Food Storage and Bugs

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tracy, Feb 3, 2007.


  1. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Bugs. I don't like 'em.

    I was talking to someone who had to throw out their entire pantry full of dried goods (flour, baking mixes, etc) due to little moths (mealy moths or birdseed moths or whatever they're called). She said they were even in sealed packages and spice jars.

    Somewhere here, there was a post about bugs in beans and I don't recall the answer to what bugs get into beans.

    How can this be avoided? Can dry stuff be stored without special treatment and still avoid an infestation?
     
  2. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I understand if stuff is stored in a metal or plastic pail, sprinkling diatomaceous earth inside clogs an insects joints,and protects the food..there's another name for the foodgrade earth....
     
  3. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Bugs are just extra protien [dunno]
     
  4. ripsnort

    ripsnort Monkey+++

    When you first buy something put it in an insect proof container and then put that in the freezer for two weeks. I have never had to resort to diatomaceous earth using this method. I think you have to mix diatomaceous earth into the food.
     
  5. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    <TABLE class=tborder style="BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px" cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=6 width="100%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR title="Post 47294" vAlign=top><TD class=alt1 align=middle width=125>Tango3</TD><TD class=alt2>I understand if stuff is stored in a metal or plastic pail, sprinkling diatomaceous earth inside clogs an insects joints,and protects the food..there's another name for the foodgrade earth....</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    Interesting. I'd think that earth wouldn't hurt bugs at all. Then again; if it bothers the bugs, what are the effects on people? Does it give food a gritty, "dirt" taste?

    <TABLE class=tborder style="BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px" cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=6 width="100%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR title="Post 47307" vAlign=top><TD class=alt1 align=middle width=125>ozarkgoatman</TD><TD class=alt2>Bugs are just extra protien [dunno] </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    So is peanut butter. And it's much easier to spread on toast ;)

    <TABLE class=tborder style="BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px" cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=6 width="100%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR title="Post 47310" vAlign=top><TD class=alt1 align=middle width=125>ripsnort</TD><TD class=alt2>When you first buy something put it in an insect proof container and then put that in the freezer for two weeks. I have never had to resort to diatomaceous earth using this method. I think you have to mix diatomaceous earth into the food.</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Really? Then after 2 weeks, I can pull it and store it indefinitely without bug worries?

    Okay, so let's say I already have a bit of baking goods, in original packaging, in my cupboards. If I freeze them, will it help to keep them bug-proof until the day I use them? These are day-to-day things, not long-term storage things.

    She said she had bugs in her spice jars. Spice jars. I would consider a glass jar bug-proof. Just freeze and store?

    I've done the transfer-to-Tupperware cupboard organization thing and found a lot of unusable space, so I reversed that and now leave everything in original packaging - it just has specific areas in my cupboards, allowing for maximum use of space. Just to be safe, would I need to go back to other containers for storage?

    I just love simple solutions! Keep 'em coming!!!
     
  6. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    A bay leaf in flour is supposed to keep mealybugs out, so I'd think it would work for any other dried goods.

    Recently I read something else did, too, but can't seem to dredge up the info offhand. Will try and look it up.

    D-earth is actually micro-tiny shards of diatoms (an itty bitty sea creature) that acts like minute razor blades to insect 'skin'. The bugs literally dehydrate (or bleed, I guess). Works *great* in the garden, isn't dangerous to humans unless you snuff enough of it, and is about the only thing I've ever found to relieve a flea infestation both on my animals and floors/upholstery/etc.
     
  7. ripsnort

    ripsnort Monkey+++

     
  8. wildernessgal

    wildernessgal Backwoods is a callin'

    BAY LEAVES can be used, also we make our own GARLIC OIL & I will
    smear it along the seal of the containers sometimes as BUGS hate garlic!
    I will also say that I've eaten stuff with BUGS in it & IN MANY COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD BUGS ARE EATEN AS A NUTRITIOUS MEAL!
    One day many may be FORCED into eating bugs for survival purposes... NEVER say NEVER, right! lol
    :eek: b:: [applaud] [applaud] [applaud]

    ~Wildernessgal~
     
  9. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Do the bay leaves (add any or) change the flavor of stored items? I guess I should ask the same question on the garlic; even on the rim; does the flavor transfer?

    Gal - I'm not there yet, and will avoid 'em if I can, but you're right - I won't say that I will never eat a bug (just never right now :lol:).
     
  10. ridgerunner58

    ridgerunner58 Monkey+++

    I've used bay leaves in the past & never noticed any difference but I would assume that garlic will leave it's flavor on the food....I've never frozen anything to kill bugs or eggs and have never had any problem with the.
     
  11. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    We try to rotate a lot of the food we store and keep it in the freezer and use first in-first out schedule for BOB's Red Mill stuff. Flour, breakfast food, soup mix, dried fruit and vegatables etc. If TSHTF we will be starting with stuff just out of the freezer and with an ability to store them as dried for I expect quite a while. Have had insects in pasta that I had stored in ziplock bags. Seem to hatch and die, not totally eaten or a great number of them. Just skimmed them off the top, 5 - 6 of them, no change to the taste etc, but might be a good idea if the wife and kids don't catch you doing it. Long term storage is in plastic pails from survival stock and other people have had good luck with them.
     
  12. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    I've never noticed any leftover flavor from the bay leaves as long as they are absolultely dry. But even if bugs do get into your flour, a sieve/sifter easily takes them out, so you're only left with the squeamish factor. [dunno]

    I've found dried beans of all sorts I'd stored in popcorn tins and then forgotten at the back of the closet -- still using the split peas from at least ten years ago! Perfectly fine and tasty.

    Spices and herbs can be a bit dicey, I think, to store long term due to their more fragile nature. Medicinally, they begin to lose potency and sometimes the flavor fades substantially. I need to replenish my garlic powder stock, but leaf herbs should be fine as long as stored in glass (pref. amber or other darkish color) in a dark corner away from heat. I've never had trouble with bugs.

    The only things I've had no luck storing without getting bugs of some sort was rice and sesame seeds, and those bugs are the tiny little no-seeums that leave an ultra-fine web. I still use the rice but the sesame seeds go to the birds.
     
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