Long term food storage instructions and suppliers
Buckets: The ones I get have had palm oil in them and are food grade. All I have to do is wash, dry, and, then they are ready for a fraction of the cost. I buy them locally at $1 each for the 6 gallon buckets. Make sure that you get Food Grade Buckets! 6 gallon buckets are a better deal because of the cost of the bags. They also maximize the amount of storage for the amount of space taken up. I like fitting more in a smaller amount of space.
http://www.sorbentsystems.com/specs/pakdry1500.html 7 mil bags with high oxygen barrier
Minimum order 10 pieces at $3.35 each
These will work in buckets up to 6 gallons in size
Food Grade Lids
24 Item # 3168 Food Grade lids for 5 gal pails
$1.74 ea color white $41.76
They also have Gamma Seals and have deals on them which is a screw on lid for 3.5 – 7 gallon buckets that have 2 O-Rings to seal them water and air tight
vbrick57 is th ebay seller for iron filings. I bought 5 # for
$27.95 plus $12.95 shipping for a total of $40.90 This is enough to do approximately 75 6 gallon buckets.
I just use the standard size basket type filters and use 3 per bucket
Transparent tape to close off the coffee filters
DON’T USE the little woman’s Favorite Iron! I use a small one that was designed to be used for putting monocoat on model airplanes that is about 30 years old. It is made by Seal Inc. out of Derby Connecticut and measures 1 5/8” wide by 4 ½ “ long with a max power consumption of 165 watts. Check out thrift stores and get an old one that won’t matter if you melt some mylar on it.
Approx 20” 2x4 with a fairly smooth side for ironing on
Table Salt for making oxygen absorbers: About 30 g. per 6 gallon bucket
This is optional, but I use it to purge the oxygen from the bucket. A bottle of nitrogen was acquired from the industrial gas supplier, in my AO it is a welding supply. Some places you can buy them and others you have to lease them. If you come across any industrial gas bottles at garage sales or cheap, you can often trade them in for the type that you want. Contact your industrial gas dealer or welding supplier. I got a regulator from ebay for about $35 that is designed to be used with nitrogen. It is important that you get the correct regulator designed for the gas you are using. CO2 will also work. Then I went to the hardware store and brought the regulator. A clear hose 6 feet long was found that went over the threads of the regulator and a hose clamp was installed. The other end goes over a ½” copper pipe from the plumbing department that is about 24” long and secured with another hose clamp. It was a bit of work to get the hose over the copper pipe, so I heated the hose just a little over the gas stove to get it to stretch over the pipe easier, then fastened it to the pipe with a hose clamp. Watch the heat, the hose will melt if you are not careful.
Making Oxygen Absorbers:
Credit goes out to Butter Knife who has a show on The Intelligence Report which is on Friday nights called Quartermasters Corner. There is an archive at www.theintelligencereport.co.cc for 9/26/08 where Butter knife goes over making oxygen absorbers, but here is how I do it.
The reason to make my own is because many of the commercial ones you buy have already sucked up much of the oxygen they can and are not effective. You never know about the containers they are stored in and truly air tight containers are expensive. When you make your own, it is known when their life starts. They are also less expensive costing about 60 cents per 6 gallon bucket.
2 of the ½ Pint mason jar with good lids
1 tongue depressor
Iron filings will absorb approximately 40% of their weight by volume of oxygen. This can vary by your altitude. I make them so that there is a good margin of leeway. Remember overkill is fine, underkill…not so good.
I try to figure how many buckets I am going to be filling up and use 27 g. of iron filings per 5 gallon bucket and 30 g. per 6 gal bucket.
If I am going to pack 10 6 gallon buckets, I will put the first ½ pint mason jar on the scale, tare off the weight of the jar so it reads 0 g. while the jar is on the scale, and weigh out 300 g. of iron filings. I use a tongue depressor to move the filings from the baggie to the mason jar.
Then I will add 300 g. of the least expensive table salt. Mix with the tongue depressor, put the lid on then shake it around for 60 seconds or so, open it up and mix some more with the tongue depressor until it is mixed well. The ratio is not critical, just make sure it is mixed very well. We are trying to have the mixture produce FE203, which is a type of rust and it will eat up the oxygen in the container that it is in if it has a little moisture to activate it. Most food has enough moisture in it, even dry pack stuff to work just fine.
Take the mason jar off of the scale. Put a coffee filter on the scale and get a new zero. Use the tongue depressor to scoop 60 g. of the mixture onto the coffee filter if you are using a 6 gallon bucket, or 54 g. if you are using a 5 gallon bucket. Pull the edges up and tape it up so the mixture is in the bottom and it looks kind of like a candy kiss. I then fold the top over, and put that coffee filter into another coffee filter, tape it up, then do it again. That is 3 layers of coffee filters. I don’t want iron filings getting into my food after I have been counting on it!
Put the completed oxygen absorber into the second ½ pint mason jar and put a lid on it. The clock is ticking on your oxygen absorbers, so don’t leave them out where they are doing their thing too long. Finish making the oxygen absorbers and put them into the 2nd ½ pint mason jar and keep the lid on it tightly. It is a small jar so there will not be much oxygen to suck up and they will keep quite a while in that state, but I do prefer to make them fresh for each use.
Rubber hammer, or I use a Horrible Freight 3 pound dead blow hammer.
Felt tip pen
Take a clean dry bucket and put a mylar bag in it. Fill with dry pack. My favorite things to pack are wheat, rice, beans, oatmeal, corn, and quinoa. Don’t put so much in that the lid won’t close properly. You may have to move the bag up and down a little to get the most in.
Put the correct size oxygen absorber inside the bag. I rest the 2x4 on the side of the bucket and fold over the bag and keep it straight without creases. If you do get creases you can still seal it, but it is much harder. You can get it flat with a little practice. I then place the wand of copper tube to the bottom and back off about a half inch. Don’t press too hard as you could damage the bag. Wrap the bag around the wand with a little space to let out the oxygen. Turn on the nitrogen, don’t worry it won’t hurt you, our atmosphere is about 70% nitrogen. Start with just a little pressure to purge out the oxygen. If you get too much pressure, you could have your dry pack flying out of the bucket. Be patient and know what you are doing is going to give food that will be good in 25+ years. Move the wand up a little at a time and allow the oxygen to be purged out the top. When the oxygen is purged, remove the wand, turn the nitrogen off, and lay the bag flat on the board again. The nitrogen is cooler than the oxygen in the air, so it will tend to stay on the bottom of the bag better, so if the bag is a bit open it really doesn’t matter. As long as the oxygen is below about 10% the critters can’t live and that is mostly what we want, but as an added benefit, the food will degrade very slowly if it is not kept too hot. There is an oxygen absorber in the food as well.
I use a small iron but you can pick one up from the thrift store that you don’t care about. I wouldn’t recommend using your lady’s favorite iron as it may get a bit of melted mylar on it. Get the bag flat against the board and extra air out of it, then iron it closed. If you iron the top and are careful, the bag can be reused. After it is sealed, check to see if it is air tight by pressing on it and see if it leaks. You can usually feel if it is losing air. Don’t push real hard, just enough to see if you have a seal. If it didn’t seal, iron it again and recheck the seal. If you have it airtight, carefully fold it over inside the bucket so the lid will not pinch the bag. Carefully tap the lid on with a hammer starting on one side and gently tapping around the lid. I prefer a new food grade lid as I don’t want any problems with my food for many years to come.
I cut out the label of what I am packing and tape it to the side of the bucket and also put masking tape on it stating how much is in it, when it was packed, and how it was packed.
Many foods will last 25+ years packed this way. If you do store beans this way, after several years they will not cook properly, but are still useable in stews and soup by grinding them up first in your grain grinder. You do have a grain grinder don’t you? I have a Corona brand that was about $50 and designed for third world daily usage. It will grind every grain I put in it, however with wheat I grind, sift and whatever will not pass through the sifter gets reground.
Submitted by MOFreedom
Feel free to distribute, the more prepared people are the better! Good luck and long term storage is easier than you think, you just need to follow some basic guidelines. I can be reached at: MOFreedom2@yahoo.com