Allergies don’t have to prevent storing basic foods for emergencies. Many options are available for planning around problem foods, making food storage nutritious, interesting and delicious. Here are three common foods that cause allergies and how to work around them.
For allergies to wheat or gluten
There are plenty of choices when storing grains besides wheat, flour or pasta. Larger amounts of white rice and oatmeal, and cornmeal can be stored.
Other specialty grains, like millet and quinoa, can be stored in place of wheat. Those with a wheat intolerance may be able to use spelt. These will be a little more expensive but are very nutritious substitutes. Walton Feed sells these packaged for long-term storage in buckets or No. 10 cans. Emergency Essentials also sells spelt packaged this way.
As awareness of wheat-related allergies has increased, gluten-free cookbooks are appearing on the market and in health food stores. These recipes can be altered to use only stored foods when planning for an emergency.
Additionally, several emergency preparedness stores are now selling gluten-free mixes for people who like this convenience. Augason Farms sells a range of gluten-free mixes for bread, pancakes, cookies, cakes and muffins. Grandma’s Country Foods sells gluten-free Rice Bread Mix.
For allergies to legumes
Canned meats can be substituted pound for pound for all legumes in food storage. Besides the usual tuna that everyone thinks to store, there are so many other choices found on grocery store shelves.
A 10-12-ounce can of chicken, beef or turkey chunks makes great meat for four to six people and costs the same as a pound of good quality hamburger, making these economical to store. Canned roast beef chunks are now available in many Costco stores at a great price. Costco and Sam’s Club also have outstanding prices on canned chicken chunks and other canned meats. Walmart has good everyday prices, and watch for sales at local grocery stores.
For allergies to milk
Sometimes people who fear they have an allergy to milk actually have an intolerance that can be overcome by simply drinking a glass of milk with other foods at mealtimes. When consumed with food, milk is more easily digested without side effects.
For those with a true allergic reaction to milk, powdered soy milk is now available. Various brands can be found online. Grandma’s Country Foods sells Country Cream Powdered Soy Milk packaged for long-term storage. Evaporated goat’s milk can also be found at some health food stores and online. These make great substitutes for dried and canned milk in food storage.
Many allergies need not pose a serious limitation to storing food for emergencies. Foods available today really open up the possibilities for planning food storage in spite of such challenges.
Leslie Probert has a bachelor's degree in home economics from BYU. She has spoken to thousands of people on food storage, is co-author of the new book "Emergency Food in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition" and is a mother of three. Her email is [email protected]