Best Rice for Prepping: Types, Why Stock, Common Questions

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By Bryan Lynch •  8 min read

Did you know that rice is one of the most consumed foods around the world? 

Rice can be used as a main dish, side dish, or mixed directly into a lot of different recipes. Some cultures eat rice daily and sometimes it is even served with every meal. 

Like flour, beans, and other staple foods, rice has made its way into the prepper’s pantry as an item to stockpile for emergencies. 

But why is rice a popular food to have? And what is the best type of rice for preppers to have?

I’m going to break these two items down, starting with the benefits of storing rice. 

Why Rice Should be Stored

Personal preferences aside, rice is a great food item to store and have for several reasons. Here are just a few reasons why this simple food should be in every pantry.

Types of Rice to Stockpile

While there are many kinds of rice I will be sticking with white rice and brown rice because they are the most widely used, and therefore the most popular and readily available.

White Rice

White rice is the most popular kind to eat. This is probably because it is the cheapest and has a long shelf life. 

White rice is also referred to as “polished rice” because the germ and bran have been removed from it, giving it a bright white appearance. 

This process strips away some of the nutrition from the grain but gives it much longer shelf life. When stored under proper conditions, white rice can last for decades. 

Brown Rice 

Brown rice derives its name from the grain’s color. The husk and bran are left on the grain which gives it a brown appearance. 

Additional nutrients are found in this outer brown layer which is why brown rice is often a better food option to consume.

However, brown rice does not come without a downside. 

Because there is more oil in this type of rice, the potential for brown rice to become rancid is higher. This gives brown rice a shelf life of roughly six months. 

Best Rice for Survival: Top 4 picks 

Bulk White Rice 

Buying white rice in bulk is going to provide the best cost to servings ratio. It will also enable you to store it in several different ways. 

Most grocery stores sell rice in 1lb, 5lb, and sometimes 10lb bags. The higher end of this range will allow a person to easily build up a rice stockpile rather quickly without having to go to a specialty store or order online. 



Bulk Brown Rice 

Much of what was said above about white rice can be said for brown rice. It can be found at most food stores, is affordable and local stores often offer bags in different sizes.

However, the biggest difference with brown rice is that it is more nutritious and creates a heavier thicker flour when used in that manner. 



Boxed Rice 

Bags of plain rice tend to take the spotlight over this choice, but I think boxed rice products should not be overlooked. Here are a few reasons why. 



Ready Wise Mango Sticky Rice 

This is a freeze-dried rice option that comes in a resealable pouch and provides two- and one-half servings per pouch.

Preparation is incredibly easy as it only requires the addition of roughly one cup of boiling water and a fifteen-minute “cook” time. 

As the name suggests, the grains of rice stick together, and the mango flavor gives it a hint of sweetness. 



Augason Farms Long Grain White Rice 

If you are interested in companies that sell survival foods, a bucket of long-grain white rice from Augason Farms would be an affordable choice.  

One of their buckets of white rice weighs in at approximately forty-two pounds. After doing the math at the current price, that comes out to a price of roughly $1.80 per pound. 

While this still costly as far as rice goes, you get much more bang for the buck when you buy in bulk over individual pouches. 



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Open Questions 

Q: How should rice be stored?

A: Moisture and air are going to be the two main enemies of storing rice long term.

Ideally, the rice should be stored in food-grade containers that are both airtight and waterproof. 

The addition of oxygen absorbers may also help to prolong shelf life. Once the rice is sealed in its container, it is best to store it in a cool, dry, location out of direct sunlight. 

Q: How many pounds of rice should be stored?

A: A rule of thumb is to store roughly 100 pounds of rice per person per year. By storing this amount, it will allow a person to eat at least one serving of cooked rice every single day. 

Q: How long can rice be stored?

A: Rice sitting on the shelf without any special precautions can last up to one year. 

White rice has the longest shelf life and can remain good for decades under proper storage conditions. 

Q: How can I tell if my rice has gone bad?

A: Because rice has a neutral smell, if a rancid odor or any other type of smell that turns your nose up is detected, the rice has probably gone bad.

Additionally, anything that visually does not look right about the rice is also a good indication that it has gone bad. This can include discoloration, spots on the grain, or any type of growth.

It is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to putting anything into your body. If you have doubts about the safety of a food item, it is better to throw it away than to risk becoming ill. 

Wrap Up

I usually suggest storing a mixture of products when it comes to food prepping. This is primarily because it gives a prepper more options when it comes time to use eat and helps to prevent menu fatigue. 

However, bulk white rice is going to be one of the best options around because of its low cost but more importantly, its long shelf life.  

Ultimately, the best type of rice for prepping is going to be what best suits you, your tastes, your budget, and your storage capabilities.

Thanks for reading and stay prepared!

What type of rice do you like to buy for long term storage? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know! 

Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land, and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually, he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. In 2019, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. His second book, Paracord Projects For Camping and Outdoor Survival, is scheduled to be released on March 2, 2021.