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Ready-made meals from eFoods Direct are a great way to store food. Along with those, it’s great to store basic items such as flour (or whole wheat and a grinder), oats and rice. These staples will cover you when it comes to getting carbohydrates, but what about protein?

Unless you’re going to hunt and kill to get meat in an emergency (which is unrealistic for almost all of us), it’s important that you store enough sources of protein. Think about beans, tofu, nuts and seeds, and various types of meat when you are prepping protein.

Beans are an easy-to-store (canned or dry) form of a complete protein. They are generally the cheapest form of protein, and are often on sale. And, if need be, beans can be eaten cold from a can.

Tofu is a good source of protein for those who don’t eat meat. When it is fresh, it doesn’t have a long shelf life. However, it can also be bought pre-packaged for storage. It doesn’t need refrigeration until opened (then it should be covered with water and kept refrigerated, though ideally, you’ll use all of it in the package at one time).

Nuts and seeds, including nut butters (like peanut butter and almond butter), are a great source of protein. Keep in mind, though, that nuts and seeds will go rancid because of the high oil content if not stored carefully. But think about it: Peanut butter spread on a cracker can help almost anyone feel better!

Meats are what many of us think of as our primary source of protein. There are three main ways meat can be stored: canned, dehydrated, or freeze-dried.

Jerky – Jerky is dried meat, and comes in many flavors and types: beef, elk, buffalo and turkey. There is even a soy-based vegan jerky! Jerky can be bought many places, and can even be made at home in a dehydrator.

Tuna, Salmon, Sardines (canned fish) – Canned fish can be used in sandwiches or even eaten straight from the can.

Beef chunks – Beef chunks come canned (both with and without gravy) and can be used in many ways. My family enjoys having it heated and over rice — a quick and easy meal.

Chicken, Turkey – These meats come canned and easy to use. They can also be canned at home (as can beef).

Other canned options – Canned soups often include a meat or other form of protein. You can also find canned chili, spaghetti and meatballs, or other forms of pasta and sauce.

Cured Meats – Meat is cured by using salt, sugar, and nitrite or nitrate to preserve the color, flavor and value of a food. Those pull the moisture out of the food, enabling it to last longer without refrigeration. Salami is one type of preserved meat. It can be made from pork, veal, or beef, and comes cured, which makes it very shelf stable. As long as the casing isn’t cut, salami can last unrefrigerated for years. Once it is cut, bacteria can enter, and it should be kept refrigerated.

There are many options for protein in a food storage plan. Consider having a variety of sources of protein in your food storage.

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