Candy may not be the most vital necessity but comfort food may feel like it during hard times. I add candy to my food storage a couple times a year, usually after the holidays or the summer (smores season) when Hershey bars go on sale. These goodies are kept in a 5-gallon bucket with a screw-on lid. The bucket is labeled SWEETS. I keep miscellaneous items in the Sweets Bucket such as bags of brown sugar, xylitol, chocolate chips, almond bark, and candy.
If you’re like me and considered adding chocolate rations to your food storage but haven’t yet, don’t wait until its too late. Have you noticed that chocolate prices have steadily increased? In 2016, many newspapers covered the global chocolate shortage. Its estimated that the shortages will start in 2020.
Chocolate has had a long history as a preparedness item. As early as the 1400s, cacao beans were a highly valued bartering commodity. Chocolate currency meant if you had cacao beans you could trade them for just about anything you’d need like fresh meat or even a canoe. The Aztecs charged 1 cacao bean for 1 avocado. The lucrative history of chocolate has inspired many to stock up. A friend of a friend keeps a 5-gallon bucket full of M&Ms as backup currency just in case we ever get back to the bartering system. If Jack can trade a cow for a hand full of beans (magic) just imagine what you could trade for a hand full of cacao beans (aka: food of the Gods). The beans in the picture below came from The Mayan Cacao Company in Cozumel. I went on an interactive tour in early 2016. This is where I first learned about the struggling cacao trees, inflated prices, and scarcity.
Heat Resistant Chocolate Rations
Another chocolate preparedness option, popular among survivalists, are Chocolate Rations. In 1937 the United States started making chocolate ration bars for soldiers during wartime. Chocolate ration bars are still used by the military today and are also used in emergency kits like the ones you’d find on life-rafts. These bars are loaded with vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and protein. What makes them special is their ability to not melt. They are designed to handle temperatures up to 120-degrees making them ideal for emergency kits, especially in vehicles. They start to go soft in high temperatures but keep their form whereas most chocolate protein bars start to melt around 86 degrees.
Heat resistant chocolate bars have had many names over the years: D Ration, D Bar, Chocolate Ration, Tropical Bar, Desert Bar, Hooah Bar, and Military Chocolate. They now are more of a protein bar than a chocolate bar. One brand you can find on Amazon or at Costco is called Soldier Fuel Energy Bars.
Why Would You Want Chocolate In Your Emergency Stash?
- Stress Reliever – Chocolate contains phenylethylamine which releases a chemical in your body to make you feel good. One of the purposes behind Ration Bars was a morale boost for the soldiers.
- Energy – Chocolate also contains iron, carbohydrates, and sugar all of which provide our bodies with energy.
- Gift – During trying times people are still going to have birthdays, anniversaries, and other special life events. Chocolate is a great gift for most occasions.
- Improve Taste – Many cultures around the world eat bugs for protein. In times of food scarcity, more people may consider this option. Dipping bugs in chocolate is going to taste much better than eating them plain. Hot cocoa is another great example of improving taste. Take stale water that’s been sitting in your basement for 3 years and that doesn’t taste great. Add sugar, and chocolate turning plain boring water into yummy hot chocolate.
Storing Candy Long-Term
I’ve been considering storing candy for longer than six months. Hard candies seem to stay intact indefinitely. Chocolate candy bars will start to turn white after a year or so making them less appealing. So I started researching the best storing practices for candy. Below are a couple of articles with great tips on how to store candy properly.
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