Every prepper, both beginner and expert alike, knows the importance of sealing food for long-term storage. Sealing your food properly will ensure that it lasts a long time and is able to be consumed in the future. Even families and individuals who don’t consider themselves to be preppers can learn about these techniques to make their food available and edible in emergencies.
There are a variety of methods for sealing your food. Some of these include vacuum sealing, dry ice, canning, and freeze-drying/dehydrating.
Vacuum sealing – This method of food storage is both economical and effective. Vacuum sealing removes oxygen from the food package, and therefore slows down its deterioration. Foods won’t dry out, plus you can conserve space for more storage. Foods that have been vacuum sealed last 3 to 5 times longer when compared with conventional methods. Vacuum sealing can be combined with other storage methods, like freezing, for better results.
Dry ice – Believe it or not, dry ice can be used for food storage. Simply place the dry ice in the bottom of a dry food storage container and then pour in the dry food. The dry ice will replace the oxygen in the container with carbon dioxide. Once that process is complete, the container can be sealed. There are, however, safety considerations when handling dry ice. This storage method works best with dry goods including legumes, grains, powders, and seeds.
Canning – Canning is a preservation method in which food is processed and then sealed in airtight containers. Most of us probably purchase canned food at the grocery store, but you can also do it yourself. The only equipment you need are cans, lids and a canner. There are two kinds of canners: water bath and pressurized. Canned food can last anywhere from one to five years.
Freeze-drying/dehydrating – Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are widely available for purchase, but you can also make your own using dehydrators and freeze-dry systems in your home.
There are also different containers in which to pack stable shelf foods.
Plastic buckets – Plastic buckets are convenient for storing large amounts of dry foods. They store well, are compact, can be carried easily, and are stackable. Plastic containers are also fairly cheap and can hold up under rough handling.
Metal cans – Metal cans with proper sealing are ideal for long-term storage because they can remain free of oxygen indefinitely. They also can withstand rough handling.
Glass – Glass containers are good for long-term storage as well. They are non-permeable and difficult for animals to get into. However, they are fragile.
Pouches – Pouches are nice for storage because they come in many different sizes and are portable. Pouched foods can last anywhere from three to ten years but can be easily damaged.
No matter what your preference is for food storage, the important thing is to get started. Find the method that works best for you and your family!