DIY food storage

LONG-TERM FOOD STORAGE ON A BUDGET:

Food insurance plans made primarily of freeze-dried meals offer convenience, but they often require high cost one-time purchases.  They are conveniently pre-portioned but only good for a single use.  The food selection is limited and may not be of the best quality or suit individual needs, tastes or desires (e.g. those on a gluten-free, Celiac, diabetic, or low sodium diet).  Food insurance providers often load up meals with lower nutritive value and low cost ingredients (fillers) to achieve a specific caloric value.

Ave. cost of a 2000 calorie per day freeze-dried meal package for 2 adults / 2 children

  • 1 month supply= ~$1,500  ($17  / meal)
  • 3 month supply= ~$4,000  ($15 / meal)
  • 6 month supply= >$7,500    ($14 / meal)
  • 1 Year supply= >$13,000.00  ($ 12 / meal)

YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF FOR A FRACTION OF THE COST:

You can prepare a customized long-term food supply, for 1/4 or less the cost of most food insurance packages.

Many commonly available grocery store items and bulk dry foods are shelf-stable for 5, 10, or 20+ years when properly packaged and stored.  Dry foods and food ingredients including dehydrated or freeze dried meats / fruits / cheeses / vegetables can be purchased in bulk and repacked into smaller single serve or weekly rations.

BENEFITS OF DIY FOOD STORAGE

  • Make purchases over time as budget allows (add a few items each week to your grocery list).
  • Wider range of choices to suit individual needs
  • Select highest quality foods without fillers
  • Adjust quantities or eliminate certain foods to suit your preference
  • Configure portion size to suit your needs

USE MYLAR BAGS & OXYGEN ABSORBERS

TO ELIMINATE THE ENEMIES OF LONG - TERM FOOD STORAGE

  • Oxygen
  • Moisture
  • Light

MYLAR BAGS                       

Mylar bags (foil lined barrier bags) are a significant improvement over plastic food storage containers made of Polyethylene (PE) or Polypropylene (PP).  A food storage container composed of PE or PP alone is not suitable for long-term storage because of its porous nature which allows oxygen, moisture, and light to penetrate and deteriorate the food inside.  If you stored tomato sauce in a plastic container the orange stain left behind is evidence of PE / PP plastic’s porous structure.

Mylar bags acts as a barrier to block the penetration of Oxygen, Moisture, and Light.  Mylar bags are like metal cans except they are flexible and more readily conform to the shape of the material inside.  Mylar bags come in a range of sizes and thicknesses.  The thinner (3.5 mil or less) are not suitable for long-term food storage because they allow some light penetration and are susceptible to perforation.  For dry food storage you should choose high quality aluminum lined barrier bags (7-MIL THICKNESS) made of 3 layers (polyester plastic BoPET/ Aluminum / and PE plastic) fused together during the manufacturing process.   The 2 outer most layers of BoPET / Aluminum create a non-porous barrier preventing Oxygen, Moisture and Light from entering.  The inner PE layer is FDA approved for food contact and allows the bag to be heat sealed with a clothes iron, hair straightening flat iron, or impulse sealer. 

OXYGEN ABSORBERS

Dry air is comprised of 78% Nitrogen; 21% oxygen; and 1% argon, carbon dioxide, and other trace substances.  Aerobic pathogens (bacteria and molds that attack food) require oxygen to reproduce and thrive.  Oxygen absorbers remove oxygen (to < 0.1%) from sealed environments starving food degrading pathogens and creating a nitrogen rich environment necessary for long-term food storage.

OxyFree® oxygen absorbers are designed for food use and are safe for direct food contact.  On the inside, they contain iron powder.  The outside is made of a plastic film that allows oxygen and moisture to enter but keeps iron powder from leaking out.  Iron powder reacts with oxygen in the air to produce iron oxides (rust).  In a confined environment, oxygen absorbers remove oxygen from the air inside until all of the iron powder converts to iron oxide.  It is important to use an oxygen absorber of the correct size to remove all of the oxygen in a mylar bag before it stops working. 

 

SELECTING OXYGEN ABSORBER SIZE

TopMylar.com Barrier Bags and Oxygen Absorbers

BAG SIZE

OXYGEN ABSORBER

USES

 

QTY

SIZE

 

1 Quart

1

300 cc

Single-serving meals, Backpack meals,  Simple ingredients (cheese, meats, vegetables), Cocoa, Tea, Coffee, Spices & Seasonings

2 Quart

1

300 cc

Two-serving meals, Simple ingredients (cheese, meats, vegetables), Powdered eggs, Dehydrated fruits, Nuts, Jerky

1 Gallon

1*

300 cc

Four-serving meals, Rice, Beans, Pancake mix, Cornmeal, Flour, Dried milk, Flaked potatoes, Sugar, Salt, Pasta*

2.5 Gallon

1

1000 cc

Whole grains, Dry beans, Pancake mix,  Flours

5.0 Gallon

2       or (1)

1000 cc (2000cc)

Whole grains, Dry beans

*Use double the required Oxygen Absorber QTY when storing pastas (e.g. macaroni noodles) with large air spaces.

USEFUL TIPS

  • Resist filling bags all the way to the top. Leave room to easily close and seal the bag. Oxygen absorbers will remove the oxygen leaving nitrogen behind.  Seal the top 1” of bag leaving some space to reseal. Bags can be cleaned and reused.
  • Freeze dried foods packed in TopMylar.com bags can be rehydrated by adding boiling water directly to the bag. Our 7-mil bags are designed for this and will not melt.
  • When sealing powdery substances such as flour, wipe the inside edges with a dry cloth to remove residual dust before sealing.
  • Shelf-stable items like pasta can be sealed in original packaging but you must cut a small hole in all store packaging to allow the oxygen absorber to remove oxygen trapped inside.
  • Check your bags a few days after sealing. The oxygen absorber will draw in (compress) the bag due to oxygen removal.  If bag appears unchanged, wait a full week.  If bag still does not appear compressed after 1 week, start over with a new bag and absorber.  
  • Always protect sealed foods from heat (store below 75° F). Cold is not a problem.
  • Rodents can chew through mylar. Protect stored product from pests by placing inside totes or buckets with lids.

SHELF LIFE

(in sealed 7-Mil Mylar Bag with proper size Oxygen Absorber)

Indefinite

30 YRS

25 YRS

White sugar

Salt

Baking Soda

Baking Powder

Cornstarch

Instant coffee

Tea

Cocoa

 

Beans (dry)

Lentils

Oats (whole/rolled)

Barley (pearled)

Pasta (semolina)

Potato flakes

Rice (white)

Corn (dry)

Popcorn

Wheat (hard red/white)

Kamut

Fruits (freeze-dried)

Vegetables (freeze-dried)

Meats (freeze-dried)

Beans (instant)

20 YRS

10 -15 YRS

5-10 YRS

Fruits (dehydrated)

Vegetables (dehydrated)

Cheese (freeze-dried)

Powdered Milk

Peas (black-eyed)

Quinoa

Rye

Barley (whole grain)

Buckwheat (whole grain)

Flax

Durum wheat

Oats (groats / pearled)

Spelt

Triticale

Mung beans

Brown sugar

White flour

Whole wheat flour

Sour cream powder

Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Shortening powder

Cheese powder

Eggs (powdered)

Butter (powdered)

Bullion

Cornmeal

Flour (all-purpose, unbleached)

Pancake Mix (oil / fat free)

Pasta (egg-based)

 

3-5 YRS

1-3 YRS

Drink mixes

Instant cocoa

Coffee (ground)

Rice (brown)

Peanut butter (powder)

Nuts (almonds, cashews)

Whole herbs / spices

Nuts (walnuts, pecans, peanuts)

Ground herbs / spices

       

ESSENTIAL BULK DRY FOODS REQUIRED:

1 YEAR FOOD SUPPLY                              (LBS per PERSON age 7+)

Grains (wheat, rice, oats, pasta, flour, cornmeal)

300

Dairy (powdered milk, evaporated milk, cheeses)

75

Legumes (beans, lentils)

60

Sugars (white, brown, powdered)

60

Fruits (dehydrated, freeze-dried)

50

Vegetables (dehydrated ,freeze-dried)

50

Meat (freeze-dried) and TVP

30

Baking Powder

1

Baking Soda

1

Salt

5

SOURCE:  http://modernsurvivalblog.com/food-storage-calculator-for-one-year-bulk-supply/

BULK SHELF-STABLE FOOD RESOURCES:

Augason Farms:     Bulk dehydrated and freeze dried fruits and vegetables; whole grains & beans  http://www.augasonfarms.com

Bulk Natural Foods:   Bulk wheat, spelt, Kamut grains, almonds & other nuts.   http://bulknaturalfoods.com/

Future Essentials:    Bulk freeze dried fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meats.     Various online retailers

Harmony House Foods:  Bulk dehydrated and freeze dried fruits and vegetables.   http://www.harmonyhousefoods.com

Honeyville Farms:  Full range of bulk freeze dried meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables; Whole Grains & Beans. http://shop.honeyville.com/

Legacy Foods:  Bulk freeze dried meats.  Various online retailers.

Montana Flours & Grains:  Bulk Whole Grains, Kamut wheat flour http://www.montanaflour.com/

Mountain House:   Assorted freeze dried foods in #10 cans perfect for repacking.  https://www.mountainhouse.com/

Mountain Rose Herbs:  Bulk herbs and spices. https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/

North Bay Trading Company:  Bulk freeze dried vegetables.  Various online retailers.

Saratoga Farms:  Offers a wide variety of both freeze-dried and dehydrated fruits, vegetables, sauces, mixes. Various online retailers.

The Grain Mill Co-Op:  Range of bulk grains, dry and dehydrated foods and food ingredients.   http://www.grainmill.coop

Thrive Freeze Dried :  Wide assortment of freeze dried vegetables, fruits, dairy, and meats in #10 cans   http://www.thrivefreezedried.com/