Empty Shelves after recent snow...

New_Life
By New_Life on Mon, Mar 5, 2018 - 7:49am

After the minor recent snow and seeing the effect on our fragile food supply system got me thinking, wonder if anyone wanted to share any tips for food storage and preps? 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-43278380

How about some recommendations for good UK companies for long term supplies?

Top tips for long term storage?

4 Comments

mntnhousepermi's picture
mntnhousepermi
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 19 2016
Posts: 159
food preps

The first step in food preps is to just buy more of the things you already like to eat that are shelf stable, for example, cereal, pasta, canned beans, canned tomato sauce or what have you, but normal shelf stable foods found at the grocery stores that you normally will eat. One painless way to do this, once you have stocks of food again, is called "copy canning " meaning when you go to the market, anything that you are buying that is shelf stable, you get double the amount. So, instead of one jar of jam, one pound of rice,etc.... you get 2. This way you dont have to spend alot of money at once and you are getting foods you normally eat. Now, you figure out where you are going to put it, some people have a shelf in the closet or over the washing machine, and keep a pantry of these items, once you have 1-3 months worth of food, you just replace what you use. You put the new items in back, older in front in an organized manner, this way no special packaging is needed, the food is rotated and used within the manufacturers date guidelines.

To keep grains, beans, pasta and flour fresh longer you may want to beef up how it is stored, depends how fast you go thru it. The paper or plastic bags these are sold in let in air, so they will keep longer if you keep more air out. A beginner way of doing this is to put the little packages into a plastic bin or a bucket with a lid, the plastic bucket keeps the air out better. Glass does this even better, so they can be put into large, empty glass jars, with a screw on lid. Cleaning empty 1 liter soda bottles and using these to store dry goods also works well, keeps it fresh much longer than the plastic bags.

Yeast stores well in the freezer, I usually have a pound of yeast in the freezer, depending how yeast is sold in your area, you may want to transfer it to a glass jar so the freezer doesnt dry it out. Butter stores well in the freezer for a year, so you should "copy can" buy some butter and keep it in the freezer, each week take out the butter for that week, and replace with butter from that weeks shopping, You should at least have 1-3 months of fats like butter, and whatever liquid oil you use. If you have a power outage, the butter and yeast will not be harmed by thawing, unlike your ice cream or meat.

So, you should be able to have a good diet of foods you will eat without buying special, expensive foods.

 

Once you have this 1-3 months of regular, pantry type foods done, and want to go further with long term storage foods that you do not need to rotate and eat, check back here and I can help you with hw to do that

New_Life's picture
New_Life
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2011
Posts: 366
Great starter tips!

Really appreciate the reply, some great tips for the newbie.

We're pretty much doing those things already, milk is a harder one, but it also freezes well as does bread.

Also have a cold & dark cupboard/pantry where Almond milk seems to keep well as an alternative to milk. Having a few 5L bottled Water containers is another key supply as is having good purification filters.

I read some areas were handing out bottled water...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43283167

And some rural homes were getting airdrops of vital supplies, they'd even resorted to burning their own furniture to keep warm!!!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-43285331

This is just after 3 days, can you imagine what would happen in a severe winter?

Yep the rotating stock is a top tip, ie when I return from the store with cans of potatoes, vegs, soups & beans, pasta, noodles, etc simply replace the ones in the "backup" cold/dark cupboard/pantry and then take out the previously stored ones in there to go into your normal kitchen cupboards.

Jams/honey/syrup/treacle would be a great source of concentrated energy. Cracker bread, crackers, oat biscuits tend to keep well in air tight containers.
Muesli bars and dried fruits also very good. A few 2kg bags of Fruit & nut Granola would be a great idea, you could even have with water if needed.

And while we are speaking of nuts, they tend to keep well in containers.

The yeast & fats in the freezer isn't something I'd thought about, good suggestions. Do you have an additional freezer, or just a very large one?

The area that interests me is storing dehydrated meat/vegetables for having maybe a year's supply. Any good UK providers?

mntnhousepermi's picture
mntnhousepermi
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 19 2016
Posts: 159
freezer, etc....

No, I purposely do not have an additional freezer, it is not the main way I preserve or save foods. The butter and yeast do not take up much space. I may have one loaf of bread in there, things like that get freezer burn easily.

So, for bread, yes, you can keep a few weeks of breads you rotate out, as they can get freezer burn, or just one extra loaf, like I do. But, bread is easy to make. Look up recipes online for "no knead " bread . Around here, a used bread maker is inexpensive, although that takes up room. I used to have one in the garage for emergency use ( my battery back up will power an outlet, but not my electric stove) but gave it to a needy family. If and when I run across one super cheap again at a garage sale, I will pick one up again. If you do not have an oven, flat breads are easy to do on a pan if you are having a supply disruption, although you cant do any of this in a power outage. The no knead bread dough makes good naan bread on a pan, pinch off pieces of it, roll out flat, and cooks quickly on a pan. If you do not have any yeast, flour, salt, oil, and water, and you dont need to measure this realy, just add water last, a little to get a feel for how much more it would take, roll flat and cook on a pan briefly. (Yes, it is nice to have a few #10cans of Pilot crackers with a 30 year shelf life if you are in a city where you cannot have even heat for a pan in a power outage)

I do alot of dehydrated storage, and I dehydrate some myself, like apple slices, persimmon slices, greens (kale, parsley), celery, onions, garlic, carrots. I have not dehydrated potatoes, but it is not hard to do so, but it is easy to buy dried potatoe flakes or shreds at stores. Dry grains and beans of course is also dehydrated. I have purchased store bought and then packaged myself for long term storage, this is less expensive than buying #10cans, although I do have both.

Once you make or buy dried vegetables, fruits, grain, and beans, they have to be packed correctly to last many years. The easiest way to do this at home is to use mylar food storage bags with an oxygen absorber. If you cannot find this in Europe, it is very light weight to ship from out of country. There are 2 basic sizes of the bags, large enough to be an entire 5 gallon bucket(about 20 or more pounds of beans), and smaller 1 gallon bags ( about 4 pounds of beans, similar amount to a #10can). You have to be careful of mylar as it must be kept inside a stronger bin or bucket so that nothing punctures the mylar and lets in air ! I put mine into 5 gallon plastic buckets with lids, but any sturdy plastic bin, or even a cardboard box will work. You can find something local to put the sealed mylar in. This is how it works, you put the dried food into the mylar, leaving room at top ( if ding the bucket sized bag, put the bag in the bucket first), seal most of the way across ( sealing is easy, go to a store and buy a hair straightening iron, like a curling iron, but flat, they are very cheap, available everywhere and work very well), drop in the oxygen absorber, seal the rest. Lots of videos on doing it on the internet. Lots of instructions, I am sure about how to dehydrate foods, although around here, you can easily buy dehydrated vegetables in bulk bins at the health foods store.

If you can find a UK distributer of long term storage, you would still want to do some of this your self, as it is expensive to buy. Generally it is easiest for people to buy oats, rice(only long term store white rice, flour(only long term store white flour) and dried beans and package those up in mylar and buckets themselves, as this is the bulk of a storage diet. This saves alot of money. Then, you only have to buy a smaller amount of commercially done foods. When you buy long term storage foods, there is dehydrated, cheaper and then freeze dried, more expensive. In general, buy onion, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, tomato powder and apples dehydrated. Then, meats freeze dried, and berries and a few other vegetabes for a treat maybe also freeze dried. One #10 can of dehydrated onions and one of carrots last a very long time, I opened and can of each to cook with one winter. They work very well, just like fresh. I also tried out the dehydrated tomato powder.

mntnhousepermi's picture
mntnhousepermi
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 19 2016
Posts: 159
milk

I like dried milk, whole milk dried milk, like Peak brand. Peak is European, so you should be able to get it as I can, I have to order it on Amazon.  Realy good milk, shelf life is 2 years. I get the 400g sized cans, which makes 17 cups, which is just over a gallon. I like the taste better than the liquid milks in the aseptic packaging, it has a longer shelf life, and it is lighter. Downside of course is that you have to mix it with water, bu I have pleanty of that

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments