Long-Term Storage Of Food
Living in a hurricane-prone area, I have seen the situation before, empty supermarket shelves. During the coronavirus pandemic, everyone in the world experienced the same thing. And everyone is now asking if Long Term Food Storage can help in a crisis.
Planning long-term food storage is not difficult. If you have no time but ample cash, you can buy the 25-year shelf-life freeze-dried stuff. Or you can learn some DIY-solving ideas to provide a long-term solution. We show you how to save time and money, and you will be better prepared.
You will need to understand what the best types of foods are to store, how to prepare them properly, what type of long-term food storage containers you should consider, and where you are going to stockpile all that food.
Best Foods For Storage
Some foods will store a lot better than most. It’s important to understand that you will not store any gourmet meals here. These are the best recommended for long-term food storage:
- Legumes such as dried beans and peas
- Coffee and teas
- Nuts and dried fruits
- Rice varieties
- Assorted health and protein bars
- Canned soups and vegetables.
- Peanut butter and jellies
- Nuts and dried fruits
Notice that these varieties are straight off-the-shelf dried products. If you want something a little more on the fresh side, consider the canning process of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Bugs In Stored Food
I am sorry to inform you that bugs will enter into the equation of long-term food storage if you do not properly prepare your food before and after storing it.
A stored food product can become infested from production until it arrives in your home. But stored food is most likely to become infested in the grocery store or in homes. Most pantry pests also infest stored grain and may be found outdoors. Food products that are left in storage for a long time are prone to infestation. But foods of any age can become infested.University of Minnesota Extension
Unfortunately, when you buy dried foods from the supermarket, those little buggers will already be there waiting to hatch and ruin everything you prepared for.
The best solution to fix this is to place your dried food in the freezer for at least 4 or 5 days before placing it in your containers. This will kill those guys off. However, be warned that some of these guys may survive a deep freeze, but I would feel confident it will get all of them.
Long-Term Food Storage Containers
Now that you have decided on the type of foods and have correctly prepared them by freezing for a few days, you must consider the containers in your long-term food storage plans.
Storing In Original Packaging
You may store foods in their original packaging. This is the most affordable and very easy to do, however, when it comes to protection against bugs and rodents, this procedure leaves much to be desired. It is a good option if you plan on rotating your stores.
Please leave them in the pantry and use them only after you replace the used item with the same product. This way, you may rest assured that your emergency food supply is always available.
Food Storage In Recycled Plastic
Plastic containers such as Tupperware and cleaned and sanitized soda bottles are some options to get some food products out of their original packaging. It is cheap, easy, and will provide decent protection against bugs and rodents.
However, those pesky rodents do have the ability to chew through that relatively thin plastic and speaking of plastic, that in and of itself can leech into the food. There’s nothing like the taste of degrading plastic. It is advisable to rotate your stores every six months, keep in the coolest area of your home, and not to consider plastics as a long-term food storage solution.
Buckets Of Food Storage
Have a large family? It would be best if you considered food-grade buckets for your food issues. They come in 5-gallon sizes and will hold quite a lot of food for you and your family. And with gamma-lids, you will up the quality of this storage solution.
What are gamma-lids? The gamma seal lid transforms most 12″ diameter plastic pails into leak-proof, airtight storage containers that protect the contents from environmental exposure.
These food storage containers with a gamma lid will offer protection against rodents, light, humidity, and air. They will, however, be a little more cumbersome when rotating your food stores. They do hold a lot of food but will keep food in good condition for up to a year.
Mylar For Long-Term Food Storage
Vacuum-sealed mylar pouches are a good option for long-term food storage issues. Because the solution will protect the food from the air due to its airtight sealing properties, you can expect to have a three to five-year shelf life.
You must handle them with care and store them in a secure location. The thin plastic is not too much of a match for rodents and other animals. A good solution for small quantities of food storage.
Food Storage Under Glass
Simple glass jars are one of my favorite vessels for long-term food storage. You can see what you got and that makes it easier for rotation. Rodents and bugs can’t figure these things out, and they are cheap and easy to obtain.
They can break relatively quickly, and you will not be able to get an air-type seal. You will need some canning lessons for that.
25-Year Food Storage Solutions
Above, I have listed five easy and affordable long-term food storage solutions for you and your family. Unfortunately, they are limited in the length of time you may keep them in their respective storage vessels.
If you have a few dollars and not a small army of mouths to feed during a food shortage, you should consider the freeze-dried food storage ideas some companies offer.
My wife and I are the only two left at home—empty nesters. So, for us, the solution was quite simple. I bought a five-gallon bucket of meals from Legacy Food Storage. I have a month’s food supply that I will not have to rotate and will be suitable for 25 years.
Twenty-Five Years! And no rotating.
Food Storage Calculator
So how much? How much food will you and your family need to eat and be well supplied for any long-term food storage issues you may encounter in a future crisis?
Remember that supermarket shelves are empty because of various disasters, be they a health pandemic, fire, flooding, or hurricanes.
The Food Guys have made a simple spreadsheet to help you calculate how much food you should stock for yourself and your family’s well-being.
5 Food Storage Recommendations
Five fundamental factors will destroy food. No homemade DIY food storage process or container will completely protect against heat, but the best options will protect against the other four. Consider these factors when storing food:
Do your best to eliminate those five conditions, and your food storage plans will make you a happy camper when all hell breaks loose, and you find nothing but ‘air’ on those supermarket shelves.
Focus on your emergency preparedness now and not while everyone else is rushing to the supermarket and gas stations at the last minute.
Taking care of your home preparedness solutions now will save you from the last-minute grief of waiting to the last minute and keep you and your family well-fed and supplied while most are panicking.