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
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
USE MYLAR BAGS & OXYGEN ABSORBERS
TO ELIMINATE THE ENEMIES OF LONG - TERM FOOD STORAGE
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.
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
Single-serving meals, Backpack meals, Simple ingredients (cheese, meats, vegetables), Cocoa, Tea, Coffee, Spices & Seasonings
Two-serving meals, Simple ingredients (cheese, meats, vegetables), Powdered eggs, Dehydrated fruits, Nuts, Jerky
Four-serving meals, Rice, Beans, Pancake mix, Cornmeal, Flour, Dried milk, Flaked potatoes, Sugar, Salt, Pasta*
Whole grains, Dry beans, Pancake mix, Flours
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.
(in sealed 7-Mil Mylar Bag with proper size Oxygen Absorber)
Wheat (hard red/white)
10 -15 YRS
Barley (whole grain)
Buckwheat (whole grain)
Oats (groats / pearled)
Whole wheat flour
Sour cream powder
Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Flour (all-purpose, unbleached)
Pancake Mix (oil / fat free)
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)
Dairy (powdered milk, evaporated milk, cheeses)
Legumes (beans, lentils)
Sugars (white, brown, powdered)
Fruits (dehydrated, freeze-dried)
Vegetables (dehydrated ,freeze-dried)
Meat (freeze-dried) and TVP
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/