Author Topic: Serious food storage  (Read 3271 times)

Stahlmann

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Serious food storage
« on: September 29, 2016, 02:10:34 AM »
Do you use silica gel packets to protect your 10kg of rice in a plastic box?
Or how do you treat such amount of e.g. rice?
How do you store spices (like 1kg of black pepper)?

redbird

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Re: Serious food storage
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2016, 07:29:41 AM »
Uncooked rice lasts pretty much indefinitely, even in the pantry.* You don't need silica gel. As long as you put it in some sort of container that seals shut so bugs and dampness can't get to it, you're fine. I typically buy the 15lb (nearly 7kg) bags of rice and it takes me about 6-8 months to use it all. The very last bits of the rice taste exactly the same as when I first opened the bag 6-8 months prior.

*There's only 1 exception to that. Brown rice needs to be used within 6 months (pantry) or 1 year (fridge/freezer). All other rice lasts indefinitely if damp and bugs don't get to it.

Wow, 1kg of black pepper is a lot. I think you'd have more of a concern of being able to use it all before its expiration date. That's more of an issue than the storage. For storage, as long as you keep it in a cool, dry place then you're fine.

nereo

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Re: Serious food storage
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2016, 08:30:52 AM »
Yeah, rice definitely doesn't need silica gel as long as it's in an air-tight container.  In fact, you can use rice AS silica gel to absorb moisture (geek trick: put water-logged electronics in a ziplock bag with rice for a day or two.)

We buy ~10kg bags of rice and store them in a collection of 2L mason jars, a repurposed, screw-top mixed-nut container and the remainder in a Lexan container (often used to hold 5lb bags of flour).  It's easier to handle smaller containers and they fit better in our pantry.

Pepper and other spices I keep in mason jars - pint or quart sized depending. Masking tape for labels and dates (I try use up all whole spices within 6 months or else their potency falls off a cliff).

EDA: it's important that spice (in particular) be kept way from sunlight.  Mine are kept in a windowless pantry. 

shelivesthedream

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Re: Serious food storage
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2016, 09:56:24 AM »
If you want to read about really serious, bulk, multi-year food storage, google "Mormon food storage advice".

Stahlmann

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Re: Serious food storage
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2016, 03:08:16 PM »
other questions:
0. What about conditions in your home (temperature, humidity)?
1. What about buckwheat groats or Basmati ?
2. Is silica gel good to put with food?
3. Is that ,,sand" for cats the same as silica gel?

NV Teacher

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Re: Serious food storage
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2016, 03:09:48 PM »
If you want to read about really serious, bulk, multi-year food storage, google "Mormon food storage advice".
That's too funny.  I came here to say the same thing.  You can also call the local Mormon church because each Ward (congregation) has someone that's specifically assigned to help members get their food storage together.

nereo

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Re: Serious food storage
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2016, 03:24:13 PM »
other questions:
0. What about conditions in your home (temperature, humidity)?
1. What about buckwheat groats or Basmati ?
2. Is silica gel good to put with food?
3. Is that ,,sand" for cats the same as silica gel?

I'll make it simple.  You can't go wrong storing dried grains (any rice, dried beans, lentils, groats, etc) in glass jars with an airtight lid inside a pantry or cupboard (away from sunlight).  I've done this in humid climates (PNW) where interior humidity was sometimes >80% and in dryer climates.

There's no need for silica gel in home food storage, ever.

Cat "sand" as silica gel for food storage.... whaaaa???? Why would you even ask that? NO!  NEVER!  DON'T GO THERE!

Seems like a good time to plug Erica's (NW Edibles) book.


Stahlmann

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Re: Serious food storage
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2016, 01:19:02 PM »
other questions:
0. What about conditions in your home (temperature, humidity)?
1. What about buckwheat groats or Basmati ?
2. Is silica gel good to put with food?
3. Is that ,,sand" for cats the same as silica gel?

I'll make it simple.  You can't go wrong storing dried grains (any rice, dried beans, lentils, groats, etc) in glass jars with an airtight lid inside a pantry or cupboard (away from sunlight).  I've done this in humid climates (PNW) where interior humidity was sometimes >80% and in dryer climates.

There's no need for silica gel in home food storage, ever.

Cat "sand" as silica gel for food storage.... whaaaa???? Why would you even ask that? NO!  NEVER!  DON'T GO THERE!

Seems like a good time to plug Erica's (NW Edibles) book.

but I think on ,,theory" level this cat product is made of silica gel (in 98%). isnt it?

NEW QUESTION
What about storing bulk supplement powders?
Like creatine, vitamin C or something other?

nereo

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Re: Serious food storage
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2016, 02:17:10 PM »

but I think on ,,theory" level this cat product is made of silica gel (in 98%). isnt it?

It's not the 98% that you worry about, it's whatever is in the other 2% (dyes, perfumes, pH-neutralizing agents... none of which is  required to be displayed on non-food items, nor does the FDA bother to check whether its safe to be on/near food).  Many cleaning products are probably ~98% water but that doesn't mean they are drinkable.

Quote
NEW QUESTION
What about storing bulk supplement powders?
Like creatine, vitamin C or something other?

You're asking some very specific and unusual questions.  Why don't you back and and explain the problems that you are having.  I'm guessing moisture/humidity has been an issue for you?  First time buying in bulk?  What?


Stahlmann

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Re: Serious food storage
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2016, 02:38:53 PM »
 First time buying in bulk? - yea, sure.
That's why I am very curious.

I am transiting between consumer to more time-oriented person and I need to balance buying in bulk and the ability to ,,consume" every advice will be considered.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 02:44:42 PM by Stahlmann »

nereo

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Re: Serious food storage
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2016, 03:03:50 PM »
ok, a few more tips. 
Broadly speaking I limit my bulk purchases only to what i can use up in 3-6 months (it varies somewhat based on the ingredient).
Avoid the temptation to buy a multi-year supply of anything; it will take up storage space and most things won't taste as good (or will spoil completely).

For dried goods, sunlight and moisture are the enemies.  Combat them by storing in air-tight containers in a pantry or cupboard.  Glass "mason" jars are cheap and very useful (though they do break if you drop them or have small children).  Good alternatives are lexan containers with gaskets (available online and at restaurant supply stores).  large zip-lock bags can also work well but make sure it is well sealed.  Rice, pasta (dried), beans, lentils, oats, flours etc can all be stored this way.

Most of the powders (nutrient powders, gatoraid, country-time lemonaid, etc) come in containers that aren't very good at keeping moisture out once opened.  Transfer them (I worked on a sail-boat and our lemonaid mix would turn into a brick after a few weeks if we didn't).

Ground spices should be used within ~1 month.  Whole spices will last 3-6 months before they start loosing flavor.  Buy whole spices and grind small amounts yourself.  Certain spices (pepper, nutmeg) is only at its best when freshly ground.  Again, light is the enemy.

Freeze and animal protein you don't plan on cooking in 2 days. Freezer-bags/foodsaver bags help, but it's also important that it stays frozen and doesn't freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw.