Long-Term Bulk Storage Grains and Preparedness Foods
Major Pandemic 02.18.14
Whole grain in bulk is a wise investment for a prepper. Bulk storage whole grains offer the preparer versatility, more compact size, lower cost, improved flavor, and in most cases, much longer storage.With my bulk storage nitrogen-packed grain buckets stacked, I have a six foot tall, 10” x 10” footprint, which yields 4,200 food servings for only $630, or about $0.15 a serving. Now that is pretty exciting for a prepper.
About Pleasant Hill Grains
Pleasant Hill Grain appears often in search results for bulk whole grain retailers. Pleasant Hill is a shipping-based business, but if you find yourself cruising down I-80 in the middle of Nebraska as I did, you can also pick your orders up in person.
I was impressed with Pleasant Hill Grain’s operation. This is a new, pristine food and gourmet products warehouse packed with thousands of different consumer and industrial kitchen products, ranging from super premium $500 gourmet rice cookers to $15,000 commercial grain hammer mills, to canned butter and certified water storage containers. Pleasant Hill’s product categories certainly cover a huge product width.
Pleasant Hill Grain began as a real third-generation grain farm on the plains of central Nebraska, selling grains and various kitchen products. The farm still produces more than four million pounds of grains under wholesale contracts.
Pleasant Hill Grain’s continual growth in the kitchen and bulk storage foods drove their 2008 expansion into a new and very large warehouse and office building. Today Pleasant Hill Grain is an authorized dealer for some of the top gourmet kitchen products in the industry such as Bosch, Kuhn Rikon, Edgecraft, Berkey Purifiers, Excalibur, Vita-Mix, and Zojirushi. Although they offer a huge variety of preparedness foods and products, my focus was on bulk whole grains.
Prepared Versus Bulk Storage Grains
Prepared survival foods are less flexible, less energy dense, heavier, and can begin to lose flavor and nutritional value the moment they are packaged. Conversely, bulk storage whole grains with proper packaging provide very long-term 20-30 year shelf life with almost infinite cooking flexibility, and they retain much higher nutritional value and flavor, are lighter, and are more compact.
Bulk Whole Grain Flavor
As with any base food product, as soon as you cut into it or cook it, the flavor begins to degrade exponentially. The longer you can leave grains intact the better they are from a flavor and storage perspective. Flour is not a good long-term storage food; however, whole wheat is one of the best, and all you need to do is grind it. We have unearthed clay pots of wheat from ancient Egypt which are still good, which makes a good case for the longevity of whole grains. As someone who cooks, I actually get excited about grinding my own cereals and grains. I bake my own bread when I have a chance. I also have a Round Boy outdoor pizza oven, which is used often, and I even mill my own grains with a hand crank Country Living Mill (also from Pleasant Hill Grain).
Why do I do this? Flavor, flavor, flavor! There’s a difference between just surviving and surviving well, and great tasting foods will make a bad situation a whole lot better. Grains are needed in any diet.
Why Pleasant Hill Grains?
I choose Pleasant Hill Grains for several reasons: they’re affordable, they’re a locally-owned and operated business, and they provide the grains pre-packaged for long-term storage.
Almost all of Pleasant Hill’s grains are packed in high nitrogen airtight mylar bags inside sealed air tight 6 gal. food grade buckets. This packaging method does several things to protect the grains for long-term storage. The bucket and mylar bags are both air tight sealed to protect from all manner of bug and beast from getting into the container. Those seals also protect the grain from additional water getting into the container during unexpected situations or moisture/condensation from temperature and humidity changes. The nitrogen-rich air in the mylar bags effectively puts biological processes on hold, greatly extending grain life, flavor, and nutritional value. The food-safe O2 absorbers sealed in the mylar bags suck up all the oxygen and leave only nitrogen in the bucket.
All of Pleasant Hill’s whole grain products are all non-GMO (non genetically modified) and triple-cleaned to ensure purity and protect you and your grain mill from any foreign objects. I should add that they also taste good as well, which is, after all, the reason you would go to all this trouble in the first place.
My Shopping Cart of Whole Storage Griains
Whether you’re buying survival, preparedness, or disaster foods, I always encourage people to buy what they like to eat and, when possible, buy at the whole ingredient level. Doing so will provide you and your body with a less traumatic experience should you need to begin preparing that food. Everyone eats grains, beans, and rice in one form or another, so it makes sense to have these whole-kernel ingredients available.
From these components, paired with my hand crank Country Living Grain Mill or a food processor run from an AC/DC converter, I have the ability to produce everything from rough cut grain-meal for cereals to flours for flat breads and baking. Beans and rice add a lot of bulk to diets and the amaranth, oats, and hard red wheat are very high in proteins and vitamins. Here is what I picked up (prices subject to change, all MSRP):
- Oat Groats (whole) Organic, SuperPail, 36 lb.: $87
- Hard Red Wheat, Organic, 40 lb.: $70
- Organic Soybeans 25 lb. bag: $40
- Rice Basmati Organic, SuperPail, 43 lb.: $130
- Corn Yellow Dent Organic, Superpail, 38 lb.: $68
- Amaranth Organic, 45 lb.: $125
- Red Kidney Beans, 40 lb.: $110
In total, I ended up with around 267 lbs. of compact food, which will most likely taste the same today as it will in ten years. This 267 lbs. of food will net approximately 4,200 servings, which is a family of four’s meals three times a day for 1 year, and that is just these six buckets and the bag of soybeans. Add in any other dry/canned goods in the pantry, and any food I can rescue and can from the refrigerator and freezer, and I realistically have about two years of food–all without the need for a bunker.
The $510 Country Living hand-crank mill from Pleasant Hill is not a necessity, as there are certainly far less expensive mills from Pleasant Hill. I actually use a mill daily to grind my cereal. I opted for a highly durable, light commercial mill with and optional corn/bean auger, table mount, and electric motor pulley.
I see these folks online and on TV with cases of poor tasting MREs, and I wonder why you would go that route when you could be eating truly spectacular food. Your body needs bulk intake; a squirrel a day will keep you alive, but your intestinal track will be in knots. From a price perspective, $630 is affordable, considering that delivers a $.15 a serving cost with high calorie count and lots of bulk intake daily. You would be hard pressed to find a better deal than that if you’re a prepper.