site. Lois

    Sara Reply:

    Katie,

    Ha Ha! I’m glad I made your day.

    None of us knows what we are doing, but we can all be better prepared by sharing knowledge and information.

    Seriously with the price of groceries and gas sky-rocketing and the lack of jobs…..this is probably the most relevant thing we can be talking about.

    Can you tell I’m not that political? I’m sure a more civic minded person would say there was something more important to talk about :)

  • charis

    i totally want a grain mill! has anyone used the mill option on their vitamix? i was thinking about getting one to be an all in one appliance. for eggs, we simply have laying hens which are allowed 6 in a backyard where we live. we do have lots of beans, lentils, and some rice, steel cut oats, wheat flour, and couscous here, for a big disaster we would need more. i would say, however, this is the food group we have the most back up in, simply because we already order it in bulk.

    my recent post: the rooster formally known as susan -or- letting go of false expectations

    Katie Reply:

    Charis,
    I’m pining for a Vitamix or Blendtec for the all-in-one purpose, too. I do know people who grind flour very successfully in the Vitamix (maybe Wardeh at gnowfglins.com?). good luck! ;) Ksatie

  • Rete

    All excellent information except for one thing — brown rice is also not exactly whole and will go rancid in less than a year if it’s not stored in the freezer. I’ve heard about a 6 months supply of brown rice is all you should store and the rest white, since white will be good practically forever, just like wheat, if stored properly.

    Heather Reply:

    Rete – If you store brown rice with oxygen absorbers will it still go rancid? I’m under the impression that it is exposure to oxygen that makes anything go rancid. Am I correct?

    Rete Reply:

    From what I’ve read, brown rice goes rancid because the outer hull has been removed so it’s not a completely whole grain and the oils start to degrade. I’m not sure if oxygen absorbers would work or not but I’m inclined to err towards caution. I’ve known oils in sealed bottles to go rancid if stored overly long even if never opened and exposed to oxygen, so I would assume the oils in the rice would as well.

  • Byn

    Your blog is a wealth of information, and this is probably the first “stock up” post I’ve seen that didn’t focus on a bunch of canned goods, dehydrated meats and other unhealthy things. I love it!! We often have to get by with the bulk groats and whole wheat that I buy when $$ gets slim. It gets boring but it gets us fed and I don’t have to resort to Ramen noodles for days like I used to.

    Fantastic blog!

    Katie Reply:

    Byn,
    Thanks and welcome! The other stockpiling a’la real food posts can be found here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/tag/preparedness/ :) Katie

  • Nikki

    Thanks for the “Mormon” shout out! :D Yes, we do love our food storage, but it’s thanks to blogs like yours that I’m learning to use my wheat daily. Before, it just kind of sat in those plastic buckets—all 1000 pounds of it.

    For oats, I love my oatmeal so much that I decided an oat roller was the way to go for me. So now I buy whole oat groats and roll them myself. I think it’s slightly cheaper, but mostly I do it for the freshness and the longer storage. Still, I’d love to know for sure how long each grain can be stored since I hear hard vs soft wheat makes a difference, etc. Not sure on my oat groats. Always so much research to do! Thanks for helping us out with big chunks of it at a time. :)

    Nikki Reply:

    A quick Google search suggests 25+ years for hard grains and 6-9 years for soft grains, so I’m thinking my groats fall in that second category. Between oatmeal and homemade granola, I’d rotate through it without a problem. Grains are definitely the best storage! :D

    Katie Reply:

    Nikki,
    Thank you! Groats would last a long time, makes sense; too bad for me that I fall back on rolled oats! ;) Katie

    Tonya Reply:

    do you seriously have a half ton of wheat stored in your home?

    Nikki Reply:

    Ha ha, yes. I know that seems crazy, but we do. Luckily we have a basement and a storeroom to keep it in. Fifty pounds fills about a 6-gallon bucket plus a quarter of the next bucket, so I probably have about 16 buckets of wheat down there, plus one each of brown rice, groats, whole corn, rye, and lentils. Way better than throwing away expired cans that I used to buy for food storage. :)

  • Cory

    Where on earth do you buy wheat berries? or rice or beans in bulk?

    Amy Carter Reply:

    I buy my grains and rice from waltonfeed.com and I get my organic popcorn, brown rice and soft white wheat from azurestandard.com. Now is the time to buy as these things are going up in price. They’ve risen about 20% since January.

    Katie Reply:

    Cory,
    There are lots of online ordering places, even Amazon.com but also smaller sites like Honeyville Grain and many preparedness sites such as Emergency Essentials. Many good health food stores also offer in bulk. In the Midwest, you can order from Country Life Natural Foods. See my bulk sources here. :) Katie

    Peggy Reply:

    Also, if you have a local store with ‘bulk bins’ you can ask there I get mine from the store. They sell me their bags at 10% over cost. Good deal all around.

    Sara Reply:

    Cory
    I don’t know where you live, but check to see what is grown in your area. I buy my bulk wheat from a farm right here in Idaho. I love that I’m supporting a “neighbor.” I also try to buy my bulk honey that way as well, from bee keepers a couple towns down the road.
    Maybe that would be an option too.

    Sarah @ Mum In Bloom Reply:

    You can get those items in bulk from Azure Standard as well http://www.azurestandard.com

  • Nicole

    Another LDS fan here. I had perfected food storage and rotation for my family (using it in our everyday meals and replacing what we’d used–whole grain breads, soups, ect.) when we discovered my daughter is intolerant to gluten. I now have plenty of wheat for bartering, wink. My food storage has changed dramatically. I still store grains and beans, but the grains are quite different, as you well know. I never stored white rice until recently. Brown rice is much more nutritious, but has a much lower shelf life than most grains. In my experience, brown rice has had a shelf-life of 2-3 yrs before going rancid. (This is stored with oxy packs in a 60 degree F. room.) This is short when compared with 25 plus years that wheat and white rice easily have.
    So for long-term, I do now store white rice. The rest of my food storage is used and replaced on a regular basis.
    We have been so blessed to have had food on hand! A few years ago, our work slowed considerably with the crash in real estate. Because we had so much on hand, we only needed to buy fresh produce and some meat/poultry to get us through some tough times.
    We also store open pollinated seeds for growing produce for extra nutritional value.

    Nicole Reply:

    Wanted to add that we are not (LDS) required to have food stored–it is a principal of self-reliance that we are counseled to follow, but has no impact on our standing in the LDS church or worthiness; we are an international church, and some are not allowed to store food. From a pamphlet on preparedness:
    Dear Brothers and Sisters:
    Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abun-
    dance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs
    as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to
    “prepare every needful thing” (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity
    come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops
    as they care for others.
    We encourage Church members worldwide to prepare for adversity
    in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in
    savings.
    We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your
    savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into
    debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you
    can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.
    We realize that some of you may not have financial resources or
    space for such storage. Some of you may be prohibited by law from
    storing large amounts of food. We encourage you to store as much as
    circumstances allow.

    http://www.providentliving.org/fhs/pdf/WE_FamilyResourcesGuide_International_04008_000.pdf

    I hope this clarifies our beliefs. ;-)

    Katie Reply:

    Nicole,
    Thank you for the good ideas and LDS info! A gluten intolerance DEFINITELY changes the face of food storage. The seeds are an important point, too…

    Thanks! :) Katie

    Kathy Reply:

    Hi Nicole,

    Have you tried using kefir to help your daughters gluten intolerance? And clay water would probably help too. Once you heal the colon, typically food allergies greatly reduce or disappear all together.

    Nicole Reply:

    Hi, Kathy. Yes, we do use both kefir and clay, and while they are helpful for mopping up a reaction from accidental exposure, they have not overcome her intolerances. We has been gf/cf, egg free for four years. While I am hopeful that she will overcome some of her intolerances, (and she has recovered some foods) it is unlikely that she will ever get gluten back–at least, it seems so since she is recovering other foods and those reactions are becoming less and less…while on the other hand, her gluten reactions are just a severe as ever.
    Her gut has long since healed and she is a happy healthy girl.

    Kathy Reply:

    Oh Nicole, I’m so sorry. As miserable as it must be for your daughter, I know that it’s hard for you too. It sounds like you’re doing everything that you can. I have talked to some who’s children outgrew celiac’s so there is hope. Until then it sounds like you’ve got it covered. Good luck.

    Nicole Reply:

    Thanks, Kathy. You know, at first it was really overwhelming, but because I was used to cooking and baking, from whole foods, the transition wasn’t all too painful; really, it helped me become much more organized and we have all been blessed with better health through this experience. Truly, it is only miserable when she is accidentally exposed to gluten. Thank you again for your concern and ideas. =)

  • rebecca

    Quinoa is a good one to have because you can sprout it in just a day or 2 without cooking. And brown rice and oats can deff go rancid in a year, if not stored in a cold environment.

  • Teresa

    There are several places to buy wheat berries from, just google it and you will find tons of sites look around and find the best pricing (watching shipping prices carefully) Azure has great grains but if you do not have a drop point near you their shipping is crazy expensive. There is a group where I live that gets together and orders a huge load of grains we get a discount for ordering that way and they deliever from Monatan wheat.
    Although this is what I get for paying attention to my back yard, as I found a few fields over from us they are growing wheat, how could I have missed that!
    We have soft and hard wheat, seven grain, spelt, kamut, barley dried corn and popcorn and oatmeal stored here.

    I do have both the nutramill electric (I love it) and the wondermill jr delux hand grinder. The hand grinder is a lot of work, but I bought that first so I would use it lol. It will be great for emergencies and does a great job of grinding oily nuts and seeds that I cannot do in the electric.

  • kami

    I’ve been enjoying this series too! I am also LDS and have been taught “food storage” my whole life – it is a different story trying to do whole food storage versus the packaged stuff (we also deal with allergies so that makes things fun too!). I’ve really liked all of your suggestions and appreciate your hard work because there is not much out there in the way of whole food storage besides the wheat, rice, and legumes :)

    I have heard you can can butter and I actually think it is pretty easy – I plan to do something like that when I can find a decent sale on good quality butter. Another thing I like to store that we go through quickly enough to justify is ground flax seed. I get it at Costco already milled for $7 or $8 and it is supposed to be good for 24 months without refrigeration. That way I have something for the omega-3′s, fat content, egg replacement, and flour substitute for gluten free baking. Just a thought! Thx again!

    kami Reply:

    PS, I do store the flax in the refrigerator or freezer just to be safe (especially because I live in hot AZ!).

    Katie Reply:

    Kami,
    I’m glad to hear that! As far as I’ve ever heard, ground flax is pretty unstable and won’t last long at room temp, actually. Might be better to buy whole flax and use a hand grinder. http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/06/09/how-to-use-and-store-flax-seeds-and-flax-oil/
    Thanks for the good idea! Katie

  • Sarah @ Mum In Bloom

    Another great article Katie. Have you ever read the Little House On the Prarie cookbook? It’ll really make you think when you get to the chapter about why you can’t make most of the foods in the Little House books because they don’t grow crops like that any more :(

    Thank you for all you do. I learn so much from each of your posts.

    Soccy Reply:

    Where would I find the cookbook?

    Sarah @ Mum In Bloom Reply:

    I found it at my local library. Just ask them to help you search for it and if it’s not there they’ll reserve it for you. I try out all my cookbooks at the library first then decide if I want to buy.

  • Amy @ Homestead Revival

    Now I remember why I liked that series so much as a 5th grader! I couldn’t read them fast enough – absorbing every word, I was fascinated by how they lived.

    I may be repeating myself, but instead of packaging everything in mylar bags w/oxygen absorbers (I do some items), I put my grains in the freezer whenever an order arrives. As I pull them out of the freezer, I order a new bag. The bag I pulled out goes into 5 gallon food grade containers with a gamma seal lid. This process keeps my freezer full so it works more efficiently, kills any bugs, and keeps it from going rancid. It definitely uses electricity, but I have my meat in there anyway. If it goes out, the grains won’t be compromised for months. And hey, the pilgrims ate some pretty bad grub on that ship coming over. If you ever read a TRUE account, they got some protein along with the grain in the form of bugs. Ughhhh!

  • Sara

    Ok I’m back.

    I bought a BLENDTEC blender a while back, and reveled in its abilities to break down veggies and fruits.

    This week I ground grains for the first time……AMAZING. I just want to sing it is so AWESOME.

    Of course it doesn’t have the capacity for volume and doesn’t grind as FINE as wheat grinders…..but our family does not bake much and we don’t eat wheat. I’m so happy with it and won’t be buying an electric grinder any time soon. I ground millet, quinoa, tapioca, and rice.

    I will buy a small hand grinder for possible power outage.

    Also, my personal food storage mentor (who is MRS PRACTICAL) is always encouraging me to only store what I eat and don’t store more than a years worth for a family. Does it matter if something lasts 6 years or 30? If we are eating through it in a year and replenishing as we go we will always have a years worth of fresh storage food. We, of course, need to be careful about things that go rancid before a years time.

    My friends suggestion: Start your long term food storage with wheat, oil, salt, honey, and water. Yeast would be nice but doesn’t last very long. She said with this you can have nice tasting bread in an emergency. Sounds like Ingalls family practicality to me :) Of course add more things that your family eats in addition.

  • Tammy

    Prohibited by law from storing food? I have never heard of this? Can you give some examples of where (and maybe why?) people are prohibited from storing food? The only places I can imagine are communist (or communist style) countries where the government wants to keep people dependent. How sad.

    Kathy Reply:

    I think you’re right Tammy. I think China is one of the countries that prevent large amounts of food storage and Russia too. It’s called “hoarding”.

    I’m grateful to live here where there is so much abundance. :)

  • Tammy

    Hi Katie!!

    I’ve been really enjoying this series, but have to admit that I’ve now gotten to the point of slight overwhelm (probably having something to do with the 8 month old who is still not sleeping through the night). Can you possibly break down a priority list for those of us just getting started with food storage? Do this first, then this, etc?

    Thanks so much for the series! Your blog is one of the few that I do read regularly.

    Katie Reply:

    Tammy,
    Last week’s Monday Mission was some baby steps: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2011/05/23/monday-mission-10-baby-steps-to-emergency-preparedness/

    I have very little idea where to start, too. On Friday when I share “all resources” it will include a 24-week step-by-step calendar that will help you, too. Good luck! :) Katie

  • Teresa

    Tammy, this is what I did I am not sure if it will help but it is what worked for us. First I am not LDS, but I grew up with the importance of being prepared as part of life. Also, I think buying in bulk and having things you need is just easier and more cost effective.
    So there is a website that breaks down food storage into baby steps, starting with small emergency preparedness and moving into long term storage slowly. Every two weeks you get an email detailing a few things you can buy or stock up on. I used this list and the food storage caclulator and changed the non real food items into real food we could store and that fit our eating habbits (or ones I wanted to change:). I also as I would buy new items I would try to learn new ways to use them.
    Here is the site
    http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/babystep-checklists/

    I hope this helps, and I hope I am not stepping on toes

    Sarah @ Mum In Bloom Reply:

    I signed-up for the Food Storage Made Easy newsletter and it’s awsome. I haven’t begun an “official” food storage yet, but will be starting soon. I already have many bulk items on hand like oats, sugar, flour, spices, etc., but I need to better plan how I want to do this. Katie’s series has been a valuable tool to helping me realize that I can do this :)

  • Emily

    Oh, it’s kind of fun to see how many LDS people read this blog and comment! I usually just read your posts in Google Reader.

    Anyhow! I just want to share an interesting story about storing whole grains. WELL, the people who lived in our house before us used to have animals…about 20-30 years ago. It’s been a while. They had stored wheat in metal barrels, out in one of our barns. Of course we expected the wheat would not be good anymore. It had a lot of little bugs in it, but mostly dead bugs and the hulls (is that the right word?) from the grain. After some deliberation, we decided to pour one of these barrels into the chicken area. We hoped that the bugs would be tasty to the chickens, and offer some protein, plus maybe the birds could get a minimal amount of nutrition from any wheat that was still in there. And hopefully they wouldn’t be bugs that would make the birds sick. It was worth trying.

    The birds ate some of the wheat, but they were not as interested in it as we thought they might be. We ended up moving the chickens to another portion of our yard, which has more grass (they completely got rid of the grass in the other area, after being there for a year). The goats have been getting into the old chicken area and eating that wheat, but they’re not supposed to be in that area, and mostly the wheat just sits there.

    About a month ago (after it started to warm up a little, and now that we’re getting rain), I noticed we’re growing grass in the old chicken area. Some of the wheat germinated! We’re just growing a whole bunch of wheat grass. The stuff was 20-30 years old!

    That was an amusing surprise. Also, think about how well wheat inside (in a controlled temperature, away from bugs) must last!

  • Soccy

    Does anyone have any resources for grain, bean, seed bulk purchases on the East Coast? Preferably near Philly? I love the Azure Standard site but the shipping costs just make it not worth it and I haven’t been able to get enough interest to organize a drop site here. Thanks!

    Katie Reply:

    Soccy,
    Jo-Lynne from Musings of a Housewife is from Philly and might have some ideas for you…
    :) Katie

  • connie

    Thanks for all that info. I’ve been wanting to stock up on food ‘just in case’ but wasn’t sure how or where to start.

  • cirelo

    I think another cool thing about storing grains is that you can sprout them which creates an astonishing amount of vitamin c– something you might be in need of if actually living off pantry stores.

  • Amy

    We add a little diatomaceous earth (DE) to our whole grains when we store them. The DE is safe for humans to eat and is all natural and cheap. We store our grains in 50 gallon food-grade plastic barrels that we purchase from a local Amish store. They used to have pickle relish in them, so we have to clean them really well before putting grains in them.

  • Katie H

    When white rice is mentioned, do you mean regular ‘american’ type white rice? Asian cultures have been eating it for generations as a main staple. Interestingly, during a food shortage (can’t remember if after WWII or Vietnam at the moment), the US sent lots of white rice. People started starving to death even though they were getting plenty of the rice. It turns out, most american type white rice has the nutrients removed. I would suggest stocking up on the type of rice an Asian neighbor buys :) Also, I know at least Sam’s sells rice is ginormous bags that look just like the ones my Philipino roommate from college used to buy.
    Good white rice may be a cheaper alternative to brown rice….which is _ridiculously_ expensive at least in my area.

    Katie Reply:

    Now there’s some good information! Thank you, Katie!

  • bibliotecaria

    http://countrylivinggrainmills.com/ A high quality grain mill that can be done manually. It does NOT need electricity; although that is an option.

    Katie Reply:

    Thank you for the recommendation!

  • Kate via Facebook

    I like basmati better. I’m not sure if one is supposed to be “better.”

  • Jennifer via Facebook

    I think they are too close to call. Although the two foods website says basmati has a little more protein than jasmine

  • Susan via Facebook

    I like the consistency of basmati better. Jasmine tends to be a lot more mushy.

  • Anna via Facebook

    I think basmati, but is there a reason why you can’t store brown rice? Curious!

  • Rachel via Facebook

    they do have a brown jasmine rice. :)

  • Emily via Facebook

    Brown rice, because of the oils in the brown husk (or whatever it is), will go rancid. I have some in our chest freezer for preparedness purposes, but that’s not really the best answer for super long term storage I don’t think. We keep white rice for that.

  • Allison via Facebook

    I like both a lot, and my mom buys brown Basmati from the local Indian store, not to expensive! I didn’t know it went rancid faster…

  • Heather via Facebook

    i have heard and read that basmati rice is easiest to digest

  • Jennifer via Facebook

    Basmati is much lower on the glyclemic index. Both are delicious!

  • Mai via Facebook

    I don’t know about Basmati, but I know you can get Jasmine cheaper at a local Asian market than you can at Costco.

  • Heather via Facebook

    According to my nutritional balancing program to detox…basmati is allowed as the only white rice. Other white rice is unhealthful.

  • Mary via Facebook

    I didn’t care for Jasmine rice when I tried it years ago.

  • via Facebook

    I have 50 lbs of brown rice, too…but I better keep going through it! Hoping it has a good year before it goes rancid… :p

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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