Our society does not value long-term food storage. But what would we do if a disaster cut off our access to food? It Would be too late to start preparing at that point. So instead, many people who call themselves "preppers" have studied the best ways to ensure they can't lose access to healthy, edible foods even if a disaster occurs.
Through years of innovation and refinement,preppers have figured out the best way to store different types of food for years, sometimes decades, without spoiling. They have discovered that their food supply rests on 3 pillars that contribute to food storage safety.
1. Pillar 1: Mylar Food Storage Bags
Mylar bags prevent gasses, light, moisture and oxygen from getting at and spoiling your food. They are flexible and easy to store yet have a very high tensile strength and are very difficult to rip or tear.
Their strength and flexibility come from the two materials that comprise them. Food-grade mylar bags are made from a space-age plastic called polyethylene terephthalate (PET), metalized with aluminum by engineers.
The best mylar bags have more than one layer of aluminum. Premium brands like PREMOUNT have 3 layers of pure aluminum and an additional coating of polyethylene (PE) to protect your food even more.
Mylar Bags Can Protect Certain Foods for Decades
Mylar bags' extraordinary durability and protection last indefinitely with proper care, and they are easily reusable with a thorough wash with soap and water. As a result, mylar bags are the storage container of choice for preppers who want to keep their food fresh and safe for up to 30 years.
Mylar bags will hold any food safely over the short term, including liquids and perishables. This adaptability makes them perfect for vacations and camping trips. Moreover, drier foods like nuts, seeds, milled grains, and brown rice will last more than 5 years in a well-packed bag.
However, dry foods with no oils or fat like pasta, white rice, white flour, and fully dehydrated fruits and veggies will stay dry and safe for decades. Getting an assortment that includes 5-gallon bags is the most economical way to start with long-term food storage.
The Thickness of Mylar Bags Affects Flexibility and Protection
Mylar food storage bags come in different thicknesses, offering varying levels of puncture resistance. While mylar bags protect food from external contaminants, some foods themselves are sharp and can puncture the bags in transit. Therefore, it's best to ensure you have bags that can stand up to transporting rough, dry foods.
Mylar is measured in mils, thousandths of inches (yes, it's that durable!). We recommend a thickness between 4 and 7 mils for most normal-size bags, and you should make sure your long-term storage uses the thickest bags available.
Since thinner bags are more flexible and thicker ones offer more protection, individuals have their own preferences for different circumstances. Nevertheless, you always want to make sure you use bags that afford appropriate protection for your food, even if you prefer more flexible variations.
Here are some general guidelines for different foods and suitable bag thickness –
· Spices, flour, mixes, powdered foods – minimum 4 mils
· Seeds, sugar, rice, legumes, grain – minimum 5 mils
· Pasta – minimum 6 mils (some People avoid spaghetti)
2. Pillar 2: Oxygen Absorbers
Oxygen destroys food. It speeds up the natural degradation process of proteins and oils, causing food to spoil.Moreover, it eliminates many essential vitamins and minerals over time.
Luckily, oxygen absorbers completely remove oxygen from air-tight containers. They are a powerful complement to mylar bags for long-term food storage.
O2 absorbers are usually small pouches containing powdered iron. When iron oxidizes, it consumes the oxygen to fuel the reaction, removing it from the surrounding area. When used in mylar bags,oxygen absorbers will gobble up all the O2, which accounts for about 20% of the air we breathe and pull the bag tight around the food inside.
Oxygen absorbers are rated by the number of cubic centimeters (cc) they can eat before the iron is fully oxidized. So make sure you compare the capacity of your mylar bag to the cc rating of the O2 absorbers to make sure you use enough!
Oxygen absorbers come in their own air-tight bags or containers since they will start to absorb oxygen immediately upon exposure. In addition, some high-end mylar bag companies include O2 absorbers with their bags.
You Need to Use Enough to Be Effective
The amount of absorption required depends on the volume of air in your bag. Some people go to great lengths to make precise calculations based on food density. Instead, we recommend you use at least 100 cc of oxygen absorbers per quart of storage volume.
There is no harm in using more absorption than you need, but the consequences of not using enough can be catastrophic to your long-term food storage! To ensure you have ample absorption to keep your food safe, PREMOUNT includes a 500cc O2 absorber with every mylar bag.
3. Pillar 3: Plastic Storage Buckets
Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers are the perfect combination to keep your food safe for decades. However, there is one thing they have trouble protecting your food against: rodents.
Whether it's long-term or temporary food storage, rodents are always a danger. The best protection against their piercing teeth is food-safe plastic bins or buckets.
We recommend 5-gallon buckets because they are stackable and (unlike large steel drums) possible to carry when necessary. They also make it easier to fill larger bags with food by keeping them upright during the filling process.