5 Food storage lessons from World War II
01/29/2022 // Zoey Sky // Views

Prepping isn't an easy endeavor but modern preppers have it easier compared to those who experienced World War II (WWII).

Back in the early 1940s, people had to survive on war rations, which would have made feeding a large family difficult, especially if you were on a limited budget. But despite these difficult times, people endured and modern preppers can learn five important food storage lessons from people who lived through WWII. (h/t to TheSurvivalMom.com)

In 1939, America still hasn't experienced the horrors of World War II and citizens didn't think they had to think about survival food storage or emergency preparedness like modern preppers.

The United Kingdom didn't ration food until January 1940 while America only started rationing food until 1942. The suggestion to store food may have seemed strange to people living in 1939, but by the time America was fully involved in WWII, the practice would benefit many people.

Here are five important WWII lessons about food storage to remember and practice before SHTF:

You can never have too much

Wherever state you live in, remember that you can never have too many of the right foods.

As a prepper, you should build a food stockpile and start a home garden. This ensures that you have access to both shelf-stable items and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Stock up on foods that will last a long time and can be used in different dishes. You also need to learn how to cook from scratch. (Related: Food supply basics: 11 Foods to stock up on if you’re on a tight budget.)


Here's a list of food that you should stock up on before the stores run out when SHTF:

  • Beans and lentils
  • Canned fruits (Like apricots, cherries, peaches and pears.)
  • Canned meat (Such as corned beef, salmon and tuna.)
  • Canned soups
  • Canned vegetables (Such as beans, beets, corn, peas and tomatoes.)
  • Cereals
  • Condiments
  • Cooking oils
  • Couscous
  • Crackers
  • Dairy and milk (Like condensed milk or coconut milk.)
  • Flour
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oats
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter and other nut butters
  • Powdered eggs
  • Powdered milk
  • Rice
  • Spices
  • Sugar
  • Tea and coffee
  • Tomato sauce and paste
  • Whole grains

If you want to try growing your own food, here are some plants that are perfect for a survival garden:

  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Lentils
  • Melons
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Various herbs

Build up your food storage supply now, not after rationing starts

Don't get complacent. While the threat of war may seem like something impossible in these modern times, preppers know that it's important to be ready for anything, such as natural disasters or long-term power outages.

If you are worried about your finances, start building your stockpile by purchasing an extra can of beans or tuna when getting the groceries. Keep doing this and soon, you'll have enough extra food for a least one week.

In time, you will have enough for several weeks or even months. Remember, you don't need to so spend all your money on extra supplies if you can't afford it and buying extras when you can is more manageable.

Keep your stockpile a secret

Food was rationed during WWII, but if you were prepared before SHTF, food supplies will be one less thing to worry about.

Now, if your neighbors come to you asking for help in a survival scenario, give what you can spare but don't talk about your stockpile to deter others from attempting to loot your house when SHTF.

If you have extra money, invest in other necessities

Wartime food storage wasn’t just about food. Back in the day, people also spend their money on important supplies that they couldn’t grow, make, or barter for.

If you have a large family, you may benefit from stocking up on other supplies like alcohol or tools so you can trade for other items that you will need when SHTF like clothing for your kids. You will also need to stock up on other essentials like prescription medication, pet food, or cleaning supplies.

Learn more about food storage and rotate your supplies

Like with prepping, you will learn a lot from your mistakes with food storage. Before SHTF, try different storage methods and see which ones work best for your specific needs.

If you're stocking up on flour, use sturdy metals cans to keep insects like weevils out of your storage room. Store items like flour in sealed containers with oxygen absorbers.

Store beans, rice and pasta in air-tight containers. Store dried food in Mylar bags, then keep the bags in sealed containers.

Rotate your food supply to ensure that nothing goes to waste even if disaster doesn't strike.

More related stories:

7 Historical superfoods that people can stockpile for years without refrigeration

Prepper food supply: 6 Long-lasting foods you need in your pantry

Food supply tips: 10 Best survival foods to buy from the grocery store

Survival skills: Learn how to cook from scratch so you can feed your family when SHTF

Honey: The ultimate survival food that doesn’t expire

Watch the video below to know more about food product expiry dates.

As people who lived during WWII proved, proper food storage is a must if you have a survival stockpile.

Sources include:






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