Information for preppers on all aspects of emergency preparedness, prepping and food storage.
Everytime I get access to an old can, I open it and if it looks ok, I try it.  Some of the foods have lasted a surprisingly long time and look like new, others would gag a maggot.
This morning I opened several cans, a ham flavored TVP, potatoes diced and spaghetti elbo (their spelling) all canned by DRI-Harvest and a can of instant yams by Peter J Phethean Ltd. Looking on the website of DriHarvest foods they have the following statement about their shelf life. Here you can see the contents of all four cans, the bottom are edible, The top two would scare me.
All of the DriHavest cans showed surface rust and had been stored in a garage.  They were approximately 30 years old. These cans were unusual in that the contents were in better shape than most of the cans of this age that I have opened.
While there are exceptions to every rule, for my personnel storage there are only a few long-term food storage companies that I purchase from, the top of the line being Mountain House.  But they don’t carry everything that I stock, so I also will purchase foods from Pack Away, AlpineAire Ready Reserve, Emergency Essentials and Honeywell Farms. Whenever you purchased food, look at the size of the serving and the number of calories.  Remember you need at least 2000 calories for a man and 1500 for a woman.
This entry was posted in food storage, Uncategorized and tagged long-term food storage, long-term storage food. I guess the good thing about these foods is that you are still around and have basically outlived them. I ate green beans, tomato juice, and tomatoes canned 15 – 20 years from canning dates. Keeping your food fresh helps rotate your food supply, and keep your diet healthy and varied. White sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, jam, jelly, corn syrup, powdered fruit drink, flavored gelatin, etc. Reprinted with permission from Feasting on Food Storage: Delicious and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking by Jane P.
I have a question that 7 companies that sell it and 3 blog experts in food storage have been unable to answer.
If popcorn is optimal at 13.5-14% moisture content, and you are not supposed to use oxygen absorbers with anything over 8-10% moisture content due to botulism, how is it safe to use oxygen absorbers with popcorn whether in Mylar bags or canned? I understand that popcorn can be made moist with the addition of water and allowing it to absorb.
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Keep in mind, that by repackaging these foods you will also be protecting them from oxygen, pests, and humidity, three of the five enemies of food storage. Pasta, rice, and potato convenience mixes, such as Rice-a-Roni, Pasta-Roni, instant potatoes, scalloped potato mixes, etc.
A vacuum packing machine, such as the Food Saver is my own preferred method of repackaging small to moderate amounts of food. These machines can be found on eBay and Craigslist at very affordable prices. Pour the food into one of the plastic bags suitable for your machine and follow the machine’s instructions for vacuum sealing the bag.
If a food can be easily crushed, such as cookies or crackers, place them in a large canning jar and seal it with your machine and a jar lid attachment. All the foods on my list can be packaged in canning jars, but I’ve had problems with using the vacuum sealer with very powdery foods, such as flour. Keep in mind that you’ll need to protect the food in an opened bucket from pests and deterioration caused by heat and humidity.
I also use empty and sanitized 2-liter soda bottles for things like rice and oats and add a 100 cc absorber just before capping the bottle.
The process of vacuum sealing using a Food Saver removes most of the oxygen that exists inside the bag.
Dry pack, or oven, canning is a process that involves pouring DRY food into canning jars, heating the jars, and then sealing them with lids and rings. Since this article was first posted, I received a number of questions about dry canning, sometimes called oven canning. From my research, it seems like the only advantages to this process is possibly killing insect eggs with the heat and that it doesn’t require the expense of a Food Saver. A much better way to insure insect eggs are killed is by placing tightly sealed containers of food in the freezer for at least a week. Heating these jars in the oven does not remove oxygen, which is a necessary step in prolonging shelf life. The possibility of glass breakage exists since canning jars are designed to be heated in wet environments, such as a hot water bath, and not in a dry oven. The previous repackaging methods I’ve listed are far easier and more effective in lengthening the shelf life of food, which is the main point of this activity in the first place!
There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product.


I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. If it’s kept in very cool conditions and in the dark, it should remain fresh for a few years.
Would there be a problem of just melting the shortening and then pour it in the jar and then seal??? Vacuum canning in a regular glass canning jar with a metal lid does remove the air and provides an air-tight barrier as long as the seal holds.
You have to put the filled FoodSaver bag inside a slightly larger Mylar bag and seal the Mylar along with an oxygen absorber to get a truly oxygen-free barrier.
The FoodSaver machine cannot vacuum the air from a Mylar bag because the Mylar is not channelized, but it can heat seal the Mylar.
The only type of these machines that is small enough and affordable enough for household use that I have been able to find is one called the Snorkel-Vac. Sorry to be doing so many food storage posts lately, we lived on our food storage for a bit while we were getting our condo ready to sale (the extra money for improvements had to come from somewhere, plus I didn't want to move lots of food), so I've been trying pretty hard to get a surplus built back up.
First I snipped a small corner from the bag and tried to pour directly into the jars, but it was hard holding the bag up that high for that long (without making a giant mess), so I decided to pour it into a bowl and scoop it into the jars. If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to my rss feed to get  future posts directly in your inbox.
When I first started this column, I discussed the importance of putting away your own bulk food, and not just buying a cat litter bucket with a “30 day supply” in it.
For this article I want to focus on Mylar bags, because I already covered buckets, including a cheap source of 6 gallon buckets. Packages of 100 20 x 30 Mylar bags from Uline are $155, but I also found a deal on Amazon for 50 bags for $62.99. You will also need at the very least oxygen absorbers, which I covered somewhat in the last food article.
You will also need an electric heat sealer, unless you get the slightly more expensive zipper seal bags from that guy on Ebay.
Other than the stacking though, I can’t say that I know of a reason to prefer buckets over bags.
I can’t stress the importance of storing your own food, and making sure that you have access to water that doesn’t require an electricity source. I have a lot of these cans put away, I can only hope I have not needed to open them after 30 years. These ready-made meals are packed in airtight NITROGEN PACKED Mylar pouches, and then encased in durable plastic containers. These ready-made freeze-dry and dehydrated meals are prepared in minutes by just adding boiling water.
Storing food in canning jars is especially handy if you are storing food for just 1 or 2 persons or cannot lift heavy buckets and large mylar bags. To avoid this you can seal the food and then place it in a second sealing bag and seal a second time or place it first in a zip-loc bag (do not seal) and then into the food storage bag. These buckets are popular because they can hold a very large amount of food, making many smaller containers  unnecessary. If you’re lucky enough to live near a food storage retail store, such as Honeyville Farms, you can buy them in person. It’s simply heating up dry foods in canning jars and then closing them with seals and lids.
At first, the method sounded like an inexpensive way to repackage dry foods but with quite a bit of research, I haven’t come up with any true advantages and there are a couple of reasons to avoid this method. Storing any food in glass jars continues to allow the food to be affected by light, which also deteriorates food. Canning jars are made from tempered glass, which is designed to break into hundreds of fairly harmless little particles, not shards.
If only dry foods, such as flour or oats are involved, I’d say the risk of a glass jar exploding in the oven is very slight.
Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios. You have to check the seal periodically because vacuum sealed jars sometimes become unsealed despite careful handling and cool storage — I know this from personal experience.
Not right away, but eventually and you will be very disappointed if you are counting on them to keep your dry foods oxygen-free. Or put several filled FoodSaver bags inside a Mylar bag-lined food 5-gallon bucket along with oxygen absorbers and heat seal the Mylar. The way to remove the air plus make a seal on Mylar quickly is to do what the commercial packagers of Mylar bag-filled meals, such as Mountain House, do — you buy a special type of vacuum sealer that can handle Mylar. You can do a quick internet search to find the company’s web side a read about the Snorkel-Vac if you like. I was going to buy some from Costco, but all they had in bulk was white rice or organic brown rice. At this point I used the clean rag and wiped the mouth of all the jars to remove anything that could get in the way of creating a seal between the jar and the lid.
If you need a little more info on how to do the sealing, maybe check out my post on My Review of The Handheld Vacuum. Without food, water and shelter you will have to leave the house after things collapse, and that’s bad.
If you don’t know what Mylar food storage bags are, you have eaten food out of them for years. At some point I am going to get to “canning” using a very thick Mylar bag, but here we are talking about dry bulk food storage. If you want fewer than that, or even more than that there are a number of people on Ebay selling 5, 10, and 20 packs with oxygen absorber packets for slightly higher overall cost, and even a few that sell them cheaper, as little as $100 per 100, in bulk. For these large 20 x 30 bags, the minimum I would use is the 2000cc oxygen absorber packets. The only thing is, they come in packs of 10 in a Foodsaver vac bag, so if you don’t have a Foodsaver to reclose the bag, get 10 buckets or bags ready, then close them all up at once. I actually bought a pallet of those 6 gallon buckets from that guy on Ebay that I linked to in the first article, and that brought the cost down to about $6 a bucket, so I am used to putting 40 lbs. They don’t stack well, plain and simple, so if you are going to designate a room to food storage, you will probably have to make (Illuminati) pyramids with the bags, then fill in between the peaks for what will be a disorganized mess, but a ton of food in the available space.


It is such a mistake to think that as long as you have guns you can get anything else you need. If you want to store shortening, pack it into a canning jar, place the lid on top, cover with the jar sealer and seal it.
The plastic protects food from light, and although rodents and some insects can chew their way through the bucket to the food, that takes some time, and hopefully, you’ve pest-proofed your pantry!
Grocery store bakeries buy things like frostings and fillings in food safe buckets and those are smaller. Quickly place the required number of absorbers in each container with the food and then store the remaining absorbers in a canning jar. However, to be on the safe side, it’s best to use canning jars for their original purpose only.
When the jar is filled, place a lid on top and use the jar sealer attachment to vacuum air out of the jar. If I were to store rice-a-roni, instant potatoes or anything like that just like you stated in these instructions, how long to you think it would keep? I just use a sharpie and this time I didn't need to write the contents, like I did in my Salt post, because it's clear what is inside there;). At our current rate of consumption, this 25 lbs of rice should last us about 18+ months which makes me feel a bit better.
Like you, I’ll be scared and scattered, wondering what is happening next, and I plan to use those heater bags that I reviewed and some prepackaged food. Mylar these days is being used in place of cans for everything from tuna (usually in that same Walmart isle) to potato chips. The bags I purchased are apparently 4.4 mils thick, though the only site that seems to say that is Uline. If you go by 6 gallons as a volume, the actual cubic centimeters in the bag are well over 20,000, so if you figure that 10% of that space will be taken up by air when you pack loose material like beans and rice, and oxygen is roughly 21% of the atmosphere, 2000cc is well within the range of “just fine.” I have had both 6 gallon plastic buckets and these large Mylar bags suck in and look like they were vacuum packed, but you don’t need that.
The sealer you need is called an impulse sealer, and the 12? version comes with extra elements and teflon strips for under $30 on Ebay.
I would say a good range to shoot for is 20-years on a can like this, it a long time and still more then likely that the food is still good. Sunderland, is full of tips and tricks on meal planning, safe food storage, and preparing for the unexpected. I am concerned that many folks could be setting themselves up for disaster in future based on lack of info. And, once the bucket is opened, you’ll have to plan on using the food inside within a reasonable amount of time, say 6 months or so if storage conditions are optimal, or reseal the bucket. When storing these vacuum sealed bags, do check on them at least once a year to see if any have refilled with air, and if so, open the bag and reseal. I had also underestimated how many jars the 25 lb bag would fill, so I had to sterilize more jars and lids. That was the subject of the first article, and I gave you some great ideas and links that I hope at least some of you followed.
Within a couple weeks (if we haven’t collapsed), I hope to get into details about the benefits of packaged foods, both from the survival suppliers and some survival food you will find on the shelf at Walmart. Nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and the other gas found in air are inert and won’t react with your food. From what I have read, all of the large manufacturers of these absorbers ship in 10 packs for the 2000cc, so if you see a seller on Ebay selling 5 packs, that means that they opened them and repackaged them with a fresh “freshness tester” tab.
At $1.50 or less each, I don’t see a downside to choosing Mylar bags over much more expensive buckets. Nobody does, and if you don’t either, don’t waste your time with “30 day supplies” from these food storage companies whose advertisements have so invaded our space.
This excerpt from the first chapter concerns the minimum amount of food that one adult, over the course of a year, stores and consumes.
In my many hours of research, I’m not convinced, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason to use this method, either! The one thing I didn’t address in that article was the prospect of using Mylar bags, rather than buckets, and I recently decided to try them.
If you have some time yourself, I would go check out the canned food isle, and look at the caloric value of things like beef stew, (Mylar) packaged soup mixes, and even Velveeta, which is in the same isle. It has a metal layer embedded between the plastic, and that metal blocks air, light and liquid, which makes it different from regular plastic. The Ebay sellers seem to call them 5 gallon, because they advocate putting them inside 5 gallon buckets, apparently unaware that you can get 6 gallon buckets for the same price or cheap. You just fill your bag, drop in your oxygen absorber, then press one side of the bag then the other.
My only other comment is to maybe keep some plastic tubs with lids on hand to dump the bags into as you need to open them.
When you see “survival food” in Mylar, or even soups and other dry foods at regular supermarkets in Mylar, they don’t use use oxygen absorbers generally, because the packaging equipment is run inside a nitrogen pure environment, and no oxygen is allowed into the bags in the first place. I’ll go over the numbers and details for you, and I sincerely hope that everyone who hasn’t taken action to provision for at least a few months of no food or water begin to do that now.
Modern plastic buckets are made of food grade high density poly, or HDPE, and the plastic is the most stable you can get. Buy Walmart’s brand of Velveeta cheese, and canned tuna, turkey, SPAM, as well as dried beans, rice, flour, pasta, dried milk, soup mixes, drink mixes, oatmeal, cereal, and whatever else you know is going to last 10 years or more, not that you’ll store enough to last that long. Hopefully we are going to pull out of this, but the time looks to be growing short now on several fronts.
Don’t leave yourself hanging out there with a stubborn assumption that everything is going to be fine. The same was true for pasta and if you plan to do a first run of 10 bags (to match the pack of oxy absorbers), I would get extra to see how much you can get in.




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Comments

  1. K_r_a_L
    Long said that the and the home party method, a new kid questioned has already reached.
  2. AnGeL
    Been about sniffling, sneezing and.