Nobody wants to experience tragic events caused by natural calamities, but as much as we want to prevent it, these events are simply uncontrollable, and we don’t have much choice but to be prepared. It’s only natural to be curious about which are the best survival foods. So what about tasty foods like chocolate? I mean who wants to eat nothing but bland food in an apocalypse?
Chocolate is an excellent survival food to include in a survival kit or stockpile since it packs a high amount of calories in a small portable package. As a decent source of protein, carbohydrates, and fat with some vitamins and minerals, chocolate can also offer a morale boost in times of strife.
If you want more info on how and why you should consider including chocolate as a survival food please read on.
What Is the Best Chocolate for Long-Term Storage?
Three common variants are available to choose from, and they are Dark/plain, Milk, and White chocolates. Among these three, dark and plain is the one that lasts longer. Dark chocolate only requires cocoa mass, cocoa butter, and sugar to produce, adding dairy content makes the other two variants. So the absence of dairy content made its longevity.
That said, Dark chocolate is by far the best for long-term storage.
Dark chocolate is actually surprisingly healthy when taken as part of a balanced diet. Not only is it an excellent comfort food that can help with your stress level, but it can also help repair and cleanse your body similarly to other antioxidants like many fruits and vegetables.
Don’t Keep a ton of Dark Chocolate, Do This Instead
To be realistic, chocolate should be treated more of a luxury food to boost morale over the short term in a survival situation. I recommend only keeping enough for this purpose, maybe just packing a couple of packs of your favorite kind based on how big your family is.
Honestly, for the long-term, I’d stock up on bulk cocoa powder like this kind found on Amazon. The stuff keeps a really long time so you can just make your own chocolate down the road.
Chocolate Shelf Life
Dark chocolate on average has two years best before date, consider if it is unopened, or if it is – which is rare since it is irresistible once opened – the rule of thumb is one year for as long as it is stored properly. Even so, when stored at about 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, dark chocolate has been known to keep for about 5 years or so.
On the other hand, White and Milk chocolates have a shorter seal of best before on average of 12 months or one year, mainly because of it its dairy content.
How to Store Chocolate for the Long Term
The chocolate makers usually wrapped their finish product tightly, making its original wrapper the best to protect it.
A temperature below 20-degree Celsius or 68-Fahrenheit is required to preserve its form. Therefore, keeping it away from sources of heat such as radiators, lamps, furnaces, and the sunlight is a must if you are looking forward to preserving it for a long time.
The majority of chocolate makers agree for constant storage temperatures between 15 and 18-degree Celsius or 59 and 64.4. -degree Fahrenheit, also, to prevent oxidation, and to keep it away from undesired odors, it is best to keep it on its original wrapped inside an air-tight container.
When the environment is not consistently cool and dry, and to further extend its edibility, refrigeration is suggested, however, placing it inside the fridge will make it prone to condensation and odor absorption. Also, the change of its optimal condition can be at risk.
To mitigate this consequence, wrap it with another wrapper and place it inside a plastic container before putting it inside the fridge. This step will make its texture, flavor, and even color preserve.
How Much Chocolate Should I Store for a Year?
Let’s say we are in a survival mode during a calamity and the only thing left for us to eat is chocolate. How much do we need to survive?
The amount of chocolate you may need to prepare will depend on how long you want your supply to last during unwanted events, and we will try to break it down base on the calories our body needs each day.
As for calorie, the average we can get from 100 grams of a chocolate bar is about 436 to 577 basing from the leading brand of chocolates.
An adult man requires about 2400 to 2800 calories to maintain or prevent starvation, and about 2000 to 2200 for an adult woman each day.
That said, on average, we need to consume four to five bars of 100 grams of chocolate each day to supply what our body needs. That is 150 bars a month and 1800 bars a year per individual adult.
How Long Can a Person Survive on Chocolate Alone?
As we mentioned earlier, chocolate contains these five nutrients carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. These five nutrients are essential to our survival, but chocolate alone is not enough to supply other relevant aspects of our body, which may result in complications in the long run.
Chocolate contains a small amount of protein, 2.6 to 13g on average per 100 grams of a chocolate bar, based on the content of known chocolate brands.
We regularly get protein by consuming animal products, it is so important as it represents 15 percent of our body, it helps repair muscle mass, and it also plays a significant role to maintain the quality of our immune system. These are just some example of how important protein is, taking less every day will eventually lead to a protein deficiency, which will suddenly deteriorate your body.
There is no official claim on how long we can live with just chocolate alone, but what we are certain about is we might hang on for a little while since our body is pretty resilient. Study shows that our body can endure starvation for about 30 to 40 days as long as we are properly hydrated, so what more if we have something that has nutrients with it like chocolates.
Other Uses of Chocolate
Here are a few other uses for chocolate that you might not have thought of:
- For Trading – Imagine it’s the apocalypse and you are trading with another group of people. Imagine the bargaining power you would have if they knew you had a few bars of chocolate to trade them. Just make sure you don’t let them know you have crates of the stuff or you may be in for a hostile takeover.
- Good For Digestive Health – Most people don’t realize it, but cocoa is actually a really good remedy for diarrhea. If your group ever has problems with cholera or some other digestive ailment, try prescribing chocolate. It might save your lives!
- Helps Sore Joints – Chocolate is actually a halfway decent anti-inflammatory “medicine”. Just keep in mind that the darker the chocolate, the better it is for you.
When calamities or disaster strikes, in the heat of the moment, you are going to look for something you can carry easily and something that can give you instant energy and comfort along the way. Chocolate, especially the dark varieties, fit the bill perfectly.
While chocolate may not be the healthiest option during the crisis, without a doubt, it is one the right thing that we should include in our survival kit, especially when we get trapped in a situation where the relief is nowhere to be available anytime soon. Chocolate is definitely something that will make you and your family full for quite some time.
If you decide to store cocoa, here are a few storage-related Amazon products that you may find helpful:
If you want to save some money and store it yourself, you will need a few things.
- 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.
- Storage Labels
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
- 5 lb Bag of Cocoa– Check the shelf life on the bag. You may want to use my above “overkill” storage methods to extend the shelf life.
Can dark chocolate go bad? Dark chocolate can go bad. If you find the product smells off or has a strange taste it is best to err on the side of caution and not consume it.
Can you freeze dark chocolate? Dark chocolate can be frozen. In fact, it can extend the shelf life by 25% to 50% longer than if stored unfrozen.