Best Survival Food Review and Buying Guide

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To sustain yourself in a survival situation for a long time, particularly in 2023, you should ensure having a considerable supply of nutritious survival food: a few crackers won’t take long to gorge up. Your energy can be in danger without fiber, fruit, nuts, and other nutrients. In our article, we have compiled the essential information about the best survival meals that can fuel any survivor and can taste well. And don’t forget about freeze-dried food and fruit. Why? Learn from our article.

Have you ever wondered what you will eat if an environmental or economic disaster strikes and shops and food outside your home becomes out of reach? Do you have a supply of non-perishable survival food for the next few days and any of the emergency food kits for you and your family?

According to statistics, about 53% of US residents do not supply non-perishable survival food even for 3 days. We were shocked by these statistics, and 3 days is such a short term. More than half of the inhabitants may be left without food supplies in any more or less serious natural disaster or any emergency. And as we know, taking care of yourself, your family, and your loved ones when you are hungry is much more difficult.

And we are talking specifically about non-perishable products. Anything you have in the freezer or refrigerator will not work. If the electricity goes out and turns off, these products will be lost in the concise term. So they are not as good as emergency food.

In an emergency, it will be too late to run to the store for food. Firstly, all the necessary products will already be sold out, and secondly, the grocery store simply may no longer work. So you will not be able to simply put survival food in your cart and buy it for your family anymore.

Running headlong to the store for survival food is a bad idea. You must have a well thought out plan of what to buy for your emergency food storage, where to buy it, what foods can last suit for long term emergency without special equipment, how you will prepare these foods, what emergency food kits you need to add. Remember that in a survival situation, your resources will be limited. And we are not talking about money. Money, in general, can lose its value. It is more important to prepare emergency essentials and emergency food storage with emergency food kits.

For these reasons, you need to plan details and prepare for an emergency. Yes, humanity knows how to predict tsunamis, floods, storms, but to be honest, we do not really follow such forecasts, even without considering sudden natural disasters or the danger of nuclear attack, an EMP assault, or military operations.

To get into a group of people who will starve and become exhausted because of this, we advise you to read our guide and stock up on survival food supply and food kits well.

You need to think in advance about the type of your nutrition, diet, calculate the required number of calories per meal to maintain your body in a healthy condition with long term food.

TOP Best Survival Foods Criteria

Top Best Survival Foods Criteria Unfortunately, there are no universal criteria for cooking in a survival situation. They are all different.

In one situation, you may need an already assembled bag or backpack of supplies in case of emergency, leaving your home. For example, when evacuating from a fire. Bags should be comfortable, lightweight but contain everything you need for the first time, such as a small version of your emergency food storage.

Or your home can be cut off from the rest of the world by snow debris, and electricity can be damaged. Then you will need an emergency food supply that you can cook and eat without using electricity.

Or maybe the flood will spoil all uncleaned food with water pollution. Therefore, they must be stored in sealed containers to prevent your emergency food supply from poisoning.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to prepare for all survival situations, but the basic guidelines are similar. When stocking food supplies, we advise our readers to pay attention to the following parameters:

  • nutrient content of food, your body needs to get enough fat, protein, vitamins, and calories per meals;
  • the shelf life of the food, the longer, the better, choose products for long term storage;
  • product flexibility, that is, the ability to use them in different dishes, make different emergency food meals;
  • your taste preferences, you should like the emergency food that you have;
  • food processing requirements, ideally, should not be required.

Nutrient-Rich Foods

It is important to think about your emergency food supplies to provide the body with sufficient nutrients. Beans are great for this.

Be sure to stock up on beans; also, rice works well with beans. In this combination, the emergency food will provide the body with protein flow. Another plus, rice and beans have a long shelf life. If you are not a fan of beans, we suggest paying attention to garbanzos, lentils, or red kidney beans. You can find such products at Augason Farms. Now the company does not have shipping delays.

Long-Lasting Food


Make sure that all products you choose for emergency food supplies have a long shelf life. Perhaps this is the most important criterion for choosing survival food for your food storage.




Ideally, the shelf life of food without a refrigerator should be more than a year. A year shelf life might sound enough for you, but many products can have significant long term storage. Always keep track of what you have in your emergency food storage. If something’s expiration date is coming to an end, do not forget to replace the product with a new one because you never know when an emergency begins and for how long you may need your emergency food supply.

Pay attention to freeze-dried meals, food stored in cans.



Wise Good manufacturers of freeze-dried food are Wise

Emergency Food, Legacy Food Storage, or Valley Food Storage. They produce a wide variety of freeze-dried meals and have special emergency meal buckets, such as breakfast buckets.

Freeze-dried food may include vegetables, meats, fruits, and even instant coffee. Freeze-dried food is restored when it is placed in water. Someone may think that this type of emergency food is not healthy. But that is not true. Freeze-dried food gets its nutrients back with the water.


Flexible Food


Monotonous food will bore anyone. You may think that when you find yourself in an emergency survival situation, you will not be up to a variety of food, but believe me, this is important, not only for mood but also for the body’s health. Therefore, we

advise you to choose products that can be used in different ways.

For example, consider butter powder or dried powdered milk. It seems like a boring and mundane product, but it is not. Powdered milk can be used to make cheese, pudding, yogurt, and even bread.

Whey powder is good emergency food, too. Whey powder can be used to prepare biscuits, bread, protein-rich drinks.

Flexible foods are also great because they can barter other supplies or equipment.

Take Food You Love

Survival situations are undeniable stress for humans. Foods that you don’t like or don’t know how to cook are stressful too. Do not ruffle your nerves in a difficult situation. On the contrary, you can calm and please yourself with food.

We advise you to prepare “comfort food,” this is food that you eat every or almost every day, which is comfortable and pleasant for you. Take some butter powder; you will not regret it.

When times are tough, you need to cheer yourself up not to go crazy, and food is great for such purposes.

If you are a cheese fan (like us), then stock up on cheese. For example, you can buy cans of freeze-dried mozzarella cheese. Buy your favorite cookies or dried fruit. Besides, fruits contain sugar and calories, and cheese contains essential fats. So delicious food will also be good for you.

Do not stock up on foods that you have never eaten in your life. You may simply not like it. We also do not recommend taking food that makes it difficult to prepare. Survival situations are not the time to be Gordon Ramsay.

Food that doesn’t need cooking

Survival situations vary but assume that you may not have a place to cook it first or may not have time for it. If you need to leave the area quickly, you will not want to stop installing a fire or warm water over a fire. Therefore, most emergency food supplies should be foods that do not require special preparation before consumption.

A good example of emergency survival food is military MRE meals, which do not require heat. We recommend everyone to stock up on such food.

Basic Survival Food Groups

Basic Survival Food Groups All emergency food supplies can be divided into major groups. To successfully compile your emergency supplies, you need to stock up on each group’s food for your emergency food storage.

Prepare a special shelf in your emergency food storage space, as you will have to stock up in bulk.

Make sure you have purchased special equipment that you may need to process and prepare food.

When compiling a list of emergency food supplies, consider all the selection criteria that we consider in our article above. Your diet must be balanced. Make a shopping list and head to the grocery store or buy foods online, as many items need to stock up.

1. Drinks

A person can live without food for some time, but death will occur in about 2 days without water. Water is the most important component of human nutrition, so it is essential to stock up on bottled drinking water.

You can also use clean water for cooking survival meals such as porridge or rice, or freeze-dried meals. And even if you have nothing to heat the water on, you can pour, for example, oatmeal overnight, and in the morning, you will have delicious food.

In addition to stocking with regular clean filtered water, you can prepare powder mixtures that, when mixed with water, create protein or high-calorie drinks. They are convenient to use to maintain the required amount of nutrients in the body.

For example, the Tang orange drink will saturate your body with your daily vitamin C. This is very useful for emergencies, as you may not have time to calculate vitamins or find them from many sources, but you can always drink one drink.

The advantages of powder mixtures are that they can be used as a barter item; they are lightweight and can be carried with you.

Also, stock up your survival food kit on medicinal teas. They can be used for medicinal purposes or sedation.

Check out Valley food storage options or Legacy Emergency Food, and Mountain House Review; these are among the best across the globe.

2. Fish

Fish is a great source of protein, healthy fat, omega-3, and other nutrients. Be sure to diversify your diet with fish and fish products.

Stocking up on fish may still be on a budget. Canned fish is good for emergency food supplies. Pay attention to canned sardines, tuna, herring. A pleasant bonus is that these products can be eaten directly from the can; they do not require any processing and can be an independent dish. If the situation allows you to eat canned fish with rice and are real fans of this combination, we hope you will like it.

3. Meats

Meat is an excellent energy source and protein for the body (if you are not a vegetarian). In survival situations, it is an important part of a person’s diet. At the same time, meat is not as easy to stock up as water or dry food, meat meals are more difficult to store, and it has a short term shelf life. The meat should be stored ready to eat. Therefore, it is difficult to stock it up for future use. At some point, you will have to either go hunting or raise livestock.

  • Raising animals

Raising animals as a source of meat, of course, requires special skills. Animals must be fed and kept in acceptable conditions. This is not possible in all situations of survival. If this is acceptable in your situation, we advise you to have goats, rabbits, and chickens. In addition to meat, you can use chicken eggs or goat’s milk. Raising animals can be very useful in a long term survival situation when your prepper food will come to an end, but you still need to feed yourself and your family.

  • Pemmican

We think pemmican is the most amazing meat product for survivalists. Under the right storage conditions, this meals’ shelf life can be up to 50 years. Agree; it’s just amazing. And the storage conditions are not as difficult as you might think. You need to store it in containers in a cool, dark place.

You can buy ready-made pemmican or cook your own. Pemmican is a mixture of dried meat and fat formed into bars. This meat is full of calories.

  • Freeze-dried meat

Another option is to stock up on freeze-dried beef or chicken. For consumption, you need to rehydrate it. This is an amazing survival food as it has a shelf life of 25 years.

We also recommend stocking up on ready-to-eat meat products such as spam, chili, or ham. All types of these meats are available in cans, which makes storage convenient. You can buy at least 10 cans for each family member.

4. Nuts, Legumes, and Grains

Our body needs protein, it can be obtained from meat or fish food, but it is also rich in nuts, legumes, and grains. In combination, they can provide the required amount of protein. However, these foods are easier to store than meat, as they are dry foods with a long shelf life.

These products require special preparation. There are countless food options to prepare. You can make a hardtack that will last for decades if you store this food properly.

You can make bread by chopping red wheat berries and adding beans or nuts to create a special flavor. The options are endless and only limited by your imagination.

The advantage of this food is its low cost. You can buy a lot of packs of pasta and cans of beans at once. These products can be stored for a long time, and at the same time, saturate the body with the necessary calories and protein.

Peanut butter also has a long shelf life and does not require any heat treatment. You can just spread it on a cracker.

You can also use some of the foods for germination. Stock up on wheat, garbanzo beans, and sunflower seeds. They can sprout even in low light, and you will have fresh greens and fresh food.

5. Veggies and Fruits


Unfortunately, there is no point in storing fresh fruits and vegetables, as they have a short shelf life and begin to rot very quickly.

Therefore, you can store dried fruits. Their storage does not require complex special conditions. Dried fruits can be consumed either simply or by adding them to different dishes, such as bread or pemmican.

You can simply mix dried fruits, nuts, and grains and eat this mixture rich in beneficial micronutrients. Such a dish does not even require heating or processing. Just mix and eat.

To extend shelf life, you can use these products in your daily life and replace them with new ones in your emergency food supply.

Like most preppers, you can stock up on vegetable and fruit seeds. From them, you can grow fresh food. But of course, this option is not available in all survival situations but will be useful in a long-term emergency.

6. Dairy

Dairy products are the hardest to prepare. Without proper storage, cheese and milk will go bad quickly. Therefore, we advise you to stock up on powdered milk, from which you can make yogurts and cheeses. Practice your cooking ahead of time, and write down the recipes.

Another solution is to have a goat or a cow, then you will always have fresh milk, and you can cook dairy products. Or you can sell milk, which can be a good income.

Of course, you can buy canned cheese, but you will not be able to stock up on them for a long time, so if you have limited space in the pantry, it is better to take something with a longer shelf life.

7. Oils

The choice of oils can be quite varied. This is olive oil, sunflower oil, hemp, and so on.

The oil is good for our blood vessels, skin, and overall healthy appearance of the body. It is used for cooking and gives food flavor.

Many oils can be used for long term storage. For example, canned oil has more than a year shelf life, while coconut oil has a shelf life of 7 to 15 years.

We advise everyone to stock up on 10 cans of coconut oil. It is easy to store, remains solid at room temperature, tastes good, is rich in nutrients, and has antibacterial properties.

Besides cooking, it is used for the body. This oil can work as a body cream, hair conditioner, or balm. It can be used every day.

Coconut oils are truly versatile products that you need to add to your emergency essentials.

We advise you to try out a couple of recipes with this oil before the survival situation. Better to be prepared. This will not let you get confused.

8. Spices

Excess salt is harmful to the body, but it adds flavor to dishes in a mild amount. It can also be used for preserving foods. For example, you can pickle cucumbers to prolong their storage.

In ancient times, salt was used instead of money. Who knows, maybe these times will return.

The rest of the spices can also be used for these purposes, they do not take up much space in your pantry, and you do not need to put a lot of them when cooking, so you can definitely buy several bags of spices and salt.

9. Sweeteners

Some might think that sweeteners are not emergency essentials, but they actually give the brain energy and, of course, make food tastier.

Sugar is easy to store, its shelf life is infinite, and it can also be used to preserve berries and fruits.

You can stock up on honey, you can add it to cereals, pemmican, make energy bars with it, but someone just prefers to eat it with a spoon. Honey is also suitable for long-term food storage. It is even possible that its shelf life is infinite.

10. Alcohol

Do not be surprised at this point. We do not advise you to forget about the situation of survival and just start drinking. Alcohol may be needed for other purposes.

Of course, a bottle of wine can relax your nerves, but that is not what we are talking about.

Alcohol can be used medicinally to sterilize wounds, but it should be distilled spirits or vodka.

Alcohol is also used to preserve fruits and vegetables.

You can even learn how to make moonshine, wine, and beer yourself and sell them. So alcohol can even feed you.

Best Survival Food Summary

Best Survival Food Summary Once again, frozen food is a poor choice for emergency survival food. Even if the power goes out for a while, all your fine food will go bad, and you will not have any emergency essentials and food supplies.

You might think that if you have a backup generator, then using it to keep your freezer or refrigerator running would be a good idea. But this is not the case. First and foremost, when embroidering begins, you want to keep your home warm and dry, not a freezer or microwave ovens. So do not freeze your favorite mashed potatoes for emergency food supply. That may not be useful at all.

Therefore, we strongly advise you to build a dedicated pantry to store the survival food supplies that can save you and your family life. By the way, it might be a good idea to create a common pantry with your relatives, family, your company of friends. This way you can store more food. But these should be people you trust.

Choose emergency food responsibly. Use our advice. Also, stock up on survival food kits that you may require.

Look for ready-to-eat foods, but also do not neglect foods that require special handling or preparation before eating and foods that can be used to grow new ones. This will be useful in a long term emergency survival situation to feed you and your family.

Also, you may prepare buckets of short term emergency food that can be used in three months. You can find special short term emergency food buckets on the websites that we mentioned above. They also have special vegetarian buckets.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

What is the longest-lasting non-perishable food?

Bulk products such as cereals, pasta, grains, white rice, brown rice are stored for a long time. Freeze-dried food is stored for quite a long time. For example, meat in this form can be stored for up to 25 years. If we continue talking about meat, then pemmican will be an excellent survival food. Its shelf life under the right conditions reaches 25 years and even 50 years.

Honey, sugar, salt has an infinite (or almost) shelf life. The main thing is to store them in dry places and not under sunlight.

Where can I get emergency food?

We advise you to check out these survival food sellers.

Mountain House is a company that sells freeze-dried food. Augason Farms is a store with shipping of emergency food and survival meal kits. Augason Farms company has a wide variety of survival food, such as freeze-dried food and other survival food kits.

Another good company to check is Survival Frog. You can find survival food and meal kits and survival gear, camping stuff, survival kits, and other Survival Frog items. This company also has shipping and friendly customer service.

Many people prefer to use Amazon’s website. Still, we believe you will find the best customer service and shipping terms in stores specializing in survival kits, survival food, and emergency food kits.

How to make survival food?

Apart from buying survival food from specialty stores like Mountain House, you can prepare emergency food yourself. This food should meet the long shelf life criteria, easy storage conditions, and the food should not require complex handling before consumption. One of the best survival products is pemmican. It is not difficult to prepare it, but it can last up to 50 years. You need to dry the fat-free strips of meat, grind them and mix them with the meat’s fat. Form energy bars and dry them. That is the whole secret.

How to make survival food packages?

The food in your survival food packages must meet the requirements outlined in our article. It should be tasty (or at least acceptable) long-lasting food, rich in protein, healthy fats, calories, healthy microelements, which does not require special preparation. A good option is to stock up on foods from every survival food category: meats, drinks, dairy, fish, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, oils, spices, sweeteners, and alcohol. Choose high-quality long term storage products that you can mix and match. Create your own emergency survival buckets of meals.

What is the best tasting emergency food?

The question about the most delicious emergency food is very subjective. Someone loves sweet, someone salty, vegetarian does not eat meat, and cannot imagine a delicious life without it. Someone only needs gluten-free and non-GMO food. Therefore, rely on your taste when preparing survival meals. We can advise you to stock up on food, from which you can make combinations and recipes according to your taste for every family member, for a vegetarian, a meat lover, for a person who needs gluten-free food, people with allergies, and so on. Therefore, you need to add products like peanut butter, salt, pepper, honey, dried fruits to your emergency preparedness food buckets, so you can cook meals that will please you.


A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.




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