Ancient people are known to use different methods of long-term food storage to preserve food. Back then, they did not have a fridge where they froze food. They only had to rely on natural resources to store the food and keep them preserved and edible for a long time. It is important that you also learn some useful practices for storing food on a long-term basis. If you get stuck in your house or somewhere else because of a natural disaster or accident, it would surely help a lot if you have preserved foods that will keep you full and nourished until help arrives. For some of the best long-term food storage practices, you can check out our best options and ideas.
Use the right containers
One of the most important materials that you should have if you are planning to store food that will last for a long time is the container. It is important to choose the right container that will keep the food inside protected against bacteria, dirt, chemicals, and other substances. You should find a food grade container that has the HDPE or high-density polyethylene stamp at the bottom. Another label to look out for is the #2 near the recycle symbol. If it is stamped with #2, it means that the container is safe to use for food storage.
It is also important to choose a container that has a good lid. A good lid is airtight and spill proof. If it is airtight and spill proof, no air or other substances can enter the container which can spoil the food that you are preserving.
Use additional protection
According to research, oxygen and some small particles start to seep through the walls of plastic storage containers over time. Of course, these containers become less effective in storing food as time goes by. This is why it is important to use extra protection such as Mylar bags. Mylar bags are known to last many years when used properly.
In fact, it could last up to 20 years. This barrier will serve as an additional protection that will keep the food last for a longer time. Aside from keeping your stored food preserved, keeping your containers with stored food inside Mylar bags also contribute to the food’s good taste. If you are storing food on a short-term basis, you can just pour the food directly into the Mylar bag.
We’re not huge fans of any plastic containers, because even though they are rated for food storage, I know that materials like glass (ie. the classic mason jar) are that much better in NOT contaminating your food with plastic by-products.
Use packets of desiccant and oxygen absorber
You often see desiccant packets inside medicine jars or boxes of brand new shoes. Desiccant packets regulate the moisture inside the container. You have to keep in mind that they do not absorb moisture so do not use them for drying food. You should not add desiccant packets to a container filled with sugar, flour, or salt unless you want these food items to turn into hard bricks. If the desiccant content spills onto the food, you have to throw away all the contents including the food because it is no longer safe to eat.
Oxygen absorbers, on the other hand, absorb oxygen. Oxygen is the primary reason why foods get spoiled. Oxygen promotes the growth of bacteria and mold which make the food inedible. This can be prevented if you put a packet of oxygen absorber into the food container that has to be kept dry. You have to choose the right sized packet according to the size of the container. It is important to work as fast and as efficiently as you can when using oxygen absorbers because they start to absorb oxygen as soon as they are exposed to it. Check out more KnifeUp articles such as: the top 3 best machetes, the best balisong knife, the best leatherman, and the best survival knife.