Whether peanuts are a good survival food is a common question that I get. As we all know, part of emergency preparedness is ensuring a stable source of calories in a survival situation. Storing cheap nutritious food with a long shelf life should be a top priority when prepping for an emergency situation.
So, are peanuts a good survival food? Peanuts are a solid choice as a survival food. They are cheap and readily available while being both simple to store and nutritionally sound.
Now that we know that peanuts are a worthwhile addition to an emergency food larder let’s look into some details on why it is a good choice.
What are the Best Peanuts for Long-Term Storage?
With proper preparation for storage, peanuts can last a reasonably long time.
- Roasted peanuts that are vacuum-sealed can be stored for over a year. In fact, vacuum sealers, like this one found on Amazon, are useful for extending the shelf life of many different foods.
- Peanuts regardless of their shelled or unshelled status store 3 months or less.
- Boiled peanuts go rancid very quickly, 2-3 days in a pantry and a week in the refrigerator.
Refrigeration adds 3-4 months to the shelf life and freezing adds 6-9 months to the shelf life. In order to maximize the life of stored peanuts ensure that you practice good food hygiene and try to limit exposure to oxygen and bacteria.
Roasted peanuts are best for an emergency food stockpile.
How to Store Peanuts for Long-Term Storage
When building up your emergency food stockpile you need to assess the feasibility of preparing and storing your food for long-term consumption. Taking a look at the specific processing methods gives us some insight into how we want to handle peanuts for long-term storage.
Any type of wet-handled peanuts that exposes the oils of the peanut to water or oxygen is a big negative since it severely reduces the shelf life of the peanut.
Since we are looking for the peanuts to last a long time we need to slow down the rate that the oils in the peanut go rancid. There are a few ways to reduce the moisture and oxygen content in the peanut.
- Roasting peanuts removes a lot of excess moisture that will eventually lead to rancidity.
- Vacuum seal the peanuts to prevent excessive exposure to oxygen which also leads to rancidity. You will need mylar bags and a mylar-rated vacuum sealer to do this properly.
- Add oxygen absorption packets to the container with the peanuts. This absorbs the gases stored within the peanuts as they are released and extends the shelf life.
The best long-term storage method for peanuts is to roast them and vacuum seal them with oxygen absorption packets.
How Many Peanuts Should I Store for a Year?
How much you store for a year should depend entirely on how much you like your peanuts.
The amount you should add to your emergency stockpile actually depends on many factors and what types of other food you are storing within the overall stockpile. Since even perfectly stored peanuts don’t typically last for more than a year keep your stockpile to a few pounds at most so you don’t need to rotate your stock out too frequently.
How Long Can a Person Survive on Peanuts Alone?
Peanuts are a nutrient-dense food that is packed with fats, proteins, and carbs in a decent balance. Alongside the calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin E, and niacin peanuts are a great source of energy and a good survival food that can keep you going for a long time
Since peanuts are a relatively healthy food and provide plenty of nutrients in an easy to access manner they should be a great temporary measure to get calories over the short term.
Peanuts are not a complete protein or a complete food and need to be a part of a balanced diet that includes nutrition found in vegetables, fruits, and meats to maintain optimum health.
How to Tell if Peanuts Have Gone Bad
Peanuts can be safely stored for reasonably long periods of time but they do go rancid because of the abundance of oils in them.
Look for the following clues to determine if your peanuts have gone rancid:
- Bad Odor: Using your nose is a great rule of thumb for determining rancidity. If it smells bad don’t eat it! Many people describe the smell of rancid nuts as similar to paint.
- Mold: If you see mold throw it away, it isn’t worth the risk.
Peanuts are a good comfort food that can provide much-needed calories in a survival situation Theys are a convenient food with high caloric and nutritional density that can be found in any supermarket.
In fact, picking up some inexpensive peanuts and then vacuum-sealing them for storage is a relatively painless addition to your emergency food supplies.
If you want to save some money and potentially lengthen the shelf life, store it yourself. You will need a few things to do this.
- 5-Gallon Gasket Sealed Plastic Buckets– The perfect size for my long-term storage needs.
- 5-Gallon Mylar Storage Bags– Fill these bags, seal, then put in the bucket for ultra long-term storage.
- Mylar Heat Sealer– Bag sealing option #1.
- Large Vacuum Sealed Bags– For a vacuum-sealed alternative.
- Portion-Sized Mylar Bags (Ziplockable)
- Vacuum Sealer– Bag sealing option #2.
- Airtight Storage Containers– For short or mid-term use.
- Oxygen Absorbers– These help keep the moisture content down.
- Storage Labels– Logging the date and contents is important.
Check out my article on Storing Rice and Beans for the Long Term, which covers a sound methodology that can apply to almost any dry food.
Ready-Made for Storage
- 10 lb of Roasted Peanuts– I recommend breaking this into portions and individually wrapping in portion-sized mylar bags listed above. Then, vacuum seal and store them in a gasket sealed plastic bucket.
Do peanuts make you lose weight? Peanuts contain plenty of fat and protein and have been shown to be a good way to reduce hunger pangs. Peanuts could easily help you lose weight due to hunger-reduction but if you eat excessive calories from peanuts it could result in net weight gain.
Why are peanuts cheaper than other nuts? Peanuts are actually legumes not nuts like many believe. Peanuts as legumes are easier to grow and require much less time investment before bearing fruit than other nuts such as almonds which take years to reach production age. Yield per acre is also more than double that of nut trees.