When is the last time you cleaned out your freezer? If you are stuck at home, now is the perfect time to dive into the disorganized abyss and throw out some old, virtually non-edible freezer foods. Plus, you can use that extra space to store up some critical survival food that will serve you well if you are ever unable to make it to the grocery store. Here’s what to get rid of and what you absolutely have to have.
Who doesn’t love a glass of ice-cold water? As the days start to get a little warmer and you can spend more time outside, enjoying a cold drink is so refreshing. But when was the last time you actually cleaned out your ice trays? If you can’t remember, then it has probably been too long. Dump out old fishy-tasting ice and refresh your trays with clean, filtered water. If you have an ice machine, be sure to clean it a few times a year and replace your fridge water filter as needed.
Freezer burned food
Contrary to popular opinion, frozen food doesn’t last forever. Once it develops those telltale signs of freezer burn, ice crystals, and discoloration, it is probably time to throw out old freezer goods. Remember, improper, non-airtight storage of frozen foods is one of the biggest reasons that things become freezer burned. This, along with temperature fluctuations that come from keeping the freezer door open for too long, leads to ruined food. Though you may be able to salvage these ice-burned goods, they won’t taste great, so throwing them out is a better option all around.
That random bag of who-knows-what shoved in the back of your freezer should probably just be thrown out. Instead of letting unlabeled, mystery food take up valuable real estate in your (probably) packed freezer, get rid of anything that you can’t identify. If it has gotten to this point, you likely don’t want to eat it anyway.
Note: In the case of something like COVID-19, the chances of the power grid going down are slim to none. However, other disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, or even more dire survival situations such as civil unrest or terrorist attacks could lead to you going without power for an extended period. If you want to be truly prepared, you mustn’t just rely on the food in your freezer for survival. Start a garden, dehydrate food, collect some canned goods, and learn the practices of sustainability.
Another idea (though slightly more pricey) is to invest in a generator or a solar system that could keep your fridge and freezer running in the event of a power outage. Your disaster preparedness levels are dependant on several factors, including the size and age of your family and the other resources that you have available.
Cleaning out your freezer and throwing away old, unappetizing food is a great way to reorganize, start fresh and make room for these essential survival foods that you should always have on hand in case you need to stay home for an extended period.
Frozen veggies last a long time in the freezer, especially when sealed properly. They are usually just as healthy as fresh veggies and will help ensure that you receive proper nutrients in a survival scenario. Plus, frozen vegetables are easy to prepare and can be adjusted to fit many meals.
If you are a meat-eater, stockpile a few hearty roasts and some chicken in your freezer for a rainy day. Be sure to transfer it from the store package to a freezer-safe container for long term storage. Keep in mind; most meat doesn’t taste great when stored longer than six months, so when that mark is about to hit, go ahead and incorporate this meat into your weekly meals and purchase some more for storage purposes.
Though it isn’t strictly a survival food, your days of hunkering down will certainly go a lot smoother is everyone is happy and caffeinated. Keep a few bags of ground coffee in your freezer for up to two years and enjoy a fresh brew even in dire circumstances. Caffeine can help keep you alert and awake as well, which is critical if you are experiencing a lack of sleep due to a disaster event.
What freezer foods do you have on hand for an emergency? Let us know in the comments below!