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Thread: Storage from scratch...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    5,848

    Default Storage from scratch...

    Having to start my food storage basically from scratch (thank you people who stole my stuff)...with some challenging restrictions, and could use some suggestions.

    We're at 5k feet elevation (must learn new canning guidelines)...with nearly an average relative humidity of 85-90%! No air-conditioning, with constant temps of 60-70 degrees.

    I did have about a dozen cases of #2 cans and about a dozen pails of assorted commercially prepared LTS items, but am seeing rust on the outside of the cans.

    In addition, we have a bevy of bugs (even at 5k feet) and the opportunistic field mice. No rats-thank heaven.

    Storage area very limited and I don't think a root cellar is going to do well (just don't think I can keep one DRY).

    ALSO...for extra fun...Glass is not easy to come by.

    I bought some bulk local flour (25lbs) that came in a fabric bag (probably not 100% cotton)...which I need to try to freeze first and then move into different container.

    I can buy gallon glass jars here ($7 each) and I have maybe a dozen food grade plastic pails.

    Since my #10 cans aren't going to hold up...I need ideas on which foods may be more critical for glass storage...and which are ok for plastic.

    Sugar, for example...I'd think it would be ok in plastic. Ditto salt.

    Flour seems destined for glass...but that's inconvenient because we have to make most everything from scratch (including bread items).

    I'm trying to strike a balance between bugs, humidity and all the other elements.

    Suggestions???
    ~Pyrate~


    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SW LOUISIANA
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    1,167

    Default

    Where on earth are you located (state). We endure constant high humidity, bugs and extreme heat with no possible option for a basement or cellar due to the fact that we are only a few feet above sea level. I've used the gallon plastic food jar containers that restaurants get for their mayo, ketchup, mustard, dressings and such with no problems. Like everything else they will break down much quicker if exposed to sunlight for long periods but that shouldn't be an issue indoors. Use a lot of bay leaves in and around your pantry shelves to deter bugs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    19,242

    Default

    You're going to have to move to mylar (and then something to protect it from mice)

    Sugar and salt will turn to a rock inside plastic... BTDT. You could dry your #10 cans briefly in the oven (VERY briefly, and at low temp) and then coat with some sort of varnish/oil based coating.

    Mylar bags can be found in sizes from tiny, to 1 gallon (handy inside #10 cans to reuse the cans/lids) up to 6 gallon or larger. Various weights. Mice WILL chew through them, though, so they need to be put into something else for an extra layer of protection- Rubbermaid type containers, metal tins, 5 gallon pails... whatever you can scrounge or find. They don't need to be food grade (the outer containers) but you don't want them reeking of chemicals, either.

    You're unfortunately running into some of what I always thought would be the drawbacks of expat life. I'm sorry to hear it.

    Summerthyme

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    5,848

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    Ejagno, I'm not in the US...

    Summer...I have a few mylar bags here (the lambs that decided to pick through my packing took the big box of them)...but there's no getting them here unless someone I know brings them in a suitcase.

    The idea on the cans is good. Wish I'd thought of that before I sealed them, lol.

    The conex is airtight, watertight, rodent proof and dark....but it also gets to about 90 in there during the day. We are running a perm electrical line to it..so we might get away with some type of small cooling system in there. Electricity is way better priced than in the states.

    I guess the gallon clear glass jugs may be the best bet otherwise. They have a metal type lid (like pickle jars). Is there something I should/could add as a barrier in case the lids start to corrode? They appear to be anodized..and there's a coating bonded to the underneath portion..
    ~Pyrate~


    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    19,374

    Default

    PP, I asked one of the military guys with experience there, and he said that they stored a lot less, relying more on MREs and what they could dehydrate, using a dehydrator or the oven, closely monitoring the moisture content. It's very easy to botch jerky under those conditions, but proper dehydration was among the cheapest options.

    He also said corn meal stored better than wheat flour. I asked about wheat berries, but he had no experience with those at the time.

    Lastly, he said eggs were kept in various solutions and could last a year or more but tasted funky -- eat before six months.

    Good luck getting your stores re-established. Sorry to hear about the theft.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    5,848

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    Thanks Meemur. Yeah, they took most of the MRE's too...but after talking to a few military folks-they all said you DON'T want to eat MRE's if you don't have to. Like passing a brick. I discovered yesterday they also took my full pail of Quinoa. (dagger to the heart). I'm trying to remember it's Easter weekend...but I'm kinda depressed.
    ~Pyrate~


    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    19,374

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PyratePrincess View Post
    ...but I'm kinda depressed.
    I understand. I moved back to East Lansing (MI) from upstate. I forgot that there was a criminal behind every tree and left a month's worth of groceries (8 or 9 bags) on the front porch for a few minutes while I ran back down to campus to pick up a friend's chair.

    When I got back about 20 minutes later, they were gone! ):

    I had forgotten that *nothing* should be left out in the student ghetto. I had just come from a place where people rarely locked either their house or car doors.

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