Now is a great time to learn how to store food long term. Shopping from home is much more enjoyable than going to the crowded stores and hauling the food back to the house each week. Also, it saves you money because you are not in the store making impulse purchases. There are a few guidelines to follow to make sure your food stays fresh, and insect and rodent free.
Today I will be focusing on larger amounts of food that can be stored for an extended amount of time (1 year or more). If you are just starting on your food storage journey and would like more information on how to begin, read my post on how to stock your pantry.
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What You Need
How To Store Food Long Term
First, buy the proper containers. Rodents and insects would love to take over your food storage, so put your food on lock down! A five-gallon bucket will hold 25 pounds of most dried beans, grains, flours, and pasta. You can buy smaller bucket sizes if that better suits your needs.
A gamma-seal lid allows for an airtight, leak proof seal for your bucket. It comes in two parts, the threaded rim and the removable lid. To assemble, place the threaded rim on top of your bucket and push down until it pops into place. You may need to use a rubber mallet to help the process. Once in place, screw on the lid.
If you are storing the food for 1 year or more without using it, use mylar bags and oxygen absorbers along with the five-gallon bucket. Mylar bags are an added layer of protection for your food. They keep the moisture and sunlight away from your food, allowing for long term storage.
After filling the mylar bag with food, add an oxygen absorber. This takes out the oxygen and carbon dioxide from the storage bag. Mylar bags will prevent your food from going rancid, and you will extend the storage life of the food.
Seal the mylar bag with either a clothes iron or a hair straightening iron. The hair straightener will be easier to use. Place the lid on the bucket, label the bucket so that you know what is inside.
Store the buckets in a cool dry place. The nice thing about the buckets is that you can stack them three high without any problems. If you are going to store them in a room with a concrete floor, store the buckets up off the floor to allow air circulation.
For any grains or flours, freeze for three days, before putting them into long term storage. The freezing process kills any insect eggs that may be present.
Place mice traps around your storage area for a first line of defense.