Imagine an emergency occurs and you have to open your food storage only to discover that it’s not good anymore. That would be horrible.
How and where you store your food can have a huge impact on the life of your food storage. In this article we will explore various location requirements for maintaining your emergency food supply and keep it secure and at its best quality for when the time comes for you to use it.
Make sure that your food is in a consistently cool place. Many times your garage is cool during the winter but without air conditioning in the summer it can get pretty hot in there.
Make sure that the location of your food storage is consistently cooler. Canned goods will store for longer periods of time when they’re stored below 70 degrees compared to those that store at 90 degrees. Remember that being in the shade doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cool.
Also be sure to not place your food next to a heat source. Pipes and walls can be cool during certain times of the year and hot at others. Be sure to think about the effects of changing seasons. Make sure that other utilities like freezers, refrigerators, furnaces and water heaters are not in the same room.
Speaking of shade – it’s important to make sure that your food isn’t stored in clear or see-through containers. Now, if you buy food at The Ready Store, you don’t need to worry about that because all of our stuff comes in #10 cans, boxes, pouches or barrels. However, if you can your own foods and have them in glass jars, make sure that you store them in a dark place. Consistent light can fade colors, zap your food of vitamins and make fat go rancid.
Make sure it’s dry
One of the reasons that freeze-dried and dehydrated foods last so long is because water is taken out of them. Water and moisture leads to deterioration and corruption. Freeze-dried foods typically have a shelf life of 20-30 years. Dehydrated foods typically can stay on the shelf for 10-20 years.
You’ll want to make sure that moisture is not an equation in your storage room. No puddles, drips or high moisture content in the air (as much as possible).
Airtight canning and sealing
While you can’t have an airtight room, you can have airtight cans of food. This will prevent odors and smells getting out of the container. In fact, many people use Mylar bags inside of their plastic barrels and containers. This keeps rats and other vermin away because they can’t smell the food. They also place oxygen absorbers inside the Mylar bags to ensure that insects don’t grow a colony inside the bag.
Oxygen will strip food of its nutritional value. The majority of foods contain enzymes that, when exposed to oxygen, start to break down the food by a process known as oxidation. Nutritional value is lost little by little as food breaks down. That is why it is important to remove the oxygen from the containers before you seal them.
Signs of oxidation include discoloration, mold growth, and swelling in the package. That’s why it’s important that the food has a quality oxygen absorber and canning quality that doesn’t allow oxygen in to corrupt the food.
What have you found?
Comment below to tell us what features you’ve looked for in your food storage pantry. What worked best for you in your house? Comment below to help others prepare.
~ Brandon Garrett
Brandon Garrett is a preparedness consultant and team member of The Ready Store. He writes informative articles and information for the ReadyBlog, the Ready Store's blog and educational section pertaining to topics of the economy, resiliency, and preparedness issues.
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