I am a strong believer in food storage and have been for well over 40 years. One thing that I have learned during that time is that you always seem to keep food longer than you originally planned. This can occur for several reasons. You fail to properly rotate your food because of outside distractions or you are just too busy with life. This especially applies to storing grains, legumes, which are normally packaged for long-term storage and may not be something we use everyday.
Therefore, I want them to have the most possible nutrition when I open them. Lately I have seen blogs that advocate just storing your grains in plastic barrels or buckets and saving money by not using Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers. There are two problems I see to this. One, a barrel holds lots of food, but weighs several hundred pounds. If you ever have to move them, this is a big disadvantage. Two, you are not preserving the maximum amount of nutrition because exposure to oxygen damages your food.
There are four enemies of good food storage, see the following blogs.
- Enemies of Food Storage
- Moisture, an Enemy of Food Storage
- Oxygen Another Enemy of Food Storage
- Light, Another Enemy of Food Storage
Now in the past we stored them in various types of containers. When I first started storing grains, legumes we used square five-gallon metal cans and maybe added bay leaves or dry ice. The dry ice worked well with the metal cans and replaced the oxygen with carbon dioxide. This reduced oxygen content and preserved the grains well. The wheat that was stored in metal cans with dry ice would germinate when wheat stored in metal cans without dry ice or in plastic buckets would fail to germinate. While you can still consume grains and legumes that fail to germinate, they do not have the same nutritional value as one that will. They are largely empty calories.
Currently the recommended method is to store your grains in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers or in #10 cans with absorbers. These are the methods I prefer. If I use Mylar bags I then place them in food grade plastic buckets to protect the bags from rupturing. This will preserve the maximum amount of nutrition.
Here are some previous posts that will help you.
- Answers to Questions About Oxygen Absorbers
- Testing Oxygen Absorbers
- Sealing Food in Five Gallon Buckets is an Important Skill for Preppers
- Canning Dry Pack in #10 Cans
I don’t sell Mylar bags or buckets and have no financial interest involved. I just want you to have the most nutrition available when you have to use your food. You spent a lot of money getting your preps, don’t get cheap at the last minute and leave your family short when they most need it.