Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Food Storage Building Blocks #2 Fat and Oils

When I was first building my food storage and trying to cook with it.  I ran across an article over at The Prudent Homemaker, that really impacted my ideas about food storage. 

After the family’s income was drastically reduced when the housing market tanked, the author, Brandy Simper had been living exclusively on her food storage.  She was frugal and careful and figured out how to feed her family with no grocery budget.  One of the things she said really hit me, when she did have a little money what did she buy?  

I buy oil, because I don't know when I'll get to go to the store again, and I don't want to run out before that time. We currently use about 1 gallon of oil a month, because of all the baking and other cooking that I do. I usually make French Bread, which doesn't call for any oil, but if your bread uses oil, you might need more oil in your storage.”  Brandy Simper, The Prudent Homemaker

Since reading about Brandy's experience I have been motivated to make sure I am storing enough fat and oil in my food storage.  It is not something I want to run out of.
Oil and fat are an essential part of our diet, and required to make many recipes.  Many of us store a lot of grains and dry beans, but I must say that in the event that I am eating exclusively out of my food storage I want to have enough oil and fat.

You should have at least 13 pounds of fat and oil to last 1 year for an adult.  Here is the recommended breakdown:
4 pounds of shortening
2 gallons of vegetable oil
2 quarts of Mayonnaise
1 quart of salad dressing
4 pounds of peanut butter.
Children need 7 pounds of fat and oil per year.  Here is the breakdown for a child:
2 pounds of shortening
1 gallons of vegetable oil
1 quarts of Mayonnaise
1 quart of salad dressing
2 pounds of peanut butter.

Source:  About.com Food Storage Calculator

The Big Problem with storing fats and oil

Fat goes rancid.   Particularly unsaturated oils like canola, olive, peanut or vegetable oil. 
 And there is really no coming back from rancid fat/oil.  

What causes oil to go rancid?  The regular suspects; heat, light and oxygen. 

How do you know your oil is rancid?  It tastes and smells bad.  Really bad.  It does not normally make your sick, but over time it can cause serious problem.
Source:  Live Strong

Because fat and oil have such a short shelf life they MUST be regularly rotated.   

 Food Storage Fat and Oil Comparison

Cost:  August 2012
Vegetable Oil, opened
1-3 months
$8.98  for 5 quarts at Sam’s club
Vegetable Oil, unopened
6 months

Olive Oil, unopened early harvest, high polyphenol, filtered.  Packaged in a dark bottle and stored in a cooled dark place.
3-4 years
 $12.98  for 3 quarts at Sam’s Club
Shortening (Crisco) unopened, in the can, stored in a cool dark place away from strong odors, direct sunlight and heat sources.

2 years from manufacture date
$7.89 for 6 pounds at Sam’s Club
Shortening (Crisco) opened**
About 1 year

Sealed 5 years
Opened 9 months
Cannot be used for frying
$23.79 for a #10 can
From Shelf Reliance
Sealed 10 years
Opened 1 year
Cannot be used for frying
$12.30 for a #10 can
From Shelf Reliance
Peanut butter unopened, stored in a cool dark place
18-24 months
Peter Pan recommends 18 months
Skippy Peanut butter is 24 months
Jif Peanut butter is 24 months
$10.98 for  5 pounds (2 jars)
Peanut Butter Powder  (like PB2)
Unopened 10 to 12 months
Opened 4-6 months
$13.95 for 13 oz from Amazon
Salad dressing unopened
5-6 months unopened,
4 months opened, stored in the refrigerator
$9.88 for 5 pounds Hidden Valley Ranch at Sam’s Club
Nuts—In the shell
24 months

Nuts out of the shell
3 months 
1 year if stored in fridge
2 years if stored in freezer
$11.74  for 2 lbs (Walnuts) from Sam’s club
Ultra High Temperature Whipping Cream
6-9 months unopened

This Month's Give Away 
2 Cans of Shelf Reliance Shortening Powder.   Shortening powder can be used to make your own brownie mixes, make pies, cookies, and frosting.  Shortening powder does not work for frying.  Shortening powder has a shelf life of 10 years.   If you are not sure how to use shortening powder, try this tutorial.  

How do you enter?  Just leave a comment on this post letting me know what you did to build up your food storage this month.  I want to know specifically what you did in regards to your fat and oil storage, but I'd love to hear about any progress you have made.    For an additional entry you may share this give away (facebook, pinterest, twitter, blog).  Please leave an additional comment for sharing the post.