Survival Food: SPAM

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By Bear

What do you think of whenever you picture the perfect survival food? If you’ve been prepping for a while, you’ll come up with the following adjectives:

  • Calorie-dense
  • Long-lasting
  • Portable
  • Delicious enough to make a survival situation seem like Sunday morning

Indeed, Ramen and peanut butter are fine additions to your survival food stash. However, when it comes to flavor that will lighten up even power grid incidents, few foods can match SPAM.

SPAM has been around since 1937. During World War 2, it provided soldiers and civilians a ready source of sustenance, complete with fats, carbs, and protein. Today, this American creation receives the patronage and popularity of many households owing to its shelf life, taste, and economy,

SPAM survival food is an excellent addition to your MREs or ramen. Moreover, this particular form of processed meat lends itself to mixing and matching.

Find out more about SPAM survival food and how to best store, buy, and consume this American brand of processed meat.

How To Buy SPAM Emergency Food

SPAM was not created for commercial consumption. It made its way to human palates as early as 1937 to support the nutritional needs of soldiers. Surely enough, the next two years would present SPAM an opportunity to prove that it’s worth its salt.

This Hormel Foods brainchild has long been added to military provisions and rations. Today, SPAM is available commercially in its canned form. While you may not be fighting on the frontlines, this food will get you through the rough patches of a survival situation.

Before you embark on your SPAM survival prep, you’ll need tips on how to get it. Here are some helpful pieces of advice that can guide your SPAM purchase:

Inspect the Can

While the can is meant to protect the SPAM, you should still inspect it to ensure the food’s safety. Any dents can indicate one of two things.

First, a dent on the can indicates that it has been dropped. Indeed, an aluminum can will be able to withstand impact. Be that as it may, with enough drops, even a can will sustain damage. Micro holes can allow moisture to enter, causing the SPAM storage length to become much shorter.

In addition, any dents or deformations on a can of SPAM are signs of bacterial growth. The Center for Disease Control has identified several microorganisms that can grow in canned food. Of these microbes, Clostridium botulinum is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the world.

You can keep your SPAM emergency food safe as soon as you buy it from your local grocery store. Step one is checking the can’s condition. The next is checking the expiration date.

Inspect the SPAM Expiration Date

The United States Food and Drugs Administration has established that canned food stays consumable indefinitely. This is the case for most food encased in cans that do not have rust or dents. When it comes to food with moisture like processed meats and tuna, the “best before” date will be your guide.

To ensure that you have a long-term supply of SPAM emergency food, you will want a shelf life that lasts at least two years. When purchasing cans of SPAM, look for a best before date that’s two years from the day you’ll buy the can. 

Of course, you’ll still be able to consume SPAM past its best before date. Just don’t be surprised if you find that it has lost its flavor. Also, should you choose to consume SPAM past its best before date, ensure that the can is in good condition.

Pick Your Flavor

If you thought SPAM comes in one flavor, you’re in for some good news — it doesn’t. In fact, as of 2018, Hormel Foods has released more than 15 flavors of SPAM. At the time of writing, there are 22 different varieties of SPAM, including:

The list keeps growing. SPAM has also released heart-friendly varieties like:

In short, there’s something for everyone. Having your favorite flavors will make your SPAM survival prep so enjoyable that you’ll have high hopes if there’s a catastrophic event.

Whenever Possible, Buy in Bulk

Elsewhere, we’ve talked about the benefits of purchasing survival food like Ramen in bulk. This tip can be applied to SPAM as well, but you need to know where to look.

A can of SPAM costs less than $8, on average. You’ll stand to save more by purchasing either in eights or sixes. You can stock up on the following:

If you plan on adding to your food stash piece-meal, you can choose to buy a few packs and add whenever your budget allows. Even then, you’ll be saving more compared to if you bought SPAM by the can.

How to Maximize the SPAM Storage Length

By default, you can expect your can of SPAM to last you indefinitely, provided that you keep the can in good condition. This brings us conveniently to the topic of storage.

Follow these simple tips to get the most out of your SPAM past the expiration date:

Store the Cans Away from Direct Sunlight

Sunlight has a way of wearing down any type of metal. As well, the sun can heat even the contents of an aluminum can. For this reason, unless you’re consuming your SPAM any time soon, it’s best to store it away from direct sunlight.

Right away, the basement is an ideal spot to store your SPAM. If you’ve constructed a windowless shed or a bunker, these places are excellent storage areas as well.

Keep the Cans of SPAM Away from the Ground

There are two reasons for this. First, keeping cans away from the floor ensures the safety of your food in case of flooding. Any type of metal that comes into contact with water can corrode over time. Even aluminum cans corrode if inundated over time.

Another reason for keeping your SPAM above the ground is that it minimizes the chances of damage. If your SPAM stash is on the ground, it can get in the way. As a result, the cans can fall, being damaged as time passes.

Choose SPAM Packs or Cans Based on the Expiration Date

This ties in with what was said earlier about how to choose SPAM.

 How long does SPAM last? When you’re shopping for SPAM, ensure that the best before or expiration date is two years away from the date of your purchase. An expiration date this far into the future will allow you to store SPAM for a much longer period.

Three Easy Survivalist Dish Ideas with SPAM

SPAM is as long-lasting as it is delicious and versatile. As a type of processed meat, SPAM lends itself to a multitude of combinations.

Without a doubt, there’s nothing wrong with eating it fresh off the can. Nonetheless, here are some ways you can get creative. Some of these combinations will even allow you to incorporate the rest of your survival food.

SPAM Sandwiches

What do bread and a couple of slices of SPAM have in common? Both go with nearly everything. Hence, why wouldn’t you consider making a SPAM sandwich? A SPAM sandwich can be a delicious go-to snack following a “good” Saturday night or an event of Hurricane Katrina proportions. 

Because of the flavors SPAM can come in, all you need is the flavor of your choice and a few slices of bread. This Hot pa-SPAM-mi Sandwich puts your sandwich-crafting skills to the test if you’re feeling creative.

Ramen SPAM

Do you know what else can be eaten with everything including SPAM? If you guessed Ramen, you’re spot on. With your Ramen, slice some SPAM, and just drop it in. The best thing about the combination is that the Ramen’s seasoning takes the guesswork out of creating flavor.

The only thing to consider is that both SPAM and Ramen are high in sodium. If anyone will be consuming Ramen together with SPAM, they have to be low in sodium. You can either drop the Ramen seasoning, or you can use low-sodium SPAM.

SPAM Musubi

Who would’ve guessed that a Hawaiian favorite can be a Michelin-worthy survival dish? If this is the first time you’ve heard of SPAM musubi, think of it as being like sushi. However, instead of fish, the meat is SPAM.

For SPAM musubi, you’ll need the following:

  • Rice
  • Nori (seaweed wrap)

Making SPAM musubi is straightforward. The most time-consuming part of the process is cooking the rice. However, if you have a way to boil water (which you probably do if you can cook ramen), the rice cooking will take only a few minutes. For the best results, stock some sticky rice.

Once you have your rice ready, take a slice of SPAM, and wrap it along with the rice using the nori. Feeling creative? Add some of your ramen seasoning or experiment with different cuts.

Wrapping Up

SPAM has had a long history of sustaining soldiers on the frontlines. With its resilience, affordability, and versatility, SPAM is now a well-loved part of the standard American diet. For all its characteristics as survival food, it’s an excellent addition to your survival food stash.

To supply yourself well with this American staple, always remember to:

  • Check the can and SPAM expiration date
  • Buy in bulk
  • Buy a flavor that’s to your liking

If you’re looking to stretch the SPAM storage length, store it safely away from the ground and direct sunlight. Do this, and you’ll enjoy SPAM with everything — including all of the other survival foods in your emergency pantry.

In closing, stock up when you can with an all-American miracle in a can.

About the author
The most amazing writer we have, Bear is the man!