Help needed on food and flour storagegreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I like to know if I can store several different things in the same 5 gallon pail, such as spagetti, flour, bean? Do I keep them in separate plastic bags, the kind you buy from Lucky, Safeway? For flour, can I store it in its original paper package or would I have to open the bag? Please help. We are stuck in our preparation today. And is there a good website on how to food storage? Thank you.
-- James (email@example.com), October 25, 1999
ask and look here: Prep Forum
http:// www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a.tcl?topic= TimeBomb%202000%20%28Y2000%29%20Preparation%20Forum
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 25, 1999.
We've been buying our flour in 50# bags. We've had good success so far with simple preparation: the 50# bag is put inside of a dark green (hefty type) garbage bag and sealed tightly with duct tape. This bag is then put inside of a clear plastic container along with a couple of bay leaves to keep the bugs out. I'm not saying that this is the absolutely right way to do this...just that we've had good luck so far!
-- dan (email@example.com), October 25, 1999.
I think that plastic bags holding different but similar things (eg. pasta and flour) should be fine inside the same bucket. I would think you can include beans as well, as long as they're bug-free and sealed up. For what it's worth, I just opened up a 20 lb. bag of flour that's benn sitting 'as is' inside a rubbermaid tub for a year. No problems w/ it.
-- silver ion (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 25, 1999.
Be carefule using garbage bags for food storage. Most of them have been treated with an insecticide. Most say on the box, Not For Food Storage !!!!!
-- BH (email@example.com), October 25, 1999.
Answers to your questions depend on how far into the future you are storing.
For maximum storage life for grains & flour, you may wish to consider evacuating the oxygen from storage buckets.
You can go to your local welding supply store, get a bottle of nitrogen gas, a regulator and a hose. Put the hose outlet at the bottom of the bucket and bleed in the N2 gas. This will displace most of the oxygen. To get the rest out, I've been using chemical oxygen absorbers. These are sold at a variety of sources, including Western Surplus & Survival in California and Nitro-pak in Utah, two firms I warmly endorse from personal experience as a purchaser.
As for bags, you'll want food grade plastic bags. Uline Plastic, Gary Owens' Sportsmans Guide and Nitro-pak all sell these. For best results you'll want aluminum-coated mylar bags. The metal backing blocks gas exchange through the microscopic pores in the plastic.
I use a hot iron and an ironing board to seal the plastic bags promptly after tossing in the oxygen absorbers.
Now some people use CO2 for oxygen displacement, either from a bottle, or by using dry ice, which is solidified CO2. Bear in mind that if you are going to use oxygen absorbers to eliminate the last residue of oxygen, you need special CO2-compatible oxygen absorbers.
Unground grain can be kept alot longer than flour. Although if you adopt these exotic means of excluding oxygen, you can keep flour for quite awhile.
I have read that the pest repellant qualities of bay leaves are exaggerated, but I couldn't say myself whether these criticisms are valid.
To destroy insect eggs or larvae in stored grains, I would suggest using diatomaceous earth (sold by Western Surplus & Survival and Conquest International). This must be food grade diatomaceous earth! Don't use the stuff they sell at swimming pool supply stores; it's not intended for, or fit for, internal consumption.
Use about half a cup to five gallons of grain.
As an alternative to diatomaceous earth, you might want to consider freezing your buckets for a couple of days. I put some of my buckets out in sub-zero temperatures last winter.
Wheat, legumes, and other dried foods, preserved in this fashion, will remain wholesome and nutritious for at least a decade.
Yes, you can put multiple small bags of different foods in a bucket.
Webpages dealing with food storage.
This is discussed in an excellent site based out of Ireland called "The Widening Gyre." (I think the name is a quotation from Blake.)
Also, the "Frugal Squirrel" survivalist webpage.
Also, Al Durtschi, who moderates the food storage BBS on Gary North's website, has a series of articles on this topic at the Walton Foods webpage.
-- Not Whistlin' Dixie (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 25, 1999.
Prudent Food Storage by Al Hagen for a good website.
-- pantry (email@example.com), October 25, 1999.
ah ha, left out the space between the a and the href
Prudent Food Storage
-- pantry (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 25, 1999.
-- , (,@,.,), October 25, 1999.
Forget trying to store flour... it's worthless anyway. Stor the grain and grind as needed. Don't forget the diatomaceous earth as mentioned above.
-- Patrick (email@example.com), October 26, 1999.
If you are going to store non hybrid seeds,I was told to use a mylar bag to store them in and not to put an oxy absorber in it.You can cut the mylar bag into smaller bags for this purpose.
-- Maggie (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 26, 1999.
I was told by someone knowledgeable,that if you use diamotaceous earth to preserve grains, it can mess up your grinder. It is too abrasive, she said.
-- Jo Ann (MaJo@Michiana.com), October 26, 1999.
freeze everything dry that you can to eliminate live bugs. even pet food. i was unpleasantly surprised to find that dry pet food can easily harbor crawly things that can in turn infest your other foods. put it in plastic containers if possible or mylar bags. make sure whatever you have placed in freezer is kept out for a few days to air dry any moisture it may have accumulated from the freezer.
put food away in mylar bags and oxygen absorbers. i have even been using small freezer bags for things like packages of hamburger helper (gotta keep the kids happy) (with directions included) or muffins or cakes and putting 5 or 6 of like things in the same mylar bag. just remember that stronger smelling items should be kept to themselves. plus i figure if there are some bugs in one package (then it will hopefully limit infestations). plus by throwing away all paper packaging, my trash will be less after the rollover and all those freezer bags will come in handy for other things.
double check your mylar seals before you put the bags away (feel for air when you squeeze the bag). you should have a partial vacuum at least. i was using a cloth under the iron (according to the directions) to seal the bags. realized after i had so many bad seals that i could iron the bag directly.
guess what one of my favorite storage bins is for a bunch of my mylar bags--the gree rolling hdpe rubbermaid trash bin. will keep out lots of critters such as the furry kind should i encounter them where i have stored some of my stuff.
also, on storing flour. i disagree. i am storing flour from the store. it can keep for up to 18 months and the mylar and oxygen absorbers will ensure that. my plan is broken into immediate, short term, and really longer term. i would see the grain for really longer term. if you don't mill grain for your current daily existence--there is no reason why you can't store flour for the first year--if it goes on for that long.
-- tt (email@example.com), October 26, 1999.