Thursday, July 26, 2012

Diatomaceous Earth To Protect Stored Food 2

As I have mentioned before, diatomaceous earth is not poison. It kills insects by tiny microscopic sharp edges that puncture holes in the insects and cause them to dry up and die.

When this works, you will probably never be aware of the presence of any insects. Insects are an inevitable part of your diet already. They have industrial and health standards that state the maximum amount of insects allowed in food. Don't think about it too much. 

You do not need to have very much diatomaceous earth in your stored food to protect it. Here is a recommendation for how much diatomaceous earth to use in stored grains:
"GRAIN STORAGE & PROTECTION: Codex food grade diatomaceous earth is a healthy non-toxic alternative to chemical contamination of stored grain. When the grain is to be used, food grade diatomaceous earth can be easily removed, but need not be. Since it is “food grade”, makes no difference in taste or cooking quality, and adds 15 trace minerals. Suggested grain storage use: 1 cup of DE will protect 50 #'s of grain -- 5 cups of food grade diatomaceous earth will protect 300 #'s of grain -- 7 lbs. of DE will protect 1500 #’s of grain or seeds. One source advises only 1 to 2 #'s of DE per ton of grain.

A study done by ACRES, USA, Inc. advised that after 12 months of storage, the food grade diatomaceous earth treated material had 15 insects, compared to 4884 for malathion and 16,994 for untreated grain."

The above information came from this site:

If you have the equipment etc. to treat more than 50 pounds of grain at once, go for it. Most of us won't have occasion to use more than a cup of diatomaceous earth at a time. You need to stir it well and you should not breathe the diatomaceous earth. 

Some sources say that it can be a future (20+ years), problem for causing lung cancer because it is so small that it will float in the air and go deep in your lungs. Other sources say it is no problem. I use a white filter mask from the hardware store.

Diatomaceous earth can be used inside walls and other areas accessible to pests. When I had a very bad problem with cockroaches a long time ago in another state, I put diatomaceous earth inside my light switch boxes and electric plugs. You can bait it with powdered sugar to get them to eat it and have more contact with it. I used mostly diatomaceous earth and only a small amount of sugar. 

I also put it in my plumbing pipe holes and the areas around them. My windows and doors and my attic door were also treated with the mixture. My neighbors did not seem too concerned with having roaches and I didn't want their roaches moving in with me.

One source on diatomaceous earth said the grain you mix it with must be done so that each grain is coated with the DE. They suggested that one mix small batches to coat the grain thoroughly and evenly.

Another source said that DE is not as effective as , freezing, heating, an elimination of oxygen through mylar bags with the oxygen removed and oxygen absorbers added. I plan to use DE as well as mylar bags, oxygen removal and oxygen absorbers added.

I have eaten chocolate covered insects on purpose, but somehow, having an insect doing the back stroke in my breakfast cereal doesn't appeal to me.

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