Into Shelley’s Belly: 13 Survival Foods You Need in Case There’s Ever an Apocalypse

Chia Seeds, Quinoa, Almonds, Rice (photography by Matthew Shelley)
Chia Seeds, Quinoa, Almonds, Rice (photography by Matthew Shelley)

With the weather getting wackier than a two-handed pirate, it’s high time we discuss the necessity of preparing your food supply in case the big one hits your town. Not to mention that the plausibility of zombie attacks grows every year with instances such as the bath salt addicts, bioengineered viruses displaced by a sloppy-mouthed intern, or just a run-of-the-mill airborne virus from the Amazon. Dustin Hoffman won’t care about you when that actually happens. We must also examine that rare and illustrious solar flare that could knock out the power grid, or the total destruction of the dollar leading to violent upheaval. Whatever the case may be, you could find yourself alone to defend and provide for your family with nothing more than a matchbook, some scissors, and a bunch of refrigerated perishables that won’t make it more than 72 hours before spoiling. We tossed and turned to create a list of the best rations to store, or just keep on hand in case disaster strikes. Oh, and I must also mention that a lot of these items are great nutritious staples to keep on hand for your day-to-day breathing and consuming. I care about you deep in my loins, and here is how I show it.

Jump for it.

1.      Chia seeds

Chia seeds store with excellent resilience. They are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which I know you are well aware. These buzz terms are tossed around by the likes of Dr. Oz and Kip Fantastic during the morning sweat exercise hour on satellite radio. They contain three times the iron of spinach, five times the calcium of milk, potassium, and more protein than any other seed or grain. They even have more antioxidant power than blueberries. Take that in. I’ll wait. They offer a complete source of protein with all 9 amino acids, they’re affordable, and they store for 2-4 years without refrigeration. And these bad mo-fos will keep you full like no other source of anything, as they absorb ten times their weight in water. Chia seeds are the most nutritionally dense powerhouse of storable, healthy food, and I recommend you start using them for everything you do, even bathing. They also contain no allergens. If Gwyneth Paltrow made cloud-top love to Ernest Hemingway and birthed a Hercules of a child – well, that kid would be chia seeds.

2.      Rice

Rice also has a long shelf life. Though it makes an incredibly hard-to-pick-up item to throw at that all-too-pretty bride and groom, it’s also one sensational survival food that stores for a ridiculous amount of time. It’s a high-density, calorie-filled supplement to sustain you through the worst days, and Chris McCandless survived on ten pounds per month at his best. Final note: white rice stores better, but brown rice has more nutrition. Boom.


3.      Honey

This sexy little goo is one of the most nutritionally diverse items under the sun. After the zombies, or rabid, feral dog packs shred your flesh in a battle over that last ripe squirrel carcass, you’ll need honey to make it all better. Not only does honey never go bad (yes, never), it can also provide antiseptic properties for cuts, burns, and pretty much heal all the depression that plummets your soul into a self-crushing hatred after you just killed 17 raiding guerillas from the commando community that decided to make camp around the corner from your house after the flood. It can also add some seriously delicious flavor to those bland, boring roots and dirt bugs you’re going to be eating when Whole Foods is no longer available to supply you with bacon and year-round blueberries. Honey owns you. Lastly, honey contains all the propolis and pollen that makes it a complete form of incredible food that those intelligent, buzzing beauties made just for you. Get some before they all collapse.

Coconut Oil, Beans, Honey
Coconut Oil, Beans, Honey

4.      Nuts

These tight, hard, and nutrition-packed calorie busters also have a great shelf life. They have lots of protein and they’re pretty damn delicious. Easy to carry and mix with those amazing chia seeds, nuts pack a major punch. When it comes to storage, I like almonds and Brazil nuts the best.


5.      Beans

Beans not only make for best flatulent expression and comedic gold, they pack sufficient fiber and protein. They’re a downright scrumptious food source. Canned beans have a wicked long shelf life, and dried beans stored properly can last even longer. With the dried beans, you better know how to conjure up a fire and have some clean water to soak them in overnight, because those little buggers are harder than adamantium bullets.


6.      Coffee

When you find yourself destitute and without a hot tub to make love in, coffee can be the boost of morale your now survival-strained family needs to make it through another day of hiding under corrugated panels and avoiding bloodthirsty, walking dead. Most of all, coffee will be an important trade item when the society you once knew as safe and available becomes riddled with meat-thirsty vagabonds, and the only thing between you and the new group of cannibals down the road is the right trade item to secure your life.


7.      Salt/pepper

Without monosodium glutamate, we’re all going to be starving for something to add life to those starchy, empty calories that we shovel down when disaster strikes. After you finish off your third leather belt, you might consider mixing up the flavor with a little salt and pepper. Good thing you picked up an extra seven pounds of the stuff. Don’t forget: Morale and attitude are key to survival. Little things can make a big difference. When you’re eating potatoes, beans, and plain a&* s**t, a little salt goes a long way. Food can provide tremendous comfort in stressful situations


Bark chocolate
Bark chocolate

8.      Chocolate

Yep, chocolate. Not only is it a hot trade commodity, it’s also a way to keep those crying children happy while you piece back together the parts of your life that once made comfort a common place convenience. Chocolate is rich in its mood boosting prowess and paramount in its taste and nerve-easing ability. Plus, it makes you sexy and happy, which will make finding a mate to repopulate the planet with much easier and enjoyable.


9.      Tea

It’s got a calming smell, great taste, and caffeine. Keep some green or black on hand, and if you really want to take it up a level, grab a pound of mate (bitta South American tea). Not only does Yerba mate have some excellent caffeine, it can be steeped forever and only get better. I don’t know anyone or anything – drenched in hot water – that can improve over time, except my cousin Charlie. But that’s just when it comes to raves and climbing rocks.


10.  Coconut oil

This is the ultimate wonder food that works for everything. Eat it raw or cook with it.  It’s incredibly nutritious, rich in healthy fats, and can also be used as medicine. Use it for sunburn recovery after plowing through miles of zombie chasing. Make deodorant with it or make toothpaste. Swish it in your mouth for 20 minutes to clean teeth and gums, but don’t swallow it since it gets toxic when its starts mixing with your saliva. It’s antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, anti-government, anti-johnsnow, and pretty much anti-everything that sucks. It’s also great as a hair pomade, moisturizer, and nipple cream, which you’ll need when going to the Anti-Consumerism Mixer at the local hippie-hut.


11.  Rolled oats/steel cut oats

They contain lots of fiber, protein and all that nutritional awesomeness. They’re tasty, familiar, and great for moving things along in your intestinal world.


12.  Quinoa

This is similar to rice, but even more delicious. It’s much extra delicate and also goes with everything. Quinoa has more fiber and protein than brown rice, and just like chia seeds, it has all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.


13.  Water

Don’t make me slap you, or maybe you should slap me for being so obvious. You need a gallon a day per person.


Taste and versatility, storability, nutritional density, oh my. Keep this in mind when the storm rolls in or the pharmacy is giving away free vaccinations that “cure” everything and the sun has changed color. With the right knife and some proper preparation, you should make it at least a couple days longer than your neighbors. I bless thee now with all the hopes and aspirations of the human spirit. Go now and survive. But, before you do that, live life fully and enjoy all the wonderful restaurants that Dallas has to offer.