Avoid Boring Survival Food: Include Spices and Seasonings in Food Storage

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Once you’ve stored at least a couple of weeks worth of food and water, you’ll want to store a few of your favorite spices and seasonings.  Though it would not be life threatening to leave them out, your survival storage diet would become quite monotonous without a few basic spices.

Start with the basics such as salt, sugar, pepper.  Then add a variety of spices and seasonings such as: cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, basil, oregano, parsley, chicken and beef bouillon, cumin, bay leaves.  Store only the ones you know you are going to use.

How long do spices stay fresh?

If you keep them in your cupboard in the original package, you can count on herbs and spices staying fresh for about a year to two years.  After that, the flavors will start to deteriorate.  Although they won’t turn completely bad (I’ve used them over the two year mark with good results) they will not be as flavorful as when you first bought them.  The older they get, the blander they get, until there is no point in keeping them.  It recently tossed out a few spices I never used after the initial recipe, after I noticed

Enemies of spice storage

Just like other food storage items, keep spices away from heat, light, moisture/humidity and air.  It’s best to keep them in an airtight container.

Long Term Storage

To make them last longer than two years, you can repackage spices and seasonings for long term storage.  I stored a few seasonings for long term by repackaging them in mylar bags, the same way I stored bulk foods.  The only difference was I used small mylar bags

Don’t forget to label and date your stored items.

For more information about herb uses and storage, visit Herbs and Spices Everyone Should Have at Home.

Final Tips

  • Seeds, roots and leaves will last longer than powder form, but will need a grinder for use.  I stored the powdered form to avoid the extra step.
  • For best results, rotate your stored items after a couple of years.
  • As with other food items, keep your stored spices and seasonings away from chemicals such as gasoline, kerosene etc. – these fumes can permeate and contaminate your food storage.

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  1. there is no preparing for unrest in an apartment complex. it is a bug-out scenario, imo. each unit is an individual factor in your survival; too many. they will burn. have a different place to get to. I leave Philly October 1st, for around the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

    1. Hi Alan, This is true-if it’s a true grid down long term disaster, apartments and large cities would be unsafe. Good for you, moving out of the big city.

  2. I long-term store spices by opening the lid a bit and then vacuum sealing them in a Foodsaver bag and store them in a tub in the basement. With the lid loose the vacuum pulls the air out of the container.

    I’ve read that people say Foodsaver bags loose vacuum over time but I have not found this to be true. I double seal the ends of the bags to make sure there is a good melted seal and it works good. I have stuff sealed that is going on 4-years and the bags are still working well.

    As far as apartments being bad places if the grid goes down, I agree. People will use fire to cook, provide light and heat. We have a populist that has been removed from fire for years and they will set buildings on fire. If it’s there own house they only harm themselves. But with an apartment (usually 16+ residents) they will burn numerous people out of their home and all they own. Not good at all. Grid-down apartments are a death trap, but any other lesser disaster and you may be OK.


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