Saturday, May 10, 2008

DPT--Food Rotation

How often do you rotate your food stock? One of the best habits to get into is rotating your food and water supplies about every six months in order to keep the "first in, first out" rule in play and make sure that nothing falls through the cracks and you end up with a big batch of food dated 3/1989 when you need it most.

Every six months, use your stored water to water the garden or fill up the animal's water buckets then refill the containers. With more expensive bottled water, you may want to make an effort to use the water as a continually rotating stock so that you aren't wasting old bottled water just to get rid of it in order to restock.

All food that comes into the house should be dated (I use a Sharpie marker to print the month and year on each can or bag). Next you want to have a shelving system that allows you to stock from the back (like the milk cases at the grocery store) and pull from the front so that your canned food stays in continual rotation. The same is true for MREs. These are dated and rotated throughout the summer when they are used for long distance backpacking trips.

Every six months I clean out all of our food areas (kitchen cabinets, freezers, garage food storage areas) and ensure that the food is rotated properly and that old food is either used immediately, given away, or tossed, depending on its condition. This is also a good time to make a shopping list for items to restock in bulk as most of our food stocks are purchased at case lot sales, as loss leaders, or when other "great bargains" are available. This can leave a food storage area heavy with some items (canned beans, canned tomatoes) and light on other items (beef jerky, peanut butter).

With a good food rotation system, you can ensure a continual stock of food, a continual rotation of food into your kitchen, and an excellent back up in times of food shortages, job loss, or other conditions that would cause you to rely heavily on your stored food.

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