The 5 mistakes with your emergency preparedness and food storage

Science by Dr. Ben Bikman

With each natural disaster, disruption in the food supply, rapidly rising food costs, or the latest worrying economic news, there may be a little voice in the back of your head that asks, “What will I do if this happens to me and my family?”

There’s a good reason for this. Consider what’s occurred just within the last year: empty store shelves, lack of basic food availability, rapidly increasing food costs, multiple weather-related emergencies, and unprecedented worldwide supply chain issues that may not improve until 2023 or later.

Whether you call it “stocking up,” emergency preparedness, a food storage plan, or you even consider yourself a full-blown “prepper”, there’s never been a better time to start working on a plan to take care of you and your loved ones.

We sat down with Dr. Bikman to speak with him on this topic. He may seem like an unlikely voice when it comes to emergency preparedness and long-term food storage, until you realize that he knows more about how the body uses food for energy better than almost anyone else in the world.

Dr. Bikman: Everyone should have some nutrient-dense food on hand in case of an emergency, and also have a long-term food storage plan to take care of their families. Unfortunately, most people don’t even know where to start, or are already doing the wrong things.

In emergency situations, you need to have the proper fuel, yet many people make the same 5 mistakes over and over again.

Mistake #1: Food that’s nutritionally incomplete and unhealthy

The most dangerous issue with most people’s food storage is that it’s nutritionally deficient. Traditional food storage often consists of big buckets full of carbohydrates. But many people don’t realize that there aren’t any essential carbohydrates, yet you must have the essential amino acids from protein, and the essential fatty acids from healthy fats.

Carbohydrates have been a shelf-stable and historically popular choice, but it’s a ticking time bomb. You can survive for a time with a carb-heavy diet, but your health will suffer and you certainly won’t thrive. Your metabolic health, gut health and brain health will each measurably decline; all at a time when you need to be at your best.

Mistake #2: Storing food you don’t currently use and enjoy

There’s an insightful exercise to gauge the state of your food and emergency preparedness: Just take a look in your fridge and pantry. Are there items that you’ve stocked up on, yet you rarely eat them or they’re expired?

Now consider what’s in your 72-hour kit and your long-term food storage. Odds are that you’re sitting on containers full of wheat and beans, yet you don’t prepare and eat those in your daily life. Even if it won’t expire for 20 years, experts tell us that you won’t eat them for any period of time, even in an emergency situation. You need to store food you actually use on a daily basis–ideally food that is high in protein and healthy fats.

Mistake #3: Impractical, inconvenient or bulky food 

Beyond the unpalatable food, another challenge with traditional emergency planning is the very packaging it’s often stored in. It’s cheaper for food storage companies to put it in big cans or huge buckets. But they’re heavy, take up a ton of space, don’t travel well, and often aren’t resealable.

For emergency preparedness and food storage, you want the most nutrient-dense food possible, that’s portable, compact, and can be resealed.

Mistake #4: Spending too much on food storage

Another area of concern is the exorbitant cost for traditional food storage. I’ve seen people go into debt to purchase large food storage packages all at once. Ideally, you’d invest in food storage over time, with food that you actually consume on a regular basis. This will help ensure that you’re truly rotating your food storage and keeping it fresh.

Fortunately, there are some wonderful programs and companies that allow you to responsibly build up your food storage on a monthly basis.

Mistake #5: Food that’s difficult to prepare

Busy schedules and convenience undo good intentions when it comes to food and overall health. The best food storage includes the food you already use, is nutritionally complete, and is simple to make. The last thing you want is to be stuck in an emergency situation and not have the time or needed tools to be able to feed your loved ones.

Cracking the code for emergency preparedness and food storage

Ideally, we all would have the knowledge, time, discipline and budget to plan, purchase and prepare perfect meals. But it simply doesn’t happen; people get busy, they get stressed and they make unhealthy choices that derail their health goals.

Now if that happens in their daily lives, imagine what can happen in an emergency situation.

When you limit unneeded carbohydrates and consume the best sources of protein and healthy fats on a daily basis, the miracle of the human body can really start to happen. You’ll see and feel a real difference in your life. 

I created HLTH Code Complete Meal to not only be the healthiest possible shake for daily life, but also something that is nutrient dense, portable, delicious, has up to a two-year shelf life, and is easy to use for emergencies and food storage. I personally use HLTH Code every day, and have an extra big supply of it. Why wouldn’t you want to fill your pantry, 72-hour kits and food storage with the easiest, healthiest food imaginable?