Tuesday, June 24, 2008

An inexpensive alternative to oxygen packets

In my previous post I mentioned storing my wheat with oxygen packets, which are expensive. My best source (Mom) told me a much less expensive way to make your food "storage-ready"--by using dry ice. One thing about it that I particularly like is the fact that it continues to help preserve your food even after you open your buckets (I sure hope that 5 or 6 gallon buckets of food will last awhile) as long as you don't tip it, as mentioned. I haven't tried it yet, but as I continue to accumulate food storage, this will come in handy. I have lifted the following information directly from an e-mail that she sent me because I wanted directions written down so I wouldn't mess it up. :) I now share it with you:

I have had several people express concern about long term storage of grains purchased in bags.

I have stored mine using the following method and they have kept for years. The goal is to keep the food dry and oxygen free. When you succeed in this no insects can survive or hatch and spoil your food. The heavy buckets keep rodents out and the food moisture free.

Line all of your empty 5 or 6 gallon buckets up with lids by them.

Fill to top with grain or beans.

Place a small piece of aluminum foil in center for you to place a chunk of dry ice. The dry ice will probably have some condensation around it and the foil will keep the moisture from the food you are storing. I use a chunk of ice about the size of a 4-5 year olds fist.( Really scientific!)

As it evaporates the carbon dioxide sinks to the bottom and forces the rest of the air out. Place the lid lightly on the top after most of the ice has evaporated. The carbon dioxide will "pop" the lid when it has over filled the bucket.

When the ice is gone remove the foil and put the lid on tight without tipping the bucket. If you tip it the CO2 will "pour" out and room air will get in and you will have O2 present again.

This will keep your food insect free indefinitely as long as it is sealed or not tipped after you open it. I just remove the lid and dip out my wheat or rice or beans and the CO2 is still in there.

Can I guarantee this will work? No, but it has for me for my storage items in every part of the country under humid or dry climates thru our many relocations over 35 years! I don't recall if I read this somewhere or if an "old timer" taught me. Now I am the "old timer" when it comes to food storage and this tip is for you to take for what you think it is worth!

Good luck in your storage.

I obviously couldn't say it better myself, and I, too, wish you good luck in your storage.


The Scavenger said...

GREAT INFORMATION!! I have been looking for a good way to store beans and I think I just found it. Thanks so very much, this post just took a load off my mind. Thanks to Mom too.


Marie said...

I've told my mom that she should probably be the one that is writing this blog, but at least I can quote her! I'm glad that this information may be of use to you--I know that it will be useful to me, since I still have a lot more to do. In our situation, we can't have as much fresh food at our disposal as we would like--you're in a really good situation in terms of that--so most of our storage will have to be put away like this, with the addition of what we can grow in our backyard garden. It's better to have fresh, but since everyone who wants to store usually tries to have the basics, like the beans and rice, I was hoping that this would be helpful across the board. Thanks for the feedback.