Preparedness, survival, and self-sufficiency tips that I can try myself and share my experiences on, from the perspective of a single gal on a strict budget. I plan to write about outdoor survival, wild edibles, cooking, food preservation, home-made household products, etc. If you want to know more, read "About Me and My Blog" below this. :)
Dry Food Storage Using Oxygen absorbers and mylar.
Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers.
There are many dry foods (low moisture and low oil content) that you can store long-term, many years, by
using oxygenabsorbers. With the oxygen
absorbers, I use the mylar bags. Some people prefer #10 cans or food-grade
buckets for storage. Some use mylar bags inside buckets. I prefer (for now at
least) to just use the mylar bags and then store them in a large plastic tub
to keep mice and other things from them. It's a personal preference I guess.
For me, it was cheaper to just get the bags and store them in the tubs that I
already had. Mylar bags can be reused and resealed also. I personally get them
on e-bay, but there are many places you can buy them on-line or at food storage
stores. I live in a remote area "in the boonies," and I doubt there is any place
in town here that has that sort of thing. Note, many bakeries will give away (or sell
cheap) food-grade buckets when they are done with them. When I ask, they seem to be all out. lol
When using oxygen absorbers, it's very important to not open the packet
until you have your bags ready to seal! You want them in the bags of food and sealed
within 15-30 minutes of opening them or they won't work well.
arguments on whether or not 'hand warmers' work as well as oxygen
absorbers; but I'm not convinced myself. Besides, the oxygen absorbers are inexpensive; so I'd rather play it safe
and get those.
To seal the mylar bags, you can just use a regular clothes iron. Set it on hot,
cotton/wool setting. The bags seal in just a few seconds. Very easy to do. I
place the edge of the bag on a piece of wood and just run the iron over the edge. It doesn't hurt the
iron any, and the iron doesn't hurt the mylar. If the bag isn't completely full, I still
just seal the edge so that there is more room for the bag to be resealed later
if I want. Don't forget to label the bag and date it so you know what is in
I actually sealed this bag a month ago (dehydrated hash browns). I just took the picture to show you how I do it. See how the oxygen absorber has done its job and sucked in the bag like it was vacuum sealed? :)
Some foods that are said to last indefinitely
without any special
honey (no additives)
pure vanilla extract
hard liquor (can be used for different things)
pure maple syrup
distilled white vinegar.
(I would put some of these in a plastic bag for extra protection like the baking
There is a lot of different information out there about the shelf-life of
foods. I've also read articles about how many foods store a lot longer than
first thought. The cooler the temperature, the longer it will last. Some of
the foods that are said to last 30 years or more when kept at a temperature of
around 70 with an oxygen absorber are wheat, white rice, pinto beans,
rolled oats, pasta, potato flakes, non-fat powdered milk. (Brown rice
doesn't store well because of the fatty acids.)Again, there is
a lot of different information out there, but these do store well. Dehydrated
foods are also good for storing with oxygen absorbers.
Here are a couple of articles about the shelf-life of many foods.
Not only is it a good idea to stock up some for emergencies; but with the rising prices going up and up and up, it can be a good idea to stock up for that reason too. I like the oxygen absorbers because I can store some things away and just forget about it for a long time. ;) Of course I have other foods, like canned foods, that have to be rotated and used in a shorter amount of time.
Note, if you wish to store grains or legumes and not use oxygen absorbers,
you may want to look into using food-grade diatomaceous earth.
You mix it in with the food, and it will take care of any bug problems that can
arise. It is organic, the fossilized remains of a type
of algae. If you want to sprout something, you would want to use this instead
of an oxygen absorber. Some people swear by bay leaves, but I'm not convinced
about that from the things I've read.
feel free to leave a comment, tip, or suggestion below. :)