storing dry food safleygreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I don't know if this is the right place to ask this, but here goes. Would it be safe and efective to place a couple of tbls of silica gel in a small brown bag, and place it in a plastic bag with dry food, such as cracker,dry mlik or potatoes, tape that up tight, and place it in another bag, and store it in a dry vermin free place? We are not wealthy people and can not afford to buy the prepackaged survival food packs. I realize I need to rotate stock and watch expiration dates. Thank you Rose
-- Rose M. King (email@example.com), January 21, 1999
-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@anonymous.com), January 21, 1999.
Yes that method will work just fine. You will need to place the item in a container that won't allow any more moisture to get to what your storing. New paint cans or 5-gal buckets work great for air-tight storage. Even if you get used 5-gal buckets, you just clean them up with soapy water and a little bleach. If the lid is missing the sealing ring, I suppose you could just put a bead of silicon sealent in there where the ring goes and snap on the lid. This doesn't have to be expensive, we just have to become resourceful.
Best of luck.
-- j (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 21, 1999.
Don't give up on buckets. Go to your local supermarket/deli and ask them to give you their buckets, once no longer needed. Clean thoroughly and you're there.
Contico paint buckets (Walmart) are good because (surprise) they are FDA approved for food. Only about $2.75 at our Walmart. Weird. Otherwise, you have to watch out for outgassing with other non FDA-approved plastics (especially milk cartons and the like but also paint buckets).
Otherwise, your method sounds fine to me (can't hurt anyway, is the point). Dry and COOL/COLD is the idea. Hey, folks have been storing food for decades/centuries before silica gel and the like. Take heart and don't worry.
Other experts out there, help me!
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 21, 1999.
Your silica gel should be in something that can't accidentally come open, like a teabag-sized cloth bag. You could sew bunches of them easily and inexpensively from cheap muslin; they don't have to be jam packed full of the crystals to do what you want.
You might want to consider large gallon glass jars (try local delis) and make shelves to hold them on their sides; they're less likely to fall off the shelf if laid on their sides. Coffee cans would do in a pinch, but you would have to save the metal lid to replace under the plastic one to provide a bit of barrier against rodents chewing through the plastic (mice can be pretty persistent critters...).
A vaccum food sealer is a really good investment; see if you can go in with someone else to split the cost. That would give you a better seal than you could manage manually. You might also want to consider using dessicants, especially with things like dried milk and crackers; things like that pick up damp and smells easily.
-- Karen Cook (email@example.com), January 21, 1999.
Put some of the silca crystals in the middle of a paper towel. Fold up and tape with small piece of duct tape on the back. Works great.
-- RD. ->H (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 21, 1999.