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Failure to rotate/real shelf life

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by ripsnort, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. ripsnort

    ripsnort Monkey+++

    While going thru supplies I opened a barrel I had not been into recently. It had alot of grain, beans, alfalfa seeds and dried fruit - almost all sealed and dated. I knew the stuff was there but didn't realize how long it had been there. It was stored on the floor in a fairly cool basement. I have been using and evaluating.
    So far:

    Barley - organic - sealed in Seal a Meal bags in 1984. I forget if it is pearled, hulled or hulless. Absolutely delicious - no sign of any degradation. I recall some studies that indicated that barley stored longer than wheat.

    Millet - organic - sealed in Seal a Meal bags in 1985. Pearled? Delicious - no degradation. Note that millet expands and absorbs more water than most other grains so I think you get more end product.

    Alfalfa seed - sealed in Seal a Meal bags in 1994. Close to 100% germination! Fantastic - lay some in. This germination test will go on for years, as there is alot of it.

    Blueberries - two batches - Dried them my self, no date but at least 10 years old.
    first batch - sealed in Seal a Meal bags. Good quality, but I don't have any freshly dried ones to compare them to. Dried blueberries are sort of like raisens but not as sweet.
    second batch - in ziplock bag. An off tast, will not be consuming.

    Peaches - dried commercially, at least 8 years old. Absolutely delicious!!! I think these improved with age!!!

    Pears - dried myself, no date but at least 10 years old. Dark from oxidation but still pretty good.

    I know edibility does not indicate food value. If there is any interest I will report on the rest of the stock when I try it.
  2. GaryBrun

    GaryBrun Monkey+++

    Thank you very much for sharing this
  3. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Plenty of interest from me. Thanks for reporting what you've done so far.

    Wasn't melbo testing some seeds not too long ago?
  4. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Ditto, great info ,so you reccomend that seal a meal thing? been looing at it each rtime i see one...one of these days it'll comehome with me
  5. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    T3, I have a seal-a-meal from Sears. Probably 20 yrs old. Works great.
  6. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    Great information. Looks like I will look into a sealameal or the ones the Mormans suggest that uses a multilayer material that is supposed to be even better. Like the idea that there is something out there that will work with a couple bags of beans or rice or barley so that you could put up a little at a time and hopefully rotate as you used some of it. I am a little skepticle of these $x thousand year supply of food deals. Seems like a lot of the ones bought for the 2000 event are now 8 years old and are showing up everywhere. They were a great idea and probably well worth every dime as an insurance thing. But I love the idea of the thread "What have you put away this week?" Now if I can put away 5 lbs of dried pinapple, which I love on my breakfast food, with some hope of having it good next year, that could be a start of something good.
  7. ripsnort

    ripsnort Monkey+++

    The Seal a Meal is what was available back then and seems to have worked well. I have not researched what is available now, but I suspect that the technology has improved - like what duanet says the Mormons use. Mylar bags and oxygen absorber packs are also available. Bagging stuff up like this allows one to buy 25 and 50 lb. bags wholesale or from your local coop and store it safely.
    duanet - that pineapple sounds delicious, hope you have your breakfast put away also.
  8. ripsnort

    ripsnort Monkey+++

    <CENTER>Double storage life in a cool basement</CENTER><CENTER></CENTER><CENTER>- from Walton Feeds site</CENTER><CENTER>note the diffence between 59.92 degrees F and 70 degrees</CENTER><CENTER>storage life is usually figured at 70 degrees</CENTER><CENTER></CENTER><CENTER>[SIZE=+2]"Storage Life Differences[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=+2]Depending on Temperature[/SIZE]</CENTER>

    Constant Storage Storage life Temp
    in degrees F In Years
    39.76 - - - 40
    49.84 - - - 30
    59.92 - - - 20
    70.00 - - - 10
    80.08 - - - 5
    90.16 - - - 2.5
    100.24 - - 1.25

    Note: the above chart is not for a specific food but shows the relationship between temperature and storage life.

    <HR>Lets look at a couple of real life examples of good and poor food storage practices:

    About a year ago we got an unopened paper bag of white flour which had been stored at 70 degrees F, in a dry climate. It had been sitting for 3 years in a closet. It made fine looking bread but had such an 'old' and bad flavor that it was difficult to eat. For another example, a couple of years ago in the Puget Sound area we were given a 4 gallon can of wheat that had been stored up high in a garage for about 30 years. This part of the country is not as hot as some places, yet in the summers the average garage still gets up into the 90's. Even though wheat will store for 30+ years under good conditions, the bread from this particular wheat was very bad tasting and after a few batches we ended up throwing the wheat away (something I always dislike doing).
    Counter these stories with several examples told by Mr. Stephen Portela, Walton Feed's manager: He stores his long term food storage in his basement where the temperature hovers around 60 degrees F. The experts give brown rice a 6 month storage life because of all the oils in it that go rancid. Yet, Mr. Portela has been eating from a supply of brown rice that has been in his basement over 10 years. It is still wholesome! In another example, there is a family living near him who purchased a supply of food in #10 cans 30 years ago. Their basement hovers around 58 degrees F. After 28 years, Mr. Portela took a sample of many of these items to the Benson Institute at BYU to have it tested. The results can be seen at the bottom of Mr. Portela's welcome page. You will see everything tested had a 'good' to 'satisfactory' rating except for the eggs which had a 'minimum passing' rating. After 28 years I think it is most interesting that it passed at all. Mr. Portela tells me as 30 years have now passed, their storage is still in very good condition. The bottom line is even with the very best packaging methods, if you are planning on storing your food in a warm environment, it will only last a fraction of the time it would last if stored in a cool, dry place. You can expect good storage life if your storage temperature is at 60 degrees F or below. Optimum storage temperature is at 40 degrees F or less. It is important you also find a place where the temperature remains constant. Frequent temperature changes shorten storage life. If you don't have a cool place for your food storage, plan on rotating your storage quickly enough to prevent food loss. See our underground storage area pages for ideas."
  9. the dog

    the dog Monkey+++

    good info..thanks for sharing it.i been planning a rootcellar and this just makes me want to get it done sooner than later now.
  10. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

  11. ripsnort

    ripsnort Monkey+++

    BlackJack, Yes I have read that thread and just perused it again - excellent info. One of the reasons I posted the above info on effect of temperature is that the thread you linked and most other info on storage life either state, or assume, 70 degree F storage, BUT it appears that if you are in a temperate climate with a dry cool basement then shelf life can be doubled. That appears to be what happened with the food in my basement. I would note that a root cellar, because of the high humidity, would not be a good place to store dry goods.
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