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View Full Version : Long term rice\pasta\oatmeal storage. Mylar Bags and O2 absorber. Need recs


C&Rtrader
12-30-2012, 2:54 PM
Looking to beef up LT food storage. I was looking at Mylar bags and o2 absorbers. Anyone have any recs on absorbers or bag sources?

I had rice in food grade Rubbermaid jars gallon size. Rice looked like it started to mold a bit after 3 years. Looking to better seal it this time around.

or better techniques. I am always open to new methods.

Thanks in advance

ireload
12-30-2012, 3:15 PM
Mylar bags and O2 absorbers are the way to go. Metal canning is another option but the "canning machine" itself is a expensive unless you involve several people to cut the cost down. I've store mine in mylar bags, vacuumed first then added the 02 absorbers then store them inside 5 gallon food grade buckets. Easy to do. Just make sure you have ample bag material to seal and a good flat surface to seal the bags with. You can You Tube on how to.

Another method is to vacuum seal the food item in vacuum sealer bags like Food Saver brand. With Food Saver you can get a attachment to vacuum seal glass mason jars. Those are good for single or double servings.

kaligaran
12-30-2012, 3:27 PM
I bought mylar bags and o2 absorbers on amazon. I think I got like 10 5g bags and absorbers for about $10.
Go to home depot and you can get 5g buckets for $4 and even the air tight lids for $8.

Make sure you test the mylar bags for leaks. I used a small bleach/water solution to check for bags and also to sanitize the them. Then let them air dry before filling.

Seal the bags about 85% of the way then use a vacuum hose to suck the extra air out before you seal the rest of the way. Works great.

Best of luck.

C&Rtrader
12-30-2012, 3:40 PM
This may sound like a silly question.. but you seriously use a vaccum to get the air out before sealing the mylar bag with an iron?

any recs on o2 absorber brands?

C&Rtrader
12-30-2012, 3:40 PM
This may sound like a silly question.. but you seriously use a vaccum to get the air out before sealing the mylar bag with an iron?

any recs on o2 absorber brands?

ireload
12-30-2012, 3:49 PM
This may sound like a silly question.. but you seriously use a vaccum to get the air out before sealing the mylar bag with an iron?

any recs on o2 absorber brands?


You can use a wet and dry vac or even ordinary house vac providing that you clean and sanitize the hose before you insert inside the bag. I use Food Saver sealer to vacuum. It does not need to be vacuumed a lot as long as you can see the mylar bag collapse inward. With vacuuming you also remove most of the moisture inside if you are not using any food grade desicant packets. I don't have any recomendation with 02 absorber brand. What ever Honeyville or Emergency Preperadness sells is what I've been using.

Manolito
12-30-2012, 3:56 PM
The only caution I have about mylar is rodents and vermen can eat through the mylar. Check your area for a LDS (Mormon) canning operation. Many will allow non members on certain days of the week to use their services. They teach you how to can the products and help you learn the process while you do your own cans. Great People and I prefer the canning over mylar. Just another option to consider.

Bill

sunborder
12-30-2012, 4:48 PM
If you have food grade buckets with a decent lid (I use the gamma seal lids), drop some dry ice on the top, put the lid on loosely, and ten minutes later seal the lid on without removing it.

Will it last 20+ years without mylar? Probably not. Can I afford to replace a $20 bag of calrose rice (50lbs from Costco) every 5 years or so? Easily. The rest of our storage we rotate as we eat it, so it's more hassle than it's worth for our modest storage needs.

We don't put nearly as much in as most of you folks do, but our threat assessment is centered around a week's total disruption, and possibly a 2-4 week partial disruption of services. I can afford to plan for that sort of disruption. Thousands of dollars for "End of the world," not so much.

My wife is very picky about the Japanese rice we eat, particularly about how fresh it is, so this is emergency food storage for us.

Norcalkid
12-30-2012, 6:21 PM
I get the bags and 02 thingies online and buckets free from Safeway bakery. 3.5gal but the price is right.

Dubious_Beans
12-30-2012, 6:34 PM
Another method is to vacuum seal the food item in vacuum sealer bags like Food Saver brand. With Food Saver you can get a attachment to vacuum seal glass mason jars.

Yep!
We have lots of 2 quart mason jars full of rice, beans, grains, sugar, etc.
The glass jars keep the vermin (mice!) out and evacuating the air before sealing helps keep things fresh and bug free.

Mason jars are reasonably inexpensive, impervious to oxygen, vermin proof, reusable, & easy to acquire. Lots to love about them.

Steve1968LS2
12-31-2012, 8:58 AM
I bought a big stack of those 5 gallon buckets with Gamma lids from Costco.. filled each one with a different item (beans, rice, oats, lentils, corn meal, etc).. toss in a few O2 absorbers and then put the lids on nice and tight..

Should be fine, right? I'm hoping the items will have a 10-year shelf life.. then I will rotate..

hnoppenberger
12-31-2012, 9:36 AM
My grandpa told me a story of the year he was stationed in north alaska in the AF 1964. They went low on rations one month and went to the backup K rations, FROM WWII!!! Over 20 years old and just fine, just said everything went to the same color. Can of beans, $1 not on sale? 100 year shelf life, easy. They have found canned food in shipwrecks 50 y/o and its still good. As long as its sealed, and not bloating, its good.
Id spend my money there, quick and easy, but a dozen extra when you go shopping.

Steve1968LS2
12-31-2012, 9:50 AM
My grandpa told me a story of the year he was stationed in north alaska in the AF 1964. They went low on rations one month and went to the backup K rations, FROM WWII!!! Over 20 years old and just fine, just said everything went to the same color. Can of beans, $1 not on sale? 100 year shelf life, easy. They have found canned food in shipwrecks 50 y/o and its still good. As long as its sealed, and not bloating, its good.
Id spend my money there, quick and easy, but a dozen extra when you go shopping.

And the great thing about canned food? They contain thier own water. :)

The main problem is storage space.

tommyboy619
12-31-2012, 9:55 AM
Mylar bags and O2 absorbers can be found on Amazon/Ebay. Thicker the bag the better, larger the O2 absorber the better. My advice for bags is get the 1 gallon size. That way you only open what you need, while the rest stays fresh. Also makes it easier to store several things in one bucket. I like the bags that have the ziploc feature as well. For buckets, white ones from wally world or home depot are the cheapest.

I tried to store instant everything in my bags. Instant oatmeal/ refried beans/ mash potatoes, powdered milk, tang, etc... stuff like that. This way I only have to boil water then add and wait, rather than actually cook. Saves fuel, water, and time. When was the last time you quickly cooked dried beans?

sunborder
12-31-2012, 1:18 PM
My grandpa told me a story of the year he was stationed in north alaska in the AF 1964. They went low on rations one month and went to the backup K rations, FROM WWII!!! Over 20 years old and just fine, just said everything went to the same color. Can of beans, $1 not on sale? 100 year shelf life, easy. They have found canned food in shipwrecks 50 y/o and its still good. As long as its sealed, and not bloating, its good.
Id spend my money there, quick and easy, but a dozen extra when you go shopping.

Um, have you considered the possibility that there just might, maybe, kinda-sorta, be a small temperature difference between Northern Alaska and Southern California? Consider that might have an effect on the edible life of canned foods? Just maybe?

I've had canned Tuna go bad inside of 3 years. Had canned Salmon be good after nearly twice that long.

Best to rotate that canned food. Store what you eat, and eat what you store. I know I kind of violate that with my rice storage, but that's the wife being picky, not my overall storage plan.

I tried to store instant everything in my bags. Instant oatmeal/ refried beans/ mash potatoes, powdered milk, tang, etc... stuff like that. This way I only have to boil water then add and wait, rather than actually cook. Saves fuel, water, and time. When was the last time you quickly cooked dried beans?

This is true, especially in Southern and Central Cali. Perhaps some places in Norcal have reliable sources of fresh water year round. That certainly isn't the case around here.

Manolito
12-31-2012, 1:37 PM
There is a difference between you can eat it and it won't kill you and you get nutritional value from it.
Most commercially canned food lose their vitamins and nutrients after five years I know the acid content of foods also plays a role. The last thing I want to do is be in the survival mode with marginal medical care and spin the wheel of fortune on a 20 year old can of beans.

I did C-rats for two years and I promise there is nothing that resembled todays canned food. The Government process would not sell on the public market. I will go as far as to say most would not get past the look or smell of the can of eggs.

Bad food may not kill you but the dehydration from the squirts sure can.

AKfan
12-31-2012, 9:12 PM
I bought a big stack of those 5 gallon buckets with Gamma lids from Costco.. filled each one with a different item (beans, rice, oats, lentils, corn meal, etc).. toss in a few O2 absorbers and then put the lids on nice and tight..

Should be fine, right? I'm hoping the items will have a 10-year shelf life.. then I will rotate..

Wait...did you use a mylar bag inside each bucket? Worth a redo since gases and moisture can leak in and out of the buckets. Think of the bucket as the structural strength of the storage unit and the mylar as the isolator of gases that is way more leakproof than the mylar which can be torn/damaged if you only used mylar alone. You put the O2 absorbers seconds before sealing can seal the mylar with an iron. If the spacing is tight (since you have to have the mylar bag filled, in the bucket and need the clearance to seal with iron) you can use a short flat piece of wood as an ironing surface to seal the mylar-just don't over do it,you can melt it. I have sealed a few dozen like this.

Tjfearl
01-01-2013, 1:09 AM
The only caution I have about mylar is rodents and vermen can eat through the mylar. Check your area for a LDS (Mormon) canning operation. Many will allow non members on certain days of the week to use their services. They teach you how to can the products and help you learn the process while you do your own cans. Great People and I prefer the canning over mylar. Just another option to consider.

Bill

I found this LDS website. Has a bunch of videos for food storage.

http://intelligentlivingpoes.wordpress.com/category/home-storage-center-lds-dry-pack-cannery/

KevinB
01-01-2013, 6:08 PM
We can our dry goods. We have rice, beans and oatmeal that is 15 years old and is still perfect when we open it. Steel cans are critter proof.

For people that are near a LDS cannery, some of them have take home canners for non church members. If they don't, you will not find nicer people at the canning centers that will help and teach you to can. You do not need to be a church member to use a LDS canning center.

We also vac seal 1/2 gallon mason jars and it is unlimited what you can store in them. We try to buy them when they are on close out towards the end of canning season. We got lucky this year and got 14 cases of 1/2 gallon jars for about 8 bucks a case.

Long term food storage where the heat can get to your food will severely shorten your shelf of all your goods. Storing your goods in a hot garage is a no no.

Another hint with home canning is to heat up your goods and thoroughly dry them before canning them. This also kills the bugs that are present in the packaging when you buy it.

I have even crushed my on olives this years for the oil and bottled it. So far it has been great stuff. Time will tell.

Sanderhawk
01-01-2013, 6:35 PM
This place has pretty much everything for long term storage honeyvillegrain.com/

sunborder
01-02-2013, 10:30 AM
Storing your goods in a hot garage is a no no.

Absolutely. Unfortunately, for the city-dwelling condo owners like my family, we don't have much of a choice (since my wife would have a heart attack if company came over and saw our dining room full of bags of rice/shelves of food in our dining room/living room).

So, for us, the name of the game is stock in a 1-2 month supply, and rotate (bulk rice notwithstanding...we just dump and buy new every few years).

As I said, I'm not going to worry about anything past a 1-month disruption, since there's jack diddly I can do about that in terms of food storage until my financial means drastically improve (money for a house with insulated garage/extra bedroom to serve as pantry). My job doesn't allow us to move out into the boonies, so we're stuck for the time being.

I consider the mylar bags overkill for my admittedly short-term storage needs. If you want a 10+ year shelf life, it's probably worth the investment.

kaligaran
01-02-2013, 12:59 PM
This may sound like a silly question.. but you seriously use a vaccum to get the air out before sealing the mylar bag with an iron?

any recs on o2 absorber brands?

I just use generic brands for the absorbers.

Here's a video of a guy sealing a mylar bag and using a standard vacuum to get air out. I am posting it at the point where he goes through all the instructions on how to do it. I really like this technique and do the exact same process for mine. Works great so far. Hope it helps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Onuw6jLj6p8#t=320s

KevinB
01-02-2013, 2:32 PM
We have Honeyville products in our pantry. Their freeze dried cheese sauce is really good, so is their butter, I think we have their whole eggs also.

For their canned staple goods like rice and beans they are double the cost what the LDS cannery is. Same thing with dried milk and oats.

1MAG1KiLL
01-02-2013, 3:15 PM
just toss in a hand warmer in your storage bags. it will absorb all the oxygen

C&Rtrader
01-02-2013, 9:20 PM
ordered mylar bags with o2 absorbers on amazon, and those lids for the 5 gallon buckets. seemed to be the most economical solution. Keep the moisture out and the rodents!

now its time for a costco run.

btw...thank you for posting the videos. some good stuff in there.

KevinB
01-02-2013, 10:10 PM
Plastic buckets will not keep mice and rats out of your food. Period.

Onetyme
01-03-2013, 3:48 AM
just toss in a hand warmer in your storage bags. it will absorb all the oxygen

Really? I like this idea. I have plenty of hand warmers around.

rberger2_99
01-03-2013, 7:50 AM
Mylar bags and O2 absorbers are what I use. Depending on the weather when you are sealing, there may be excess moisture in the air. The O2 absorbers are ONLY absorbing O2. Any moisture in the container will remain.

To extend the life of the contents of the bag, I always place food safe descant at the bottom of the bag, and the O2 absorbers at the top.

C&Rtrader
01-03-2013, 9:09 AM
Plastic buckets will not keep mice and rats out of your food. Period.

Plastic bucket + Gamma Lid seems pretty solid? Unless these mice are a named Chuck Norris?

Do you have experience with mice chewing through a 5 gallon bucket?

Dubious_Beans
01-03-2013, 9:32 AM
Plastic bucket + Gamma Lid seems pretty solid? Unless these mice are a named Chuck Norris?

Do you have experience with mice chewing through a 5 gallon bucket?

YES!!
Mice & rats can eat through a plastic bucket with no problem and in a short time.
I had it happen with a bucket of crushed walnut shells for tumbling brass. I had a 5 gallon bucket in my shed and I came out one day and there was walnut shell everywhere and a hole in the bottom of the bucket big enough to drop a golf ball through.

My neighbor had it happen with buckets of oats for her horses. It made a big mess. She uses metal garbage cans to store oats now.

Do not ever trust plastic buckets to be rodent proof, cuz they ain't.

KevinB
01-03-2013, 9:42 AM
Rodents cut thru plastic buckets like butter. I have never seen a rodent proof home or garage. They will get in.

Chuck Norris is a sissy compared to rats teeth.

cranemech
01-06-2013, 10:12 PM
Good info on food storage and supplies for food storage (http://www.sorbentsystems.com/longtermfoodstorage.html)

Good resource for info on dehydrating food and food storage (http://www.dehydrate2store.com/)