Originally published January 20 2015
Long-term food storage made easy
by Jennifer Lilley
(NaturalNews) Natural News' very own Mike Adams has declared 2015 the "Year of Self Reliance," reinforcing what he's been stating in his articles and videos for quite some time: Now more than ever, people need to take control of their own security. From food to finances, he's shown that if we are to flourish as a society, we need to take steps to ensure that we're free from the likes of police state eyes, crumbling economic systems and greedy medical practices.(1)
Food security in particular is a serious concern.
Between droughts that threaten crop production, increased use of pesticides, the issue of food waste, diminished food quality and an economy that is out of balance with rising food prices, the future looks bleak at best. That's why preparedness is essential. Thinking now about the ways in which you can plan ahead is critical. However, there's more to it than tending to indoor herb gardens and saving seeds. Storing these and other foods is an essential part of the food preparedness process.
Tess Pennington, author of The Prepper's Blueprint, a guide filled with real-life scenarios to help with disaster preparedness, explains in an online article that multiple barriers are ideal "for long term [food storage] purposes, and will keep natural elements such as sunlight, moisture and air out of the container when sealed." Pennington says that moisture, standing water, rain and humidity lead to food that becomes infested with mold and mildew -- in other words, food that is not safe to consume.(2,3)
Expert tips for long-term food storageTo prevent this from happening, Pennington advises investing in Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers and food-grade containers.
Mylar bags are ideal for situations that arise in sunny areas, such as spoilage, nutrient loss and even the appearance of bugs. Lining food-grade buckets or cans with them prevents this from occurring. Pennington is a fan of Mylar bags, noting that they not only last up to 20 years but are so durable that they prevent bugs and the elements from destroying the food.(3)
Oxygen absorbers are another way to help ensure long-term food security. "Using oxygen absorbers greatly prolongs the shelf life of stored food," Pennington said. "Because it absorbs the oxygen from the container, it inhibits the growth of aerobic pathogens and molds." They help prevent food from going stale and becoming discolored, telltale signs that oxygen is wreaking havoc. When storing food in Mylar bags, she suggests placing oxygen absorbers at the bottom of the bag, then again when it's three-quarters of the way filled.(2,3)
Think twice about desiccant packetsFor those thinking that desiccant packets can do the trick instead, be warned. She makes it very clear that they merely "moderate" moisture instead of absorbing it. Worse, she says that in the event such a packet breaks open and spills onto the food, everything in the entire container needs to be thrown out, since their contents are not edible. There are also foods that they can't be added to such as flour, salt and sugar, as they can turn rock-hard in their presence.(3)
Of course, common sense should also prevail.
For example, storing foods away from brightly lit areas is helpful; if it can't be avoided, be sure to use curtains and/or black-out material over the window in the area where it's being stored. It's also necessary to keep food stored away from direct floor contact by keeping containers on raised platforms at least six inches from the main surface area. Being mindful of areas that are prone to household disasters such as flooding and excess moisture is also critical. Therefore, avoid storage in areas like laundry rooms and basements, especially near pipes.(3)
Be sure to choose the right storage containersFood-grade containers are key to this entire process; she notes that they're ideal for indefinite food storage.
"These containers will not transfer any non-food chemicals into the food, nor are their any chemicals within the container that are hazardous to humans," she said. Look for one that has a "#2" near the recycle symbol or the letters "HDPE," which stand for "high-density polyethylene." Pennington advises cleaning and rinsing before use and turning to 5-gallon plastic containers which tend to be the most widely used among those who store their food in bulk.(2)
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