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Monday, February 16, 2009

Safe Storage

I have thinking about storing food and for many of us, the large cans are not practical. Unless you know you will be serving a crowd, your normal size cans may be the best thing to store so that you don’t have to worry about preserving the contents if you don’t use it all up. And smaller cans of food would be easier to share with those in need also. We need to think things through and do what seems best for our family; there is no one size fits all.

If we have leftovers today, we just toss them into the fridge until they are eaten; same with condiments. Ketchup, mustard and mayo all get stored in the fridge, but do you really know what needs to be keep cold and what can be kept at room temperature? As I kid I thought peanut butter had to be refrigerated until I went to a friend’s house and found they kept their PNB in the cupboard. Guess my family just had more room in the fridge than the cupboard. Even though your mayo says to refrigerate after opening, it probably does not need to be.

See http://www.dressings-sauces.org/mayonnaise.html or call your favorite brand now and make a few enquires. I just called about some jam I had in the fridge. The company said they have to put a sell by date on, but the product would most likely be good after that date. I also asked if I could not refrigerate it, if it would be ok to eat and they said yes, but it could break down, or get watery. It would be good until it grew mold. I remember my mom telling about her grandma leaving food out on the old cook stove for hours, hopefully it was being kept warm enough to ward off bacteria, but she remembers when they weren’t so careful about keeping things cold and hot like they are now.

As a rule of thumb, things with high acidity will keep for awhile without refrigeration. Of course if you have a way to keep your food cooler, well, the cooler the better of course. But don’t think just because we are used to keeping things in the fridge that it is required. Start reading the labels on your condiments as some may not even say to refrigerate after opening and if in doubt give the company a call and ask why it says to keep in the fridge, it may just help to keep the ingredients from separating and has nothing to do with safety.

And if you are preparing for a time without electricity, make sure you have more than one can opener and that you keep the opener you use clean. Cross contamination has been proven to be a huge issue in the case of food poisening in many instances in the here and now and will probably be a high percentage of the reason in the future also.

Stay safe,


Humble wife said...

Good tips. We have been slowly going off grid for a few years, we keep very little in the fridge and it does fine.

By the way we have a leftover rule...whatever is leftover is the main part of the next meal.

Any food slops or rinds or skins we give to the chickens.


Help U Prep said...

Hi Jennifer,
You have a great rule and I wonder if it hasn't inspired you to come up with some unusual recipes? Say you have a bowl of green peas left over and it has to be the main part of the next meal...green peas and rice maybe? I think we will all be coming up with some uncommon combinations in the future. Anyway I would love to hear about any new recipes you have found work well because of your rule.

Pen of Jen said...

Sounds great...Yes I will share recipes as we have been extremely cautious with our food waste. I came back over by the way, because I saw that you commented on my penofjen blog. I wasn't sure which blog was I was signed in by.

Oh I just realized, that on my profile of my farm blog I have the webpage penofjen.

My farm blog is doublenickelfarm.blogspot.com

Although we are in NM, I have found many different state prepper blogs so informative.

Here is the story of how we ended up where we are:http://michellemalkin.com/2008/11/27/giving-thanks-for-self-reliant-americans/

Even if the worst case does not happen(ok I am trying to be optimistic)my farm blog has lots of tips on how to live on well basically nothing. I do have several post that point towards my faith...but I think that many can progress to self sufficiency with less than they think.
Thanks again

Help U Prep said...

What a great article! I do like both your sites and am sure I will be learning from them too. I also would like to email you some information that may help your hubby.

Humble wife said...

My email is penofjen(at)yahoo(dot)com. Have a great week.

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