Sunday, July 15, 2012

How To Keep Your Stored Food From Spoiling 2

When you place food inside a mylar bag you need to remove as much oxygen as possible from the bag to prevent the food inside from spoiling. 

They have expensive specialized sealers that seal and pump out the air as they seal the bag. I use a clothing iron and a bicycle pump. 

Seal the bag almost closed leaving a small gap open. You use the opening to get the air out of the bag and put in oxygen absorbers. You can also seal the bag entirely and throw in the oxygen absorbers just before you close it. Then you puncture the bag and pump the air out. 

I read about problems with the oxygen absorbers spoiling and not working if purchased and some were saved to use later. It was suggested that one buy only enough oxygen absorbers for the bags that you are processing immediately.

I have never used oxygen absorbers, so I can't speak from experience yet. I plan to do so soon, however. I have never had enough food stored to worry about long term food storage. A year or less was all I dealt with. Since shipping costs are rising very fast in the USA, I am planning more long term food storage for some items than I used to have. Storing them now will be much cheaper than purchasing them and shipping them later.

I do not know how long you can expect 5 gallon buckets to last. I know some plastic can get brittle over time, especially if exposed to the elements. I plan not to expose my 5 gallon buckets for food storage to the elements. I expect them to last the rest of my life. They can be reused for many years if you are careful with them.

Some 5 gallon buckets are stronger than others. You can get an idea of the strength of your buckets by filling them and stacking them. Look at the sides of the ones on the bottom. If they are bowing at all, you need to protect them from excess weight. One way to do this is to put a piece of plywood on top of a bucket before placing another bucket on top of it. 

Even if you have strong buckets, it is a bad idea to stack them more than 4 or 5 high. I don't like more than two high. You have to plan for more floor space for storage of the buckets if they are in lower stacks, however.

Another way to protect your buckets and still save floor space is by using shelves sized for holding only one or two buckets  high per shelf. They will need to be very strong shelves. Heavy metal ones are good. You can find the weight capacity for shelves that you would want to use for your food storage.

I found a nice site that has calculators to help you know how much food of different types will be needed for your family. It also has a calculator that tells you how many buckets you need to store the food and how much floor space those buckets will require.

It was a shock to me to realize how much food is actually required per year for one person. The same applied to how much floor space it takes for the food.

If I was shocked and you are just beginning your preparedness, you had better sit down before you use that calculator. 

I do some things that most preppers do not do, like my indoor year-round greenhouse, microgreens, sprouting, and drying my own food. That means I do not need to store as much as some other preppers, for some kinds of emergencies.

In spite of those different things that I do for my regular diet that work for preparedness, I am far short of the amount of some kinds of food that I need to meet my preparedness goals. This is not something you want to find out during an emergency, so maybe you need to do some checking, too.

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