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Long Term Food Storage

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by ms1984, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. ms1984

    ms1984 Monkey

    Hi guys :) My name's Mike and I'm new to the forum, I've joined this and another forum hoping someone can give me some more info on the things I need to know. I want to store food long-term, I have canned food but want to store grain, rice etc preferably lasting as long as possible! Does anyone have any experience in long-term food storage, I know there's bags you can buy, but what the difference is between mylar and aluminium foil coated bags I have no idea! Anyone with any experience or links I' be grateful. Thanks for your time guys and thanks for the forum!

    stg58 likes this.
  2. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    Mylar actually seals when you apply heat to it. Aluminum foil, well, doesn't. For LTS go with mylar, and for me I get the 5 mil. Have poked a few holes in the 3.5 and 4 mil in the past so I look for the thicker. I think you can get 6 but I don't know where.

    Rice lasts forever provided you keep it dry. I've pulled rice out of buckets that had no O2 absorbers, no mylar, just dumped in Homer buckets and slapped a lid on... 10 years plus it was good as new. Don't try that with pasta, particularly egg noodles.

    You can search the forum with keywords like LTS or food storage or mylar and find most of the answers you seek.
    john316, Brokor and stg58 like this.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Oxygen is the Long Term Storage KILLER... Get ride of the Oxygen, and Food Stuffs, that are in SEALED Containers will easily last for DECADES. I have Wheat, Rice, Oats, Powdered Milk. Honey, Peanut Butter, Sugar, and other preps, in Sealed, Nitrogen, and CO2, Flooded Containers that are as Good NOW, as they day, Momma and I put them up, Years ago. If you want to learn about Long Term food Storage, contact a local Mormon. Those folks invented Long Term Food Storage, and have been teaching folks, how to do it, for MANY Decades..... .....
  4. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    Many Mylar bags are actually laminated with a thin layer of aluminum to further reduce their permeability to oxygen ingress. These are your best choice.

    As mentioned, before sealing it is good to purge the oxygen from the bag. Multiple ways to do this. My method is to use argon gas from my welder. I use a metal tube connected via a hose to the tank regulator to plunge to the bottom and then flood the bag with gas from the bottom displacing the oxygen out the top. Argon is heavier than O2 and will stay pooled in the bag a bit better than other gases and it is completely inert. Add an oxygen absorber to the bag to capture any O2 that might permeate the bucket and bag and then seal it. Do all this with the bag in a 5 gal bucket and then seal the bucket. Keeps grain etc. for decades.

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
    ditch witch likes this.
  5. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    use dry ice in the bottom of your bucket to purge oxygen if you can't get absorbers
    Mike and stg58 like this.
  6. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King Site Supporter

    I have had the same experience as Ditch Witch above with rice and other grains. However, for the past 7 or 8 years I have used dry ice to purge the oxygen because (1) it just makes sense and (2) I did have an experience where beans that had been stored for 12 years without purging and had apparently been put up on a moist day (we have a few of those in Oregon) were split and had rotted sprouts.
    ditch witch and stg58 like this.
  7. ms1984

    ms1984 Monkey

    Hi again, thanks so much for the information. I'm pretty excited to get everything ready although maybe I should have started earlier. Never too late though I suppose! :) I found a loadof info at Mylar Shop Articles - Mylar Shop and Mylar Bags - SorbentSystems.com I decided I want to go with Mylar rather than other foil bags as, for the price extra, I think it's worth it. I ended up going with these bags: Heavy Duty Mylar Bag - 25cm x 35cm - Mylar Shop as I'm in the UK so the Sorbent Systems shipping is too much. They should arrive any day so I'll put up a review if / when they arrive! I haven't got a heat sealing thing but apparently an iron will do and this is a good video on how to do it: If anyone knows of any shops in the UK other than the one I picked I'd be grateful. Anyway I'll be back with a review and maybe a video on how to store grain if I can find a video camera. Thanks everyone and thanks for your time. Mike
  8. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Like "Airtime" I use Argon but I use a 1/4" flexible clear tube to avoid any chance of poking a hole in anything. I just use plain food grade plastic bags doubled. I fill the first with Argon, close the bag, withdraw the tube, and finish tying it off. Then I "slosh" a bit of Argon in the second and tie it off--a bit more in the bucket and slap the lid on. Pastas work fine like this as well as any grains/beans/peas/sugar/condiments/etc. Argon(or any "inert" gas) does two things--drives out the moist air and displaces the Oxygen. Bugs/mold/mildew cannot live there or bother your stash. You can rent small bottles of Nitrogen/CO2 from welding companies if you cannot find Argon(which is my preference). Jury rig a hose on the tank and you are set to go.
  9. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    I use a flat iron (the kind for hair, not clothes) to seal mylar. Works great. For sucking the air out, I rigged a hose to go on my vac cleaner. I seal the end all the way save for the little space where the hose goes in, then suck the air out. Draw the hose back to almost out of the bag, slip the flat iron underneath and seal. Be helpful if I had a third hand, but works pretty well. I have a food saver but for whatever reason I never bothered to try it on the mylar bags.
    BTPost and chelloveck like this.
  10. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King Site Supporter

    Mine works for me...I just mostly use mylar bags that are too large for it
  11. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

  12. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    you can also use dry ice on the top if you put the lid on loosely, put the dry ice in a piece of aluminum foil. The CO2, being heavier than oxygen, will permeate the item being stored and displace the oxygen. after it has dissipated, seal the lid.
    kellory likes this.
  13. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+

    the dry ice is placed on a tissue or clean piece of paper towel .... on the top of the filled bucket ... you need to make sure the cube of dry ice is COMPLETELY dissolved ... otherwise you'll have a bucket lid imprint on your ceiling ...

    I used the dry ice method for 20+ years ... when the 02 absorbers came on the market - I couldn't wait to get a bag ... the addition of mylar bags just put the kibash on dry ice completely ... messing around with it is very frankly - stupid as h@ll .... just dangerous to handle and as inconvenient as it comes ...

    the professional food packers, as a vast majority, have used the food grade bucket/gasketed lid - mylar bag - 02 absorber - packing system for 25 years now ... take a hint
    Mike and ghrit like this.
  14. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    hint taken.
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just another NOTE, here: One can ALSO go to the Bottled Gas Emporium, and get either a CO2, or Nitrogen 100# bottle, and a Regulator, and flood any Prep Storage Container with Tank Gas, before sealing it up. Momma and I did this on our Long Term Storage, decades ago, and it is as Good, today, as it was when we put it up. We rotate out a small amount each year, Replace it, and use it to test the viability of the Storage. Never had an issue with any of those Tests. Still eats, rather well..... ...... YMMV.....
    Witch Doctor 01, Mike and kellory like this.
  16. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    interesting. Question about the O2 scrubbers, are they renewable or expendable?
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Usually Expendable.....
    Mike likes this.
  18. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    I like that idea. It's reusable in case you have to open a tub. A wand with holes in it stuck down in the bottom would push the O2 right out and be quickly sealable. It would even work in the mylar bag method.
  19. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Very simple, and easy to replace tanks too.
    Mike likes this.
  20. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    My thoughts exactly.
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