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  1. #1

    Exclamation DIY food storage basics, ask questions, get answers, etc.

    OK folks, just to make a sticky with DIY food packing and storage info for folks just getting started. Their is evidently a LOT of junk, misinformation and downright stupidity out there when it comes to DIY food storage.

    Years ago, after explaining upteem times how to properly use mylar liners and oxygen absorbers on a couple of forums, we first made a short video for Frugal Squirrels forum. It was impromptu and we didn't really like how it came out so later we put out this video-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW7_cTn6YpE

    But let me back up and give you a short history of where this all came from. In 1986-87 I started storing food. I was a teenager and new survivalist. Their wasn't much out about storing food yourself back then. Some early survival friends told me about storing dry grains, beans, etc. in buckets. Their was no mylar liners back then, nor oxygen absorbers, you couldn't buy those things like you can now a days. So over the course of a year I packed 300 lbs. of white rice by getting used icing buckets from Dunkin Donuts, cleaning them out thoroughly then pouring the rice in, hammering on the lid and sealing the outside of the lid with silicon caulk. A very humble beginning.

    Years later I got into the food storage business, getting my first "order" from friends in 1989. I sold Ready Reserve foods, a dehydrated brand that still is around IIRC. A few years later I started a mail order and gunshow Preparedness company in 1992 and sold food commercially through that. For a single guy in my early 20's then I did pretty well and got very familiar with food storage industry methods, the various types of packaging, etc. I continued packing a lot of my own food for my personal and family use during this time also.

    In the late 90's the writing was on the wall regarding Y2K and that it was going to be a big time for the industry. However as it usually happens in the preparedness industry, most ramped up too little and far too late. By mid 1998 most of the big food packing houses were telling us to tell customers "20 to 24 weeks" for lead times. That was crazy and was increasingly making it very hard to sell.

    Being still a fairly young man with no children yet, I decided to take a major plunge and add a mid size commercial cannery to what we were doing with the preparedness company. As fate would have it, James Stevens had just published his "yellow pages" book of the preparedness industry, and being an advertiser, a complimentary copy arrived right before I flew out to Las Vegas for a trade show.

    I absolutely love new ventures, new challenges. During the flight out and the flight back I used about half a fresh notebook making notes, designing the layout for the new cannery of which I had not found a home for yet, pages and pages of figures and calculations on what everything would cost, notes on where we would buy things, etc. Basically wrote an entire business plan on paper and in my head in the air between Jacksonville Florida and Lost Wages Nevada.

    We put the plan to work immediately upon returning home and within a very short period of time we were up and running packing #10 cans and Superpails with a full selection of grains, legumes, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, TVP's, mixes and meal blends, complete line of dairy products, etc.

    How did we do it? Very simply we copied the method used by the long time established professionals in the industry. Nobody knew who "honeyville" was then, but Walton's, OFD, Blue Chip and others were the standard then as they are now.

    We decided against doing a nitrogen "flush" method for several reasons. First and foremost was the fact that a lot of research had been done showing that the LONG TERM results of simple nitrogen flushing showed MUCH HIGHER residual oxygen content than using OXYGEN ABSORBERS. Secondly I didn't want to have to mess with having cylinders of nitrogen around, inspections, potential health hazards, etc.

    At the height of our running the cannery, we had about a dozen people working from 7am till sometimes 8 or 9pm at night running 2 canners. I never expected nor planned to keep the cannery open any past 1/1/00 so I did not buy any buildings but leased a building that conveniently had space in the back for the cannery, an office area and space for a walk in store up front.

    It's hard to say exactly how much we packed during that time period as so often food wouldn't stay on the shelf more than a couple of days back then, we did receive around 10 truckloads of hard read wheat alone. Each truckload was 22 pallets at 2,000 lbs. per pallet. So in wheat ALONE we packed almost a half million lbs. of food. Of course this was just ONE ITEM out of maybe 40-50 available. We built full year units from single person units to 4 person family units. We were one of the first companies to pioneer an affordable "Basic Year supply" which at the time contained about 600 lbs. of food and sold for sometimes as low as $200. (1998 prices). According to plan, we closed the cannery the weekend before Thanksgiving in 1999 and moved to our Georgia location. Knowing that the food storage part of the business would be dead for a while after 2000, their was no sense in keeping open the cannery. And sure to plan, the food storage industry was dead for several years after 2000.

    So just a little background where my information and experience comes from. I've been packing food for myself and for other people since 86-87. As a family we do not pack food, keep it for a couple years and then toss it out or give it to charity. We have this novel idea- we USE the food we store!

    End of history lesson, sorry to put you to sleep

    The methods we used at our cannery we copied from "the big boys" in the industry. We copied them because they work and they produce a QUALITY product both now and after years in storage.

    Not long after we put up the first packing video on youtube, we got all the quasi experts saying all kinds of non sense like "you have to use DE", "you should use handwarmers instead" and other similar guff.

    Again, I would retort- "What do the professionals do?"

    The professional packing houses do NOT use:

    1. Dry ice
    2. DE
    3. Mylar party balloons
    4. Salt as a dessicant/supposed oxygen absorber
    5. 2 litre soda pop bottles
    6. Idiotic hand warmers in place of oxygen absorbers

    The problem is that everyone wants to know "how long" will such and such last, but few people have actually EXPERIENCED "how long" certain things will really last.

    So, you get a self professed "food storage expert" that puts up an FAQ and comes with crazy stuff like white rice is only good for six months. What? People like that LOVE CHARTS. This is where you will see things like the famous Nattick labs chart for MRE storage. It has length of time in storage and temperature. It's a great GUIDELINE but you'll find from ACTUAL EXPERIENCE that it is not to be taken as Scripture.

    Some time after we got jumped by the "I packed six bucket experts" we defended the methods by producing a series of two videos showing long term food storage RESULTS-

    Results video part 1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBoKC...eature=related

    The arguments and comments from the "six bucket experts" and "chart commandos" came to an end after video proof was shown. It's easy to be overly analytical and stick to what you think will be because of a chart. It's quite another thing to show food that by all the "charts" should be junk because of high heat that was still fine YEARS AFTER the chart commandos and six bucket experts said it would be.

    To reiterate- charts on storage life should only be considered a GUIDELINE, never as the "final answer."

    We argued that the bigger problem affecting food storage was residual oxygen. Heat was a problem, yes, but not the albatross people thought it was.

    This was good news for many people as the six bucket experts had them convinced that they absolutely could not ever ever never put food storage anywhere except a perfectly airconditioned 60 degree year round cooler. Showing 17 year old food storage that was stored in outside metal buildings in Florida and Georgia blew away the concept that you absolutely positively MUST have climate controlled environment for your food storage.

    To be clear, no one said your better off storing food in high heat. My point in showing this is that if the choice is to not store any more food, or have to put your storage food in your garage in Florida, by all means store more food. And to many people that was exactly the choice they were facing, but the six bucket experts were telling them not to use their garage for storage.

    Starve one day because you didn't have the "perfect" place for your food storage because you listened to some egghead with little experience or accept "less than perfect" storage conditions and not watch your family starve? The choice is clear to me.

    Part II coming up soon. If you have any food storage questions post them here.

    Robert Henry
    Lowdown3

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  2. #2
    Notes for Part 2-

    Gonna have to continue this as I have time. Really busy right now with work, training, etc. Here goes some more and look for more to come.

    Dry ice-

    For years before mylar liners and oxygen absorbers became commonly available, many people would use dry ice to help preserve their food. While originally used simply as a FUMIGANT, the idea came to be that when the dry ice melted off, that the gas produced would drive out all the oxygen in the container and therefore create an oxygen free environment for your food.

    Their are numerous problems with this idea. First and foremost, the bucket CANNOT be sealed up immediately after the dry ice is put in, the lid must at least be "burped" or you risk creating a small bomb. The general idea is that you have to wait a while to actually seal the bucket AFTER you have used the dry ice. The theory goes that the CO2 is heavier than oxygen and therefore drives out all the oxygen. Yet like most of these "wives tales" type ideas (like bay leaves) substantial LONG TERM proof of this has never been shown.

    Also, it's assumed that while the lid is off safely allowing the dry ice to assimilate that absolutely no oxygen is getting into the still not sealed bucket. Further, we have shown that a bucket- BY ITSELF is not an adequate LONG TERM oxygen barrier.

    If dry ice is to be used, it has to be used safely and with some care. Protective equipment should be used and you should not pack inside an enclosed environment. Also, in some locales dry ice can be particularly hard to find and questions can come up when purchases of it are made.

    Depending on the time you have to devote to packing food, the pack it but wait a few hours before you seal it part of the process can be a problem. I'm sure people have walked away from the process for a phone call, trip to the store, etc. that turned out to take longer than anticipated. How's that supposed oxygen free environment after that?

    The only recommended use of dry ice is to cover your screw ups. What does that mean? That means let's say you buy a bunch of grains to pack but don't immediately pack them. You put them in the closet and next thing you know six months have went by. Uh oh. Now what? Good chance you have some buggy grains now. You could conceivably do the dry ice thing, sealing the buckets after the safe time period (which of course depends on many factors, size of ice used, temperature, etc.) and using this as a FUMIGANT (it's original intended use) and then later after you know you have a bug free product, pack it correctly with mylars and oxygen absorbers.

    Of course since oxygen absorbers will produce an oxygen free environment, the same could be said of them!

    To summarize- dry ice was first used decades ago when their WAS NO OTHER OPTIONS It's hard to find, can be dangerous to use and may raise eyebrows upon purchase (it has other uses we won't discuss here). Where you usually see it advocated is with old school survivalists that used it for years and are resisting change. I'm as stubborn as the next guy (probably more so), but if a new way that WORKS, has been TESTED AND PROVEN to work better and is easier and safer to use comes along, well then I'm gonna join the mid 90's and use it. But that's just me....

    Nitrogen flush-

    After the advent of oxygen absorbers, few companies still used the old nitrogen flush method for packing food. Studies down wherein samples of old storage food were sent to Pillsbury labs for testing proved that this method- nitrogen flushing- did not produce a low enough residual oxygen content in #10 cans. As of the late 90's only one packing company Ready Reserve foods still used this method.

    Many people doing DIY food packing think they will somehow save money with this approach versus buying oxygen absorbers. Honestly I've never worked the numbers on the difference. The only difference that concerned me was the difference of 20% residual oxygen (with flushing) versus well under 2% (with oxygen absorbers).

    Also, much like the dry ice, buying a big nitrogen tank could raise eyebrows for those that don't work in industries that already use it. If you use it in your work or have ready access to it, and are willing to accept some oxidation with your food years down the road, this would be the closest acceptable method outside of oxygen absorbers. Be sure to also use mylar liners as buckets by themselves are not an adequate oxygen barrier as we have shown previously on video.

    Oxygen absorbers-

    In the mid 90's oxygen absorbers and mylar liners started being commonly available to those packaging their own food for long term storage.

    Oxygen absorbers offered a truly user friendly and SAFE way to pack food for long term storage. Instead of trying to explain why you drug home a huge nitrogen tank or why you need that dry ice, you could just order a package of sealed absorbers and work with them safely in the comfort of your own home.

    Studies that were done in the late 90's wherein test cans were sent to Pillsbury labs, showed residual oxygen content of cans LOWEST in cans that were packed with oxygen absorbers. Yes, lower than the old school nitrogen flushing method. It's nothing to see results of under 1% residual oxygen in #10 cans packed with oxygen absorbers.

    Not too long ago, a statement was made on a popular survival site that one "could not tell" if oxygen absorbers were "still good" when using them. And the author used that as a rationalization to use dry ice instead.

    Now if your not familiar with using oxygen absorbers, you could easily believe this. However oxygen absorbers come sealed in plastic bags that should be tight before being opened to use (Test #1). Further, every packet of oxygen absorbers I've seen (tens of thousands while packing commercially) had some sort of "Test" device inside it. When we had our cannery we mainly used Multisorb products like D2000's and D750's. EVERY package of them had an indicator pill that would change color if the package had been violated, injured or otherwise compromised and oxygen had seeped in. (Test #2) So right there, before we have even opened the package you have two simple "tests" that will tell you whether the oxygen absorbers are bad or not. But wait! There's more!! When you open the package and start to work with them, the individual absorbers will start to get hot. The smaller ones do seem to get hot a little quicker than the bigger ones. This isn't a 100% reliable test, so we won't call it Test #3 but it can give you a little further stimuli to further corroborate the previous tests.

    Finally, your last indication for 100% sureness that your oxygen absorbers are good, will be seeing the mylar liners suck down to the product you are packing within a couple days of packing them (Test 3 or 4 depending on how your counting). Yes, you do NOT have to immediately hammer the lids on your buckets if you don't want to. If your "concerned" that your oxygen absorbers aren't up to snuff, leave the lids off the buckets after packing and sealed your mylar in the buckets. Within a few days, you will be able to VISIBLY see the mylar sucked down, PROVIDED you made a good seal on the mylar and the mylar is solid. Holes in your mylar, maybe because you are RE-USING the mylar (yes you can), or an improper seal on the mylar can also be the culprits of the mylar not sucking down tight.

    So this assertion that you "cannot know" whether or not your oxygen absorbers are good or bad is absolutely untrue. With 3-4 visible and physical tests, if anything you have MORE indication of the product working than you do working with dry ice or nitrogen flushing.

    OK, back to use-

    We have shown years ago how to pack with mylar and oxygen absorbers on the youtube video series we did.

    http://www.bucketpacking.com

    A three part series.

    The important question that normally comes up is- do you have to use all the oxygen absorbers in the packet when you open them?

    Their are many answers to this. First, I'll give you the industry recommendation- YES, use them all up within about 30 minutes from the time you open them. This shouldn't be too hard. Just plan your packing runs accordingly. For example- at home as we did in the cannery we use D2000 CC absorbers for 5 gallon buckets. Everyone else used 1,500 cc absorbers for that size bucket. We used 2,000 cc absorbers and have always recommended the same. No reason you can't use a 1,500 cc, I believe you probably wouldn't have a problem with that. I've always erred on the high side and it's worked out fine for well over a decade. The packages of 2,000 cc absorbers we got at the time came 16 to a package. OK, so your bucket packing run is 16 buckets. If that is too much for you to pack at one time, then you can double up if need be or try to "save" the absorbers.

    I don't advocate trying to "save" the absorbers because more often than not, you can't properly save them for any extended period of time. Once they are out and exposed they are doing their job.

    However some folks have reported good luck in "saving" open and unused absorbers by placing them in mason jars and TIGHTLY sealing the lid. Some will reseal the plastic bag they came in and that to me would be the better approach. When I have attempted to "save" open and unused absorbers the best results came from re-sealing the original bag they came in.

    Now, don't "step over a dollar to pick up a dime!" What does that mean? Don't skimp out on this. If your down to just 3-4 absorbers left in the bag after your packing run- USE THEM. A couple of them aren't worth trying to save. You'll have better and more sure use of them by doubling them up in some of the buckets. At least then you know they went to good use. Also, it's important to not focus on the loss of potentially only cents in doubling up or throwing out 1-2 unused open absorbers, but instead focus on the fact that you are SAVING HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS packing the food yourself.

    In the same token, I don't think it's wise to open a package of 16 absorbers, use 1 or 2 and then re-seal the package. That's wasteful on the other side of the coin. Wait till you have at least half a full run (say 8 buckets) or buy a package of smaller absorbers in a quantity that closer matches your run.

    Another way to do this if you were only packing a bucket or two at a time would be to use your mylar inside your buckets, fill the buckets and seal the mylars pushing down and purging all of the air you can out like we showed in the video, and then sealing the mylar without putting in absorbers. Then later when you have enough buckets packed to do a full run of absorbers, cut just a small corner of the seal on the mylar, put in your absorbers and re-seal the mylar. That would probably be the best way to do several small runs of 2-4 buckets at a time AND not have to let any absorbers go to waste in the process.

    On sizing- for 5 and 6 gallon buckets I prefer 2,000 cc of absorption and have NEVER had a problem using that amount. 1,500 cc would be the minimum for that size bucket.

    For #10 cans, industry standard was a 300cc absorber. When we had the cannery we used 750cc absorbers and never had a problem. Yes, I believe in overkill

    Now, you can get those magic numbers via just one absorber or via adding up to that number.

    For example- a bucket could have ONE 2,000 CC absorber or FOUR 500 cc absorbers.

    Here's something else to consider- when we closed the cannery we "found" cases upon cases of absorbers in a loft over the cannery. Seems my guys were stuffing them up there sometimes when their wasn't space on the floor. Then when they were low, they didn't bother to look up there first and just told me to order more. Needless to say I had dozens of cases of absorbers left over in 2000.

    WE STILL USE THOSE OLD ABSORBERS FOR HOME USE! Guess what? They are still good! They still pull a vacuum after a decade! One or two packages were found bad, but you could tell by looking at them they were bad (remember those "Tests" above?). Decade old still sealed oxygen absorbers continue to pull a vacuum. So know right here that your UNOPENED oxygen absorbers still sealed in the original packaging will be good a decade from now.

    Source for oxygen absorbers, mylar bags, etc.-
    http://www.shopsimplerliving.com/food_storage.html



    DE-

    Diatomaceous earth, commonly referred to as "DE" is one of the other things that some folks will say you "must" use for packing grains. Made from siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. It has a particle size ranging from less than 1 micron to more than 1 millimeter, but typically 10 to 200 microns.[1] This powder has an abrasive feel, similar to pumice powder, and is very light, due to its high porosity. It is used by those that advocate it's use as a mechanical insecticide. The idea is that the DE will be absorbed by little bugs and it will kill them.

    The idea behind the food storage use of DE is that you mix it in with your grains before packing and it will kill bugs that are in the grains. Obviously it could not control hatching of eggs but could in theory kill the next generation of bugs. Those that advocate it's use, when asked the "but then you have this ABRASIVE agent in with your food that you don't want to eat, how do you USE the grains?" usually reply that you are suppose to "wash the grains" before using them. OK, so your telling me I'm suppose to use this ABRASIVE silica dust that dries out and kills bugs from the inside out in with the grains I plan on eating, then later "wash the grains" to remove it? And how exactly are we supposed to be 100% sure that it is all "washed" out?

    Wikipedia had previously stated that DE posed an "inhalation hazard" and currently states that:

    "The absorbent qualities of diatomite can result in a significant drying of the hands if handled without gloves. The flux-calcined form contains a highly crystalline form of silica, resulting in sharp edges. The sharpness of this version of the material makes it dangerous to breathe and a dust mask is recommended when working with it."

    Course saying "dangerous to breathe" is the same thing as "inhalation hazard."

    Here again, we have to weigh the pros and cons of using something that is obviously potentially hazardous to us. Do you NEED the DE? If you buy quality grains, don't let them sit around for six months (allowing bugs to get to them), and if you pack your grains with oxygen absorbers and mylar liners (creating in essence an oxygen free environment), then REALISTICALLY do you even need DE? Probably not.

    And here again, NONE of the professional packing houses put DE into buckets or cans of grains packed for long term storage.

    How do you avoid getting bugs into your grains? Simple. First off, buy your grains from a large supplier with a big turnover. In other words, BillyBob's Gas and Grocery probably has had that 20 lb. bag of rice on it's shelf for half a year wherein a Sam's Club in a major city might have restocked their rice 3 times that week. Which one has a greater chance of containing bugs? The rice from BillyBob's. Second, when you purchase grains, do NOT let them lay around your house for six months before packing them. Yes this will vary depending on your climate. In cold weather climates you probably could get away with this. We are in a hot, humid climate so we pack EVERYTHING within a few days max of getting it. This doesn't give bugs a chance to get established. Finally, use oxygen absorbers and mylars to give your food real protection and a relatively oxygen free environment.

    In short, forget DE, too many risks for what can be gained by just using common sense.


    Freezing grains

    A lot of folks feel it's necessary to freeze their grains for a couple of days prior to packing them away for long term storage.

    If the source of the grains and the condition and time they were stored in are in question- i.e, they sat on the shelf at BillyBob's Convenience store for six months like in the above example- THEN it may be feasible to freeze your grains before packaging.

    The problem comes with larger quantities of grain and what to do about the potential condensation issues.

    Again, if your source is questionable, you have already seen bugs in the grain and if the quantities are small enough to make it feasible, then you MAY want to consider this. If it gives you "peace of mind" to do this, by all means do it, just use your brain and properly deal with the condensation issue. However if your packing with mylar and oxygen absorbers, I really don't think freezing your grains is a necessity. If anything it would add another step in the process and create a hassle for anything more than small quantities.



    Dessicants-

    Their are specific FOOD GRADE dessicants that are made. 99% of the time if you follow the advice above and use common sense- buy quality grains, don't wait six months to pack them, use absorbers and mylar- you will not "need" a food grade dessicant in with your storage grains.

    A lot of folks confuse a dessicant with an oxygen absorber. They have different functions.

    One fellow figured that since people putting a few grains of rice into salt shakers to keep the salt from hardening up, that that idea would transfer over into food storage. He told people to "sew up little baggies of rice" out of old socks, etc. to put in with their grains to act as "oxygen absorbers."

    Absolutely nowhere on God's green earth would an old sock full of rice act as an "oxygen absorber."
    That is sheer stupidity and people need to THINK before they advocate such foolishness! PEOPLE'S LIVES COULD DEPEND ON THEIR FOOD STORAGE ONE DAY! Remember that next time you see someone making a ridiculous statement like that!

    If you truly feel the need for a real dessicant in with your grains, go and get an actual FOOD GRADE DESSICANT. The silica gel packets you got with your new shoes isn't it. Putting in CAUSTIC LIME isn't it. Putting in sheetrock dust isn't it.

    To reiterate, most of the time you will not NEED a dessicant (remember don't confuse that with an oxygen absorber). Plan the times you pack and minimize the amount of time bags are opened, etc. to cut down problems of humidity.

    We have yet to find a problem in any of our LTS food from high humidity- 25 years this year. Yet if YOU are concerned about it, by all means consider ONLY food grade real dessicants.

    The overall message I want to convey here folks is that when you pack your own grains, you are ALREADY SAVING a lot of money versus buying commercially packed. When the temptation comes along to shave another nickel off your packing costs by doing something ridiculous and potentially harmful (handwarmers, lime, sheetrock dust, mylar party balloons, etc.) REMEMBER that your life may depend on that food some day. You are already saving HUNDREDS of dollars packing yourself. Like I said in that first packing video series- "don't step over a dollar to pick up a dime."




    Notes for rest of OP-

    "Feed" grains-

    Home drying versus commercial dehydration-

    Soda pop bottles.... YAWN...

    The crazy stuff- lime, mylar party balloons, hand warmers and stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime...
    Last edited by Lowdown3; 01-26-2011 at 06:09 PM. Reason: more to add later

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  3. #3
    Glad for the background info I have my wife on board 100% now. I put up one of your youtube vids the other day and forgot and left it up when I went to bed. Not only did she watch it, she kept watching and watching and asking about more info.

    Yesterday, found buckets (new) at chinamart for $1... Filled front seat and back seat with buckets.. Of course when I get home she needs to grab my car.. and see's all the white buckets. Is that where we are going to store the rice you've been grabbing? Yup. N some beans n...

    I love my wife She gets it

  4. #4
    Administrator protus's Avatar
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    I just had a talk with someone about this same subject and how and why we made the movies. Even the lesser ones.
    It clicked that while they were filmed to help folks get started in storing LTS and to get over the misinformation that was out there.
    They were done mostly to "disprove" all the myths out there that the "long term" experts were spreading.

    Perfect exampe is the clothing iron film ( man that guy is so good looking ) ;p . There were threads on every internet forum about how you needed an impluse sealer to seal mylar. It wasnt untill that film came out that it finally got folks pull there head out of the sand ( just like the results film). Now look how common place it is to hear folks say "use the iron".




    cant wait for part two. The food craze is kicking back up, lotta threads, and the same ole same ole is being spread ( nitro flush, de, dry ice......)


    dont forget to hit the food grade plastics issue. Thats the newest one lately.
    Hey Petunia...you dropped your man pad!

  5. #5
    I'm adding to the OP's above as time permits. Folks may want to check back to this thread from time to time.

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  6. #6
    What would be the maximum moisture content to (mylar/O2 absorber) store dehydrated foods like jerky, fruit, etc?

  7. #7
    Jerky I wouldn't mess with for LTS. Their is a difference between 'dried' fruit, aka home dried and commercially dehydrated fruit. You'd have to see a couple examples to really get it. Don't know if it was the humidity or what, but our home dried fruits never lasted more than maybe six months.

    Apples are a good example. Home dried are usually slightly leathery. Commercially dehydrated are crisp and usually snap similar to a potato chip. The latter are significantly drier than the former.

    That extra amount of moisture might not be a major problem over the short term, but could mean the difference between reap and ruin over the long term.

  8. #8
    Also the little 10 ounce baggies of fruit in the store are NOT the same thing as commercially dehydrated fruit either. Like I said the easiest way to check is if the product appears kinda leathery. Dehydrated banana is called "banana chips" for a reason.

  9. #9
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    if anyone has some time I would greatly appreciate if someone would compile a quantity list that will fit into a 5 gallon bucket. Like I thought I read somewhere you could get about 40 pounds of rice in a 5 gallon bucket. I have gathered (20) 5 gallon buckets and with my meager tax return want to fill them up with stuff. So having a list to plan on approximate pounds I need to buy would greatly help with planning. Some of the stuff I had in mind was potato flakes, rice, beans, wheat, powdered milk, sugar, salt, corn and oats (quaker/instant kind). Definitly intereseted in long shelf life stuff I could pack, seal and forget (for a while at least). Thanks in advance.

  10. #10
    @ Buktoof
    Here's some things I made note of:
    rice 31 lbs.
    pinto beans 30 lbs.
    kidney beans 30 lbs.
    black beans 37 lbs.
    elbow noodles 24 lbs.
    penne noodles 18 lbs.
    sugar 35 lbs.
    brown sugar 35 lbs.
    salt 32lbs., with room left over

    Stored in mylar bags in 5 gallon buckets. I should have info on powered milk, wheat and oats soon.

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