Long Term Food Storage Factors:

Long Term Food Storage Factors: By Dave Jones Everyone who is remotely interested in the topic of preparedness understands the importance of having an emergency supply of food and water stashed away in order to provide for their loved ones during times of crisis (when the normal supply system in interrupted).  The reasons for needing […]

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Long Term Food Storage Factors:

By Dave Jones

Everyone who is remotely interested in topic of preparedness understands importance of having an emergency supply of food and water stashed away in order to provide for ir loved ones during times of crisis (when normal supply system in interrupted).  reasons for needing long term food storage have been demonstrated time and time again in recent years (extreme wear, floods, earthquakes, tornados, terrorist attacks, loss of employment, civil unrest, etc).  Even Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that every American maintains a two week emergency supply of food and water (if you are relying on government to provide for your family in times of crisis you may want to at least comply with ir instructions).

For short term emergency supply (two to four weeks) this is usually accomplished with canned goods (which usually have a 9-15 month shelf life). It is best to purchase foods that you normally eat so that you can rotate m into your daily food supply as expiration near. For long term food storage solutions re are several companies that produce high quality specially packaged foods made with long shelf lives (Survival Warehouse has a ton of high quality options) . If you are on a budget you can package your own food in a manner that will significantly extend shelf life. For purpose of this article we will be discussing how to package commonly called a “superpail”.  A superpail is a term used in prepping for a properly packaged bucket of food.

Let’s start by identifying four major factors that shorten shelf life of food: 1. Light 2. Oxygen 3. Moisture 4. Temperature.

We use a bucket because it provides a good barrier against moisture and keeps rodents from nibbling on your food while it is sitting in basement for several years. Buckets are also easily stack most common sizes are 4 gallon, 5 gallon and 6 gallon. You will want a food grade bucket (marked with a triangle and a number 2) and a lid with a rubber gasket.  You can find se all over place or easily order one online (I ordered ite used in demonstration from beprepared.com). What food grade buckets ARE NOT good for is barriers against light and oxygen.  A mistake a lot of people make is just to pour food into bucket and think it is good to go.

A simple test to demonstrate this is to put a flashlight (turned on) inside bucket and turn off room lights ( flash light is easily seen shining through plastic).  This demonstrates that light still shines through bucket and will speed up deterioration of your food. You can prevent this by lining bucket with a metalized bag.

A mylar bag (metallized bag or liner) is basically a bag that looks like it is made out of heavy duty tin foil. y can be purchased at several places on line for a couple bucks each and come in multiple sizes. Line bucket with mylar bag to protect food from light and oxygen ( bag will be sealed later).  large bags will be taller than bucket initially (that is ok).

Next pour your product into mylar bag.  I used Wal-Mart brand rice for this demonstration (my 5 gallon bucket held about 35 pounds of rice).  Make sure your product is filled to a point lower than top of bucket. Before you seal bag you need to remove oxygen from it (since oxygen is anor factor that deteriorates food). You do this by tossing in one or two oxygen absorbers before sealing it up.

Oxygen absorbers are just an inexpensive pouch that you can purchase online and comes sealed in an airtight bag. Once you open oxygen absorbers y simply starts sucking up oxygen around it.  Oxygen absorbers come in different sizes. How many you need depends on how large container is and how much free air is in product (rice packs tighter than macaroni so re is less free air to suck up). ones I used in demonstration are small 500cc’s oxygen absorbers. Since a 5 gallon bucket of rice has around 750cc’s of oxygen I used two oxygen absorbers (more oxygen absorbers than required is fine).

Once you open your oxygen absorbers y start working immediately so you don’t have long (30-60 min and y are filled with oxygen). Toss m into mylar mag on top of product.

Next you will seal mylar bag using a heat source (hold cloths iron).  A common way to accomplish this is to place bucket on a chair next to an ironing board and simply iron mylar bag shut (remove as much excess air out of bag first). Anor common way is to take a yard and roll top portion of mylar bag down and iron flat portion that is on yard . heat from iron will bond bag to itself and seal product (and oxygen absorbers) inside.

Next I like to remove product’s cooking instructions from its package, write date on it and place it inside bucket with mylar bag. Next put lid on bucket and secure it with a rubber mallet.  Mark outside of bucket with contents and date (prefer in a couple locations).

Last but not least, you need to store superpail in a cool dry place.  Fluctuating or warm temperatures can decrease shelf life of your stored food more than any or factor. Store buckets on a shelf as opposed to directly on floor. If you store ite that need to be hydrated or cooked (such as rice) be sure to also think about storing water and having an alternate heat source (propane grill, camp fire, etc).

When packaged and stored properly a superpail of white rice will last 13-20 years. It can be comforting to have 35 pounds of rice (for a total cost of under $30) that will serve in addition to basic 2-4 week emergency canned food supply. Obviously you can and should prepare and add additional ite to your long term food storage, but this is an easy and inexpensive way to get started!  Preparing one superpail per month will have your long term food storage needs taken care of before you know it!  During Hurricane Katrina re were an awful lot of people desperate to find a meal for ir children, knowing this simple and inexpensive of long term food storage could have really helped a lot of people out!

Be sure to check out this great article written by JJ called Being Prepared 101.

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Great instruction on food storage in 5 gallon plastic buckets. I especially appreciated flashlight test. I have been storing food for over 20 years and have never heard that. It makes a lot of sense. Thanks for great tips. If you don’t have access to mylar bags, do flashlight test before investing in a lot of buckets.

Good stuff. A good addition for water storage are Water Bricks. Check m out at waterbrick.com.
T.

Thanks Tony. Water Bricks are pretty cool. I like that y are stack and come in a use size. A little bit spendy but probably worth money in a pinch!

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Long Term Food Storage Factors:


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How To Really REALIZE DREAMS COME TRUE?

Happiness is for those who plan well and pursue. A profound among us have been proven those who have true dream to live for likely REALIZED IT. It is just simply the person working toward the DREAM days and night until accomplishment. There is a phrase of efficiency a head of you. Steps and obstacles at first seem tremendous. However, just with some times those difficult steps and challenges are so easy performance for you. There are also plenty of tools including VISUALIZATIONS and helps are around you.

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