Methods for Storing Food

What’s the best way to store food?

Common Food Storage Factors

  • Keep in a dry, cool, steady temperature place–the more constant and dry, the better.
  • Underground storage is the ultimate.  Over five feet deep has a constant temperature.
  • Keep approximately 58 degrees.
  • A garage, empty building, or storage shed is the very worst.  Temperature varies  over 30
    degrees daily, and much more over changing seasons quickly destroys nutrient levels.
  • Nutrient depletion doesn’t ruin the food!  You can eat it.  It will simply do nothing for your body.  This
    can happen in as little as three years under the wrong temperatures.  You can literally starve with a full belly.
  • Expiration dates are primarily to keep food moving on store shelves, not consumer protection.
    For example, Founder Terry Leverett has Avocado oil with a 2006 expiration date that has kept at 58 degrees that is still good.

Fresh—Grow it or Raise it

  • Refrigerator- assuming electric power or backup power.
  • Freezer- assuming electric power or backup power.
  • Root Cellar- a cool, dark, moist storage place for example- potatoes, certain fruit, winter squash, etc…
  • Underground- cool/dry/constant temperature
  • Leave in the ground until needed
  • Leave on plant/tree until needed or as long as possible
  • With animals- don’t butcher until meat is needed, if possible
  • Plan to raise as you can eat, then eat as you raise

Canned—Buy it or Home Can

  • Above common food storage factors apply
  • Canned goods stay good easily passed their expire date when kept dry, cool, and a constant
  • Temperature.
  • Guard against moisture to avoid rusting.
  • In most cases the content of a metal can is no good only if it rusts through, is punctured, or swells up.

Dry/Bulk—Whole Grains, Legumes, Pasta, Spices, Sweeteners, or Processed

  • Common food storage factors above definitely apply here.
  • This whole food group needs to be stored in a air-tight container to keep out moisture ad oxygen.
  • Every one of these items should begin storage by being froze at zero degrees or colder for a minimum of 10 days.  This kills insect eggs that would hatch later and attack/contaminate the food.  These foods can be kept indefinitely if stored properly after this.

Frozen—Meat, Dairy, Seeds, Fruits, and Vegetable

  • Freezing is one of the easiest methods given freezer space and electrical power
  • If you are using this method it is imperative you have backup power and an alternative ethod of cooking should power go out or the freezer quits working.
  • Backup power only needs to run one hour every 3-4 hours to keep the freezer cold in most cases.
  • Large commercial “Freezer Warehousing” is available in most cities at the rate of only $10.00 per month for each pallet.  They usually have backup power as well.  This is an easy way to cheaply freeze your stored containers of grain and beans as well.  Much food fits on a pallet.
  • Founder Terry Leverett, for example, has enough mason jars, lids, and pressure cooking pans on hand to be able to can most of his frozen food should it thaw for any reason.  He keeps five-gallon propane tanks with deep-fryer burners available as an alternative cooking and heating sources as well.

Dehydrated or Freeze-Dried

  • Above common food storage factors apply
  • If you have a place with stable temperatures this is the easiest type of food to store
  • Stable temperature is the only requirement.  These foods will last 15-30 years under proper temperatures.

Comfort Foods- Chocolate, Candy, Pancake Mix, Brownie Mix, Beer/Wine, Coffee/Tea, Special Meal

  • Above common food storage factors apply
  • Each of these items fit into one of the categories above.  Having these foods is important.  Dont’ leave them out!