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If you’re going to store emergency food for your family (or if you’re already doing this), then you should always keep in mind the 5 basic rules of food storage. They are all equally important, so make sure you don’t miss any one of them. It would be a pity to find your stockpile all wasted, right when you need it the most… just because you missed one crucial detail that could’ve saved your life.
So here’s what you need to double check when you start storing food:
Rule #1: Keep Your Stockpile In A Dry Place
Wherever you may choose to store your food, keep it as far away from humidity as you can. Even the slightest moisture can ruin your whole stockpile, if it hits the wrong items. Some foods (like dried fruits, especially apples) start eliminating a gas that ruins all the foods around it, if you store them altogether (more on that in just a moment)
Rule #2: Set The Right Temperature
The perfect temperature for your food is between 40 and 60 degrees F. Of course, this is the IDEAL temperature and there may be reasons why you won’t be able to keep your stockpile this cool at all times (high electric bills, blackouts). But here’s what you need to do: Try to keep your food in the coolest place in or around your house and try to keep the temperature constant. Variations in temperature may turn your stockpile into “dead food” (lacking in nutrients).
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Rule #3: Store Your Food In A Dark Room (or Cabinet)
Sunlight should stay far away from your stockpile, so make sure your storage room is window-free. Also, don’t use clear plastic containers or glass jars to store your food. Anything that’s light-tight and sealable will work.
Rule #4: Choose a wide variety of items
A lot of people take a ready-made items list off the Internet and buy those foods in bulk. But most of these lists just cover 12-15 foods, usually the most inexpensive ones: mostly grains, canned veggies and beef jerky.
But what you need to do is offer your family a wide variety of foods, and here’s why:
– Maybe some of your family members are allergic to certain items. Write down all allergies and avoid any food that may cause them.
– You’ll get tired of eating the same thing over and over again. And, what’s more important, you’ll deprive your body from all kinds of vitamins and nutrients other foods have. Don’t let your body go weak, you’ll need all the health and energy in the world, once the crisis strikes.
Rule #5: Store different items separately
When you store a wide range of food items, you’ll most likely notice how certain foods rot faster, spoiling the other ones around as well.
Here’s what you need to do to avoid this:
– Keep different foods in different containers, preferably well sealed. These can be plastic bags, sealed containers or large buckets with lids on. Just make sure all items are grouped and categorized, because every food has its own “expiration date”.
– Rotate stock. When an item gets close to its expiration date, include it in your meals and replace it with a fresh one. This way, there’s no need to worry the rotten foods will spoil the other ones. But you’ll read more on stock rotation strategies soon, in a brand-new Survival Know-How Giveaway.
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