Posts tagged: long-term

How To Store Potatoes For Long Periods Of Time

How To Store Potatoes For Long Periods Of Time
How To Store Potatoes For Long Periods Of Time. Photo – Pixabay (PD)

The potato is one the most commonly used vegetables in the world. It has high nutritional value, as it contains antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, and starch. If you’re the type of person that knows his potatoes and can’t get enough of them, I’ll show you how to make provisions to last for long periods of time.

Whether you’re buying them from a local supermarket or you’re harvesting the spuds yourself, you must be aware of the fact that only the potatoes that are in perfect state are best for storing. Those that show minor imperfections (like bruising or tiny black spots or wholes) can be stored as well, but they should be consumed first, as they won’t last too long during the storage period before going bad.

 The best containers for storing potatoes are the burlap bags (hessian sacks). This type of material is excellent for storing spuds, because during storage, the vegetables release moisture. The moisture is easily released and the potatoes breathe easily through the hessian fibers. Storage should be light-free, as light will cause the accumulation of solanine, alkaloids and chaconine.

These substances are poisonous and should be avoided. They are not potentially fatal, but they can induce a state of sickness. Affected potatoes that have been exposed to the sun are easy to spot, as they tend to turn green. The process can be reversed if a spud is affected on less them 1/3 of its area. During storage, it will gradually return to normal, and if the green color on the skin or flesh of the potato persists after storage, simply cut it off and discard it. If the affliction is spread on more than 1/3, the potato should not be stored or eaten, but thrown away immediately.

Hessian sack

Hessian sack

Hessian sacks are available at every garden supplier. As an alternative, paper bags are almost just as good. Old pillowcases can serve the same purpose, as long as you happen to have any lying around. Potatoes should under no circumstances be stored in plastic bags or transparent material, as they will easily spoil from the light and the moisture!

If you’re planning on reusing old burlap bags, you should definitely wash them first. Even if the last year’s batch was 100% successful, washing the sacks is a requirement. Don’t throw them in the washing machine, but rather soak them for a couple of hours in hot soapy water, to which you previously added a splash of bleach. The bleach will sterilize and make the sacks safe for re-usage.

Once you have the potatoes all sorted out and the bags ready for storage, you can deposit them in a cool and dark spot. The ideal temperature for storing potatoes is 42 to 50°F. Going over the recommended temperature is not as bad as going under 42°F, because below this temperature the starch begins to turn to sugar, giving the spuds an unpleasantly sweet taste. This process is reversible if you keep them at warmer temperatures (70°F) for a week or two. If for some reason or another the temperature should drop below or around freezing point, the potatoes will soften and will immediately rot as soon as the temperature begins to rise.

Stored potatoes should be checked periodically, once or twice a month. Take your time and inspect each one at a time.

Potato covered in blight

Potato covered in blight

Blight is very common amongst stored spuds and can spread very fast throughout the storage area. If you’re unsure whether a potato is affected or not, you should smell it. Blight has a very distinctive smell and you’ll know right away. If you happen to notice flies around your burlap bags but can’t seem to find anything wrong with you’re vegetables, check them by hand. In some cases, rot spots tend to develop under the skin. If you feel soft spots, the potato started to rot from the inside. Flies have ways of detecting the rot and will react as a consequence, making them a good indicator.

There you have it: the best and safest way of storing potatoes. Follow through exactly and you’ll have no problems in keeping them fresh. There are other writings out there that suggest throwing in each bag a handful of pesticide pellets. Sorry but this sounds insane. I’m strongly discouraging you to use these vermin pellets while storing potatoes, as this method has never been scientifically proven and could have dire consequences for your health!

by My Family Survival Plan

10 Foods You Can Store For 100 Years

10 Foods You Can Store For 100 Years
10 Foods You Can Store For 100 Years. Photos – Wikipedia – lic. under CC 3.0, Pixabay (PD), Pexels (PD),

French bread will only last a few days before it goes bad. And canned goods will last you a few years.

So all food has an expiration date, right? Wrong!

Some foods can last a century. Yes, that’s right. A hundred years!

Here are 10 foods that can last (pretty much) forever. In fact, if stored properly, they will never spoil and will stay as fresh as the day you bought them — and will make a great addition to your pantry or emergency food supply.

So feel free to use that 10-pound bag of jasmine rice from 1998 that you were saving for Y2K. As long as it was stored correctly, it’s just as good for you as the day you bought it.

1. Raw Honey

Shelf-life: Indefinite

Honey may crystallize over time, but in terms of safety, this gold liquid is nearly immortal. If it’s stored in a sealed jar, it can last for centuries, according to the National Honey Board. Raw honey has such longevity that it has even been recovered from Egyptian tombs. Honey can sweeten your hot tea, alleviate seasonal allergies, and also can be used to treats wounds and burns. If your honey does crystallize, just place the jar in warm water until the crystals dissolve.

2. Pemmican

Shelf-life: Indefinite

Pemmican was first made by Native-Americans and later by European fur traders and settlers. It was made from the meat of a large game like buffalo, bison, elk or deer. The lean meat was cut into small pieces and dried by putting it over an open fire. Then it was mixed with fat and pressed into little cakes. Sometimes, berries were tossed in for extra flavor. Pemmican makes a great survival food. In fact, it was given in rations and used by British soldiers during the Second Boer War (1899-1902).

Check out the full article: How to make Pemmican – The Ultimate Survival Super-Food

3. Rice

Shelf-life: 30 Years to Indefinite

Rice is the perfect food for storage. And, like honey, has been found perfectly preserved in Egyptian tombs. White, jasmine, wild, Arborio and basmati rice all have an almost indefinite shelf life. White rice is considered by many to be the ultimate survivalist food to stockpile in order to be ready for a food crisis. But brown rice doesn’t have the same good fortune; its high oil content makes it turn rancid faster. Just be sure to store rice in an airtight container to keep out any bugs. I like to put bay leaves in bulk bags of rice to keep the bugs away.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Shelf Life: Indefinite

You can buy apple cider vinegar and not worry about it going to waste. So stock up on this healthy condiment and use it for salad dressings, marinades or even household cleaning. And if you feel a sore throat or cold coming on, put a tablespoon in a glass of water and drink it; you’ll feel better!

Learn more about vinegar here >>> 99 Domestic Uses For The Common Vinegar

5. Salt

Shelf Life: Indefinite


Image source:

Sea salt is the healthiest salt, but regular table salt is fine. Salt adds taste, preserves meat and helps food keep its texture. And if stored properly, it will never go bad. In the event of a grid failure, salt makes a great way to cure meat. Here is what one source says:

“Historically, brining and salting have been used as a method to preserve meat. Some methods were as simple as submerging the meat in a barrel of salt water. The salt solution was judged ready when it would float a raw egg. This solution would require approximately 8 pounds of salt to 5 gallons of water. Cover the meat completely with the solution and leave covered until ready to use. From the amount of salt, it requires you can see that it pays to store a substantial amount.”  Read more interesting facts about salt here >>>27 More Reasons To Stock Salt

6. Vanilla Extract

Shelf Life: Indefinite

Made from dried, cured vanilla beans, the pure vanilla extract has a sweet, rich flavor. And since it’s made from alcohol, the pure vanilla extract will stay fresh and flavorful forever. However, imitation vanilla does not have the same lifespan, so make sure that you buy the more expensive vanilla extract. From cookies to cupcakes, the pure vanilla extract is usually used for baking. But historically, it was used to treat burns, cuts, and wounds.

7. Sugar

Shelf Life: Indefinite

White, brown and powdered sugar will last forever. If it hardens over time, you can break up the chunks by warming it up and stirring it, just like with honey. Sugar doesn’t support bacterial growth, but don’t forget to store it in an airtight container to keep the bugs and moisture out. And sugar can be used for more than just a sweet treat — it makes a great scrub to use on your face and body.

8. Soy Sauce

Shelf Life: Indefinite

As long as it’s never opened, soy sauce will last forever. Soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, salt, wheat, and water. The high sodium content of soy sauce helps to preserve it. But if you’re gluten intolerant, make sure that you buy a soy sauce that is gluten-free. From stir-fries to soups, soy sauce is an important ingredient in Asian recipes. My favorite way to eat soy sauce is to make a quick sauce by mixing ¼ cup of honey, ¼ cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. It makes a great stir-fry sauce or glazes for chicken.

9. Bouillon

Shelf Life: Indefinite

Because bouillon has large amounts of salt, it can last a long time. However, over time, the taste of the bouillon can be altered. So if storing bouillon cubes, it’s best to use a food sealer or seal in Mylar bags. It makes a great survival food used in broth or soup to deliver much-needed electrolytes to the body. I use it often in soups and stews; it’s a great way to save money and keep food costs low.

Flu Shot

10. Powdered Milk in nitrogen packed cans

Shelf Life: 25 Years to Indefinite

In a difficult situation, powdered milk makes an emergency source of calcium and vitamin D for young children. It can last indefinitely in nitrogen-packed cans and can be placed in the freezer. And if the powdered milk develops an odor or turns yellow, it’s time to discard.

So whether you’re planning for a disaster or simply want to have a pantry stocked with non-perishable food for an unexpected snowstorm, having these 10 food items is important. And if you store these foods properly, they might just last forever.

What foods do you keep stocked that will last forever? Write your response in the comments below:

By Kimberlee Hertzer

Sturdy Staples: 9 Foods That Can Outlast You