Understanding Long-Term Food Storage
Long-term food storage is a critical component of emergency preparedness for seniors. Unfortunately, many people do not realize the importance of proper food storage until it's too late. In this section, we will discuss the five enemies of long-term food storage and the types of containers that are best suited for long-term storage.
The Five Enemies of Long-Term Food Storage
Oxygen is one of the primary enemies of long-term food storage. It can cause food to go rancid and spoil, even in a sealed container. Exposure to oxygen can also cause color and flavor changes in certain foods.
Moisture is another major enemy of long-term food storage. It can cause food to spoil and can provide a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Moisture can also cause metal containers to rust and weaken.
Light can cause vitamins and nutrients to break down in food, leading to a loss of nutritional value. It can also cause color and flavor changes in certain foods.
Temperature is a critical factor in long-term food storage. High temperatures can accelerate the breakdown of vitamins and nutrients, leading to a loss of nutritional value. Low temperatures can cause food to freeze, leading to changes in texture and flavor.
Pests such as rodents and insects can wreak havoc on long-term food storage. They can chew through containers, contaminate food, and cause infestations that can be difficult to eradicate.
Types of Long-Term Food Storage Containers
There are several types of containers that are best suited for long-term food storage. The following are the most commonly used:
Mylar bags are made from a type of polyester film that is both flexible and durable. They are ideal for long-term food storage because they are puncture-resistant, moisture-resistant, and can be resealed after opening.
Food-Grade Plastic Buckets
Food-grade plastic buckets are an affordable and convenient option for long-term food storage. They are sturdy, stackable, and come in a variety of sizes. They are also airtight and can be fitted with a gamma lid for easy access.
Glass jars are a popular choice for long-term food storage because they are transparent and allow you to see the contents. They are also airtight and can be reused after washing.
Vacuum-sealed bags are an excellent option for long-term food storage because they remove the oxygen from the container, which helps to preserve the food. They are also easy to use and come in a variety of sizes.
Metal cans are a popular choice for long-term food storage because they are durable and airtight. They are also stackable and can be opened with a can opener.
PETE bottles are made from a type of polyester that is both lightweight and shatterproof. They are ideal for long-term food storage because they are airtight and can be reused after washing.
Tips for Preventing Infestations
One of the biggest challenges of long-term food storage is preventing infestations. Here are some tips to help you keep your food safe from pests:
- Inspect food before storage to ensure it is pest-free
- Store food in a cool, dry place away from sunlight
- Use bay leaves to repel insects
- Consider using oxygen absorbers to remove the oxygen from the container and prevent insect infestations
Long-Term Food Storage Options
When it comes to long-term food storage, there are a variety of options available. In this section, we will discuss two popular options for long-term food storage: Wise and Guardian Survival.
Wise and Guardian Survival
Serving Sizes and Prices
Wise and Guardian Survival offer a range of serving sizes and prices to fit different needs and budgets. Some of their popular options include:
- Wise 60 Serving Entrée Only Grab and Go Food Kit: This kit includes 60 servings of various entrées and costs around $130.
- Guardian Survival 2-Week Food Supply: This kit includes 92 servings of various meals and costs around $200.
- Wise 6 Month Emergency Food Supply: This kit includes 1,080 servings of various meals and costs around $2,400.
Shelf Life of 20-25 Years
One of the biggest advantages of Wise and Guardian Survival's long-term food storage options is their shelf life. Their products have a shelf life of 20-25 years, which means they can be stored for a long time without going bad.
Long-Shelf Life Foods to Store in the Pantry
In addition to purchasing long-term food storage options from companies like Wise and Guardian Survival, there are also a variety of long-shelf life foods that can be stored in the pantry. Taste of Home offers a list of some examples:
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Dried beans and lentils
Properly Storing Long-Shelf Life Foods
To ensure that long-shelf life foods remain fresh for as long as possible, it is important to store them properly. Here are some tips for storing common long-shelf life foods:
- Canned fruits and vegetables: Store in a cool, dry place and check for dents or bulges before consuming.
- Dried beans and lentils: Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
- Bouillon: Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
- Spices: Store in airtight jars in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
- Sugar: Store in a dark, dry place in an airtight container. Sugar can last forever if stored properly.
Tips for Safe Long-Term Food Storage for Seniors
Seniors have unique needs when it comes to long-term food storage. In this section, we will discuss some tips for safe long-term food storage for seniors.
Proper Food Storage
Sr. News emphasizes the importance of proper food storage to prevent food poisoning. Seniors are more susceptible to food poisoning and should take extra precautions to ensure that their food is safe to eat.
Setting Correct Temperatures
It is important to set the correct temperatures when storing food. The FDA recommends that refrigerators be set to 40°F or lower and freezers to 0°F or lower.
Labeling Opened Jars
When opening jars, it is important to label them with the date they were opened. This will help seniors keep track of how long the food has been open and ensure that they consume it in a timely manner.
Identifying High-Risk Foods
Seniors should also be aware of high-risk foods such as raw meat, poultry, and seafood. These foods should be stored separately from other foods and cooked to the proper temperature to prevent food poisoning.
Purchasing Smaller Amounts of Food
Seniors should consider purchasing smaller amounts of food to reduce waste. This will ensure that food is consumed before it goes bad, reducing the risk of food poisoning.
Research and Following Package Instructions
It is important to research the proper storage of different types of food. The Emergency Preparedness website recommends following package instructions when storing food. This will ensure that food is stored properly and stays fresh for as long as possible.
Food Storage Moms recommends that seniors be prepared for emergencies. This includes having emergency food and water supplies, flashlights, a first aid kit, and copies of important documents. Seniors should also consider having a plan in place for emergencies and regularly reviewing and updating it. This will help seniors feel confident and secure in case of an emergency.
The author of Food Storage Moms recommends specific products for emergency preparedness, including:
- Water storage containers
- Freeze-dried meals
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Copies of important documents
Making Lists and Copies of Important Documents
The author also recommends making lists and copies of important documents such as medical records and insurance policies. This will help seniors keep track of important information and ensure that they have access to it in case of an emergency.
Protecting Against Insects and Infestations
When it comes to long-term food storage, protecting against insects and infestations is essential. In this section, we will discuss some tips for preventing infestations and protecting long-term food storage.
The Five Enemies of Long-Term Food Storage
Primal Survivor lists the five enemies of long-term food storage: air, moisture, light, temperature, and pests. These enemies can cause food to spoil or go bad, ruining long-term food storage.
Protecting Against Air and Moisture
To protect against air and moisture, it is important to use airtight containers. Primal Survivor recommends using Mylar bags, which are airtight and can help protect against moisture.
Protecting Against Light and Temperature
To protect against light and temperature, it is important to store food in a cool, dark place. Primal Survivor recommends storing food in a basement or cellar, if possible, as these areas are generally cool and dark.
Protecting Against Insects
Insects can be a major problem when it comes to long-term food storage. Primal Survivor offers some tips for protecting against insects:
Inspect Food Before Storing
Inspect food before storing it to ensure that it is free of insects. This is especially important for grains and other dry goods.
Use Bay Leaves
Bay leaves can help repel insects. Place a few bay leaves in the container with the food to help keep insects away.
Use Oxygen Absorbers
Oxygen absorbers can help protect against insects by removing oxygen from the container. This makes it difficult for insects to survive.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a natural insecticide that can be used to protect against insects. Sprinkle a small amount in the container with the food to help keep insects away.
Regularly Inspect Long-Term Food Storage
It is important to regularly inspect long-term food storage to ensure that it is still safe to eat. Primal Survivor recommends inspecting food every six months to ensure that it is still fresh and free of insects.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
Long-term food storage is an important consideration for seniors. By properly storing food and protecting against insects and infestations, seniors can ensure that they have access to safe and nutritious food in case of an emergency. Here are some key takeaways from this article:
- Wise and Guardian Survival offer a range of long-term food storage options with varying serving sizes and prices.
- Long-shelf life foods such as canned fruits and vegetables, dried beans and lentils, and spices can also be stored in the pantry for long-term food storage.
- Proper food storage is essential to prevent food poisoning, including setting correct temperatures, labeling opened jars, identifying high-risk foods, and purchasing smaller amounts of food.
- Research the proper storage of different types of food and follow package instructions to ensure that food is stored properly.
- Seniors should be prepared for emergencies by having emergency food and water supplies, flashlights, a first aid kit, and copies of important documents.
- Protect against insects and infestations by storing food in airtight containers, using bay leaves, oxygen absorbers, and diatomaceous earth, and regularly inspecting long-term food storage.
By following these tips and recommendations, seniors can feel confident and secure in their long-term food storage and emergency preparedness efforts.
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Question: Who should consider long-term food storage for seniors?
Answer: Seniors who want to be prepared for emergencies or natural disasters.
Question: What are some common high-risk foods for seniors in long-term storage?
Answer: Foods that are high in protein, such as meat and dairy products.
Question: How can seniors store water for long-term food storage?
Answer: Water can be stored in large, airtight containers and treated with bleach.
Question: What is the shelf life of long-term food storage for seniors?
Answer: Long-term food storage can last up to 25 years when stored properly.
Question: How can seniors prevent food spoilage during long-term storage?
Answer: By properly storing food in airtight containers and protecting against pests and infestations.
Question: What if I don't have room for long-term food storage?
Answer: Consider storing a small amount of emergency food and water supplies, or purchasing dehydrated or freeze-dried meals that take up less space.