Why You Need To Store The Right Food Storage

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Do you sometimes wonder why you need to store the right food storage for your family? It’s a little overwhelming, right? Should I buy freeze-dried, dehydrated or what? Do you remember when you were growing up and our parents had a few 50-pound or 100-pound cans filled with powdered milk, beans, and sugar? Ours were shiny green. You can probably picture the wooden shelves filled with jars of canned fruits and vegetables, you know all the food storage we could see at a glance what we had stored just in case. There is nothing more exciting than seeing the food that we produced from the garden stored for the family for the year.

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Here’s the deal, life is busy and I realize canning is not as popular as it was years ago. You can call those vintage skills or pioneer skills, either way, the USDA is no longer having testing kitchens for canning food. I learned this last fall when I took classes to get certified in the Master Canner Preserver Class from The USU Extension Service right here in Southern Utah. I was shocked to hear this, but according to the USDA, people would rather buy fresh food in season, or fruits and vegetables in cans or down the frozen aisle of their local grocery stores.

I still bottle a few jars here and there, not like I did when I had four daughters helping to do the work. I don’t have access to fresh fruit like I did up north either. Some of us are getting older and no longer want to bottle or can 50 jars of peaches, I get it. Let’s talk about the right food storage for you today. I’ll share some that I like to store.

Right Food Storage For You:

This is truly a personal topic because we all have different situations in our lives and our budgets. Here are some of my suggestions. Please note I use all of my food storage monthly and rotate it as needed. I only buy fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese and all the basics to cook from scratch.

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Freeze-dried food:

The great thing about freeze-dried food is you can eat the food right out of the can. Some of the fruits, like pineapples, strawberries, and apple slices are my favorite healthy snacks. You can eat green beans and corn right out of the can, easy peasy to use if you have a can opener. Please remember to store a few good can openers. I can never have too many. No water needed unless you are going to cook with them, please do not use hot water with the freeze-dried cheese, yep it will cook it. I ONLY use tepid water with ALL freeze-dried food. Soak as noted on the cans, drain the water and use in your recipes as you would fresh food.

Pros:

Freeze-dried food in #10 cans will store longer than dehydrated foods. Typically 25 years if unopened and in a room with a temperature of 70 degrees or so. Check with the manufacturer where you purchase your food storage in #10 cans. I only buy from Honeyville and Thrive Life for my freeze-dried. I always check the price per ounce and include the shipping costs to decide which company I will purchase from.

Cons:

I almost hate to write a con because it’s the best way to buy the right food storage for long-term. The con would be they are more expensive. But for me, I can sleep at night knowing those cans will last my lifetime. So unless you are using them all the time, and not just for reserve, they really are very cost effective since you don’t have to replace them as often.

Commercially dehydrated foods:

This is a little more tricky because most commercially dehydrated food in #10 cans has a shorter life because it is processed differently than freeze-dried. The only thing I use dehydrated foods for are for cooking soups because they need so much water to re-hydrate them. Here again, I only buy from Honeyville and Thrive Life.

Pros:

They are cheaper than freeze-dried fruit and vegetables. These are cheaper to store and cook with even compared to fresh foods, in many cases. No chopping, peeling, etc. No waste, it’s fabulous.

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Cons:

Shorter shelf-life compared to freeze-dried fruit, vegetables. etc. You can’t eat them right out of the can, you may chip a tooth. Shelf-life is typically 7-8 years. Check your manufacturer cans for suggested time frames.

Home dehydrated foods:

Now, I love using my Excalibur dehydrator with a timer. It’s fabulous, but I do not dehydrate for long-term storage. I dehydrate any excess fruits to make healthy snacks. I dehydrate vegetables for soups and stews. I love buying frozen vegetables because they are ready to dehydrate and use less space in a quart jar over the space they take in the freezer. I use them for soups and casseroles. Storage life, one-year maximum using my FoodSaver without oxygen absorbers.

Pros:

They are almost free because we are not wasting them, we are dehydrating them for another meal.

Cons:

Short shelf-life, one-year maximum.

Store Purchased Cans:

Here’s the deal, I hope you buy some cans that every family member would eat after a short-term disaster. Buy case lots when they are on sale and only buy the ones you like.

Pros:

You can use a can opener and a meal is ready in minutes with or without heating it up on a cooking device.

Cons:

The shelf life is not as long, typically one to two years and then the food starts tasting like the can. I often wonder what is being absorbed in the food from the can, but what can we say, it’s in a metal can.

Thank you for buying the right food storage four your family today, not tomorrow. Let’s teach the world to be prepared for the unexpected.

*****Please note, if you do bottle/can your own food, you need to remove the rings on the bottles before storing them so you know if the “canning lids have stayed sealed.”

Tips for storing food in a small home

Honeyville Grain

Thrive Life

 

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14 thoughts on “Why You Need To Store The Right Food Storage

  • June 10, 2017 at 8:32 am
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    I have limited experience with freeze dried foods and am seeking your thoughts on storage for only two people. Freeze dried foods have a very long life unopened but once the can is opened, the storage time is greatly reduced. I don’t believe I would go through a #10 can of butter, for example, in 6 months. Is there a way to open the can and repackage into smaller amounts? How would repackaging in mylar bags with an oxygen absorber work? Or maybe vacuum sealed bags?

    Reply
    • June 10, 2017 at 9:37 am
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      Hi Debbie, you have a very good point about once you open the packages the shelf life goes way down. I could not use a #10 can of butter either, I do not like the taste nor would I use it up in the 9-month period that Thrive Life shows. It only has a 5 year shelf life unopened. I store very little butter for that reason. Let me write a post about food storage for two people. I hadn’t really thought about that because i know my neighbors are not prepared and I will be sharing most of what I have. Not all, but some. I would not repackage the food. Let me write a post about this. Thanks for the idea, you are not alone! Hugs! Linda

      Reply
      • June 10, 2017 at 9:53 am
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        Thanks, Linda. I, too am a MFP and put up a lot of food in jars. Also, dehydrate but freeze drying holds some interest. I’d appreciate your thoughts on food storage for two. During an earthquake (it will happen in the Columbia River Gorge sooner than later) I can imagine my jars broken on the floor so I’m also working on how to keep that from happening.

        Reply
        • June 10, 2017 at 12:03 pm
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          Hi Debbie, have you checked out the JarBoxes made by Jeri? I have seen them at Walmart even. They are a little pricey but as she gets them into more stores they have come down in price. Linda

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          • June 10, 2017 at 1:21 pm
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            I have seen the JarBox but was put off by the price. A quick internet search found ULine has mason jar boxes with corrugated dividers when bought in packs of at least 10 are less than $4 per box, less for smaller sized jars. I might go that way. Disadvantage is I can’t see through the box but they could be labeled with contents and date. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • June 10, 2017 at 8:44 am
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    Hi Debbie; I use freeze-dried food extensively. I repack all opened food in either glass mason jars or mylar bags, both with oxygen absorbers. Read directions somewhere on how to do this properly. It seems to last just fine for a very long time – years. And we live ina humid climate.

    Reply
    • June 10, 2017 at 9:39 am
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      Hi Pat, thanks for your comment, great tips. A humid city is hard to keep food okay when opened, sounds like you have a plan that works, Linda

      Reply
  • June 10, 2017 at 8:46 am
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    PS – I have no experience with freeze-dried meats or dairy products (way too pricey for me) and I do not have a Food Saver.

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    • June 10, 2017 at 9:42 am
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      Hi Pat, you do not need to buy freeze-dried food, that is only one option. The prices on all food storage items have escalated through the roof thae last five years. Well, for that matter so have grocery food prices. You do not need to store freeze-dreid meat to survive, there are other forms of protein. You do not need a FoodSaver either. It sounds like you have had very good luck with oxygen absorbers and mylar bags. We all learn different things that work for our family in our cities. You are amazing! Keep up the good work, Linda

      Reply
  • June 10, 2017 at 12:52 pm
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    i have a combination…some bought freeze-dried foods and some i can and dehydrate at home. i like to have both because i could grab the freeze-dried in my BOB and go with it.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2017 at 2:58 pm
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    I do a lot of home canning. I do have both freeze dried and dehydrated storage as well. I have Red Feather canned butter and Ghee in storage . I recently bought a small butter churn , but have not used it as yet. I churned butter as a child but do not remember having to rinse it. Maybe that was something my grandmother did. I do not have access to fresh cream, so I will use heavy cream from the store when I make my first batch. I also buy from Honeyville and Thrive, but I also have bought from Mountain house. I look for sales as I am on a fixed income. But even so, you can get prepared , you just have to start small, buy what you eat, eat what you buy. God Bless and keep on prepping.

    Reply
    • June 10, 2017 at 4:21 pm
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      Hi Judy, I have purchased from Mountain House as well. It’s a great company. I have Red Feather Butter, maybe 5 cans are all but that will work for now. Last year my goal was to save for a large water tank, what a peace of mind that has given me. I remember accidentally making butter when I whipped cream as a child! LOL! We still put it on the strawberry shortcake with some vanilla added! I have never churned butter but have seen it done at some city fairs, such hard work. Oh, what we take for granted. Keep prepping my friend, Linda

      Reply
  • June 10, 2017 at 11:42 pm
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    Thanks for the thoughts on food storage. May I add something from my own experience? I also removed the rings on home canned jars. Then when moving some of the lids were dislodged. Some spilled while moving, some I found later. It was not fun. Since then I leave the rings on. I haven’t had a problem with sealing and it seems that the lid would bulge or not give that distinctive air release sound if it lost its seal. So if I never had to move the jars around taking the rings off is fine, but if the jars may need to be moved, the rings provide some extra protection. Thanks for an excellent site!

    Reply
    • June 11, 2017 at 6:48 am
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      Hi Janie, thank you for your kind words. When I was growing up I was taught to always remove the rings on the jars. But, I never knew why. I just always removed them. It wasn’t until I took my Master Canning Preserver Certificate course that I learned why you have to take the rings off. If you remove the rings you may soon realize which jars did not actually seal, maybe not today but in two months for instance. My USDA trainer from the USU Extension said this “jars may unseal” and then go back to the seal position if the rings remain intact while stored. The bacteria or botulism is a silent killer. Please be careful, when in doubt throw it out. Linda

      Reply

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