Archive for the ‘food storage’ Tag

Essential to Survival Food Storage: Eat and Rotate

Even when stored correctly, foods do not last forever. If they did, that would certainly make our lives easier. But they don’t. Therefore, there is a concept you must follow in order to make sure that your survival food stores don’t go bad before you get to them. It is referred to as “eat and rotate.”

Put simply, this means that you should always be eating your survival food stores, then replacing your inventory. It can be hard, at first, to get past the idea that you shouldn’t be eating your survival food storage, and the idea that you should just be hoarding it. But slowly and steadily, make sure you talk yourself through this notion, because it is important to regularly not only eat and rotate your foods, but also make sure you know how to cook and prepare your survivalist foods before the time comes that you must rely on them. The key is to rotate so that you are replenishing your food stores constantly.

The “eat and rotate” rule also addresses another issue that is very important to survivalist food storage. This is the fact that what we store for survival should be things that we are eating as part of our normal diets. If we must suddenly transition to our “normal” diet to a whole bunch of foods we never, ever eat, then our bodies will not acclimate well. So our survival diets should closely resemble our “normal” diets, (as much as possible).

The very first key to the “eat and rotate” rule is that you must make sure that all of your survival food stores are clearly organized and labeled. You should never have to spend time hunting for items. Some people prefer to store like items together. Others prefer to store one full day’s worth of food together. Each day’s food can then be boxed and stored together. It is a good idea to store items together that have like expiration dates. I find that this is actually more helpful than grouping items by food type in terms of insuring that nothing expires before I get to it. Realistically, canned foods will last a lot longer than the expiration date that is listed on them. However, if you want to get the optimum level of nutrients, you should not exceed this date by far.

A reliable labeling method will be your best friend when it comes to rotating your food storage. You should always, always label food items with the date when you freeze or can them. You should know exactly what is in your food storage at all times.

If you open a large container of food, such as a 5-gallon bucket of rice, it is time to then break the rice down into smaller receptacles, such as quart mason jars. This will help food items to stay fresh once you have broken their storage seal. The same thing goes for dehydrated foods, such as peanut butter. If you break a large container of it down into smaller jars, it will help each “batch” to stay fresh, rather than tasting old and stale by the time to get to the bottom.

Keep a running list at all times of what you are eating out of your survival food storage. This way, when you go to the store or it’s time to do your own canning, you know exactly what you need to replace.

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How to Correctly Store Your Food, Food Storage Part I

If you have planted your survival seed bank and begun harvesting your own food, then you are well on your way to self-sufficiency and long-term survival. But obviously, your garden is not going to produce at all times of the year. And when disaster strikes, the garden itself may be destroyed. So if you are not putting food in storage correctly, then you are missing a huge element of emergency planning and survival.

Before I begin to give you the basics, please allow me to say that today I will cover just that: the bare minimum basics. In order for you to learn the right way to store your food, you should definitely consider ordering the DVD set Food Storage Secrets. These 2 DVDs contain everything that you need to know in terms of survival food storage. The information contained in these DVDs will allow you to not only store food to keep your family alive in a crisis situation, but it will allow you to store food that tastes good. Really good. When you can vegetables, fruits, and meats using the methods described in these DVDs, they will taste even better than store-bought products. So these DVDs are a really valuable guide. Again, I would encourage you to order Food Storage Secrets today.

Now, on to the basics.

How to Store Food

*Plastic buckets- Generally speaking, I use food grade plastic buckets to store all my dry goods. There is some controversy over whether plastic can be used to store food long-term. Before purchasing a supply of buckets, contact the manufacturer to ensure that they are intended for food storage and not chemicals or solvents. Restaurants use plastic buckets for food storage all the time, so if you’d like you can even contact a local restaurant to see if you can get some used ones for cheap or free. When filling a plastic bucket with dry goods, such as wheat, rice, or beans, stop periodically and gently shake the bucket to get the contents to settle. Fill it all the way up to within 1/2 inch of the top of the bucket. This will reduce the amount of air that stays in the bucket, and reduce your chances of spoilage.

*Oxygen absorbers- Before you start storing food, you should definitely order some oxygen absorbers. You can get 500 of them for just about 15 bucks. I place 3 or 4 of these in each 5-gallon plastic bucket that I use for dry goods. These are extremely useful, since foods that are stored without oxygen last much longer. The trick in to place the oxygen absorbers in the bucket on top of the food, then quickly nail on the lid with a rubber mallet to create a tight, leak-free seal and a partial vacuum. This leaves the food in an atmosphere of 99% pure nitrogen. A tip to getting your oxygen absorbers to last a long time before using them is to store them appropriately. Remember that once you open the package, they will start to absorb oxygen around them right away. Keep your unused oxygen absorbers in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

*Glass jars- For fruits and vegetables, you really can’t beat old fashioned canning in glass jars. Glass jars are cheap to buy, and easy to use and sterilize. You can refer to my blog A Good Reason To Can Your Own Vegetables  for links to sites that will guide you through your first canning experience. Once you have done it a few times, you will have committed the process to memory. You may find instructions online for refrigerator pickles, such as in my Lacto-Fermentation blog. It is important to note that these methods are for quick consumption, not long-term storage. Fruits and vegetables that you will to store for long periods of time must be canned using a heat process, or dried and vacuum packed.