Long-term storage is usually 10 years or more.
To be able to achieve long-term (10 or more years) of storage you have to defeat the enemies of food
storage which are: heat, oxygen, insects, rodents, mold, moisture, light.
The most common method for long-term food storage is 5-gallon plastic buckets. The bucket itself is
only part of the equation. The best food storage is achieved with 5 gallon food grade plastic buckets,
Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, and bay leaves.
1. 5-OR A 6- Gallon Food Grade Plastic Bucket.
The bucket is your first line of defense in long-term food storage. A good 5-gallon food grade plastic
bucket will keep most rodents out while the shape and the rigidity of the bucket will protect the food
inside as well as allow portability. Plastic buckets are not foolproof; a determined rat with lots of time
on his paws could eat his way through the plastic but he’ll have to work at it.
Use only food grade buckets as some 5-gallon buckets are made with additives to the plastic, such as
coloring, and they are not the best choice for long-term food storage. Use only food grade buckets
that are new or have only held food. Never—ever use a bucket that has held paint, chemicals, drywall
mud, or anything that would (or even might) be toxic. Some folks are getting away with using brand-
new non-food grade buckets. I do not recommend this.
Often you can get free or nearly-free food-grade buckets from bakeries or delis. Clean these out well
before using, as some people might turn their nose up at a “pickle smell” when they open their rice.
Whatever bucket you use, make sure it has a lid that fits it. Definition of “pain in the neck:” getting a
bucket ready to seal and not having a properly-fitting lid.
LABEL YOUR BUCKET!!! Nothing would be worse than having an emergency and not knowing which
bucket is the rice, which is the beans, and which is sugar. Write the name of the stored food, the
weight (approximate if need be) and the date, on the bucket. Some put this information just on the lid,
some put it on the front of the bucket also. Use a permanent marker as we expect 30 years out of this
storage. And write clearly so anyone can read it.
2. Mylar Bags.
Mylar is a very dense, plastic-like material. All plastic allows some oxygen penetration, but Mylar
allows almost none. The thicker (more mil) the Mylar, the better it will keep oxygen out. Mylar will also
hold a vacuum very well so it allows you to extend storage life by lowering the amount of oxygen in
the food you store in the bag.
To seal a Mylar bag use a hot iron set on the “Cotton” setting. Lay out the top of the bag onto a piece
of board that is long enough to go across the bucket and then some. Have plenty of board on both
sides of the bucket and bag. Gently run the iron across the Mylar as it is lying on the board to seal the
3. Oxygen Absorbers.
The oxygen absorbers are just that: little packs that absorb oxygen. You’ve seen them in new
handbags and in shoe boxes when you purchase new shoes. They absorb oxygen by chemical
reaction. The packs are such that oxygen can penetrate the lining, but the lining will hold in the
product so as to not damage the food. Oxygen absorbers react quickly, so don’t expose them to air
until you are ready to use them. Left to open air, most oxygen absorbers will absorb as much oxygen
as they can in 15 to 20 minutes, and then they must be thrown away. Keep your absorbers in a glass
jar or a heavy plastic bag and only take out the ones you intend to use quickly, then seal the bag or jar
Removing oxygen from stored food is essential as mold and insects cannot live in an oxygen-
depleted environment. Keeping oxygen out of food gives you many more years of storage!
4. Bay Leaves.
Bay leaves have been used as an insect repellent for centuries. Not 100% sure you MUST use them,
but they are inexpensive and they might help. My wife remembers her grandmothers and great-
grandmothers scattering bay leaves freely in their cupboards and pantries, and putting a bay leaf
inside a bag or canister of flour, sugar, or cornmeal. Obviously this is a pest-control method that has
been relied on for generations.
WHY TAKE ALL THE CONCERN TO STORE AND PREPARE LONG TERM
FOOD STORAGE, AND BE CARELESS AND CHEAP!!
GO THE EXTRA MILE TO PROPERLY STORE ANY FOODS, WHY WAIT
5- 10 OR 20 & 30 YRS TO FIND OUT IT SPOILED BECAUSE OF YOUR LACK
OF DILIGENCE, FORETHOUGHT AND BEING JUST A CHEAP'O!!!
1) USE THE OXYGEN ABSORBERS FROM A RELIABLE SOURCE, THEY
ARE SO CHEAP IN THE LONG RUN!!
2) USE A MINIMUM OF 5 MILLS THICK MYLAR BAGS
3) USE ONLY, AND I MEAN ONLY FOOD GRADE BUCKETS!!!
4) USE ONLY THE BEST SOURCE OF FOODS, AND FROM A VERY
RELIABLE SOURCE.....BUT STILL INSPECT EVERYTHING BEFORE
SEALING THE BAG AND OR BUCKETS.....
YOU'VE HEARD ME SAY IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN....
PREPARE WISELY....DONT WAIT UNTIL YOU NEED IT,
TO FIND IT'S NOT THERE ............OR SPOILED!!!
THEN YOU AND EVERYONE WHO COUNTED ON
|Long Term Dry Goods Packaging, with 4 different ways,
the "BASICS PAGE"