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Sunday, February 8, 2009

How long will stored food last?

If you are reading this blog, you are probably taking steps to buy food to have in storage, but if you’re like me when I started, you may not know just how long food can keep so I want to share a resource I found very helpful and an article.



Of course it is best to rotate all your food, but it is not an easy task if your storage area is not too close to your cooking area, so finding out many foods can keep years is a great boon to me. I especially appreciate the long life of pastas. It is also may be helpful to mark your supplies with the date you bought them. Sharpie pens work well.

I also like to store some recipes (hard copy) for using all the canned or dried food because I like to eat as much fresh and raw foods as I can now that we are able to do that. I occasionally try a recipe out and then deem it acceptable or not. And when you are cooking think about the spices that you are using and make sure you have those stored as well. You can always add spices to taste and don’t need to depend upon a recipe or a teaspoon measure, but you need to have the spices available.

I also recommend a way to transport your stored foods easily, i.e. store in boxes on the shelf instead of directly on the shelf, so that you don’t have to take the extra step to pack all the supplies if you move or decide to leave your home for a while in an emergency for example and want to take your supplies with you.

It is also very important to store fats for cooking and calories. And if you have to eat food you may not like much, if you fry it up and salt it, well, what isn’t better tasting fried? The best oils/fats are packaged so that they are protected from light and are cold pressed. My most favorite oil is non-hydrogenated coconut oil. Do some research on the web. It has been touted to protect from dementia and to help the body heal itself from many diseases. It has a very long shelf life and is stable at high temperatures so it, and palm oil, are good to use to fry foods. I know people from other countries that take at least a tsp or two a day of coconut oil to help with digestion.

I would also not be without honey. I think I may have blogged on it before, but it has many uses. Herbal teas are also good to have and remember you can get more than one cup of tea from a tea bag. Both honey and tea will keep for nigh onto forever if stored properly.

Another thing you may not think of storing is vinegar. There are all kinds and if you do some research on this as well you will want to store more than one kind. I have apple cider with the mother, not only because I like it, but it has medicinal uses and a white vinegar-soaked rag placed over your mouth and nose can protect you from sprays. (Again, use a search engine if you want more information.)

I always watch for sales and clearances to score a good deal and I buy a little extra each shopping trip.



Anonymous said...

As far as keeping thing's stored and portable,I have 2 word's.. MILK CRATE'S! I have about a dozen or so that I've, uhhhm ,accumulated.. They have handle's ,stackable, fit almost any size boxed food's, when empty they can be used for chair's,footstool's, catching rain with a garbage bag inside. They fit nicely into my pantry,and I try to organize them with canned veggie's in one, dry stuff in one,so on. They fit easily into a back of a pickup, the use's are endless!
Dean in Az

Anna said...

As far as portability, dehydrated or freeze dried meals (more expensive) are a great option. Just add water and eat. They are lightweight and easy to transport without worrying about all of the food prep equipment. Generally these are more expensive than other types of foods, but I found a one year supply for $698 at realfoodstorage.com--there are several others that sell dehydrated food storage. The other nice thing about dehydrated foods is they are great for backpacking because they are lightweight and each package is smaller portions than a #10 can. I have about 1/3 of my food storage in dehydrated and have it handy to go if I have to bug out. The other staples etc are for situations where moving is not necessary.

Anonymous said...

One of the first thing's I got for prepping was a dehydrator.Great for beef jerky, veggie's, apple's, anything! A lot lighter, no need to carry can's mostly full of water, and I prefer frozen veggie's to dehydrate, as they are already sorta dried out when frozen, a lot cheaper than fresh, and more variety. I can easily fit 8 pound's of dehydrated in a large coffee can, weigh's almost nothing. I'm not sure as to the shelf life,as I rotate it pretty fast. I'm not a big fan of buying the dehydrated,as it's pretty pricey to start,and once opened,you have to use it up. The only canned food I have are mainly soup's and canned juice's, easy to just mix and heat. Also,I'm a big fan of thing's like bisquick, pancake/waffle mix, muffin mix and such, as you just add water. I'm sure between all of these item's,I can whip up a decent meal, even in the midle of the forest.
Dean in Az

Help U Prep said...

Hi Dean and Anna,
Great input. I would love to run across some milk crates...
I also just got a new dehydrator and am still learning on how best to use it. I haven't tried to use it on frozen veggies, but it is on the list.
I haven't tried the freeze dried food; I really need to watch pesticides and such, but for some it is a great option. I had thought it would be good to have the bulk of food dehydrated, but then you may need more water...
So I think it wise to have some things canned in water.
Take care,

Anonymous said...

where can you buy long term storage foods in wisconsin?

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