A Guide to Long Term Food Storage Containers
To many, starting a food storage pantry is silly. They live only a short drive from the nearest store and expect that it will always be easy to go and purchase what they need.
They fail to understand that food shortages can, and do happen, it doesn’t even have to be during an emergency. They fail to see that most grocery stores only have enough food on hand to meet the needs of their community for three days.
If the food-supply chain is disrupted, this means that your local market could run out of food very quickly.
There are a number of things that could happen such as job loss, getting ill, or fluctuating income that may lead to you worrying about how you will provide for your family. Your food storage pantry can ensure that you have the food needed to see your family through these tough times.
But it isn’t enough to just purchase food in bulk and then put it away until you need it. The last thing you want is to go to use your supplies to find that they have gone bad when you need them the most.
We are going to take a look at some of the better options in terms of the food storage containers for long term storage.
The original packaging that most foods come in were never meant for long term storage. So what containers should you be using for your food storage? Read on to find out…
Glass jars haven’t really changed all that much since they were first invented simply because it is tough to improve on them.
They can be used to store a wide variety of different food items from sauces to meats, to dried grains. They can be reused time and time again but when used for dry goods, always remember to add an oxygen absorber in the top.
They should always be kept in a cool, dark location because light causes food to deteriorate. You should also never stack them as the weight will soon build up which could lead to them breaking.
Food Safe Buckets
Food safe buckets are great for long term food storage of staples such as flour, sugar, pasta, rice and oats, and unlike glass jars, they are stackable and easy to access, and they keep moisture and rodents out.
I don’t know how it is everywhere but here in my local town, you can get them free as the bakeries just throw them out so as long as you wash them thoroughly, it can save on some money. They have easy-to-seal lids, but you can also order lids online if they come without.
You can’t just use any buckets for storing your food, they must be labeled for food use. Others may have dyes or chemicals in them that make them unsafe.
If you want to use food-safe buckets to store food for longer than a few months, put the food in a Mylar bag inside the bucket. Seal the Mylar bag and lay an oxygen absorber packet on top of the sealed bag. Close the lid tightly. As the O2 absorber draws the oxygen out of the bucket, the lid compresses slightly to seal.
I know a lot of people that opt solely for Mylar bags for their food storage but I prefer to only use these within the buckets mentioned above as they can be easily punctured or damaged by rodents.
Think of them as extra insurance when you’re storing food long-term in a plastic bucket. The good thing about Mylar bags is that they can also be used for storing food in the freezer.
Plastic containers are a cheap and easy way to store your bulk foods. The cost can be reduced further by using plastic containers that you already have coming into the home such as soda bottles.
Just fill them up with your bulk foods, put some plastic wrap over the opening at the top and then put the bottle cap on.
You won’t need to worry about these shattering but they won’t last forever as the plastic can eventually leach into the foods. The plastic is also slightly porous, so it won’t regulate humidity very well. Rodents can also chew through plastic bottles.
Word of Warning About Insects
No matter which method you choose of storing your foods, you must remember to protect against insects. It is not as simple as filling the containers and forgetting about them.
The insect eggs are already in the food when you buy it so just keeping the food in an airtight container won’t stop the food from becoming contaminated.
When you first purchase your bulk foods, you can kill these eggs by placing the foods in the freezer first for four days. You can also microwave grains for 5 minutes to kill eggs.