Have you ever found a bag of cornmeal and opened it up to find little bugs crawling or flying around? I’ve found the same pests in bags of flour. Whole germ cornmeal or flour going rancid is another problem you don’t want to encounter when cooking dinner. Proper storage can prevent a lot of this.
These problems happen. Foods spoil. Estimates are that as much as one third of your food supplies will be ruined, and experts tell you to factor that into your decision on how much food you should stockpile. Ruined food is just a given, but there are ways to minimize the losses.
Freeze Grains, Ground Meals, Pastas and Flours
When you first bring in fresh supplies of any grain, any meal – like cornmeal, wheat flour, or even pastas, you can effectively destroy small infestations of bugs by placing all the new food into a freezer set to 0 degrees for a few days. This will kill even the eggs. Remember, the freezer temperature must be at zero degrees to do the preventative killing of the pests.
Learn more: Pantry Goods to Buy in Bulk to Save Money
Airtight Seals Prevent More Than Air From Penetrating
I love vacuum sealing foods. Air causes oxidation. Loose packaging allows air to flow and that is not conducive to keeping foods fresh. Loose packaging also allows bugs to crawl into the package and enjoy a prolonged meal. If you have a vacuum sealer, great! Otherwise, consider placing foods in glass canning jars, full and packed to lessen space available to air.
We’ve found that you can buy rolls of vacuum sealing bags up to 50′ long that allow you to create and seal even big bags of beans, flour, sugar. It’s a little investment in money and time but the food itself is a big investment that needs protecting.
Mylar bags sealed around your food, with an oxygen absorber added to eliminate oxygen, work great. I recommend, again, that you briefly freeze grain-based foods for 2 or 3 days to kill bugs, and then place it in a mylar bag, add a oxygen absorber and seal the bag. Oxygen is not a friend to long-term storage – It must be eliminated.
The Provident Prepper: a common-sense guide to preparing for emergencies
by Kylene & Jonathan Jones
No one knows when a storm will hit or an economic disaster take place. Protect your family by being prepared for things like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, and civil unrest. The Provident Prepper is an easy-to-use guide without doom and gloom.
Darkness Encourages Longer Shelf Life
Storing items in the dark also helps the food to remain intact and stable. Keep food in cabinets or pantry closets and not sitting on the counter, if you want long term storage life. Cool temperatures help also.
These are a few ideas to help you protect the food that you’ve so carefully gathered and put back for your family’s needs. Remember to freeze, vacuum seal and store in a dark, cool place to extend the life of your stored food.