Food Storage And Storage Food Concepts CHAPTER 1

Food Storage And Storage Food Concepts

CHAPTER 1

In the chapter “Survival Gardens”, the art of growing produce is in itself a feat to master without supply chain fertilizers, pesticides, pest control, and pressurized water for irrigation. If we are slightly successful to achieve any source of yield then the question becomes how do we store it? When vegetables and fruit are ripe, there is a short period before rot and decay sets in and all that we worked so hard for is lost… and winter in coming. We will cover the arts of canning, the types of foods to process for storage and how aborigines who lived on the North American continent stored grain for thousands of years with no government, no schooling or any form of industrialization yet survived drought, floods and natural disasters without wiping out the human race.

My personal expertise in canning was actually taking a class sponsored by the National Center for Home Food Preservation. They recommend only canning fresh produce for one year. No matter how we can sterilized to kill off all bacteria, everything will age and lose its nourishment potency within a year. Canning existed before refrigeration so food stocks could survive a season or more. Some on the internet seem to think canning will store indefinite since the stock in sterilized in boiling water then welded into a metal can to where nothing can ever enter into the can. Most don’t understand that cans are made of carbon steel, (that can rust), but coated with a vinyl paint. This coating is thin enough to last the “fresh by” date. Over time this coating degrades and the can will rust. See Figure (1) and Figure (2).

Figure 1

Figure 2

This was condensed milk I stored for a hurricane. Several 12 pack of milk sat for 5 years and the cans simply rusted. Same was true for any metal can I used for storage. Glass jars containers will not degrade like steel, yet the nutrition value of its contents will weaken over time.

Dried goods are the safest to store for years depending on the grain. Whole wheat grain is known to store for over 30 years and maintain its nutrient value but the chances of this sustainability to hold for so years in storage, the containment system must be of high quality and the temperature within storage limits. I have processed dried goods but contamination is always a problem. If there is any insect or bacteria in the grain then the batch is useless. Using oxygen absorbers help but will not last over time. I used mylar bags and heat sealed them but most of my containments gassed or leaked. When grain is mass processed in production, there will always be some form of contaminants. See Figure (3)

Figure 3

Surprisingly the most unlikely safe storage food is not commonly known. I have always used the flavoring packet in macaroni and cheese dinner boxes. I hated to throw away the pasta so I would store the elbows in plastic bags. Later, I would use old jelly glass jars, clear glass, not sanitized or used any oxygen absorbers, and just cap the jar with the original lid. I stored the pasta in a hot shed in the woods. For years, over 10 years, the pasta held up great. Since the jar is clear, I can view the bottom of the jar are there is NO residue or moisture just the dried noodle. If I sanitized the jars and removed the oxygen keeping them in a cool dry place I know I would have 20 years of edible pasta,  See Figure (4).

Figure 4

I have tested cardboard boxes of macaroni 8 years old. These were stored in the same hot, humid shed. The cheese packets were no good but I did boil the dried noodles and they smelled edible then I did taste them. They did not taste fresh but with a little butter and salt, they were good to eat. If I were starving, this would be an excellent dinner! I propose the difference with whole grain and processed pasta is that the processed pasta is not a natural food source for insects if dehydrated. And since pasta is processed, any living organism on the grain at harvest, would have been destroyed by the heating and drying. On the internet there is no credible solid source of a storage life of dried pasta. There is speculation and this runs years apart by some who propose they know. I know by my own testing that pasta, similar to white rice, is a very hardy and durable food source for needed carbohydrates if there were no means to acquire fresh produce.

I will cover in later chapters that storage foods is not the end all for survival. We will always need a fresh source of vitamins and protein. Storage foods is a great supplement but this will not supply us with all the daily requirements to survive.

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2 thoughts on “Food Storage And Storage Food Concepts”

  1. I grow most of my own veggies, plus pick a lot of wild blueberries to freeze for winter. That means space is tight in the freezer. I have been having 100% success with drying veggies, beans, grains and fruits. Typically I do the initial drying with Mother Sun, thin finish the job with a electric dehydrator. During the past five years, I have had no losses on dried foods.

    1. I would love to feature your dehydrating processes in a post. If you can take some photos of your procedures you use, this would help the readers duplicate your success.

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