Food Storage: Got Your Wheat?

{Update 7/28/11: There was some inaccurate information listed in the wheat-to-flour conversions in the original article. I originally noted that 1 cup of wheat berries grinds into just shy  of 1 cup of flour. This is not the case. 1 cup of wheat actually grinds into just shy of TWO cups of flour. So the good news is, that if you followed the original numbers and already got your wheat, now you’ve got some extra! BONUS! The other good news is that if you haven’t gotten all your wheat yet, you don’t have to get quite as much as originally anticipated. The numbers listed below in the baking section reflect the corrected totals. The numbers in the Food Storage Calculator section were correct to start with and there is no change to those totals.}

Have you seen this in the news yet?– Oklahoma Sees Driest 4 Months Since Dust Bowl. Hubby first pointed it out to me and then I did a quick search on the internet to see that it’s all over the different news medias.
Seriously?? Since the Dust Bowl? Do you remember when that was?? That was during the Great Depression. Economic hard times combined with lost crops (due to major drought) combined with whatever else created a situation of no jobs and no food and The Great Depression. Sound familiar??
If you read the article mentioned above it notes how a vast majority of the midwest (from Louisiana to Colorado) are currently experiencing severe droughts. Right here in the great state of Texas (shout out!), 40% of our land is experiencing “extreme drought”. And I’m here to tell ya… that ain’t no lie! Dark clouds come and go and never give up their rain. We’re so thankful that we’ve got our little garden still hanging in there, but we’ve got to water it constantly. There’s no way a large garden (not to mention one that is several hundreds or thousands of acres) could survive an extended drought because they depend on the weather for their water.

So what does this mean? Well, wheat farmers are looking to just plow under their crop (wheat) and plant something else. The wheat is just not producing. Which means, right here in the good ol’ US of A, we are also experiencing the same wheat shortage that other countries have been facing. We are not immune to these problems! (*gasp* We’re not??)
So HOPEFULLY you have already been working on getting a good supply of wheat in your home (along with everything else). HOPEFULLY you’ve already got that crossed off your list. HOWEVER,  if you have not, may I slightly beg you to do something about your situation today? Now?
Again, I never want to create a panic in you because that is simply not the best way to prepare for something. But I do want you to be informed. So without panicking, let’s look at approximately how much wheat you should have in your home and then please just evaluate your situation and if it needs to be remedied, do something about it.

Using a Food Storage Calculator (and please remember these are bare minimum suggestions):

  • A family of 2 adults (no children) should have 300 lbs of wheat (this is 7 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children under age 7)= 450 lbs (this is 10 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 4 (all over age 7)= 600 lbs (this is 13.5 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 6 (4 adults, 2 under age 7)= 750 lbs (this is 17 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 6 (all over age 7)= 900 lbs (this is 20 (45 lb) buckets*)
  • A family of 8 (all over age 7)= 1200 lbs (this is 27 (45 lb) buckets*)

Looking at it in terms of baking:

  • To make one loaf of bread everyday for a year (based on THIS recipe) you would need 1300 cups of wheat flour (this is 9 (45 lb) buckets* of wheat)
  • To make one loaf of bread every other day for a year (based on THIS recipe) you would need 650 cups of wheat flour (this is 4.5 (45 lb) buckets* of wheat)
  • To make waffles (based on THIS recipe that feeds 4) two times a week for a year you would need 104 cups of wheat flour (this is .75 (45 lb) buckets* of wheat)
  • To make pancakes (based on THIS recipe that feeds 4-6) two times a week for a year you would need 156 cups of wheat flour (this is 1 (45 lb) bucket* of wheat)
  • And just for good measure, to make a batch of cookies 😀 (using THIS recipe) twice a month you would need 108 cups of wheat flour (this is .75 (45 lb) buckets* of wheat)

*{Updated 7/28/11} Each 45 lb bucket has about 95 cups of wheat in it, which (roughly estimated) grinds into about 150 cups of flour (1 cup of wheat makes just over 1.5 cups of flour). Each (45 lb) bucket is also equivalent to approximately 8 (#10) cans. So if you prefer to store #10 cans, simply multiply the number of buckets listed by 8 to get the total amount of #10 cans you should have.

So… for me and my family (2 adults, 2 kidlettes), if I want to have pancakes two times a week plus waffles two times a week for breakfast, and make a loaf of bread every other day for our lunch sandwiches, and make cookies two times a month to keep us happy, I’m looking at storing 7 buckets of wheat. Totally doable. (Of course, this is only for the mentioned items… the total amount would actually be higher when I take into account other meals that require wheat as well.) And don’t forget to store the other ingredients that go into those recipes as well (and I’ll start exploring that on some of our Wednesday recipe days), but start with your wheat. Make. sure. you’ve. got. it. Figure out how much you need, go see how much you’ve got, make up any differences. Don’t worry about where you’re going to store it. You can deal with that later (or you can check out THIS post for some ideas).

Okay, well I’ve probably said enough. If you’re not sure where to get wheat, Emergency Essentials® is my favorite place to get it. The price is awesome (and there’s even a discounted price if you order more than 4), it already comes in the bucket sealed and ready to store (versus other companies where it comes in a bag and you have to purchase the bucket separately or take it to a cannery and purchase cans to can it yourself), and you can buy as much as you want and not pay any more than $12 in shipping! So what I recommend doing is finding some friends and ordering a bunch together so you can split the shipping costs and also get the discounted rate on the buckets. Not to mention, you’re helping other people to get going on their food storage supply as well. Think of it as providing service. 😀

So go get to it. And don’t forget to smile and be happy while you do! 😀

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