How To Store Flour, Sugar And Rice For Survival

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Survivopedia store rice

In addition to your garden, if you have sugar, salt, and rice, plus some chickens and a milk cow (a few beef cows or  canned meats would really put you up there), you have everything that you need to survive.

The thing about sugar, salt, and rice is that you can’t really produce it yourself without a lot of acreage, ideal conditions, and a ton of work, so you need to stockpile them.

Fortunately, all three of them are relatively cheap, especially if you buy in bulk. The problem is how to store flour, sugar, and rice for the long-term. All three of these items are sensitive to moisture and well-loved by critters of all sorts, so it’s imperative that you keep them sealed in a manner that won’t allow them to be eaten or ruined by moisture.

This point was driven home to me just the other day when I opened a new bag of flour to make biscuits. It hadn’t been on the shelf for more than a few months, yet when I dumped it into the bowl, I noticed little black bugs in it. Now I’m not a picky eater by any means, but I draw the line at bug biscuits. I guess I’ve just never been that hungry.

And if I have my say, I never will be. I learned my lesson – now all of my flour, even the smaller bags, go straight into a plastic container. That’s not the only way to store any of these items though. As a matter of fact, I’ve discovered a few pretty nifty tricks that I’m going to share with you!

Check flour, sugar, and rice before you store it

This is a big deal. I say so because I’ve bought both buggy rice and flour in the past, and ended up having to throw away most of the stuff in the cabinet because they infested all of my dry goods that were either boxed or open.

It would have REALLY upset me if I’d been pouring it into my storage bin with other flour or rice because then I would have lost all of it. Since those two incidents, I’ve been really careful about checking for bugs before I even put it in my cabinets. This is a concern for beans and pasta too, so take a look at them all before you toss them on the shelves.

You can check the rice and beans at the store before you buy it  – just look for the bugs in the bottom of the bag. Flour, sugar, and pasta isn’t so easy. Pasta gets kind of a whitish, dry, brittle appearance when it’s buggy, so that my help you avoid buying buggy noodles.

If you’re going to pour a bag of dry goods into a larger container, I’d highly suggest pouring it into a big bowl and checking it before just tossing it in with the rest of your batch.

Store flour, sugar, and rice in plastic buckets

5 gallon buckets rock – that’s just all there is to it. When it comes to a great survival item, they rank right up there with duct tape as far as I’m concerned, at least when we’re talking about non-portable items. The great thing about 5 gallon buckets is that you can get them for free from local restaurants and bakeries.

If they happen to smell like pickles or whatever else was stored in them, scrub them good with some soapy bleach water and rinse well. If they still smell a bit weird, put a box of baking soda or some charcoal in it, put the lid on, and let it sit overnight. It’ll smell fine the next day.

When you’re getting your buckets, make sure they’re food-grade and make sure that they have a rubber seal around the inside of the lid. Most do, but check to make sure before you store your dried goods in them. If you have trouble getting the lids off, you can actually buy a tool specifically designed to help you with that.

You can also buy gamma lids, which seal, and then part of the lid screws on and off so that you don’t have to struggle with removing the whole lid. They’re a little pricey but if you get your bucket for free, then it may be worth it to you.
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Dry-Can Flour, Rice, and Sugar

This is a good method if you want to store your dry goods in smaller containers that you’ll use quickly. I wrote an article about safe dry-canning a while back that gives you specific instructions on how to do it.

Vacuum Packing

I think that vacuum packing is a great idea but, after having been raised in WV where the mice have no shame and in Florida where they’re actually armed, I’m not a huge fan of using vacuum packing as the only method of storage. We’ve written an article that gives you some great ideas to keep the mice away here.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s a great way to extend shelf-life but if you’re going to vacuum seal your dried goods, throw the in a 5-gallon bucket to keep the critters from eating through the plastic. Then you’d have the best of both worlds – small, lightweight, portable portions stored securely in one larger space that nothing will chew through.

Mylar Bags

I know that Mylar bags seem to be the direction that everybody is heading and I can’t deny that they’re a great way to store food, but the cost of them is prohibitive for me. However, if you don’t mind paying a bit more, then by all means, jump on it. They’re certainly more secure than just vacuum sealing. As a matter of fact, they can preserve food for up to 15 years, so that’s a definite check in the bonus column. Again, I’d use the buckets to store the bags.

Barrels and Drums

Since I’m typically the “if it’s free, it’s for me” type of girl, I didn’t realize until recently that there was such a great selection of food-grade barrels and drums that came in sizes other than 5 gallons and 55 gallons. I don’t mean to sound out of the loop, but it just never occurred to me to check it out until I was looking for smaller rain barrels.

It turns out that you can buy them in just about any size in between, and they’re made for both food AND water, so you have a wide array of fairly affordable options that suit your needs no matter how much space you have or food you want to store.

Shelf Life of Flour, Sugar, and Rice

This is probably something that you haven’t given a lot of thought to, but shelf life is pretty important when you’re talking about long-term storage. As always, practice the FIFO (First in, first out) method of stockpiling.

That aside, sugar and white rice (along with several other great foods discussed here) have a shelf lives of literally forever as far as anyone knows, but flour and brown rice are only good for about 15 months. After that, both will start to go rancid. Though both may last longer, especially if stored in airtight containers in cool, dark environments, you’ll know if either have gone bad because they’ll smell sour.

This lends credence to the ideas of canning, or to vacuum sealing, then storing in buckets because both canning a vacuum sealing keep out the air that facilitates spoilage.

Did I miss anything, or do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments section below!

And click on the banner below to learn how our ancestors used to store their food for survival!

the lost ways cover

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

Theresa Crouse

About Theresa Crouse

Theresa Crouse is a full-time writer currently living in central Florida. She was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, where she learned to farm, hunt, fish, and live off the land from an early age. She prefers to live off the grid as much as possible and does her best to follow the “leave nothing behind but footprints” philosophy. For fun, she enjoys shooting, kayaking, tinkering on her car and motorcycle, and just about anything else that involves water, going fast, or the outdoors. You can send Theresa a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com.

Comments

  1. Quite frankly; when ever a person desires to store 'grain' of any sort & regardless of where it comes from, or they live. Grains will & does contains larva of something or several somethings.. The best way to store any grain products & preventing the larva going from larva to bug/worm & for long term, is to store it in a freezer. Freezing grains also evaporates moisture in the product, just as a tray of ice cubes evaporates over time, so too will moisture in grain. Which also extends the shelf life of the product & prevents that 'moldy smell & taste... with no need to transfer the grain/ flower from it's original bag..

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    • This was what my Mom taught me as well! Thanks for sharing.

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    • Rattlerjake says:

      What you are NOT paying attention to is that those insects, eggs, and larvae DIE when all oxygen is removed. The best way to do that is to used dry ice (CO2) or vacuum seal with oxygen removers. Freezing will NOT allow for extra long term storage, the evaporation will eventually cause it to go stale! Besides, what happens when the power grid is down and your freezer doesn't work?

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      • In reply to rattlerjake, I believe what they where saying on the the freezer storage, is you put it in the freezer for 2-4 days, then remove and place in buckets or vacuum bags. If not I am sorry for be wrong, but it how I store rice, beans, salt, flour, sugar, and everything I store gets oxygen absorbers. I also place either in buckets, or in sealer bags then in buckets.. I double seal large items and check product monthly. Really enjoy the reads and I always get great info.. Thanks for the help.. 🙂

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  2. The wiseman says:

    I've been prepping since Y2K and so have consumed a lot of "old" food. This morning I had brown rice that I put down in 2010; it was perfectly fine.

    Here's how I store rice, bran, pasta, wheat etc. I buy from Walmart, one-gallon plastic jars with tight-fitting screw lids. I wash the jars in hot water. Then, I fill the jars to the top of the brim with rice or whatever. (Bang the jar four or five times on the counter to settle the contents; fill again to brim if necessary. The idea is to exclude as much air/oxygen as possible (oxygen is the culprit here - it causes stuff to age)). Finally, cover the opening tightly with "sticky paper" (i.e. "Press and Seal" or similar) with the sticky side DOWN. Pull it down around the threads on the top of the jar, then place the lid on and screw it TIGHT.

    Now you've got a minimum amount of oxygen in there. Now, place it in the freezer for three or four days and then, place it on the shelf in your cool, dry basement.

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    • Yeah that works too. But no matter how hard you shake, pack down, or what ever; there is space between the grains, & larva will like that lone fly that is 'dead' all winter between the windows will come to life as soon as the sun warms it. And I'm too lazy to be washing jars, repacking, shaking, taping & all the other. As I don't have a flood plain problem I don't fear that if the electric goes down I have a back up generator, & the freezer won't thaw for 3 to 5 days. Should the house burn down; I have greater problems to deal with. In a fire glass jars will crack & the product is lost anyway...

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      • Northwoods Cheryl says:

        I have rice, flour, and sugar from the late 1990's and it's ALL GOOD yet! I use similar methods as The Wiseman lists in his. I store Bleached white flour in 80# size "Vittles Vaults" (Sold on eBay and pet food sites) Bleached white flour is basically inert with little to offer the diet except calories (IMPORTANT!!), and a bit of protein. I store whole wheat berries as well, and grind some in my hand operated flour mill to mix with the white flour for more nutritious bread. Sugar goes in Heavy clear plastic fruit juice bottles, with a piece of plastic over the top before the lid is screwed on. It doesn't cake up that way. I also store rice, small pasta shapes, etc the same way. I put dehydrated veg in them as well, and keep them in my dark, cool, deep basement. Never had a problem. I use 5 gallon buckets with gamma lids for all of those items as well. NEVER had a bug issue or staleness problem. I just used up the last bucket of flour from 2002, and it baked up well. I do not leave the flour in the bags. I just pour it into the bucket, as long as it's a food grade bucket. No mylar bags, no dry ice, no oxygen absorbers. No problems!!!

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    • JB from NC says:

      What about condensation from the temperature change,,,, freezer to cool basement?

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      • Freezer will in short time evaporate the moisture in the grain, a frost free freezer is a better way to go. Nothing is perfect by any means with out mega bucks being spent... In the old Testament grain was 'stored' in warehouses, for some 7 years.. would guess the Jews & Egyptians ate more than 1 or 2 'bugs during time of Famine..

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    • I also use oxygen absorbers, sized for the container used. Amazon sells them reasonably. Several years ago I bought 300 lbs of freshly farmed wheat from a local farmer. In this case I put all six bags in a 55 gal metal food safe barrel and placed dry ice on top. I placed the lid on firmly but not tight, the next morning tightening the lid. The dry ice displaces all the oxygen. I'm told by local experts my wheat will last indefinitely. I keep it stored in the corner of my basement shop along with all my 5 gal buckets of rice, beans, oats etc. My unheated shop unless I'm working in it never gets below freezing in the winter and never gets above 70 in the summer.

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    • When you take it out of the freezer, the outside of the jar will form condensation. Will the inside stay dry?

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  3. D. Murphy says:

    Check out the LDS food storage in dry-packed cans, and powdered milk in cases of packets that will last 20 years. Great stuff for lowest prices. No gourmet items there, just basics, but enough to get your bulk stuff stored. For Mylar packets, I suggest keeping them in a cool place in a metal trash can with a bungee cord holding down the lid. If you have an LDS bishops storehouse near you you're fortunate. If not you can buy online through provident living.com, although then you will have to pay for shipping. (Don't get the potato pearls--they only last 1.5 yrs and are salty-- get the potato FLAKES, which last 30 yrs! Check out their home Storage center products form, which lists storage life for each item.

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    • The truth be know the LDS is one of the best options for buying long life food, no chemicals or buckets of salt, MSG or other man made garbage.

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    • Walmart.com sells the LDS (Emergency Essentials) and Auguson Farms long term food. Both come in #10 cans and shipping is free over $35. Cost per ounce is higher than buying in bulk, but you have the assurance of long term storage. Now, having said that: I live in a small cabin and have several outbuildings. Cool and dark is at a real premium here. I have many hundreds of pounds of dry goods in vacuum packs in 5 gallon buckets. Many of these are in an outbuilding which reaches 90 deg plus during the summer. So far I have not seen any degradation, but I am not sure about the nutritional content.

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  4. M McClure says:

    I store food in 5 gallon buckets with Gamma lids. I put a lump of dry ice (frozen CO2) in the bucket and let it sublimate before tightening the lid. The CO2 is heavier than oxygen and tends to displace it.

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  5. Darrell D says:

    I use Mylar bags and 5 gallon buckets to preserve my rice , pasta, and beans. Just before sealing the bag, (with a household iron and wooden broom handle) I add a handwarmer to the mylar bag to "suck" the extra air out of the bag before sealing bucket with regular lid. I have had no problems eating rice and beans that have been stored for 3 plus years.

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    • Darrell, please provide more info about the "hand warmers" method; type, where to purchase, how it works. Thanks.

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  6. I've even had flour,sugar etc in sealed containers and still have weviels in it. I put bay leaves in the containers and it seems to keep them out. Most of mine I keep refrigerated or in the freezer but if worse comes to worse we may not hve the electricity to have those luxceries

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  7. I truly believe everyone should have a stock pile of food. Any thoughts on oxygen absorbers?

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    • You can't keep them out if they're all ready in the grain. in open containers bay leaves work great, maybe like Cedar bugs don't like the smell,oils or what not..
      Even 'oxygen absorbers need to be 'dried' from time to time, using a microwave. Or so read the labels that I have read on mine. How often I assume it depends on the humidity where one lives...

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      • Greg .... moisture absorbers need occasional refreshing. O2 absorbers and hand warmers contain iron powder. I would hate to see what happens in a microwave. Can somebody try it and post the results and a picture of the fire?

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    • I use oxygen absorbers in all of my 5 gal. buckets

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      • loretta stull says:

        Hey Mike, what size 02 absorbers do you use ie. pint, qt.gallon jars and the 5 gallon bucket never read the ratio of absorber to quantity - can you enlighten me, please.

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  8. Darren Kahler says:

    I haven't vacuum packed anything before, but I'm just wondering; if you vacuum packed your food, could you just use non-food grade buckets to store the vacuum packed food in? Say, the 5 gallon buckets with lids that you pick up at home depot. I would assume that the vacuum packing would keep any chemicals from the inside of the bucket from leaching into the food. Thoughts?

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    • Lots of people use vacuum packing, some people think that the bag being 'plastic' is bad for you. I'd bet they wouldn't turn down a meal from a 'plastic' vacuum packed type bag after a week or more on real short rations.. Once the food item is in a bag, makes no difference where it is stored as long as the bag isn't torn or punctured in some fashion. & the bears, raccoons, squirrels can't get to them

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    • hillbilly girl says:

      Home Depot and Lowe's sell food grade buckets, too. They have regular lids and Gamma Seal lids. I have bought several buckets at Lowe's. Their buckets are not as heavy duty as Emergency Essentials' buckets, but I am not kicking and throwing them around. So, they should do just fine.
      Judging by how the stock goes up and down, they are selling a lot of them.

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    • I store my food the same way,,, it really works,,,,,
      keep eggs for over 24 months,,,, it works ,,,,, do not wash the egg after removing it from the chicken,,,,, cover the egg with Vaseline, place it pointing in the cart,,,,, store in a cool dark place

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  9. Mark Runyan says:

    Can you increase the storage life if flour by including an unopened box of baking soda in the pocket with the flour?

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    • I don't have any idea, but after 5 to 10 plus yrs. I would think it would be time to restock, just to be on the safe side. All the 'old' food could be tossed to your or the neighbors pigs. Before you convert them little piglets into bacon...

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    • I find that when I want to store something I use a vacuum Packer. I have used it for over 20 years and it works fine. I buy hamburger in bulk and I package it up in 1 pound as high as 2 pounds packages and I mark what it is and put a date on it. It doesn't get freezer burnt and it lasted a very very long time. My vacuum Packer also has a adapter that goes on Mason jars and vacuum packs Mason jar and works very well. The Mason jar lid comes in two pieces, you put the seal lid on first vacuum packed it, then you put the other half that screws on. Well that's it.

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  10. Great tips!! Thank you!!

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  11. I bought some 5 gallon heavy plastic cans with lids from Lowe's. Will those work? They remind me of 5 gallon paint cans .

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  12. Ed Lockett says:

    One way to discourage bugs is to put a bay leaf or two into the container once you have f it works for flour, rice, beans, sugar ad other dry goods.
    Leaves no taste as long as the stored item is kept dry.

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  13. Dr. Pepper says:

    I once spoke to the good people at King Arthur flour about weevils in the flour I purchased (they replaced it). No one was aware of any toxicity. Bug contaminated flour was a given in earlier times. My grandmother was taught to just sift them out before baking. When it's all you have, you eat or you don't. Personally I freeze all products for 24 hours, then store in bins, or leave in the freezer when there is room.

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  14. I vacuum seal my rice in mylar bags, then put the bags in 5-gal bucket with gamma lids. Also, when you keep smaller amounts "out" for use, I put the rice in 1/2 gallon mason jars and use a food saver vac sealer with the lid sealer attachment. It only takes a minute to re-seal the jars (Tattler reusable lids) after you open them. I do the same thing with beans and legumes.

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  15. With the extremely short shelf life of flour I have decided that the best way to have flour for the long term is to store wheat and have a way to grind it into flour. I have experimented with growing wheat to insure that I can replenish this supply. More experimentation is needed, it's a lot of work with little return! Finding a way to barter for more wheat may be a better option.

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    • What kind of flour grinder do you have and are you happy with it?

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    • Cheryl Olson says:

      If you store whole wheat flour, it DOES go rancid quickly. I have been storing bleached white flour and the stuff from the plastic buckets (Gamma Seal lids) in my basement from 1999, is STILL good and makes good bread! Bleached white flour has nothing in it. Sure, almost empty calories, but if you want more food value, then save some wheat "berries" (unground wheat) and grind it and add some to your white flour when you go to make the bread or whatever.. I have been doing this since way before Y2K, and I am still doing fine! I buy on sale and in quantities enough to go off from for a LONG time. I have not been using oxygen absorbers, but here it often gets down to 30 degrees below zero for extended times, so I am sure that kills off anything that might be hatching in my flour. I sift it all through a mesh strainer before storing and again when using. No problems found..

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  16. Place a bay leaf in the jar before sealing. It will kill bugs and larva. Also oxygen absorbers are great and cheap.

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  17. MustangWriter says:

    I freeze my flour for a couple of days to kill any little critters then after thawing, I take brown paper bags (the kind used for your kid's lunches) and transfer from the original flour bag (measured by measuring cup) maybe... 4 measuring cups of flour into the brown (lunch) paper bag. Then I fold the lunch bag over once (maybe twice) and then place that into a vacuum bag and then vacuum (Food Saver) and seal. The 4 cups of flour is now hard as a brick (reverts back to powdered flour upon opening the seal) with all the oxygen out. The brown paper bag is pourous enough to allow the Food Saver to vacuum out any air inside the paper bag/ flour without the flour dust gumming up the Food Saver (which can be a problem).
    On the outside of the Food saver plastic bag I will write "4 Cups All Purpose Flour and the date". This way, come shortages I all ready have a measured amount handy.

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  18. Regarding sugar, it is very easy. I have had sugar in the original paper sack stored just on the shelf for over 30 yrs. We are currently using sugar that is 20 yrs. old and it is exactly the same as fresh bought. The bugs have never touched it even when they did find my Rica a Roni and Mac n Cheese. I sprinkled white sugar around an ant bed and they went around it. A little sweet candy helps when you are enduring a hungry time. Even though sugar is something we try to cut back on, those extra calories will help us get by during hard times. I have heard of sugar being used to heal cuts, but never tried it.

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  19. Placing dried bay leaves on your open cabinet or panty shelves helps to deter small mites and wevels for short term storage. Large containers of bay leaves at Costco or other stores make them very reasonable.

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  20. C V Bennett says:

    I am a producer of high quality sized coal that i sell in sealed 35 pound bags..I have found multiple uses of coal for survival. The coal will burn damp, water doesn't hurt it, can weld metals with it, use as a coal water filter, produce steam and electricity and has unlimited self life. There is no fuel like an old fuel and that must be why the U S government is trying to destroy the coal industry. Please advise if you have an interest for you and your reader.

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  21. Most flour comes w bug eggs in it...
    Place the bag of flour in the freezer for a few days before you store it for long term, bug eggs will die-

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  22. I make my own beef jerky and vacuum seal it with a food saver machine.I also put an oxygen absorber pack in the bag.I wonder if this would work good with flour?

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  23. Roy Sanders says:

    Have you thought about the nitrogen method of storing grain?

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  24. Damn good info !!
    also i get some real nice square food grade buckets with lids very regularly
    before even bothering to wash them, i set them in this Texas Sun for a couple days, the UV takes care of any prior food smells, then i take them in a wash them.
    Also, i have heard but have not tested, that you can mix Diatomaceous earth with your dry grains to prevent mold, mildew and even bugs, then it is rinsed off just before cooking. Anyone know more about this ?

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    • That's right. You can mix in DE and rinse off before using. A little trickier if you are storing wheat for flour. Also....I have some wheat stored in jars since the mid 70's - that's 40 year old wheat. It's been through a lot and a lot of moves and temperature fluctuations. It's still just like when it was stored. All I did was jar it up and freeze it for a few days. BTW. If you live in cold country, buy your grains, etc., in the winter and just keep them in a frozen area for a few days like an unheated back porch.

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    • You want the Food-Grade DE, not the swimming pool filter kind. It is used in grain storage, both home & industrial size. You can wash it off, but don't have to. Good stuff on the garden too. Sprinkled on plants, I've found few things it doesn't deter or kill. Helps retain moisture in the ground.

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  25. Duane Jacobs says:

    Thank you
    Well thought out
    Duane Jacobs

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  26. Roy Sanders says:

    for those who wish to see a youtube on nitrogen packing grains

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  27. Charles cetti says:

    The inherent problem in storing flour, rice, grits, cake mixes, pancake mixes and the like is weevils. This is because they are already inside the product when you buy it at the grocery store. Over a few-month period they grow from tiny larvae to adults. You can package them however you want, and you will still get weevils unless the container has zero oxygen. I have found that freezing the package for about two weeks before placing it into one of the recommended containers solves the problem by killing any weevils or weevil larvae present. Also, I think this must extend shelf life---I have used flour after 5 years and found it to be perfectly good. I buy 10-pound bags of flour and keep it in large ziplock bags stored in the dark, air-conditioned bonus room in my home. The ziplock bags are placed inside Rubbermaid-type "tubs" and the tub tops are sealed by placing wax paper over the top, extending out about one inch on all sides, and then affixing the lid tightly. I do the same for rice, grits, etc.
    Hope this helps.

    Charles

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    • I have a stupid question- are you able to use any of these bags or are they only kept for long term storage?

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      • After I remove the package of flour, rice, etc. from the freezer, I leave the original package unopened. I then let it sit at room temperature for a day, to make sure that the package is completely dry. After that, I put it into the proper-size ziplock bag and store it in the Rubbermaid-type container I described in my post. It is for long term storage.

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  28. All flour seems to be susceptible to weevils, I throw the bags in the freezer for 1-7 days ( depending on when I remember to get them out)prior to sealing/storing, to kill live bugs and possibly eggs that are also in the product.... Just a fact of life, but I've never had weevil problem since

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    • For some reason God made insects & what not with the ability to go dormant in cold & when it warms they begin doing what ever they've been doing for centuries.. Take the lowly mosquitos, they remain 'inert' in permafrost since the end of the last ice age, & when it melts there are billions of mosquitoes ... Keep your grain frozen, frozen harder than Chinese Arithmetic, once it is to be used use as fine of a sieve as can be found tossing the bugs>>>>

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  29. You can purchase flour,rice, sugar and many other food items that are packaged for long term storage at Walmart.com & Samsclub.com and several other places.
    Most of them are good for between 10-25 years.Auguston Farms is the main producer of these products.Things like flour ,rice,sugar and oats com in large sealed plastic buckets and many of the other items come in #10 size metal cans.These are very good products as I have used several of them and the quality was excellent.The one thing to remember is once you open a container the long shelf life is not going to be like it was un-opened.It will be good for at least a year or longer.I have been very satisfied with everything I have purchased and the shipping is free if you spend $50.00 or more.

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    • That's true, once a product is open there should no longer be any expectation of that product lasting 15 or 20 years. And it would take me 10 of 20 years to use up a 5 gallon bucket of flour.. Even the vaulted military MRE is only kept in a storage stage up to 7 years then it's sold to Prepers who hope it to last another 7 to 10 years.. I should think that in 10 years the long life for will last well into the next century...

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      • Store that flour in vacuum sealed plastics in manageable amounts.
        Then when you need flour, open bucket, pull out a ziplok, close lid on bucket.
        None of the sealed ziploks are compromised.

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      • It won't take you 10 years when you are cooking every thing you eat.

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  30. Tim Francis says:

    If you plan to store long-term, you can purchase oxygen absorber packets. Throw one in before you can/vacuum seal/etc. You will extend your food storage by years!

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  31. Research Diatomaceous Earth--I sprinkle in the bottom of the bucket, pour half full, sprinkle in the middle, finish filling and sprinkle at the top.
    No bugs yet and I check often 16 (5) gallon buckets of rice.
    YES!! Sam's Club.

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    • Michelle Weekes says:

      Diatomaceous earth is getting some well deserved praise. Everyone who preps and is not familiar with it should do a little reading about it.

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  32. Lillian benkosky says:

    Do you have any thoughts on using the large cat litter containers for food storage, in packages, after a thorough washing?

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  33. Lawyerchik1 says:

    I usually put my flour, rice, etc., into the freezer for 4-7 days when I first bring them home. That time in the freezer usually kills anything that might be in there (eggs, etc.). Then, I take them out of the freezer and store in airtight plastic or glass bins.

    I'm on the fence about which - I love those snap-lock plastic containers (they make some that are just the right size for a 5-pound bag of flour), but for on-the-counter use, I put supplies in those clear glass canisters with the metal lids. Those have a rubber/plastic gasket around them to keep bugs out.

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  34. There is nothing wrong with prepping for being self suffienct for a 1 to 2 year period. But don't let it consume you or your family's finances. Yes you may survive a short period of civil unrest. In the event of a total collapse of society there are over 100 hundred nuclear power plants in this country that will go off line and melt down. Ask the folks in Japan what happens when just one of these plants goes off line.

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  35. If you freeze grain products like flour, cereal, cake mixes, pasta and such for 3 days before you package them for storage, it kills the microscopic bug eggs that can hatch later inside the package. Thus eliminating weevils in the future. Not appetizing to find them but in worst case scenerios they can add protein to flour and not be noticeable if mixed in bread. They will rise to the top of rice or pasta if rinsed in water and then can be poured off before cooking.

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  36. Another great way to help keep out the bugs is to put your bags of flour in the refrigerator for a couple of days before storing it. The freezing kills any bugs/eggs that might be in it. I've lost some before so now I freeze first. Works great!

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  37. We don't have a basement or root cellar and at times the temperatures in our home rise above 80*F and below 65*F for a few hours a day occasionally. Basically our inhome temp range daily is approximately between 65*F - 73*F. How would this affect the length of food storage in our home in buckets and/or jars? Also, do you know how long Mylar bagged stored food will last in these conditions?

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    • Northwoods Cheryl says:

      Mary, the best thing you can do with your storage situation is to be sure things are not where sunlight can get to them. Also, not near areas where temps vary a LOT, like in a cabinet next to the kitchen stove. If you can find a closet space that's pretty dark when the doors are closed, that's where you want to store things. Your home temperature range is really not all that bad! You should be ok, like that. You should get at least 2 years out of your food items.

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  38. Just about every bag of flour and cornmeal you buy will have bug eggs in it. The best thing to do be fire storing is to freeze for a out a week before storing. I even do this with dry beans and rice. After taking beans and rice out of freezer I put in oven at lowest setting for about 30 minutes to not only warm up but to get all moisture out of them from being cold. While still warm i put in plastic bottles. As they cool down the air contracts causing a great vacuum seal.

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