Food Preservation for Beginners
The turbulent nature of our times has made our culture much more aware of the importance of emergency preparedness and particularly in regards to food storage. There are now plenty of places to turn to in order to get help in acquiring a good store of emergency food. Although the competitive nature of the industry has driven prices down and made food storage more affordable than ever before it still requires an investment (both financially and in terms of effort) so it is important to learn how best to preserve the food you are purchasing. There are plenty of ways to stretch the shelf life of food storage items and doing so will help you save a lot of money while still maintaining the peace of mind that comes with a full supply of food storage. The two basic areas that should be considered are processing methods and storage.
Picture Credit- Bormioli Rocco Fido Jars
The way that a food is processed has great impact on the length of its shelf life. (Read More....)
Author and food blogger Marisa McClellanwas initially drawn to canning and preserving because it produces something that endures – there’s a finished product that you can enjoy over time. Her mom taught her the basics but it wasn’t until she started shopping at farmers’ markets that she realized she could buy produce in season and make it last throughout the year. Her book Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round offers year-round canning tips
Popular food blogger Marisa McClellan takes you through all manner of food in jars, storing away the tastes of all seasons for later. Basics like jams and jellies are accompanied by pickles, chutneys, conserves, whole fruit, tomato sauces, salsas, marmalades, nut butters, seasonings, and more. Small batches make them easy projects for a canning novice to tackle, and the flavors of vanilla bean, sage, and pe (Read More....)
We all hate to throw away food, even when it goes bad. Expiration dates and frost bite, mold and rot all claim tons of food every year. However there are ways to make your fresh food last longer. Here are some helpful tips:
1. Store it right – Sunlight and oxygen are your enemies. Try to store dry goods like flour in cool, dry and dark places. Do not wash vegetables before placing them in the refrigerator.
2. Vinegar trick - Wash fresh fruits in a mixture of ten parts water to one part white vinegar to keep rot off longer.
3. Baking soda trick – Keep baking soda in your refrigerator not for smells but to trap gasses that cause rot.
4. Bay leaf trick – Slip a bay leaf in your flour or pasta to ward off bugs.
5. Rice trick – Add rice to your salt and sugar to prevent clumping due to moisture.
6. Butter trick – Put a thin layer of butter on the cut side of cheese so it stays mold free.
7. Bad apples – One bad apple really does spoil the bunch. Throw away any rotten fruit before it is too late. Keep ripe and unripe fruit separated to prevent rotting.
8. Wrap it up – Rewrap products to keep them fresh. Cheese and lettuce should be wrapped in fresh plastic wrap when brought home. If freezing, make sure all the air is removed and the food is wrapp (Read More....)
When it comes to food storage, shelf life can be tricky. How can you know when your items have expired or if they are still good to eat? Experienced food storage individuals know that it is important to continually rotate your storage in order to effectively use your food and eliminate, or at least reduce, waste. However, sometimes it just seems impossible to use all your storage in a timely manner, which can leave you uneasy about what to eat and what to throw out.
It may surprise you to find that many items last longer than you might expect. For example, did you know that honey, corn syrup, and sugar can store indefinitely if stored correctly in tight containers and a dry, cool environment? Of course, storing all items in a food supply this way will ensure safer, quality foods. Unfortunately, all items don’t have quite as long of a shelf life. If you’re looking for answers on specific items that are often found in food storage, take a look at the list below.
- Dry cereal, unopened: 1 year (for best quality) / Opened: 3 - 4 months
- Uncooked Oats: 1 year in pantry or freezer
- Whole Wheat Flour: 6 - 8 months in fridge / 2 years in freezer
- All-Purpose Flour: 1 year in pantry / 2 years in fridge or freezer
There are many reasons people decide to establish and maintain a long-term food storage, but they generally tend to fall under the two categories of protection and peace of mind. You never know when personal, city, national or even global tragedy may strike. Can you imagine what your life would be like not being able to satisfy the most basic needs of food and water for you and your family? Food storage is a way to hope for the best and plan for the worst.
- Protection from Financial CrisisAs can be seen from current economic instabilities, it is impossible to foresee what will happen with the economy. Maintaining a proper food storage can protect you from inflation. How long would your savings account last if apples suddenly jumped to $5 per pound and a loaf of bread was $10?
Additionally, there are various individual financial disasters that can occur such as the inability to work due to injury or sickness, job cutbacks, death of a loved one, the need to care for a loved one or any number of large, unplanned financial strains such as medical bills, a lawsuit or costly repairs to your home. It is nearly impossible to know when the money will run out. Your personal foo (Read More....)
The shelf life of an apple can vary widely depending on where it is stored. For instance, a fresh, uncut apple will stay good for 1 to 3 days, but in the refrigerator an apple can last 3 to 4 weeks. If you wash, cut, cover in an ascorbic acid, like lemon juice, wrap tightly in an air-tight container and then place it in the freezer it can stay good for up to 12 months.
An unopened can of preserved apples can last even longer, up to 18 months. These cans should be kept in a cool dry environment to prevent rust and contamination.
A third way to store an apple is dry. Dried apples last up to a year in the refrigerator or the pantry and if they are frozen they can last up to 18 months. If you live in a hot and humid environment it is better to store your dried apples in the refrigerator.
Banana’s shelf life is similar to that of an apple. In the pantry a banana will remain good for 2 to 5 days. If left out it will continue to ripen and so this is the preferred place for unripe bananas. In the refrigerator a banana will stay good for up to a week. If the banana has been cut up then it should be placed in the refrigerator but it will only stay good for 3 to 4 days.
Frozen bananas last much longer of c (Read More....)
No one knows what disaster will look like. Science fiction writers and movie makers have been imaging it for years, scientists have ideas about what it will look like, but no one knows for sure. The only thing that is certain is that food will be difficult to get, and you will be hungry. That simple fact is why stored food along with water is the most important part of any emergency plan. Whether you are planning for a snowed-in week or a full on Zombie apocalypse, you will need food.
Everybody Will Want Food
When thinking about food storage, it is important to keep in mind that everybody will want food during an emergency. That means that if the grocery stores are still open, there will be incredibly high demand, and this will drive the prices up. The potential for high prices during an emergency is certain, but there is no guarantee that the stores will even be open. During a food storage, you should have enough food on hand to feed yourself, your family, and any close neighbors or friends.
Know The Length Of Your Disaster Plan
The amount of food that you decide to store will depend upon how well prepared you want to be. If you are preparing for a si (Read More....)
As a prepper, better food storage is something always worth looking out for. Even though the root cellar was overshadowed by the refrigerator, this certainly isn’t a confirmation of the refrigerator’s superiority over underground food storage. Sure, the refrigerator fits in your kitchen and features a sleek design, but the root cellar does the same job naturally.
Cellars are perfect for food storage, because the temperature is cool and the humidity can be controlled, no matter where you are on earth. Even in extreme environments (very cold or very hot), a root cellar will work to keep your food supply fresh.
Although root cellars can be expensive to build, for preppers, the benefits far outweigh the cost. Listed below are just a few reasons why taking your food supply underground may be beneficial.
1. If the electricity goes out, your food won’t have to be tossed out: Weather and energy emergencies that cut out electrical power for longer than four hours can leave your refrigerated food spoiled. This means that everything will have to be thrown away and replenished, once the power comes back on. A root cellar always stays at a constant temperature that is just above freezing, and unless it becomes flooded, keeps your food supply fresh and safe during most natural disasters and emergencies. (Read More....)