No announcement yet.

The Ultimate Food Storage FAQ

This is a sticky topic.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Ultimate Food Storage FAQ

    Preparation for any emergency goes beyone stuffing a few cans of Tuna Fish or boxes of dried milk under the bed!

    When you put food by there are important basics that will prevent that food from being spoiled and unusable when you need it. the simple techniques save money, and ensure your resource isnt wasted or unreliable.

    This is the index of this excellent and definite work on the subject. It is mirrored on several other sites.

    0. Acknowledgements and Foreword

    I. Shelf Lives: Time, Temperature, Moisture, Oxygen and Light

    II. The Techniques of Food Storage
    This section covers a number of foods that are particularly suited to being included in storage programs along with the various forms they can be found in and specific tips for a number of different food categories.
    A. Grains and Legumes
    1. Grain Varieties
    2. Legume Varieties
    3. Types of Availability of Grains and Legumes
    - Moisture Content
    - Cleaning It Yourself
    4. Storing Grains and Legumes (see above file)

    B. Dry Milks
    Got milk? In the refrigerator, right? Milk is a great source of essential amino acids and vital calcium, but in its fresh liquid form it is a highly perishable commodity. Fortunately, milk can be found in several forms that lend themselves to food storage. The various types of dry milks are the best suited to the task.
    1. Types of Dry Milks
    - Buying Dry Milk Products (see above file)
    2. Storing Dry Milks
    - Shelf Life of Dry Milks (see above file)

    C. Canned Goods
    1. Canned Milk Types
    - Shelf Life of Canned Milks (see above file)
    2. Corrosion Prevention of Canned Goods

    D. Sugar, Honey and Other Sweeteners
    1. Types of Granulated Sugars
    - Storing Granulated Sugars (see above file)
    2. Types of Honey
    - Buying Honey (see above file)
    - Storing Honey (see above file)
    Raw Honey and Botulism (see above file)
    - Honey Outgassing (see above file)
    3. Types of Cane Syrups
    - Storing Cane Syrups (see above file)
    4. Corn Syrup
    5. Maple Syrup (see above file)

    E. Fats and Oils
    1. Buying & Storing Oils and Fats (see above file)
    2. Extending Shelf Life By Adding Anti-Oxidants (see above file)

    F. Cooking Staples
    1. Baking Powder
    2. Baking Soda (see above file)
    3. Herbs & Spices (see above file)
    4. Salt
    5. Vinegar
    6. Yeast (see above file)

    G. Infant Formula
    1. Alternatives to Breastfeeding (see above file)
    2. Selecting and Feeding an Infant Formula (see above file)
    3. Storing Infant Formulas and Baby Foods (see above file)

    III. Spoilage

    A. Insect Infestations
    1. Pests of Stored Grains, Legumes and Dry Foodstuffs (see above file)
    2. Control of Insect Infestations (see above file)

    B. Molds In Foods
    1. Minimizing Molds (see above file)
    2. Molds in Canned Goods
    3. Molds in Grains and Legumes (see above file)
    - Preventing Molds In Grains and Legumes (see above file)

    C. Bacterial Spoilage
    1. Botulism (see above file)

    D. Enzymatic Action In Food Spoilage

    IV. Specific Equipment Questions

    A. Storage Containers
    1. What is Food Grade Packaging?
    - Where Can I Find Food Grade Containers? (see above file)
    2. Plastic Packaging
    - How Do I Get the Odor Out of Pickle Buckets? (see above file)
    3. Metal Cans
    - Pooling Resources: The Church of Jesus Christ of
    Latter-day Saints
    4. Glass Jars
    5. Mylar Bags
    - How Do I Use Mylar Bags? (see above file)
    - Vacuum Sealing Mylar Bags (see above file)
    - Gas Flushing Mylar Bags (see above file)
    6. Reusing Or Recycling Packaging

    B. CO2 and Nitrogen
    1. Dry Ice
    - Dry Ice Suppliers (see above file)
    2. Compressed Nitrogen
    - Types of Availability
    - Obtaining the Gas and Necessary Equipment (see above file)
    - Putting It All Together
    - Putting It Into Use (see above file)

    C. Vacuum Sealing
    1. Vacuum Sealing Considerations (see above file)

    D. Freeze Treating

    E. Oxygen Absorbers
    1. What Is An Oxygen Absorber? (see above file)
    2. How Are Oxygen Absorbers Used? (see above file)

    F. Desiccants
    1. Why moisture is important
    2. What Is A Desiccant?
    3. Types of Desiccants
    - Silica Gel (see above file)
    - Clay Desiccant (see above file)
    - Calcium Oxide (see above file)
    - Calcium Sulfate (see above file)
    - Other Desiccants (see above file)
    4. How Do I Use Desiccants? (see above file)
    5. Where Do I Find Desiccants? (see above file)

    G. Diatomaceous Earth
    1. What Is Diatomaceous Earth? (see above file)
    2. Where Can I Find DE and What Type Should I Buy? (see above file)
    3. How Do I Use DE In Food Storage? (see above file)

    V. Shelf Lives
    "How long will this keep?" This is the defining question of food storage. Everything you will read in this work evolves from this central question. The length of time a particular food will remain palatable and nutritious in storage determines its usefulness for our purposes. The fact of the matter is that there are few hard and clear answers. As a result it is not uncommon to find two or more sources who purport to know, but that give conflicting data. The following will hopefully cut through some of the fog.
    A. "Best Used By", "Use By" and Other Food Product Dates

    B. Closed Dating Codes Used By Some Food Manufacturers

    C. Shelf Lives of Some Common Storage Foods

    VI. Resources

    A. Books (see above file)

    B. Pamphlets (see above file)

    C. Electronic-online
    1. Information Sources (see above file)
    2. Software Sources (see above file)

    D. Organizations
    1. The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    E. Food and Equipment Suppliers
    1 Mail Ordering Storage Foods What You Should Know
    2 Addresses of Suppliers.
    - Storage Food Manufacturers
    - Food Preservation Dealers & Suppliers
    - Food Storage & Preservation Equipment Manufacturers
    - Diatomaceous Earth Manufacturers & Dealers
    - Storage Food Retailers

    - Alan T. Hagan's Sig File
    Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
    Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
    Of facts....They lie unquestioned, uncombined.
    Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
    Is daily spun, but there exists no loom
    To weave it into fabric..
    Edna St. Vincent Millay "Huntsman, What Quarry"
    All my posts to this forum are for fair use and educational purposes only.

  • #2
    Re: The Ultimate Food Storage FAQ

    One of the most important parts of Hagan's file is on 'Shelf Life.' I only buy canned goods with 'open ended coding', i.e. a 'Best By' or 'Use By' date--not some bizarre L505677 code which somewhere in there will tell you what month, day and year, can was FILLED, not by what date you should use it.

    See Section V.

    I think alot of manufacturers of canned goods will suffer during this if they don't resort to open-ended coding.


    • #3
      Re: The Ultimate Food Storage FAQ

      I write the date on ALL my packaged foods when I bring them home - prep or not. This way I know for sure which ones I need to use first.

      "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation


      • #4
        Re: The Ultimate Food Storage FAQ

        Thats a good idea, Denise, I should remember that. So far I've been dating my storage stuff, and since I rotate there are dates on the stuff I use- but this sounds more effective.

        A good habit to get into!
        Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
        Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
        Of facts....They lie unquestioned, uncombined.
        Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
        Is daily spun, but there exists no loom
        To weave it into fabric..
        Edna St. Vincent Millay "Huntsman, What Quarry"
        All my posts to this forum are for fair use and educational purposes only.


        • #5
          How to store flours to keep weevils out.

          5 gallon plastic container suitable for food storage with tight-sealing lid

          I put 5 - 4 or 5 lb sacks (or whatever fits) in the container, 3 standing up on the bottom, 2 laid down on top. Smaller is better for consumption unless you have a huge group.

          I try to get a variety in one tub: masa harina for tortillas, cornmeal, white flour and whole wheat. The white flour has a longer shelf life than the whole wheat and cornmeal, but the variety is nice.

          Easiest thing to do to kill any larvae or bugs already in the flour or grain is to freeze it for 12 hr. Right now our chest freezer is empty, so we stick the tub in the freezer overnight.

          Other ways include
          • sticking a piece of dry ice in the top then sealing. The dry ice creates an atmosphere that bugs can't live in. I had friends who lived in the Trinity Alps Wilderness do this with steel 55 gal drums of cached food back in the '60s. They'd haul food in on mules and store it.
          • putting a bunch of dry bay laurel leaves in the top and sealing. We have lots of bay laurel trees.
          • putting some peppermint or some kind of mint essential oil or syrup on a rag in the top and sealing. You can get a bottle of this at Cash and Carry. (Rats hate this smell too.)
          • I've also heard of putting spearmint gum or peppermint candies in the top of smaller containers.
          • diatomacious earth, but this only works for whole grains. The fine powder clogs up the weevil's breathing apparatus. You also have to wash the wheatberries or other grains before cooking.