Most outdoorsy-types eat meat and lots of it. But what about alternative sources of protein for survival food stockpiling? Can you really get all your protein from just plants?
So how do vegans prepare for emergencies? What foods do we stockpile? How do these special dietary requirements affect, not only our nutritional intake, but our pocket book as well?
For some, it’s an issue of morality. For me, I chose to follow a vegan lifestyle primarily for health reasons. My dad had a stroke and, during his recovery, read in The China Study that a plant-based diet (veganism) could help treat the root causes of his stroke.
Now, whether you agree or disagree (and believe me, I’ve met plenty of skeptics) there are certain facts one cannot ignore.
Plants do not contain measurable amounts of cholesterol and are chock-full of fiber. And, in many cases, plant-based protein costs significantly less than animal-based protein.
Well that’s great, but how does all this apply to survival food stockpiling?
Glad you asked. For many TEOTWAWKI and SHTF preppers out there, the main goal is to be as self-reliant as possible, should a crisis arise. Stockpiling food that is cheap, easy to store and that can keep you healthier is simply a smart way to prepare.
I’m the first to tell you, I’m not a true vegan. I wear leather belts and shoes. I kill insects daily and enjoy it. And when I’m a guest in someone’s home, I’ll eat what they serve, rather than make an embarrassing refusal. But otherwise, I avoid eating animal products, which include all forms of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.
The most common question I am asked is, “What do you eat?” To which I simply reply, “Plants.”
All kinds of plants. Here is a list of the most common foods I eat in my daily life:
turnips and greens
peppers (bell, jalapeno)
potatoes (sweet, red and Idaho)
extra virgin olive oil
imitation butter spread
Nuts / Seeds
beans (pinto, garbanzo, white northern, black, chili, mung, lima, green)
rice (white, brown, wild)
flour (white, whole wheat)
pasta (white, whole wheat, veggie, rice)
The key to a healthy diet is variety. This is important to everyone, but is especially important when foregoing animal products.
While plants contain many vitamins and minerals, they do lack the essential amino acids, conveniently found in animal products, that our bodies require for various functions, like rebuilding cells.
Unlike the other amino acids, our bodies cannot make essential amino acids, so we need to get them from food.
Essential Amino Acids
In order to maintain a healthy body, vegans need to consume
different types of plant protein in order to provide all the essential
This is easier than it sounds; in fact, I bet you already do it.
Simply pair legumes, nuts and seeds with grains. Again, variety is key. Some examples are peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat, red beans and brown rice, or lentil and barley soup.
You’d be surprised just how much protein is in plants. Peas, for instance, contain so much that they technically could be considered a protein in school lunches.
One of the few plants that contain all the essential amino acids is quinoa (say: keen-wah), a South American seed. Like anything, it’s expensive when purchased in prepackaged meals, but when purchased in bulk costs about the same per pound as select cuts of meat.
For step-by-step sprouting instructions, complete with photos, check out the survival food stockpiling article, “How to Sprout Fresh Greens Anytime, Anywhere”.
Stocking up on plant-based protein should be a part of every survivalist’s food storage plan. It’s the ideal survival food: healthy, cheap and easy to store.
Remember that fat, along with oxygen, moisture and temperature, is the enemy of survival food stockpiling. Though they provide more nutrients, whole grain pasta, flour, oats, rice, nuts and seeds, contain higher amounts of oil, decreasing their shelf life.
For more on survival food preservation methods, including canning and dehydrating, check out these tips for long-term food storage.
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