Author Topic: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?  (Read 7288 times)

trailhead

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The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« on: October 20, 2008, 08:18:50 AM »
After a year of half-hearted preparations, I began buckling down last month, BUT I'm having the hardest time finding reliable info on long term food storage.  I know the LDS claims up to 30 year shelf life on certain items.  And I found several mentions about Walton Feed - but while their site seems to have all the supplies, it is woefully void of info about those supplies. 

Do items last longer in #10's, plastic buckets, mylar bags, etc?

I can apparently buy powdered butter - but how long does it last if stored properly?

My apologies if I missed a topic or thread - but any help or links to detailed info would be greatly appreciated.

Offline firetoad

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2008, 08:44:45 AM »
Many here (and most much better than I will) could write volumes on what you asked.  So, I will just add a couple of quick comments. 

For me, at this stage with my family and time constraints due to work, I am prepping primarily with canned items (#10's, etc.).  It isn't the most inexpensive route, but whatever you can do to get to your peronal level of comfort.  As far as longevity vs. mylar and buckets, I will let others much more experienced with that tackle that subject.

Regarding the canned butter and other items like canned powdered milk and eggs, you should be able to get 3-5 years out of them from what I have read if unopened.  Rice, beans and the like should be able to get to 15 years without issue. 

Check out Honeyville's web store.  The item descriptions are vey helpful!

http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/

I know that this isn't much, but it is at least a start.

trailhead

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2008, 09:02:32 AM »

Thanks for the info and link.  Every little bit helps.  And I'm learning more everyday.

Offline ElyasWolff

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2008, 09:37:02 AM »
#10 cans and Mylar pouches will last about the same length of time (with o2 absorbers) The can or pouch facilitate a environment, where you have vacuum and a barrier to light and air.
The mylar can be cheaper because it is easy to do at home. With the #10 cans you are limited to buying them filled. Or if you can make friends with a member of the LDS church, they have home storage centers around the country. Those centers have the supplies and equipment to fill and seal #10 cans.

Storing just food is buckets is just to make it rodent proof and easy to move. Those buckets are not a oxygen barrier. However storing food in mylar and buckets is the way I like store food.

I am going to update this with more pix soon:
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php/topic,426.0.html

Offline javaguy

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2008, 09:51:33 AM »
I have been storing foods since before y2k - and learned by asking same questions, reading, trial-and-error, etc.  I have arrived at a very basic and simple procedure that works fairly well for most items.  your procedures may differ depending on your needs ( quantity, available storage space, number of people you are preparing for, etc)

1. Acquire some good storage pails.  I collaborated with three other families and was able to purchase a quantity of white 6 gallon pales with gasketed lids that snap on nice and tight.  We were able to purchase a complete pallet of these from me local company and get a reasonable discount.  we had some laughs when we went down to pick it all up - the guy asked me what business I was in and I told him we decided to stock up on some food - he just scratched his head and said that 'I am more than happy to sell you the pales but I do not think you will need them'  ( speaking of Y2K) - well it turns out he was right about that, but it looks like they could come in handy now nearly 10 years later.

one thing about plastic pails we quickly discovered is that on certain foods, they will impart a distinct plastic smell.  Certain soft grains like soft white wheat really absorbed the smell - also powdered milk, sugar, etc.  the food was still usable but had a slight smell to it even after it was used in baking.  It bothered me so I got rid of those items and decided to try mylar bags.  The hard red winter wheat was just fine as were most of the beans.

2. Get mylar bags - you will not regret getting a supply of mylar bags.  They will keep your food dry and odor-free :-).

3. Optional - Pack it all in nitrogen.  With the oxygen out of the way, the food lasts a lot longer.  I was able to obtain a large cylinder of bottled nitrogen - I got set up with a regulator had a short hose, and whenever I pack food into the pail, I will put in a mylar bag, and as I am placing the food ( usually pouring it out of a bag) into the bucket, I will place the hose into the bottom of the bucket and let  nitrogen flow into the pail.  It is heavier than air and will fill it like water. Of course it's invisible so it's hard to be extremely precise.   Anyway, once I fill the material, I will run some additional nitrogen in to make sure it is topped off and then seal it with the lid.  There are ways to test to make sure you have done a good job with the nitrogen packing - a simple one is to light a match and slowly lower it into your bucket - it should extinguish when it hits the nitrogen.  I am not too concerned about being 100% about it though - I usually toss in an oxygen absorber or two - and since I rotate to the food it just isn't a problem.  I still have food from 10 years ago that was nitrogen packed and is perfectly fine.

4. Setup a storage system that will allow you to easily get to the food.  It seems that the easier it is to actually get to a specific bucket of food - the more likely it is that it will be used.  If I have 25 pounds of split peas, but it is stacked behind 200 pounds of wheat - somehow it just never gets used.:-)  also make sure that it is able to be reached by others in the family - and well labeled.  Be sure to put enough information on the label so you know when it was packed and what's inside.

Anyway, 5-10 years is not a problem For the dry grains - they would probably last 100 years and still have food value..  certain foods however are simply more challenging.  Brown rice for instance will go rancid fairly quickly - freezing it will help - and the nitrogen will help as well. 

We also bought an amount of canned goods at the time - after five years, there were certain cans I was afraid to open - I am talking about canned vegetables, soup, etc that we bought at the grocery store.  Some was fine, but after that long we were wondering whether the food had any real value to it after sitting in the cans along. 
(I did not do a good job of rotating some of that stock)..

anyway, it is a practice that takes a getting used to - but once you have the supplies and a routine to use your materials - it is not a big deal.

Good luck!  Glad to hear others are getting into this as well








Offline Aunt Bee

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2008, 12:05:19 PM »
Here's a site that may help you.  Alan knows his stuff and has been doing this for much longer than most of us and he is well repected in the prepper community.

http://athagan.members.atlantic.net/Index.html

I have another site I will try to find that gives information on canned foods.








trailhead

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2008, 08:46:48 AM »
Thanks again for the suggestions!  I'm stumbling around the net everyday and finding it overwhelming at times.  Your suggestions have been very helpful.

A side note - it just occurred to me how ironic it is to be using technology to prepare for the possible absence of technology.

Offline archer

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2008, 10:19:40 AM »
Then we have to prepare for when technology is gone. Make sure you have important documents/manuals printed out and stored safely.

claytonpiano

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2008, 12:36:50 PM »
A.T. Hagan's web site is one of the best and that has already been mentioned in this thread. I have been storing food for years. I do it in 3 ways.

1. mylar bags, buckets and Oxygen absorber packets- The reasons - easy to move, easy to label, easy to store, easy to find and use. This is the best way for grains and dried beans. In them I store, wheat berries, rice, noodles, sugar, sucanet with honey, dried beans, powdered milk. You can order them already filled or fill your own. I get my buckets free from Wal-Mart or any store that ices cakes. Not all of them will give them to you, but most will in my area. I have ordered various types of mylar bags. Big ones that you seal with an iron. Big ones that have a zip loc and smaller sizes that anyone can pick up and handle. I also invested in gamma seal lids for my storage so that I can access things without DH having to open them for me. The mylar with zippers are more, but last forever. The one's you iron keep getting smaller and smaller because you have to cut them off each time you open them. Then you have to find your iron and re-seal each time. That is a royal pain!

2. Canning jars - Buy produce on sale or raise your own and can it in a canner. No, it is not hard, just time consuming, but after doing it for 30 years, it is very cheap with recycled jars and growing my own produce. I buy jars at thrift stores and garage sales to help save money. I even use lids more than once and have for years. There are lots of folks who will tell you that you can't do that but that is not true. I rarely have one fail unless it is bent or otherwise dented. I can meat and butter as well. Canning your own butter is certainly cheaper than buying it in powder form. It will keep several days after opening. You just must can it in half pints to be certain that you have killed all the bacteria.

3. Dehydrated - Again in mylar bags or jars sealed with a Seal a Meal attachment. We dehydrate onions, vegetables of all sorts and fruits. Apples are our favorite dipped in sugar and cinnamon. They make for great snacks. I buy the apples in season for $6 a bushel and use a manual slicer pealer. It takes a couple of days to do the apples (I buy several bushels from the local farmers), but I have food for a year or more. It is quite a good deal.

One caution....do not store in Zip Loc bags for long term storage. They break down and get tiny pin holes in them. The mylar lasts forever unless you rip it or drop it.

Offline lonestar

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2008, 01:51:05 PM »
here is another site to check out:

http://grandpappy.info/hshelff.htm

 :)

Offline A Pawn

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2008, 05:41:17 PM »
here is another site to check out:

http://grandpappy.info/hshelff.htm

 :)

+1 to you lonestar. That grandpappy site is really great. Thanks!  8)

Offline Heavy G

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2009, 08:21:54 AM »
(This thread has been selected as a “best of” thread by Heavy G.  You can search for “best of” threads by using that term in the search mode.  Everyone on the forum is encouraged to reply to a post they think is “best of” worthy so we can all search for them.  For more information on the “best of” thing, see http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3423.0 )

Mizer

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2009, 07:23:29 PM »
Brown rice for instance will go rancid fairly quickly - freezing it will help - and the nitrogen will help as well.

anyone know how long brown rice should last if stored with oxygen absorbers and nitrogen at ~70 degrees?

thanks

Offline Call

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Food Storage?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2009, 08:16:59 AM »
anyone know how long brown rice should last if stored with oxygen absorbers and nitrogen at ~70 degrees?

thanks

Brown rice is supposed to go bad much faster...something about the oil in the whole grain, or such. People here mention that it only has a life of 2-3 years.