8:56 pm in announcements by Henry G Hollenberg

Our April Meeting will be held at the Knights of Columbus in West Monroe, LA Saturday the 20th from 10AM-Noon. Henry Hollenberg will do a presentation on Food Preparation to prepare for Natural or Man Made disasters. The motto for this meeting will be: “Beat the rush, Panic Now!” We will also discuss upcoming speakers.

Food Storage can be as simple as storing extra groceries. The enemies of long term food storage are oxygen, heat, water, sunlight and vermin. If your packaging is not sturdy enough a little family of mice can make a home in your stores and ruin all your efforts. Oxidation will turn fats rancid. Water and heat help accelerate chemical changes in your stores.

So let’s talk about three categories:
1) Groceries
2) Bucket storage of dry goods
3) Purchased Freeze Dried Foods

Any non-spoilable items such as salt, pepper, sugar, paper-towels, toothpaste, dental floss, matches etc.. can of course be purchased by doubling up on your weekly grocery list. Olive and Peanut Oil will last for a year or so if kept out of the sunlight. Instead of buying 1 weeks worth by 2, 3 or 4.

Our next level of food storage to consider is dry foods in a hardened shell removing oxygen and sunlight. Five gallon buckets work well for this. All we need to do is add Mylar bags and oxygen absorbing packets which can be purchased from Amazon. Food grade plastic buckets cost about $10 apiece. Beans, wheat and white rice stored in this manner will last about 25 years. Pasta not as long, 5 to 7 years. We avoid brown rice do to it’s higher fat content and greater risk of becoming rancid or spoiling. We simply place the mylar bag in the bucket and pour in the dry food. We then throw an oxygen absorber or two on top of the food. We use an iron and a piece of wood to seal the bag expressing as much air out of the bag as possible in the process. The absorber will remove the rest of the oxygen leaving only nitrogen and a tiny amount of CO2. You can put the conventional lid on the bucket with a rubber hammer and they also make a lid removal tool. There is also a really neat lid that is much easier to get in and out of once you have opened your mylar bag for consumption of your stored food. This lid is called a gamma lid and is also available from amazon. The central flat part of the lid is threaded and the rim of the lid is just like a conventional lid and is pounded on with a hammer. Each bucket holds about 30 lbs of food. A pound of food is anywhere from 1200 to 2000 calories depending on whether we are storing beans, rice or wheat, so each bucket holds about 40-60 thousand calories.

If you purchase a grinder for wheat, corn etc then you add a whole new dimension to your storage. Flour and Corn Meal only store about 5 years in the mylar bags. So for long term availability of flour you can simply store wheat up to 25 years and simply grind your own flour as needed. Good mills are available on line.

Finally, you can go with the prepared or freeze dried meals. The oldest company in this market is Mountain House and their offerings are considered some of the best. For prepared grain storage I like Thrive http://www.thrivelife.com/foodstorage. To review other companies offerings and how they are rated and reviewed you can go to: http://www.foodstoragereviewer.com/ Most of these companies offer storage in buckets, #10 cans or foil/mylar packets.

Now, let’s put some food in some buckets!

Local Food Storage Companies:
Twin City Tactical and Supply
1207 Arkansas Rd. Suite B
West Monroe, Louisiana 71291
(318) 331-0888