long term food storage questions

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Niick

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Wouldn't it be better to label your food storage buckets in a way that only you and your family knew what was in them? Instead of spelling it all out for anybody who comes across them. If your house got broken into while you were away, and the intruders only had enough time to grab two buckets, they're going to be able to decide which they want if you spell it all out for them.

I've heard that if you transfer store bought food into mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, and food grade buckets, it can last many years. I'm just wondering how many years? I suspect it depends upon the food - is there like a chart somewhere that shows how long different foods last when stored this way?

And what about these oxygen absorbers - is it really necessary to use different ones depending upon the food? Couldn't you just use like a 1,000 cc for everything that you have in a 5 gallon bucket, or am I going to need a chart for that too?

Instead of using buckets, what about storing food in other hard containers that people wouldn't expect to find food in? I was thinking that you could have several paint cans in the garage that have food in them instead of paint. Several laundry detergent bottles with food in them instead of detergent. Stuff like that. Of course the food is still inside mylar bags in these containers and the containers are clean.
 

jontte

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at least here in Finland you can buy empty clean paint cans,and that's quite a good place to store your stuff...a good idea indeed
 

jimLE

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i dont know about transferring store bought canned foods to mylar bags and all..but the oxygen absorbers is a BIG plus when it comes to foods like rice,oats and other such foods..on account you kill any insect eggs that might be there to begin with..paint cans and other such containers is a good idea for such food storage..but the only draw back..is if someone broke in and decided they want some paint.then they end up stealing food supplies instead..
 

Silent Bob

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Wouldn't it be better to label your food storage buckets in a way that only you and your family knew what was in them? Instead of spelling it all out for anybody who comes across them. If your house got broken into while you were away, and the intruders only had enough time to grab two buckets, they're going to be able to decide which they want if you spell it all out for them.

I've heard that if you transfer store bought food into mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, and food grade buckets, it can last many years. I'm just wondering how many years? I suspect it depends upon the food - is there like a chart somewhere that shows how long different foods last when stored this way?

And what about these oxygen absorbers - is it really necessary to use different ones depending upon the food? Couldn't you just use like a 1,000 cc for everything that you have in a 5 gallon bucket, or am I going to need a chart for that too?

Instead of using buckets, what about storing food in other hard containers that people wouldn't expect to find food in? I was thinking that you could have several paint cans in the garage that have food in them instead of paint. Several laundry detergent bottles with food in them instead of detergent. Stuff like that. Of course the food is still inside mylar bags in these containers and the containers are clean.

Head to the food forum and see the storage section. I think I placed a good amount of PDF's to include a matrix that explains shelf life of foods. If not contact me, I will send you a copy.
 

Brent S

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Wouldn't it be better to label your food storage buckets in a way that only you and your family knew what was in them? Instead of spelling it all out for anybody who comes across them. If your house got broken into while you were away, and the intruders only had enough time to grab two buckets, they're going to be able to decide which they want if you spell it all out for them.

I've heard that if you transfer store bought food into mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, and food grade buckets, it can last many years. I'm just wondering how many years? I suspect it depends upon the food - is there like a chart somewhere that shows how long different foods last when stored this way?

And what about these oxygen absorbers - is it really necessary to use different ones depending upon the food? Couldn't you just use like a 1,000 cc for everything that you have in a 5 gallon bucket, or am I going to need a chart for that too?

Instead of using buckets, what about storing food in other hard containers that people wouldn't expect to find food in? I was thinking that you could have several paint cans in the garage that have food in them instead of paint. Several laundry detergent bottles with food in them instead of detergent. Stuff like that. Of course the food is still inside mylar bags in these containers and the containers are clean.
You brought up some good points. I really like the labeling idea, that only you and you family would know. I'm sure some would even say that posioning some would be wise, but I'd be afraid to hurt good people that were ignorant.
I stored alot of store bought stuff in mason jars with a small oxy absorbers. It was my first try at home canning, and from everything I've read you can get 15 to 25 yrs if stored in cool dark area. It's tough to get an exact time as your prep, and how well it is stored makes alot of difference.
I have no doubt you could use the larger absorbers for all, but they may be more expensive. I also learned that if you open a mason jar, and quickly reseal it, it will still be active and reseal the jar. I don't think you can do that many times, but you can at least once or twice.
Danilgrl can give you some good advice on food preservation too.
 

Gazrok

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I've heard that if you transfer store bought food into mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, and food grade buckets, it can last many years. I'm just wondering how many years? I suspect it depends upon the food - is there like a chart somewhere that shows how long different foods last when stored this way?
Definitely depends on the food. You can find all kinds of listings online, but here are some basics.
What most people store, are things like dried beans, rice, dry pasta, cereals, flour, sugar, salt, mashed potato flakes, dry corn, dry peas, etc. All of these will last around 15 years or more if stored correctly. This includes store bought versions of these foods. I'm sure there are some others too, that aren't on the top of my head.

Canned Meats - typically 2 years max
Canned Veggies - typically 5 years max
Canned Fruits - typically 3 years max

And what about these oxygen absorbers - is it really necessary to use different ones depending upon the food? Couldn't you just use like a 1,000 cc for everything that you have in a 5 gallon bucket, or am I going to need a chart for that too?
Typically, the ones you get at prep type survival sites or stores, are designed for a 6 gallon bucket (2000cc). Really not too important as to amount, more that you have one in there. Pack of 10 is about $7

Instead of using buckets, what about storing food in other hard containers that people wouldn't expect to find food in? I was thinking that you could have several paint cans in the garage that have food in them instead of paint. Several laundry detergent bottles with food in them instead of detergent. Stuff like that. Of course the food is still inside mylar bags in these containers and the containers are clean.
There are other things to consider with food-grade containers. Some plastic containers can have harmful compounds that can leach into food. While the mylar bag should prevent it, do you really want to risk it? Here's how to identify if the plastic is good for it:

http://www.wikihow.com/Identify-Food-Grade-Buckets

You also want to be sure they close tight enough to prevent any little critters from getting in. This is why so many preppers prefer the food grade buckets you can get with gamma lids.

Example of bucket:
http://beprepared.com/6-gallon-bucket-with-lid.html

Gamma lid:
http://beprepared.com/food-storage/storage-containers.html?brand=40

Personally, I like using different colors for different things, to make it easy to identify just by lid color.
 

Brent S

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A friend just gave me an amazing book. It's called stocking up 111 by carol hupping and the riddle food center. It's the size of an encyclopedia, and covers harvesting, freezing, canning, drying, and storing vegetables. It also has sections for dairy, including butter, cheese, yogurt and ice cream making. Then it goes into meats and seafood preparation and storage, and finally into nuts, seeds and grains. This was an awesome addition to my prepping library. If there's a fire it will be one of the things I grab first! My friend just earned a bottle of one of my good wines.
 

Gazrok

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Sounds like a great book. Adding it to my elfster list now!
 

Unknown

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IMO I think labeling the food storage would be a waste of time and resources. If someone penetrates Your BOL, they will check everything. If your that worried about it, you should have multiple cashes, just like the saying goes don't pull all your peas in the same pot. The food you buy in the 5 gal buckets for storage I believe is good for 20 years however, that's not life span of it that's just the recommended time frame.

I hope that helps,
Unknown
 

hlrive

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I don't write on the top of my buckets what is in there. I write it on the bottom. The top says feed on it, where we have chickens I assume people will think it is chicken feed just in case if someone gets in the barn.
 

Gazrok

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I rotate through it, so identifying it is important. Besides, good to label with dates also.

Just leave some poisoned booze around if you have to split.
It'll be consumed first, and then you can come back...clean up the bodies.....and get back to normal.
 

tntboy13

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Definitely depends on the food. You can find all kinds of listings online, but here are some basics.
What most people store, are things like dried beans, rice, dry pasta, cereals, flour, sugar, salt, mashed potato flakes, dry corn, dry peas, etc. All of these will last around 15 years or more if stored correctly. This includes store bought versions of these foods. I'm sure there are some others too, that aren't on the top of my head.

Canned Meats - typically 2 years max
Canned Veggies - typically 5 years max
Canned Fruits - typically 3 years max



Typically, the ones you get at prep type survival sites or stores, are designed for a 6 gallon bucket (2000cc). Really not too important as to amount, more that you have one in there. Pack of 10 is about $7



There are other things to consider with food-grade containers. Some plastic containers can have harmful compounds that can leach into food. While the mylar bag should prevent it, do you really want to risk it? Here's how to identify if the plastic is good for it:

http://www.wikihow.com/Identify-Food-Grade-Buckets

You also want to be sure they close tight enough to prevent any little critters from getting in. This is why so many preppers prefer the food grade buckets you can get with gamma lids.

Example of bucket:
http://beprepared.com/6-gallon-bucket-with-lid.html

Gamma lid:
http://beprepared.com/food-storage/storage-containers.html?brand=40

Personally, I like using different colors for different things, to make it easy to identify just by lid color.

I know lowes sells some food grade buckets and gamma seal lids. It has been effective for me so far. I think i can get the bucket and the lid for about 12 bucks, and then it seals really nicely. I dont use Mylar bags, but it wouldnt hurt if you did
 

hlrive

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I rotate through it, so identifying it is important. Besides, good to label with dates also.

Just leave some poisoned booze around if you have to split.
It'll be consumed first, and then you can come back...clean up the bodies.....and get back to normal.
Now that is funny but very true.
 

Gazrok

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Seriously one of my "scorched earth" plans if we have to split. Just one part of a multifaceted exit/re-entry plan.
 

DrHenley

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Not telling where my long term food is stored...:rolleyes:

LOL, when I first got it, my wife asked WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO PUT ALL THAT? I said don't worry, you won't even know it's there.

It's one of those "hidden in plain sight" deals...She has no clue where I keep it...:D
 

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