Emergency Food With Long Shelf Life


welcome to Emergency Food With Long Shelf Life blog. With a food crisis happening somewhere in the world every year because of drought, flood, war or any other nature-related emergency, you will be thankful that you have invested your time and money getting emergency food storage. While there are thousands of companies marketing different types of emergency food storage, the most common emergency foods aren’t necessarily the best.


Freeze dried and dehydrated meals can have a shelf life of up to 25 years if stored properly. To preserve your ready made meals, store them in a cool dry place, such as a basement, at room temperature or below. Avoid extreme temperatures as it may cause damage to the food. Also, it is best to keep it away from moisture and sunlight to guarantee it tasting delicious for years to come. The buckets are designed to protect the Metalite™ foil pouches from damage, water, and pests. Once the seal on the bucket is broken it will not compromise the integrity of the food because the Metalite™ foil pouches themselves are what hold the shelf life of up to 25 years. When the Metalite® foil pouches are opened, they are resalable to keep your meals a little bit longer. Once they are opened, they have a shelf life of up to 3-6 months. 


  1. Store it at room temperature or below. 
  2. Avoid extremes in temperature.
  3. Keep it away from moisture and sunlight.

The most important factors in long-term shelf life foods are:

  1. Ingredients: Are the ingredients suitable for long-term shelf life? For example: even in ideal storage conditions studies show almonds may only keep for 12-24 months before they turn rancid.
  2. Moisture Free*: Is the product moisture free when packaged?
  3. Packaging: Packaging plays a crucial role in prolonging shelf life. Ideally packaging should provide an effective barrier against oxygen, moisture, light and insects.
  4. Oxygen Free: Is the product packaged with an appropriately sized oxygen absorber will continue to remove oxygen for years if used properly. Be wary of companies with extensive shelf-life claims where oxygen absorbers are not used.
  5. Storage conditions: a cool, dry location is ideal. Do your best to store your food storage items at or below room temperature.

This information is relatively conservative and meant to be used as a guideline, but is not a guarantee.

* Moisture Free – dehydrated and freeze-dried ingredients can reach 97%+ moisture free status.

Top 10 Foods to Hoard for “The End of the World as We Know It”

Preppers take steps to prepare for everyday challenges, as well as the possibility of a devastating apocalyptic event that could catapult our world back to the late 1800s. No power, no natural gas, no running water, no sewer, and no well-stocked grocery store around the corner.

What are the most valuable foods to hoard for an apocalyptic event, when the world as we know it comes to an end? A substantial stash of basic high-calorie grains, legumes, and dried vegetables, along with a few basic staples that are difficult to produce at home, may prove highly valuable during an extended grid-down or other survival events.

Jonathan and I sat down and came up with a list of the top 10 survival foods that we would want to have in our survival cache if the world really fell apart.

The storage foods on this list had to meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Require no special tools (such as a wheat grinder) other than cooking
  • Contain essential nutrients and/or be calorically dense
  • 25-30 year storage life
  • Difficult (or impossible) to produce on our property

Due to the critical nature of each of these food items, we recommend that you consider your possible future needs and build a survival stash of each of these items. Create a storage location that is cool, dark, and dry. Ideal storage conditions will significantly extend the shelf-life of each of these foods and give you a useable storage life of 25-30 years. For more details, see our post, 8 Food Storage Enemies and How to Slay Them.

Package these foods in containers that are appropriate for long term storage such as #10 cans, or Mylar bags inside of plastic buckets.  You can learn more about packaging foods for long term food storage in the article Long Term Food Storage: Best Containers and Treatment Methods.

Top 10 Prepper Foods to Hoard

The definition of hoarding is to build a stock or store of valued objects that are stored in a secret location or carefully guarded. We look at these storage items as an insurance policy for really tough times. Build it wisely and take very good care of it.

One item that is incredibly important is drinking water. We have not included water on this list because it is in a category all of its own. This article is focusing on critical, long-term survival foods.

#1 – Grains

Grains are a great way to provide foundational nutrients and calories to a survival diet. Including a variety of grains will diversify the nutrients in your diet. Some grains are easier to prepare than others.

Many grains can be soaked, cooked, and eaten without grinding into flour. If you have a grain mill, then your menu potential dramatically increases to include bread and tortillas.

Some grains (wheat, spelt, rye, barley, corn) can be sprouted to increase nutrition and make them edible even without cooking. Ideal grain candidates for long-term storage should be less than 10 percent moisture for the longest storage life.

Wheat – Spelt – Kamut (Khorasan wheat) – Einkorn

There are several types of wheat that will store for a very long time. From my personal experience, wheat tends to store amazingly well for much longer than 25-30 years. We tested 60-year-old wheat that was stored in a basement, and it was in remarkably good condition.

Some grains, such as Einkorn, are lower in gluten and may be a better option for those with gluten sensitivity. Using the natural yeast or sourdough process to make bread will also reduce the amount of gluten.

Learn more about baking bread with only wheat, water, and salt in our post; Incredible Survival (and Daily) Bread Using Only Wheat, Salt, and Water.

Wheat can be sprouted to increase available nutrients, as well as make it edible without cooking or grinding. We tested wheat of varying ages stored in a variety of containers. Check out Learn more about sprouting grains in our post; Super Survival Sprouts: Powerful Nutrition from Your Stored Wheat.

Whole Oat Groats – Steel Cut Oats – Rolled Oats

Oats are one of the world’s healthiest foods. A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast can help you feel full longer, which is a great asset when food is being rationed. Rolled oats are simple to prepare and can even be eaten without cooking by soaking in water overnight.

Rolled oats are one of my favorite healthy survival foods. I wrote an entire post on oats and the reasons it makes sense to keep a stash of them in your survival food supply. You can find the article at, Oats – A Must-Have Pantry Staple.

White Rice

Rice is high in calories, having about 205 calories in only one cup of cooked rice. It is fortified with a variety of vitamins and minerals. White rice is simple to prepare by boiling and simmering. That makes it another ideal candidate for survival food storage.

I think that white rice is an important grain to store because very few people have any allergies to white rice. Many of the other grains may not be able to be consumed by some people. Rice is pretty safe.

Although brown rice is healthier than white rice, brown rice is NOT good as a survival food supply because it will go rancid very quickly.


Flint corn is for long-term food storage. It makes good cornmeal. Dent corn or field corn has a skin that doesn’t tend to soften even after cooking. It grinds well into a flour for tortillas. Cornmeal also has a shorter shelf life, so it is best to store the corn whole and grind it later.

Popcorn has a higher level of moisture than other varieties of corn and is not the best candidate for long-term storage. Note that cornstarch has an indefinite shelf life and stores well but it has very little nutritional value.   

Total Amount of Grain to Store

Grains will provide the basic calories needed for survival. Plan to store 300 to 400 pounds per person of grain. A #10 can of wheat weighs about 5 pounds, white rice 5.4 pounds, while a can of rolled oats only weighs 1.8 pounds. In general, an adequate amount of grain storage will include between 60 and 100 #10 cans for each person per year.

Take into account the food preferences, dietary restraints, and whether or not you have a grain mill to produce flour when deciding which grains you want to hoard in your survival cache. The hand grain grinder that we prefer is the Country Living Grain Mill.

#2 – Beans and Legumes

Dry beans and legumes form the foundation of a survival diet. Beans contain protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. They are literally a powerhouse of nutrients. When beans are combined with a grain, such as rice, they provide your body with all the essential amino acids and form a complete protein.

Beans are easy to prepare and require only soaking and cooking, along with a little salt, to make them edible. Sprouting beans increases some nutrients. A study on the effects of sprouting kidney beans demonstrated an increase in vitamin C of 81.56%, niacin 13.47%, riboflavin 11.2%, thiamin 6.63%, vitamin B6 2.02%, protein 1.7%, and folate 1.4%.

Store a variety of beans to diversify the diet and the nutrients. In addition to being a good source of calories, protein, and fiber, each type of bean has unique vitamins and minerals.

  • Black beans are my personal favorite and are high in folate (vitamin B9), manganese, magnesium, thiamine (vitamin B1), and iron.
  • Chickpeas are especially high in folate (vitamin B9), manganese, copper, and iron.
  • Kidney beans have folate (vitamin B9), manganese, thiamine (vitamin B1), copper, and iron.
  • Lentils cook quickly and provide folate (vitamin B9), manganese, copper, and thiamine (vitamin B1).
  • Navy beans (white beans) are rich in folate (vitamin B9), manganese, thiamine (vitamin B1) magnesium, and iron.
  • Peas are high in folate (vitamin B9), manganese, vitamin K, and thiamine (vitamin B1).
  • Pinto beans are incredibly cheap and are a good source of folate (vitamin B9), manganese, copper, and thiamine (vitamin B1).

Amount of Dry Beans or Legumes to Store

Recommended storage amounts for beans are 60 to 75 pounds per person per year. One #10 can of beans weighs roughly 5 pounds. One adult would require 12 to 15 #10 cans of beans for one year.

#3 – Potato Flakes

Potato flakes are the fast food of a survival food supply. Add boiling water and within a few minutes dinner is literally served. Potato flakes can also be used to thicken soups and gravies and can be added to bread to create a lighter, fluffier texture.

One serving of potato flakes has 212 calories. Potato flakes contain a surprising amount of vitamin C, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, selenium, phosphorus, and even a little calcium, copper, manganese, zinc, and iron.

Potato flakes are ideal for 25 to 30-year storage. Other forms of “mashed potatoes” that have oil or butter added will go rancid more quickly. Your long-term survival stash of potatoes should not contain oils. You can also choose to store dehydrated potato dices or slices for long-term storage, but hash browns typically have oils that go rancid.

Check out our post, Potato Flakes: Delicious and Versatile Long-Term Food Storage Staple to learn about the best varieties of potatoes to store, as well as the incredible ways that you can use potato flakes in cooking and baking.

Amount of Potato Flakes to Store

Storage amounts for potato flakes will depend greatly on whether you are using potatoes as the main food source or just to supplement your other staples. A stash of a dozen #10 cans (1.5 pounds each) per person would be a good estimate for an annual supply unless you are using them as a foundation in your diet. 

#4 – Dehydrated and Freeze-Dried Vegetables

A variety of vegetables are ideal, but I’ve selected the 3 vegetables that I must have to cook the basics. If I have onions, celery, and carrots, I have the ability to make soups and broths. They are foundational aromatics.

As compared to freeze-dried food, you get almost three times as much dehydrated food in a can. Dehydrated food tends to shrink up dramatically during the dying process. Freeze-dried foods maintain much of their original size. Take that into consideration when planning your storage amounts.

Dried Onions

Dehydrated onion flakes are an essential part of my everyday cooking, as well as in a survival food supply. Onions have some great health benefits (vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese), but more importantly to me, they can turn bland beans into a delicious feast.

I store one or two #10 cans of dried onions for each person in our one-year supply of survival staples.

Dried Carrots

Carrots are a fantastic source of vitamin A, which is missing from most of other survival staples. Tossing dried carrots into a soup not only enhances the flavors but supplies critical nutrients. Plan two or three #10 cans of dehydrated carrots per person annually.

Dried Celery

Celery is packed with vitamin K and is a good source for vitamin C and potassium as well. I use celery in my soups, stews, and chili on a regular basis. Like onions, they are a foundational ingredient when cooking from scratch. I store two #10 cans of dried celery per person for a year.

#5 – White Sugar

White sugar has no health benefits, so it may come as a surprise that it is on our top 10 list. It is a source of calories, but it made our list because it is a good preservative.

During an extended grid-down or “end of the world” scenario, our survival may depend on our ability to grow and preserve our own food. White sugar is an important ingredient in home bottled fruits.

There is also something to be said about comfort foods. Jams, jellies, candies, cookies, cakes, and other high-sugar foods can make a tough day just a little bit better.

Amount of White Sugar to Store

The recommended amount of white sugar for a survival food supply is 70 pounds per person. That may seem like a lot until you start bottling. Homemade jams and jellies require significant amounts of sugar. They would be a great addition to your survival diet. Sugar would also be a highly valuable barter item.

White sugar will clump during storage but it doesn’t actually “go bad”. The sugar will easily dissolve and still taste fine. Do not place oxygen absorbers in with sugar as it will make it go hard.

#6 – Honey

Honey made the list because of its sweetening properties, medicinal properties, and the fact that it stores almost forever. It will crystallize over time but can be easily liquefied by heating it. You can learn more about storing honey at Honey – Nature’s Perfect Longer-Term Storage Food.

Purchase pure honey without added ingredients. Check the label. Honey stored in glass quart jars or smaller plastic buckets is ideal for long-term storage. Honey is incredibly heavy, which makes smaller containers nice.

Some honey comes in thin plastic containers. Those containers will degrade over time and the honey will leak out. It may be best to transfer the honey to glass jars for long-term storage. Metal buckets will corrode over time and spoil the honey.

Amount of Honey to Store

The amount of honey you store will vary widely depending on whether or not you use any other sweeteners. It will be a highly valuable barter item. I store 12 quarts of honey per person in our year supply.

#7 – Salt

Salt is a priority in your food storage because it is something that you cannot produce on your own property. That also makes it a great barter item if you find yourself with more than you need. Salt is critical for food preservation and for staying healthy.

Store pure forms of salt such as pickling salt, sea salt, or my personal favorite, pink Himalayan salt. Salt has an indefinite shelf life, but some of the additives in salt do not.

Protect salt from moisture. I like to store salt in the original container inside of a plastic bucket. For me, it is much more convenient to use salt out of a one-pound container than out of a 25-pound bucket.

Amount of Salt to Store

A long-term survival food supply should include 10 pounds of salt per person. We diversify our storage to include pink Himalayan salt, canning and pickling salt, kosher salt, and sea salt. It is all tucked nicely away in 5-gallon plastic buckets.

#8 – Baking Soda

Baking soda made the list because it can be used as a leavening agent, for cleaning, personal hygiene, and for medicinal purposes. It is almost impossible to produce it at home. It is inexpensive to purchase and may prove invaluable in the future.

Amount of Baking Soda to Store

Ideally, a survival food supply should include 7 to 10 pounds of baking soda per person. That amount is calculated to include 3 pounds for food preparation and cooking, 2 pounds for personal hygiene, 1 pound for medicine and first aid, 5 pounds for cleaning and deodorizing (per household), and 1 pound for miscellaneous uses.

Baking soda has an indefinite shelf life and is inexpensive. It is better to store more than you need (and be able to barter) than to run out.

#9 – Vinegar

Vinegar is a basic ingredient in food preservation and recipes. It is used in pickling and to acidify ingredients when bottling items such as tomatoes and salsa. Lemon juice can also be used, but it has a short shelf life.

Apple cider vinegar is well-known for its medicinal properties. Vinegar is also important as a cleaner and disinfectant.

Vinegar will store forever in the right container. Over time, vinegar will eat through plastic. The best containers for long-term storage of vinegar are glass.

Amount of Vinegar to Store

We personally store a variety of vinegar. White distilled vinegar for cleaning and bottling, rice vinegar for my favorite recipes, and apple cider vinegar for medicinal uses.

I store 4 gallons of vinegar for household cleaning. For cooking, bottling, and medicinal storage, I store about 2 gallons per person per year.

#10 – Ascorbic Acid Powder

Vitamin C is essential to life and health. It tends to be missing from a survival food supply because it is sensitive to heat, and is available mostly from fresh fruits and vegetables. The very best way to get vitamin C is from fresh food. However, L-Ascorbic Acid Powder may be your best option in a survival situation.

Vitamin C supplementation is highly recommended during situations of high stress, and to help fight off illnesses. Vitamin C is a vital nutrient that enables your body to heal.  

Ascorbic acid is also used in food preservation. Dipping fruit in an ascorbic acid solution can reduce oxidation and minimize browning during the dehydrating process. It is also used in bottling to help prevent discoloration.

It is better to store L-Ascorbic Acid Powder than vitamin C supplements because the powder is pure and will not degrade in storage. The binders and fillers used to create supplements shorten the shelf life.

Amount of Ascorbic Acid to Store

The amount of ascorbic acid that you need will depend on whether you are just using it to supplement your diet, or if you are using it to preserve food. Ascorbic acid is stable. Potency will slowly reduce over time, but should not be significant.

Survival Food on a Budget: How to Repackage Bulk Dry Goods for Long-Term Storage


The following is an adapted excerpt from The Disaster-Ready Home: A Step-by-Step Emergency Preparedness Manual for Sheltering in Place by Creek Stewart. 

A long-term food storage pantry is designed to provide a buffer of food for you and your family in case of unexpected shortages due to a large-scale disaster of some kind. Long-term food storage can take many different forms, but is primarily comprised of three types of food:

  1. Shelf-stable grocery store items such as canned goods, boxed meals, and dry pastas.
  2. Freeze-dried food that has a 30+ year shelf life.
  3. Bulk dry goods such as beans, rice, and grains.

Bulk dry goods are foods, typically seeds or grains, that can be purchased in bulk in large bags or buckets. While this is likely the category that will be least familiar to most people, it is also the category that presents the greatest opportunity to amass the most amount of food for the least amount of money. While you may have purchased 1-pound bags of rice or beans at the grocery store, not many people have purchased 50-pound bags of rice, lentils, oats, elbow pasta, or whole-wheat berries.

If repackaged and stored properly at home, bulk dry goods can last 20+ years. This makes them a fantastic option for a “set it and forget it” buffer of backup survival food. A free PDF publication by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) titled “Food and Water in an Emergency” states that whole-wheat berries, dried corn, soybeans, pasta, and white rice all have an indefinite shelf life when properly stored.

I would argue there are many more dry bulk foods that do as well. If packaged and stored properly, bulk dry foods can last as long as freeze-dried foods. One of the big advantages is that bulk dry goods are very inexpensive in comparison. In fact, just a few hundred dollars’ worth of bulk beans, lentils, and rice can feed a family for several months. These items, along with some spices for flavoring are always my suggestions for people who are looking for some quick long-term food storage and are on a very tight budget.

A variety of bulk dry goods, ready to be repackaged for long-term storage.

One downside of bulk dry foods for survival is that they’re especially susceptible to moisture, oxygen, pests, and sunlight. These seeds, beans, and grains are durable when stored properly but extremely vulnerable when not. The problem is that most of these goods are sold in large paper bags or, if you are lucky, a cheap plastic bucket. This may work for restaurants or large catering companies that will use the goods within a few days, but it does not work for the long-term food pantry enthusiast who wishes to stash away said goods for twenty years or more. The good news is that I will teach you how to store these items in a way that keeps all the threats at bay.

The process outlined in the next section will give you peace of mind in knowing that the investment you have made (in time and money) in your long-term food storage is protected for many years to come.

How to Repackage Bulk Dry Goods at Home for Long-Term Storage

The best container for repackaging bulk dry goods is a 5-gallon plastic bucket with a waterproof lid—they are cheap, readily available, and stack well. They also help protect the food inside from three of our four main threats: water, sunlight, and pests. However, they do not protect your food from oxygen. Because of that you will need an oxygen barrier and absorber. This is why we use Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers.

Mylar was developed by DuPont in the 1950s and revolutionized the food packaging industry. It is technically a metalized polyester—a polyester bag coated in aluminum. This combination makes the bag a superior barrier against moisture and gases, including our nemesis oxygen. When you package bulk dry goods in Mylar bags and then pack them inside durable sealed plastic buckets, you can essentially create a time capsule of food and a microclimate of protection around it.

Below, you’ll find the step-by-step process I recommend for repackaging.

Purchasing Materials

Purchase the plastic 5-gallon buckets from your local hardware store. A food-grade bucket is best but not necessary because of the Mylar lining you will be using. I purchase my buckets from stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Menards. You will also need to purchase lids. I suggest spending the extra few dollars on what is called a gamma seal lid. This type of lid is unique in that the center screws out and gives you easy access to the contents without having to remove the lid. This is a convenience, not a necessity. If you are on a tight budget, you can opt for a regular lid.

While you’re shopping, you’ll also need a rubber mallet to seal the lids (either style) and a bucket wrench for getting the lids off once they’re on. If your local hardware store does not have a bucket wrench, just do a quick online search for “bucket wrench,” and many options will pop up.

5-gallon food-grade plastic bucket with a gamma seal lid can be used as a storage container for bulk dry foods.

Once the outer ring of the gamma seal lid is snapped onto a bucket, the inner portion of the lid can be screwed out for convenient access to the food inside.

You will also need to purchase Mylar bags and some oxygen absorbers to seal inside with your food. The Mylar bags keep oxygen out once you seal your food inside. The oxygen absorbers soak up any oxygen that you seal inside of the bag with your food. You will need to buy either 5-gallon or 6-gallon Mylar bags (6-gallon bags give you a little more wiggle room but are not necessary). Oxygen absorbers come in many different sizes for different-sized containers. The size you will need for 5-gallon buckets is 2000cc. Often you will find Mylar bags and 2000cc oxygen absorbers sold together. You can find these online at MylarPro, PackFreshUSA, or Amazon.

Once you have these supplies and your dry bulk goods, you are ready to repackage.

Tools needed to repackage food in 5-gallon plastic buckets include a rubber mallet for hammering on the lid and a bucket wrench for getting the lid off.

A 5-gallon Mylar bag acts as an oxygen barrier to protect the food stored inside plastic containers.

This vacuum-sealed package contains 2000cc oxygen absorbers that will be opened and placed individually inside Mylar bags with food. These will absorb any trapped oxygen inside the Mylar bag with the food. These must be kept sealed until ready for use.

Oxygen Absorber Tips

Oxygen absorbers will immediately start absorbing oxygen when taken out of the airtight package they are shipped in. They will be fully spent in roughly 30 minutes, so you do not want to just open your oxygen absorbers and leave them sitting on the table while you are repackaging. While it is best to use an entire package of oxygen absorbers once it is opened, it is not always realistic to fill ten or twenty 5-gallon buckets of food at a time. My solution is to store the absorbers in a simple 1-quart glass Mason canning jar with an airtight canning lid. The lid with the screw-on rim creates a tight seal that does not allow oxygen to get inside and keeps my oxygen absorbers fresh in between filling buckets or until the next time I repackage.

Step 1: Prepping Your Bucket

Put your bucket on a sturdy work surface, put your Mylar bag inside, and spread it open in the bucket a little bit. You do not have to be too meticulous about this because the weight of the food will do most of the work.

Step 2: Filling Your Bucket

Pour your dry bulk food (grains, beans, rice, pasta, and so on) into the Mylar bag, shaking the bucket a little bit as you go to help the food settle. Fill the bucket to within about 2 inches from the top. Toss one 2000cc oxygen absorber right on top.

Step 3: Sealing Your Mylar Bag

1. Place a 2 × 4-inch or 2 × 2-inch board across the rim of the bucket. This creates a smooth, solid surface against which to seal your bag.

2. Neatly fold the top of the Mylar bag across and over the board and smooth it out with your hands.

3. Mylar seals with heat, and the best tool I have used for the job is a home clothes iron set on the cotton setting. Start in the middle and work your way out to each side. You’ll see the Mylar seal as you run the hot iron over it. Leave about a 3-inch opening in the Mylar bag before you completely close out the second side.

4. Use a Shop-Vac or vacuum cleaner hose to suck out as much air as you can from the bag, then quickly seal up the last 3 inches with the hot iron. As long as you keep the tip of your Shop-Vac or vacuum cleaner hose several inches away from the dry goods you will not run the risk of sucking any up.

Step 4: Closing Your Bucket

Neatly tuck the top of the Mylar bag into the bucket and use the rubber mallet to
hammer the rim of the gamma seal lid into place. You have to hit it surprisingly hard to make sure the lid is pushed down to the seal. You will know when it is seated correctly because it will snap into place. Then, screw in the center of your gamma seal lid.

Step 5: Labeling Your Bucket

Finally, label your bucket with the following for easy visual inventory in your long-term food storage pantry:

  • Date of packaging
  • Quantity of contents

You can write right on the bucket with a Sharpie marker or use a label or duct tape. Once done, these buckets are ready to store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Once opened, there is no need to replace the oxygen absorbers or reseal the Mylar bag as long as you plan on eating the food within several months. As long as they are kept away from moisture, sun, heat, and pests, dry bulk foods are shelf stable for many months on their own.

A Note About Killing Insects, Insect Eggs, and Larvae

Like it or not, there are live insects, insect eggs, and/or larvae in pretty much all bulk dry food goods. It’s just a fact of life. They can be microscopic and undetectable to the human eye at the time of storage. Over time, they can hatch, grow, reproduce in and feed on the food inside of a bulk packaged container. I take two measures with my bulk packed food to help prevent this from happening and destroying my investment of time, materials, and money.

Oxygen absorbers are the first step in preventing insect infestation. Sucking out available air as described and then reducing the oxygen within the sealed Mylar bag with oxygen absorbers creates an environment that is not easily compatible with life, even for insects.

I place each of my bulk packaged containers into a chest freezer for three days. In fact, I have a small chest freezer in my basement dedicated for this purpose that I purchased for $50. It fits three 5-gallon buckets perfectly. Neither step is 100 percent effective at killing all insects, eggs, or larvae, but when combined, they have worked very well for me over the years.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is also an option to kill insects in food storage. Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from ground fossilized remains of a plankton called diatoms. This powder has been used for a very long time to deter, control, and kill insects. The sharp edges of these ground remains cut through the insect’s exoskeleton and cause it to dry out and die. It does not work on insect eggs and only works on insects with an exoskeleton. According to a Utah-based supplier of DE, 2 teaspoons of DE should be used for every pound of stored food. The powder should be mixed directly with the dry food at the time of storage. 


I consider bulk dry goods to be a great solution for “fast action food storage” on a budget. Bulk dry goods don’t have the variety or flavor of freeze-dried food products, but they don’t have the price tag either. If you’re looking for a set-it-and-forget it option to long-term food storage, this is it. In just one trip to a buyer’s club like Sam’s or Costco, you can purchase enough food to feed your family for months without breaking the bank. Don’t forget spices and flavorings because you’ll need them!

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