Posted on May 16 2019
The first goal should be MERE SURVIVAL.
If a survivor can’t cover MERE SURVIVAL, for the full period of devastation, then no number of survival fire starters will matter.
If you or someone you love isn’t ready for MERE SURVIVAL for at least a year of SHTF collapse because they can’t afford to prepare, then the following is the cheapest, easiest way to eat after all else fails.
The KEY is WHEAT. Hands down. Nothing else even comes close to wheat as a survival food. Problem is, wheat is a commodity, so nobody gives a damn if you buy it or not. Nobody advertises wheat as a survival food, because there’s no money to be made on wheat.
Why is wheat the GREATEST FOOD PREP?
1. It costs almost nothing. The closer you get to the farm, the cheaper wheat becomes. Buy wheat at Costco for $1 a pound or buy wheat from a farmer or distributor for $.23 per pound (I was just quoted this price by a distributor today.)
Either way, wheat is dirt cheap. Like anything else, the bigger your bulk buy, the cheaper wheat becomes. Buying a truckload for all your friends, family, neighbors and church saves everyone big bucks (if you can talk them into it.)
2. It stores perfectly, for several generations. Hard red or white winter wheat lasts essentially forever in a dry environment. Here at ReadyMan, we’ve tested forty year-old wheat (stored in cans and buckets without mylar bags) and it tastes indistinguishable from fresh wheat. (Watch us taste test 15 types of 40 year-old food storage. Yak!)
Ancient Egyptian wheat seeds germinated after over 2,000 years of storage.
3. Wheat takes up very little space. Wheat weighs about six and a half pounds per gallon, which means it’s super-dense and fits into small spaces. One pound of wheat contains around 1,500 calories! That means a five gallon bucket of wheat holds over 50,000 calories. One IBC tote holds over 1,800 pounds which will feed a family of four for over a year.
4. It makes bread, arguably one of the most basic and valuable survival foods. Turning wheat into bread is undeniably a pain in the ass, but bread would likely have tremendous value in a post-SHTF world. One might easily trade a loaf of bread for a good many things, including a day’s work. Such has been the case in many post-SHTF nations, such as Haiti after the collapse of government.
5. It can feed livestock. Sprouted wheat can feed goats, chickens and rabbits as they over-winter, ensuring livestock survival (with a balanced menu) through snowbound times.
Wheat: First Line of Food Storage for $110 per adult per year:
Step One: figure out storage. The absolutely cheapest way to store wheat is in 275 gallon IBC Totes. If you shop in local classifieds, you should be able to find these cast-off plastic containers for $30 or less. You’ll probably have to pressure wash them (if they’ve carried food oils), but then you will have wheat storage for under TWO CENTS per pound. Always use totes that have carried food products and NOT chemicals (which are almost impossible to wash out.)
IBC totes kicks ass on storing wheat in five gallon, plastic buckets (which costs fourteen cents per pound instead of one cent per pound). However, four foot by four foot by four foot IBC totes are harder to store indoors than five gallon buckets and they're impossible to move without a forklift or pallet truck.
After filling the tote or a bucket with wheat, you should drop 1/3 cup of dry ice in a five gallon bucket of wheat (or seven pounds of dry ice per 275 gallon tote). The dry ice sublimates into CO2, fills the container and replaces the air with gas. This eventually kills any bugs and displaces oxygen by starving them of oxygen. The O2 eventually returns, but during that time, it should kill all weevils, if there are eggs in your wheat. If in doubt, repeat the process after a few months.
Leave the lid cracked for five hours after filling with dry ice so that the pressure can get out. Based on our tests (after 40 years) and university tests (after 30 years,) we do not believe mylar bags are necessary when it comes to wheat. We simply haven't seen oxygen exposure result in a problem.
IBC Totes shouldn’t be stored in the sun. After eight or ten years, the sun will weaken the polyethylene. It’s better to cover or bury the totes. If you have a rodent problem, you’ll have to consider the possibility that they may chew through buckets or totes to get to your grain.
Depending on the humidity at your BOL (Bug Out Location), you may wish to remove some of the moisture from the grain. One good way to do it would be to add desiccants to your buckets or IBC totes (check those out here.)
Keeping the wheat cool will improve the shelf life. If your bug out location needs a retaining wall, you could do a lot worse than a stack of wheat-filled IBC totes. Also, the totes have many uses after you use the wheat, such as serving as water catchment cisterns.
Townsends Baking Bread in an Earthen Oven
Step Two: figure out baking bread. Full disclosure: baking bread is a pain in the butt. However, wheat can be boiled and eaten in a worst-case scenario. To get the biggest bang for your buck, though, a small amount of preparedness now can result in being the only person in your neighborhood baking fresh bread while others are eating family pets. There are tons of expensive ways of making bread (cast iron stoves, expensive electric grinders, solar fields to power wheat grinders, etc..) Let’s look at the dirt cheap options:
- Grinding wheat. Hand grinders are an option. Hand-grinding wheat must be experienced before SHTF, though. To call it “difficult” would be like calling a Hillary Clinton presidency “problematic.” (Check out hand grinders here). Electric grinders rock, but they draw a staggering amount of post-SHTF wattage, which means a ton of solar to make the grinder hum. (Check out the best electric grinder here.) Another good option is a bicycle-driven grain grinder, attached to a hand grinder. This requires buying a decent hand grinder, which will set you back $675 new, or $50 used in local classifieds. (Pro Tip: check Utah/Idaho classifieds if you want a great deal on a used grinder. Mormons are commonly bailing out of grandma/grandpa’s old food storage plan and selling their unused grinders cheap.
- Baking bread. If you want to bake bread like a pro, buy a Pioneer Princess ($3,000), or step down to a rocket stove or a sheep herder’s stove ($360) , a dutch oven ($40), or build your own bread oven for FREE for the cost of a few bricks, some clay and some sand.
- Yeast. Yeast makes bread fluffy, but it’s not necessary to make bread. Yeast is like a living bacteria that doesn’t live forever unless you feed it. In a sealed package, stored cool and dry, baker’s yeast ($10) lasts about two years. The easiest way to keep yeast is to buy it every two years. You can make yeast from grape skins or other fruit, but it’s easy and cheap to keep a bag of active yeast in the pantry and replace it every 24 months.
- Don’t forget these other considerations:
- You need dry wood to bake the bread.
- Salt is required to make bread rise correctly.
- Bread pans will make life a lot easier.
- Bottled jams and jellies help to make bread more delicious.
Can you survive on bread alone, plus the occasional animal you might kill or fruit you might forage?
Would you be happy about it?
Almost certainly not.
Living on bread will barely keep you and your family alive.
Wheat alone is a MERE SURVIVAL plan, but not a happy survival plan. Once you have the funds, you should expand into other dried foods (beans, dried veggies, dried milk, sugar, fruit drink mix.) If you really want to thrive in style, learn to garden, grow an orchard and raise livestock in addition to your bulk wheat storage.
But, to cover the bare minimum, wheat will do the job. If you want to help your extended family NOT DIE, then stockpile wheat. If you want to pitch in to keep your neighbors alive, then stockpile wheat. If you want to have food to trade (and help others in a long-term collapse) then stockpile wheat.
It’s easier and cheaper to stockpile wheat for loved ones who won’t listen about TEOTWAWKI than it is to nag them and grow frustrated. Just buy them five hundred pounds of wheat for Christmas and stop worrying about those beloved “sheeple." You can even store their Christmas wheat in your new IBC tote retaining wall.
At $110 a year per grown adult, nobody advertises this ULTIMATE preparedness solution online, but it’s an incredibly easy and cheap option that’s been employed by countless starving civilizations across the history of mankind.
What else about bread and wheat should we have mentioned?
Come to ReadyMen Group and educate us (and we’ll get the word out!)