Saving badly saved food? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

You open the bucket and yuks!!! You're supposed to *eat* that stuff???

Even with oxygen absorbers, freezing, dessicant, refreezing, diatamateous earth, heating and other methods of food preservation, it is still likely there will be some spoilage. When this shows up, it most likely will be when you least want to see it. I have no idea of all the types of problems that may develop but do have some ideas I don't like. The beans are all furry or there are crawlies in the wheat?

What then? Are there any suggestions on resurrecting or salvaging bad food? Can anyone explain what *might* go wrong and, depending on the type of damage or infestation that may occur, what will help undo the damage. Spreading in the sun? Rinsing in a solution? What might be safely ignored, even reluctently, and/or what should be absolutely avoided?


-- Floyd Baker (, March 12, 1999


I personally would be very hesitant to eat out of any container that showed spoilage. Fungal toxins can be pretty nasty. If stuff was stored properly it shouldn't have those problems.

I've stored stuff in plastic buckets with o2 absorbers, but I'm also counting on being able to buy bagged grain in Nov/Dec. I'll eat my canned stuff first. If I have to go to grain, then we'll be in The New World. I'll eat the "fresh" bagged grain first with the long term stored stuff as a lost option.

-- Puddintame (, March 12, 1999.


I say just spread everything in the sun. Then boil it all in bleach. That ought to kill anything.

And I would avoid anything that says BOO!!!!!

-- Peachie (, March 12, 1999.

Make that "last" option.

-- Puddintame (, March 12, 1999.

Plant the beans. The bugs are just more protien.

-- Scotty (, March 12, 1999.

During Y2K when somebody comes to your door and begs for food, give them the bad weavil food. If you give them the good food, make them work for it! "Will work for food!"

-- Freddie the Freeloader (, March 12, 1999.

First or all, if you store the beans & rice properly they should not spoil. You have to figure out how to kill the eggs that come in with the product. Some people do it by heat, some by food quality diatomacious earth, and some store in nitrogen. We heated our grain and beans to about 140 (a little less for rice) and then packed them into wine jugs and filled that with nitrogen gas (rent a tank). The jug lids had extra wax in them, and then we put tape around the seal. That is LONG TERM STORAGE...and I don't expect to find anything living in there.

However, should you get a "hatch" it will probably be a little moth with attendant cocoon and worm in the grains...especially wheat and corn. Sift and pick over, and go ahead and cook it. Don't tell anyone else and nobody will notice. It is only protein anyhow. In beans it will probably be weevils...a sort of beetle. In both cases, you could bring the product to a boil and the critters will rise to the surface. Rinse away and pick over. Typically, these guys reach a capacity population in the bag or sack, and then they all die.

On the other hand, if you see mildew or mold...either white, grey or black, don't eat it. DO NOT EAT. and don't feed it to any animal you need to keep.

But, as I said, that shouldn't happen if you have stored properly.

BTW...canned goods.....the length of storage date is for the CAN...not the contents. If the CAN is stored in a cool dry place, maybe in a plastic box with a light coating of Pam, the can will be fine, and so will the contents...for a long long time.

Enjoy your y2k preparation. Go slow, and take time to smell the neighbors. You are only as secure as they are.

Mary P.

-- Mary P. (, March 12, 1999.

YUP!!! IF the grain, or the beans or the contents of teh can has long hair, burn it and DO NOT get DOWNWIND. (BTW "long" is a subjective term). If it crawls or used to crawl (shell carapaces in teh rice or wheat) boil or sift and if you don't tell, they won't know. Those weevils are NOT poisonous, as a lot of POW's will attest.


-- Chuck, a night driver (, March 12, 1999.

In the Diary of Anne Frank (pg 105) she writes of "Bean Rubbing" which she says is making moldy beans decent again. Sorry to say no other details were offered. Doesn't sound like fun though.

-- Deborah (, March 13, 1999.

I'm afraid that composting or tossing moldy food is the only way to deal with it. Chuck is right about staying down wind. I got a terrible case of pneumonia from inhaling particulates of moldy hay. If you compost moldy food, water it down thoroughly before mixing it into the pile. Bugs are another story. Disgusting, but they can be eaten or picked out in a desperate situation. Check your food every month to monitor it. I live in a cool climate and I have had food (beans, pasta, cans) on my shelves for many moons throughout the years without any preparation on my part and they are always fine. But there is always that first time. I have seperated my stored food into gallon bags in the buckets. If one package goes bad the others are seperated and are likely not contaminated. Not putting all my grains in one bucket....

-- Ramp Rat (Aviation_R_us@noname.nocity), March 13, 1999.

Earlier this year I fixed an old box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. I cooked it and mixed it up. It didn't taste the same. I wondered why. Then I saw some dead bugs. I didn't finish eating it.

I suppose when I am truly starving I'll eat whatever doesn't move, but maybe adding strong spices and condiments can cover the off- flavor.

I think if dry foods have been stored properly in containers, whatever might hatch later will die quickly. The longer the food remains stored, the more those critters can be "seasoned".

Just my two shakes of salt. :)

-- dinosaur (, March 14, 1999.

I thought the correct amount of oxygen absorbers would kill anything living inside the airtight bucket? Wrong?

-- FM (, March 14, 1999.


All food bugs need oxygen to live. Deplete all oxygen within the container, and keep it airtight. Now it's also a tomb!

-- dinosaur (, March 14, 1999.

Thanks for the all the yuks about eating the bugs. They *are* just another food source so I'm sure, if the situation called for it, they would be mixed in. I won't tell my wife though.

Re oxygen absorbers, I didn't want to use them for fear of killing the sproutable seed. I am trying to double freeze all dry stuffs but keeping track of everything is very confusing.

My biggest fear at this point is mold. That's going to happen if anything is packed that contains too much moisture.

But...; today in Petsmart, I found a small gauge that measures humidity in the air. Now I'm sure we knew they existed but I just hadn't thought of them before. This one was made to be stuck inside a cage to provide a constant monitor; dessert conditions for lizzards and the like.

It immediately became clear that the same principal could be applied to y2k. Under the cellar stairs for instance, there is a cool area which could be lined with plastic film and enclosed against the normal humidity in the house. This area could then be dried out using a home dehumidifier. Wheat, etc could be set out in this area and the dehumidifier run until the gauge had enough time to settle below 10 percent. Then the wheat gets sealed in the buckets which of course are also in the same enclosure. Adding dessicant would be overkill at that point.

That's a good one, eh? I'm going to use it.


-- Floyd Baker (, March 14, 1999.

A question which demonstrates I was not a biology major: Do MOLDS also need oxygen to live? (i.e., my earlier thread about oxygen absorbers and entombing food) Thanks!

-- FM (, March 15, 1999.

Mary P. said: "On the other hand, if you see mildew or mold...either white, grey or black, don't eat it. DO NOT EAT. and don't feed it to any animal you need to keep."

This was part of our cuisine:

"People from Aurich came to trade items for whatever food they could get, although there was not even enough for the farmers.

One of the real delicacies we enjoyed was black, whole grain rye bread. The kind that people throw at each other. It tasted so sweet that it did not even require a spread. A local baker baked it every morning. It was so dense that it was usually sold in half loaves, a kilo at a time. To this day I yearn for this bread. My mouth waters.

One time Ma recovered half a loaf from a secret place. I recognized its shape, a gray block of furry mold. Ma sliced it, moistened it and garnished it with sugar. Then forced us eat it.

The whip.

The pain in the gut."

-- Not Again! (, March 15, 1999.

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