Important Considerations for your Food Storage

This guest post is by Michele O and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .

Wheat is the back bone of most long-term storage and bread made from wheat the “staff of life”. After all, 3000 – 4000 year old wheat found in pyramids was able to sprout, and it’s not exactly frigid in Egypt. Now that is some long-term storage.

But what happens to you or a family member who discovers they have either a wheat or gluten allergy, or intolerance? Most people think that an allergic reaction is the typical hives, runny nose, all the way to life threatening anaphylactic shock, but there are many others. Other lesser known symptoms of wheat and or gluten sensitivity include stomach upset, bloating, abdominal discomfort, pain or diarrhea; or it may present with a variety of extra-intestinal symptoms including eczema, allergic rhinitis, bronchospasm (asthma-like symptoms) headaches and migraines, lethargy and tiredness, attention-deficit disorder and hyperactivity, schizophrenia, muscular disturbances as well as bone and joint pain. I personally get fibromyalgia from accidents ingesting even tiny amounts of wheat. Sometimes, allergies SUDDENLY manifest after eating something without any difficulties your whole life.

Doctors and scientists now believe that 10% of the general population is has a gluten sensitivity, and that does not include strictly wheat allergy/intolerance.

For me personally, sprouting the wheat takes care of my problem – but I have to make sure EVERY SINGLE grain is sprouted. Even one or two now sprouted causes me several days in incredible pain. However, for someone with an undiagnosed celiac sprue (gluten allergy) or gluten intolerance, sprouting will probably not help. Sprouting may make wheat more tolerable for some, but does NOT get rid of the gluten.

Sprouted glutinous grains (wheat, rye, barley and contaminated oats) still have the protein gluten present. Sprouting begins some enzymatic breakdown of the protein and for those who are not gluten intolerant but merely have difficulty digesting certain grains, sprouting can make that process of digestion easier. For these people eating sprouted grains/bread may alleviate some of the symptoms they get from eating non-sprouted regular bread.

Again, in NO WAY does sprouting eliminate gluten from the grain and these sprouted grains are NOT SAFE for anyone with gluten intolerance – celiac nor gluten sensitivity.

For those people who are, or become allergic/intolerant to gluten, eating wheat as a daily staple will cause life to be unbearable and may result in death. So, what can you do? Well, I personally store many other grains, such as Milo (sorghum), rice, tapioca, teff, corn, amaranth, quinoa (both amaranth and quinoa are complete proteins), buckwheat (which is not related to wheat at all) – AND YOU SHOULD TOO.

I buy Milo at the feed store in 50 lb bags, just as I do wheat (I’m prepping for 30 people, and none of the rest of them have a wheat allergy that I’m aware of). Also consider using some of your non-gluten food grains as seed (although NEVER eat grain that is specifically seed grain – it sometimes has additives that might not be good for you).

Milo/grain sorghum, is an easy to grow grain, and both wet and drought resistant. You will get slightly better yields watering it occasionally, but for drought areas, this is a good crop to grow to sustain your family if a SHTF scenario goes on longer than a year or two (and at that point in time, probably 80% of the population will be dead, so you’ll have a bit more room to grow grain in). The leaves and stalks can be fed to your animals too – no waste.

Buckwheat is a both a grain (strong flavored) and green manure. If growing it for green manure, early spring or summer is fine, but it doesn’t set grain well in high heat so for grain production, it should be planted in the late summer/early fall so that the grain has time to mature – maybe 11-12 weeks before the first frost.


As the grain germinates, enzyme inhibitors are disabled, and water-soluble vitamins such as B complex and vitamin C are created, fats and carbohydrates are converted into simple sugars. When examining the nutrient density of sprouted wheat to un-sprouted wheat on a calorie-per-calorie basis, you’ll find that sprouted wheat contains four times the amount of niacin and nearly twice the amount of vitamin B6 and folate. Folate (folic acid) is VERY IMPORTANT for women of child-bearing age, as folic acid in the diet (even before pregnancy) prevents spina bifida. Moreover, sprouted grains generally contain more protein and fewer starches than non-sprouted grain. Another plus is that it is lower on the glycemic index making it more suitable for those suffering from blood sugar issues and diabetes. Sprouted grains, seeds and nuts also encourage the growth of good bacteria, known as pro-biotics, which help to keep the colon clean, and are high in protective antioxidants.

Flourless bread (and cakes!) are made with grains and legumes that are sprouted before grinding. The sprouted grains used most often for these flourless breads include wheat, millet, and spelt. Sprouted grains take on a very sweet taste because sprouting changes some starches in grains to sugars. Sprouting barley, then drying it increases its sweetness and makes malt (note to you makers of beer). The bread can also be made with no yeast (traditional), or you can add your sourdough starter if you like sourdough, no or low salt, and you can flavor it with raisin and cinnamon, grated carrot or small pieces of fruit to make the bread almost dessert-like. Sprouted breads are generally denser, allowing the fruits to evenly spread throughout instead of sinking to the bottom.


Note: This is a very dense bread – not even remotely related to Wonder Bread.

Soak 3 cups of whole wheat berries (not flour) in water for at least 8 hours. You can also sprout other grains, legumes and beans to make your bread. This will add variety, flavor and more complete nutrition but you’ll have to experiment with their sprouting times. Soak them in a large stainless steel or ceramic bowl overnight. In the morning, drain and discard the soak water. Rinse the soaked berries a couple of times again and drain well. Spread the berries out as best you can in the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and let it sit in a warm place for about 10 hours in warm conditions, 24 hours in winter/cooler conditions, maybe 48 hours in Canada and Alaska, I don’t know. Rinse with clean water a couple of times a day. When it is sprouted, you will see the tiny root poking out of the seed. As soon as it is about 1/16″ or 1/8″ long, it is ready. If you don’t catch it at the right time you will soon discover what living food is. Instead of sprouted wheat, you’ll have baby grass and it won’t make sweet, tasty bread.

As soon as it is ready you have to dry them or bake it right then.

If we still have electricity, place them in a strong food processor like the Cuisinart, and process well. Scrape the sides of the food processor if you have to, but blend the mixture well until it forms a sticky dough ball.

If no electricity, it might be easier to dry the grain in the sun (or solar oven), grind into flour then add just enough water to make a sticky dough.

Traditionally, Essene Flat Bread contained only sprouted wheat and nothing else. During the sprouting process, the starch is converted into simple sugars which make a sweet tasting dough. If you want to make sweeter bread, (especially the first time, or for kids) add 1/4 cup of raw honey and 1 teaspoon of salt. You can also add cinnamon and raisins, or other small pieces of fruit for variety. This kind of bread metabolizes slowly and helps you feel satisfied on less; it also improves digestion and elimination.

Squeeze and knead the grain for about 10 minutes, and then form into 2 small flattened round loaves with your hands. Sprinkle an insulated cookie sheet with a little bran or cornmeal, and put the loaves on it.

Traditionally, the loaves were baked in the sun and/or on hot rocks. You can bake it in a solar oven, wood fired brick oven (I’ll be posting an article on the building of one in a month or two, once we are done making mine) or if we still have electricity, a regular oven.

In a solar oven, bake for an hour or two, then flip the loaves and bake on the other side if you like.

In a regular oven, preheating the oven is not necessary. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes – 40 – 45 if the oven was not preheated. Then turn the oven down to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and bake for approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes more. Allow the breads to cool thoroughly on cooling racks for several hours (if you can wait that long).

This contest will end on August 7 2012 – prizes include:

First Place : 1 Year Subscription to AlertsUSA, 1 Radiation Safety Package consisting of the following;  (1) NukAlert Radiation Monitor and Alarm (5) Radsticker Peel and Stick Dosimeters (1) Box Thyro Safe Potassium Iodide. All courtesy of AlertsUSA. A $150 gift certificate for Federal Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner Ammo. And a British Berkefeld water fillter system courtesy of  LPC Survival. A total prize value of over $700.

Second Place : A six pack Entrée Assortment courtesy of Augason Farms, a Nukalert courtesy of Shepherd Survival Supply and a WonderMill Grain Mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads. A total prize value of over $550.

Third Place : A copy of each of my books “31 Days to Survival” and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of The Survivalist Blog dot Net and “Kelly McCann’s Inside the Crucible Set” courtesy of Paladin Press. A total prize value of over $200.

Contest ends on August 7 2012.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. This is sure a strange condition.
    My daughter has it and she has to buy SPECIAL foods that cost an arm and a leg.
    Good to know information

  2. JP in MT says:

    Thanks for the info.

    (computer acting strange this morning, as a result I was posting duplicate responses. Oops.)

  3. I forgot to put in the article, the Essene bread could be made with any grain, or mixture of grains, since it does not rise. Gluten is what holds yeast breads together. If you wanted to make a raised bread out of non-gluten grains, adding a tablespoon of xanthan gum will substitute for gluten to raise the bread.

    There is a great book on making bread with non-gluten grains. The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread, by Bette Hagman. This might be a great book to have for anyone, even without gluten problems. It is available for fairly cheap through Be sure to use M.D.’s link!

    • Judy, another one says:

      Be careful with the gums, A lot of folks with gluten problems also have problems with the added gums that are substituted for the gluten. The gums can cause similar digestive distress that gluten containing grains will.

  4. JP in MT says:

    It’s okay boss. I installed my new printer yesterday, then left the computer in Sleep Mode all night. Just assumed it was me.

  5. riverrider says:

    i’d like to know more about this gluten allergy. can a doctor diagnose this with a test? i have many of the symptoms described, regularly, but not so severe as to cause hives. i eat a lot of storebought bread…does pasta have the gluten? thanks for posting, this might just help someone like me out.

    • Michele says:

      Yes, a doctor can diagnose a gluten allergy. Yes, MOST pasta has gluten.

      You can buy non-gluten pasta and bread, but they are more expensive – or you or Mrs. RiverRider can make them at home.

      While it is not definitive, you can ‘test’ yourself by not eating anything with wheat or gluten for a week or two. If you do have a wheat or gluten allergy, you will be AMAZED at how much better you feel within a week of not eating any of the offending items.

      However, wheat is in just about everything. Anything that lists flour, unless it specifically states it’s another flour, is wheat. White flour is NOT made of WHITE (it makes me a bit crazy when someone tells me something doesn’t have any wheat – it has white flour).

    • Kelekona says:

      If you go in for a gluten allergy test, it will be negative if you’ve been abstaining from wheat. Basically it’s checking for a reaction.

      Honestly, elimination diets sound easier, especially before SHTF. Do your own research, but it basically involves not eating a thing until you are healed, and then seeing if you feel like crap when you eat it again.

      And stay away from GF substitution foods, they’re loaded with weird stuff to make them taste normal. Just learn to love what you can eat.

  6. sw't tater says:

    RR, any pasta that is gluten free is marked so, most of it is made out of wheat/has gluten. But it can now be bought in wally world that is gluten free, usually made from rice. but can be made from any of the grains from the list Michele has been gracious and knowledge-able to provide …even our small town one.. has a gluten free pasta/ shelf. Hope this helps.
    This is a timely article. Thanks for writing it. This is something I have been interested in some time, for I have the suspicion that most of my family has some degree of intolerance to wheat.I have noticed that the less regular bread I eat, the less muscular soreness I have. I had done some research but not put it in practice yet.
    With the current drought conditions in several states and those on tv publicly saying the cost of everything will go up(one item at a time).So far, we have had predictions on local tv of: coffee, corn and All meats.. (Predicted to last with very high prices for several years.)

    • I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (muscle, nerve and joint pain all over my body), chronic fatigue and irritable bowel many years ago. I was in so much pain and on so many pain meds 24/7, my doctor was suggesting I go off on permanent disability.

      Then someone suggested I try that “Eat Right for Your Blood Type” diet – just to see if it would help me be healthier. As long as I stuck to it 100%, my pain and symptoms were all gone (and I felt alive for the first time in about 10 years). If I went off it, my pain returned. I finally figured out it was the wheat – and it only takes a tiny amount to put me right back in bed on serious pain meds for a few days.

      Anyway, since you have muscle soreness, you might want to try staying 100% away from wheat for a week or so – just to see if it makes you feel better.

      I’ll pray for you, cause I know what constant pain is all about.

  7. Grandpappy says:

    Thanks for the helpful information, Michele. I am trying to get away from wheat products, just assuming there might be a problem.

    All the information making flour alternatives is very intriguing.

    GABA rice is another habit I am trying to start to replace bread. Presoaked brown rice is supposed to be a super nutritious food. Brown rice might be a problem for long term storage, but gives the most nutritional bang for the buck. So far I’ve seen claims that brown ice should be frozen, then vacuum packed for max. shelf life.

    Slightly off topic, I just enjoyed some brown rice in a garden wrap tortilla made with spinach flour. My wife the gardener has a bed of salad mix, romaine spinach and something else growing together which is growing rapidly. I would like to get a recipe for making tortillas using this salad mix and one of the flour substitutes Michele has suggested. Might be able to make green pasta also.

    Thanks again, Michele for this information. I’ve heard some of it before, but this puts it together in one package.

  8. I’ve been waiting for this, Michele. Thanks for a great article and opening this up. I’m sure there are many on the blog that are either sensitive/intolerent or think they may be or know someone who is. Good information that, as you said, could save someone’s life down the road when eating habits drastically change or allergies crop up out of nowhere.

    As I have posted before, my GS, Jake, has been on a gluten-free diet for 13 years because of his behavior. It took a few weeks before we saw the complete effect, but it was dramatic. If anyone has children with ADD, ADHD, autism, behavior or sleep problems, I always highly suggest that they try going gluten free for a month or two. Every parent has reported back to me that it made a big difference. There is a direct correlation between the gut and the brain.

    Many that are gluten intolerant are caseine intolerant too. Caseine is found in cows’ milk, so that includes cheese and butter too. Most docs recommend a gluten-free/caseine-free diet first and then slowly re-introduce one at a time. ): Studies have shown that if you do a GF/CF diet over a long period, many times you can slowly introduce one or the other or both back into your system and the intolerance/sensitivity/allergy has lessened and in some cases disappears altogether.

    It was very difficult in the early years to find substitutes for wheat, but not today, I’m happy to say! There are so many good products available from mainstream manufacturers that I can buy cake and cookie mixes and pancake and waffle mixes right at the grocery store! I’m in heaven and so is Jake (and my pocketbook)! There are now five Chex cereals that are gluten free! I use them for all kinds of things (e.g., crushed up for “breading” on chicken and fish, sweetened ones for ice cream topping or trail mix)

    Pasta is one thing GS eats a lot of and I’ve found the best brand is Tinkyada brown rice pastas. We all eat it, it’s so good. And yes, it is a little more expensive. It’s available in many grocery stores or through Amazon. The lasagna noodles have the best veggie lasagna recipe on the back of the box! Yum…I digress….

    I have also found a recipe to make GF pasta myself using tapioca flour and brown rice flour if I run out of Tinkyada after tshtf: Now, I haven’t tried this, but it sounds good.

    I also want to mention that gluten is in soy sauce, gravies, canned soups, just about anything that has any sort of a thickener in it (flour). Read all labels – it’s hiding in things you would never ever think of!

    You can purchase loaves of gluten free whole grain breads at the grocers also – Very expensive and most taste like cardboard and are as heavy as a brick and dry. Yuk! But I have found a mix you can buy in bulk from Amazon called Pamela’s Amazing Bread Mix. I buy it in 25 lb. bags. I then break it down to one-gallon mylar bags w/o2 absorbers, freeze for a few days and then store in my pantry. We’re using bags over a year old now and they are fine. Pamela also has a baking/pancake mix that is good. You use it and measure it out for your favorite recipes just the same as regular flour.

    Bob’s Redmill has some fantastic mixes – cookies, brownies, breads. They are quite expensive though. I watch for sales.

    Augason Farms has a good selection of gluten-free foods for long-term storage. I haven’t purchased any of it yet so I don’t know how good it is. I don’t care if it lasts 30 years if it tastes horrible!

    And I absolutely love Betty Crocker’s gluten-free chocolate cake mix. I buy it by the case from Amazon and Foodsaver the packets of dry mix and store in 5-gal buckets.

    If you stick with a meat/vegetable diet with rice or potatoes as your carb side dishes, you can eat hearty and healthy. Oatmeal is gluten free. Dairy products are gluten free. Just stay away from wheat and barley.

    I thicken gravies and soups with instant potatoes or corn starch. I have stored lots of white and brown rice, potato powder/flakes, oats, tapioca, instant yeast, powdered eggs and oil all in an attempt to make sure no matter what Jake can still eat bread and baked goods. There’s nothing like having to tell a kid they can’t eat what everyone else is eating!

    There is a wonderful book “You Won’t Believe it’s Gluten Free” by Roben Ryberg with recipes for all kinds of things. Most recipes use only one kind of flour rather than having to mix three different flours in one recipe and they are basic flours that you can grind or store for long term: rice, corn, potato, oat. There are even recipes hamburger/hotdog buns, bagels and little goldfish crackers (and those taste great!) You can even buy a little goldfish cookie/cracker cutter online so the kids really can eat just like everybody else!

    I’d sure love to hear from anyone else who is stocking up for a gluten-free diet to share recipes/plans/ideas for long-term stores. Thanks again, Michele, for introducing this great topic and sharing your knowlege with us.

  9. Nice article. I would like to mention two things. While ancient cultures did not add “yeast” as an additive to sprouted grains, it’s present. It’s on the grain, it’s in the mixing bowl. Yeast collects anywhere sugars are present. This can be observed if you let the sprouted mash sit awhile and the conditions are right for yeast development – the mash will rise.

    Secondly, most people (excluding celiacs) don’t have an issue with gluten, a protein. What they have an issue with is wheat starch more commonly referred to as flour. Think about this, if someone handed you a product made almost entirely from corn starch, you probably would not eat it because most people know corn starch is a sugar particularly when it enters our system. Flour is no different. This is why people who have wheat issues can tolerate sprouted grain breads. The starches have converted to simple sugars akin to a vegetable.

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