Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dry-Pack Foil Pouches

What are they made of?
These particular pouches are made of multilayer laminated plastic and aluminium. The material is 7 mils thick and provides protection for food against moisture and insects. The pouches hold 4 litres of products.

How are foil pouches used?
Foil pouches, like metal cans, are used by the food industry for packaging a wide range of both wet and dry pack foods. Wet pack in pouches requires sophisticated pressure systems that are not practical for home processing. For home use, use the pouches for dry pack only.

What are the advantages of pouches?
  1. Do not rust
  2. Can be cut into smaller packages
  3. Easily reusable
  4. Easier to transport than empty cans.

What foods can be dry packed in pouches?

Foods, which are shelf-stable and low in moisture and oil content.

How much food does each pouch hold?

Example weights: wheat 3.2 kilos, rice 3.1 kilos and dry milk 2.3 kilos.

Do foods react with the aluminium in the pouch?

No. Foods do not come in contact with the aluminium in the pouch. The aluminium barrier is important in protecting the food from moisture and oxygen and is separated from the food by an inner layer of food grade polyethylene. Pouches that are clear or translucent do not have the same barrier qualities as this type of pouch.

What is the purpose of using oxygen absorbers in pouches?

Absorbers remove oxygen from the air in the pouch. The low oxygen content is lethal to insects.

What is the best way to seal pouches?

Impulse pouch sealers that meet the following specifications: 5 mm wide seal, 350 mm wide jaws, rated for up to 8 mil (250 microns) thick pouches, and equipped with a safety switch to cancel operation if jaw is obstructed.

Do not use clothes irons or other household heating devices to seal these pouches.

Will the sides of the pouch pull in?

Yes, but it may not be noticeable. The amount of "vacuum packed" appearance of the pouch will depend on the type of product and amount of air left in the pouch. Within a few days of packaging, the sides of the pouches will begin to draw in as the oxygen is absorbed. This is more noticeable with granular foods than with powdered products. The residual air in the pouch is mostly nitrogen, which is an inert gas that does not affect food.

How should pouches of food be stored?

Dry pack pouches may be stored on shelves, in cardboard boxes, or in any other containers. Exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided. Food storage is best in a cool, dry, rodent free area. Storage containers should be spaced away from direct contact with concrete walls or floors.

Are pouches rodent proof?

No. Pouches are not rodent proof. If rodents are a significant potential problem in the storage area, the pouches could be placed in larger, more rodent resistant containers such as plastic storage containers, plastic buckets, metal drums or new metal garbage cans.

Can pouches with zip lock seals be used with oxygen absorbers?

No. Zip locks do not provide a seal that is adequate for oxygen absorber packaging.

Can 72 hour kids be packaged in pouches?

No. Many of the items in emergency supplies are not suitable for packaging in either #10 cans or foil pouches. First aid supplies and emergency rations, such as granola bars, are best packaged in containers with removable lids for frequent rotation.

Can pouches be used for water storage?

No. The pouch sealers are not waterproof. They are to be used for dry pack storage only.

Can pouch sealers be used at home?

Yes. Portable pouch sealers are available for check out from home storage centres (in the US). You can purchase things like this from Australia (they say they seal foil bags but please research thoroughly yourself) - The bonus that seem to be with this model is that it not only heat seals foil pouches, but if you like the clear plastic pouches to seal food in for your refrigerator, this sealer will do that as well. Will work as both a heat sealer and removes air.

Is it always necessary to package storage foods in pouches?

No. It may be less expensive and more acceptable to store some foods in their original containers. Food items, which are kept in good storage conditions and frequently used, may not need additional packaging.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Types of sugar

There are different types of sugar available for storage. In Australia, we can usually purchase: raw sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, icing sugar and liquid sugars such as golden syrup and liquid glucose.

White sugar, caster sugar and icing sugar have a relatively low moisture content for sugar.

Brown sugar and raw sugar have a higher moisture content due to their retainment of molasses.

Liquid glucose is used for making foods such as fudge. It is best stored in its original packaging (usually a wide-mouthed bottle or jar).

How long does it store?

Sugar doesn't go off. If stored properly, it can last for many years.

White sugar, caster sugar and icing sugar can be stored for 20 years or longer under the right conditions.

Due to its higher moisture content, brown sugar and raw sugar may not store for as long, but can certainly last 10 years or longer.

How to store sugar

If you live in a fairly low humidity area, it is okay to leave sugar in its original packaging and store in your pantry cupboard out of direct sunlight. For it to last 20 years (the white sugars), it is recommended it be stored in either its original packaging, in PET bottles or mylar bags (foil pouches) and then in storage tubs to protect it from moisture. This will also ensure it is protected from rodents, insect etc.

Do not use oxygen absorbers with sugar. Oxygen absorbers will turn your sugar into bricks, which are difficult to break up. It will still be edible, just a nuisance when you want to use it.

The exception to using oxygen absorbers is if you live in a humid climate and your sugar will turn to a 'brick' in a couple of months. Decanter your sugar and store in foil pouches or PET bottles each with one oxygen absorber.

You shouldn't store sugar in the fridge or freezer either as it will also become a sugar 'brick'. However, if there is no other alternative and you have to store it in the fridge/freezer, thaw it out for an hour before you wish to use it and it will be easier to break up.

Breaking up a sugar brick

Recommendations I have heard are:

- Via food processor (if it is a small enough 'brick' of sugar, or in hard lumps.

- In the microwave. Careful with this one as sugar does get hot very quickly. Do no re-store this sugar. It must be used quickly.

- Whack it with a rolling pin (my favourite!)

Why store sugar?

Not only for our taste buds as an enhancer (like salt etc), sugar is a necessary ingredient when cooking with yeast, a necessity when baking and even simple things like making pasta sauce.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


This is a new recipe to me, as I always use yeast sachets, but what if I couldn't get any more yeast and had to make do with what I had?

Here is a simple recipe to keep that last supply of your yeast going indefinitely:-

  • 4 cups warm potato water or 4 cups water and 1 Tablespoon potato flakes.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups white or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  1. Stir all ingredients together. (Do not use metal utensils while making yeast).
  2. Place the mixture in a warm place to rise until it is ready to mix for baking.
  3. Leave 1 cup of everlasting yeast for a start for next time.
  4. Between uses, keep the mixture in a covered jar in the fridge until a few hours before using it again.

For the next baking, add the same ingredients, except the yeast, to the everlasting yeast start. By saving some of the everlasting yeast each time you use it, you can keep yeast on hand indefinitely.


My wheat stored in Mylar bags (foil pouches)

Many people consider wheat the most basic of food storage items. It is easy to store and has high nutritional value. Wheat provides protein and is an excellent source of dietary fibre, vitamin B, phosphorous, and iron. It is also versatile and can be prepared in a variety of ways.

Selection of Storage Wheat

In Australia, you can purchase many varieties of wheat. There is:-

Durum Wheat: Used for making semolina flour in pasta

Australian Hard Wheat: Used for bread making

Australian Soft Wheat: Used for cakes and pastries

There are also red and white varieties.

Store only grade-one wheat. This means no less than 60 pounds per bushel. Protein content should be 12% or better. Before eating the wheat, clean it and remove all foreign materials.

It is important to make sure that the moisture content of the wheat is 10% or less. Wheat draws moisture, so take precautions to protect it from exposure to high humidity and high temperatures.

A good way to test wheat after it has been stored for many years is to either see if it will sprout in a lid with some damp cotton balls. If it sprouts, it is still good.

Be aware of allergies and anyone who may have coeliac disease in your family, as they cannot have wheat.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Water Storage

Why store water?
Natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes may pollute or disrupt water supplies. Water is more essential than food in sustaining life. It is wise to have an emergency storage of at least 53 litres per person. The water must be pure, treated to prevent microbial growth, and stored in food-grade containers that will protect both flavour and purity.

Pre-storage Treatments
To prevent buildup of bacteria or algae, use household bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite). added bleach is needed when water comes directly from a good pre-treated municipal water supply.

If bleach is needed, add 8 drops (1/2 teaspoon) household bleach per 4 litres if water is clear, but not chlorinated.

Add 16 drops (1 teaspoon) of household bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite per 4 litres if water is cloudy.

Let water stand for 30 minutes before use.

Pre-use Treatments
If the water is not pure, use one of the following treatment methods:

Filtration: There are many good water filters on the market. The activated charcoal type can also remove bad tastes. Some models also add chemicals to kill bacteria.

Chemical: In addition to the chemicals listed in the pre-storage treatment chart above, other good treatment chemicals can be acquired from most outdoor supply stores.

Boiling: Boil water for three to five minutes, depending on elevation (the higher the elevation, the longer the water should be boiled).

Distilling: This is the most effective method of water purification. However, it is slow, and the equipment required is expensive. If you plan to use this method, advanced preparation will be necessary.

Water Storage Containers
Good water storage containers are airtight, resistant to breakage, and heavy enough to hold water. They should have a lining that will not rust or affect the flavour of the water. The following containers are commonly used:

Plastic Juice or Soft Drink Bottles: Use clear plastic containers made of PETE plastic. Used containers should be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed.

Heavy Plastic Buckets or Drums: These should be food grade.

Water Heaters: Close the inlet valve immediately after the water supply is disrupted.

Water Beds: A double water bed holds about 758 litres of water. This water contains an algicide. Do not drink it. Store this water for non-food use only, such as washing clothes and general cleaning.

Bleach bottles: Also for non-use only.

Water can go flat with storage and can be aerated by pouring it between two containers.

Powdered Milk

Following are questions often asked about long-term storage of powdered milk for a family's supply of food;
What kind of milk is best to store?
Non-fat milk, either regular or instant, stores well when packaged properly and kept at room temperature or cooler. In the past, many felt that non-instant milk would store better. There is little difference in shelf life between instant and non-instant powder.
What are the best containers?
Milk stored in airtight, low-oxygen packaging has been found to last longer and retain a fresher taste than milk stored in boxes or plastic bags.
How long can powdered milk be stored?
Optimal storage life on non-fat dry milk stored at room temperature is three years before the milk begins to taste stale. However, when stored at cooler temperatures, it can be kept much longer. You can rotate powdered milk by using yourself or by giving it to others who will use it.
How much powdered milk should be stored?
LDS guidelines recommend that you store an equivalent of about 75 pounds (approx 34 kilograms) of dry milk per person per year.
However, since that time, a US government study on nutritional adequacy during periods of food shortage has recommended 16 pounds (approx 7 kilograms) per family member per year. Equivalent to approximately one glass of milk a day, that amount will maintain minimum health standards. Keep in mind, however, that children and pregnant or nursing mothers will require more than the minimum amount of stored milk. Families who opt to store only the minimum 7 kgs of milk per person should also increase storage of grains from the recommended 136 kgs to 181kgs per person to compensate nutritionally for the smaller amounts of milk.
What should I do with milk that is past its prime shelf life?
Milk develops off flavours as it ages. However, it still retains some nutritional value, and unless spoilage has occurred from moisture, insects, rodents or contamination, it is still safe to use.
What can be done with milk that is too old to drink?
It is important to rotate dry milk. Older dry milk may no longer be suitable for drinking, but it can be used in cooking as long as it has not spoiled. If powdered milk has spoiled, it can be used as fertiliser for the garden.
*This information is from 2002. More up to date information on food storage quantities etc. may be available.

Dry-Pack Food Storage Using PETE Containers

PETE refers to a type of clear plastic bottle commonly used for many foods sold in grocery stores. The bottles are identified on the bottom, next to the recycle emblem, with the letters PETE. This type of container has good oxygen barrier qualities and can be used with oxygen absorbers to store bulk dry foods.

The low oxygen content of the sealed containers protects the stored food from insect infestation and helps preserve product quality. These containers are well suited for products that are rotated on a regular basis, while still providing several years of storage capability.

  1. Use only PETE bottles that have been previously commercially packaged with food. Bottles need to have screw-on lids with plastic, not paper, lid seals.
  2. Wash and rinse bottles to remove any residue. Drain and dry bottles.
  3. Place an oxygen absorber packet into each bottle.
  4. Fill bottles with bulk dry products that are low in moisture and oil content.
  5. Wipe top sealing edge clean.
  6. Screw lids on tightly. Tape the lid edge to prevent loosening.
  7. Label and date the bottle with the contents.
  8. Store the products in a cool, dry location, away from sunlight.
  9. Use a new oxygen absorber packet each time a bottle is refilled for storage.

Oxygen Absorbers

Absorbers generally are packaged 100 per bag. This size of absorber can be used for containers of up to 5 litre capacity. When packaging products, take out of the bag the number of absorbers you plan to use in 30 minutes and store the remainder in glass canning jars (screw-on lids) with new lids. 600mls will hold 25 absorbers.

Containers that work well for long-term storage using oxygen absorbers include:

- #10 cans (your standard spaghetti/baked beans cans)

- Foil Pouches (mylar bags)

- Glass canning jars with screw top lids (your standard pasta sauce type jars from the Supermarket)

- PETE plastic containers with screw-on lids (soft drink bottles)

Containers that should not be used for this type of storage include:

- Translucent plastic bottles such as milk bottles

- Snap-on lid containers

- Containers that have contained non-food products

Approved Dry-Pack Products

Dry-pack products for home storage need to be low moisture (10% moisture or less), good quality, and insect free. Packaging in foil pouches, #10 cans, glass canning jars and PETE plastic bottles should be limited to foods that best retain flavour and nutritional value. An oxygen absorber packet should be included in each container for all products, except sugar.

Approved products

  • Milk - Non-fat dry milk and milk/whey products such as hot cocoa
  • White Flour - Bleached or unbleached
  • Whole Grains - Wheat, white rice, dry corn, popcorn, rye, barley etc. Grains that are not milled or cracked and do not have an oily seed coat.
  • Rolled Oats - Quick or regular
  • Legumes - Dry peas and beans, including dehydrated refried beans.
  • Pasta - Pasta products that do not contain egg
  • Fruits and Veggies - Dehydrated or freeze-dried products that are dry enough to snap. (Best items: apples, bananas, potatoes, onions, carrots, corn and peas). (Marginal items: apricots, peaches, pears, tomatoes and green beans.
  • Sugar - Granulated (raw) or powdered (white sugar, icing sugar) - Do not use oxygen absorbers in containers of sugar.
  • Miscellaneous - TVP (Texturised Vegetable Protein), cheese powder, gelatin and soup mixed (without stock powder).

Non-Approved Products

The following items are examples of products that do not store well due to high moisture or oil content. These items keep best when stored in freezer bags in a freezer:

  • Milled Grain - Whole wheat flour, cornmeal, cereal, granola
  • Oily Grain/Seeds - Nuts, brown rice, pearled barley, sesame

The following types of products should be stored in their original containers and rotated frequently:

  • Leavening - Includes mixes containing leavening such as cake or biscuit mix
  • Miscellaneous - Spices, oil, stock powder, dried meat, dried eggs, brown sugar, lollies, first aid supplies.

Note: All food items should be rotated. This may be accomplished by personal use or by sharing with others.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How do Food Grade Containers fare long term?

It's been 8 years since I purchased my food grade storage tubs. So how have they fared? Will they stand the test of time? My wheat should last 30 years packed in these, providing the temperature is right as well. This particular tub was interesting, as the top had water on it, there was mould all over the outside of the tub...
Yet this is the inside. Not one speck of dirt.

These are the contents of the container. Wheat that is still sealed, the oxygen absorbers are still working and there are no signs of any punctures. You can see the lid is a little cracked. I was a bit worried about that until I saw how tidy everything still was inside. Phew!

What it looked like once the lid had been taken off. No signs of internal damage.

The outside of the container was a bit messy. Mould and dirt were all over the container. It had been stored in my garage and this has been the wettest summer so far, so if these storage tubs have done their job properly, I'm very impressed.

Another view of the outside of this tub. Yes, that's mould. I wiped a bleach/water solution over it, checked each mylar bag and re-stored the entire container upstairs.
I have to note too that this was the only container that appeared to be a little more brittle than the others. Perhaps it was already old when I purchased it. Who knows how long the company I had bought it from had it. The company apparently had them outside. Anyways, it will be okay upstairs. I'm moving all my food storage from my garage into my 'spare' kitchen up there. To cut a long story short - it is a separate granny flat with its own kitchen.

Food Grade Storage Containers

I was able to purchase some of these containers for $2 each about 8 years ago. I'm not sure exactly where they came from, because I belonged to a sort of Co-op. We would purchase our dry foods in bulk. One lady would source these food grade storage containers and we would have a "Sealing Saturday where we would seal up our flour/wheat/rice/sugar etc together into foil pouches with oxygen absorbers, and seal them up with an Impulse Heat (foot pedal operated) Sealing Machine. Of course we all donned hair nets, gloves and aprons for hygiene reasons. Was a lot of fun :D
This is an example of the food grade bins we were able to purchase.
Mylar bags fitting nice and snug filled with rice and perfectly fine. Sealed August 2003.
You want to make sure the insides of these are very clean so you don't get nasty things growing inside while they're stored away. The outside can get as dirty as it likes, so long as the lids do their job.

What do you do with beans?

Soaking and cooking beans before mixing them with other recipe ingredients results in tender beans and can minimise final cooking time.
Overnight Soaking
For each pound (.45kgs) of beans, dissolve 2 tsp salt in 6 cups of water. Wash the beans, add them to the salted water and soak them overnight.
Quick Soaking
For each pound (.45 kgs) of beans, bring 8 cups of water to boiling. Wash the beans, add them to the boiling water and boil them for 1 minute. Remove the beans from the heat, cover them, and soak them fro 1 hour.
Cooking Soaked Beans
For each pound of beans, dissolve 2 tsp salt in 6 cups of hot water; bring it to boiling. Add the soaked beans; boil gently, uncovered, adding boiling* water if needed to keep the beans covered with water. Cook until the beans are tender. You can expect 6-7 cups of cooked beans per pound of dry beans.
Cooking Old, Hard Beans
Wash and sort the beans to remove any discoloured beans or foreign material. For each cup of dry beans, add 2 1/2 cups hot tap water and 2 tsp baking soda. Soak overnight. Drain and rinse two times, then add water to cover the beans. Cook until tender and soft (about 2 hours), adding more boiling* water as needed. Adding a tablespoon of oil will cut down on foam as the beans cook. Stored beans should be rotated regularly. They continue to lose moisture and will not reconstitute satisfactorily if kept too long.
Pressure cook old beans for 20 minutes and they will be soft.
*Note: if you add non-boiling water to beans while they are cooking, the beans will be tough. This holds true for all dried beans.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Basic Food Storage

These are the suggested amounts per adult for one year.

I'm not suggesting you go out and buy these all in bulk, that would make you a 'siege storer', rather work out what your family would eat and store accordingly. Don't forget to rotate your food storage.

Including wheat, flour, rice, corn, oatmeal and pasta 181kg

Milk, dry
Non-fat, regular, instant or canned (5 cans = .45 kg) 7.5kg

Sugar or honey 29.5kg

Salt 3.5kg

Dripping (1kg = 1 litre) or Vegetable oil 9.5 litres

Legumes 29.5kg
Including pinto beans, navy beans, red beans, spit peas, lentils or soy beans

Water 53 litres

It is impractical for most families to store a year's supply of water. 53 litres per person is a suggested minimum reserve.

The children's percentage of an adult portion of water is: 0-3 years = 50%, 4-6 years = 70%, 7-10 years = 90%.

7.5 kgs of milk provides approximately one glass of milk per day. Children and pregnant or nursing mothers will require more.

Oxygen Absorbers

This information was provided with my pack of 100 oxygen absorbers. It is useful information, and I'll re-type it for future reference.

How are they used?

  • To lower the oxygen content in containers of packaged foods

  • Helps preserve product quality and protect the stored food from insect infestation.

What are they made of?

  • Elemental iron mixed with a moisture absorbing material.
  • Packet covers are made of a semipermeable material that allows oxygen and moisture to enter, but does not allow the contents of the packets to leak out.

How do they work?

  • When moisture is absorbed into the packets, it causes the iron to rust. The process of oxidising the iron absorbs the oxygen from the package atmosphere.
  • Temperature and the moisture level in the container determine the rate of the reaction.
  • 'Ageless' absorbers are rated for 300cc of oxygen each. With their reserve capacity each absorber has adequate capacity for up to 4 litres of properly packaged food.

Is this the same as vacuum packaging?

  • Not quite. The absorbers remove only the oxygen.
  • Air is about 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen. The residual air in the container is mostly nitrogen, which will not affect the food.

What types of containers can be used with oxygen absorbers for food storage?

  • Containers that are a barrier against moisture and oxygen.
  • Foil pouches (mylar bags), metal cans with seamed lids, glass canning jars (and those glass jars with screw top lids), and PETE plastic bottles.

Directions for using Oxygen Absorbers

1. Cut open the top of the bag of absorbers. Do not cut open the individual absorber packets.

2. Remove the number of absorbers that you will use in the next 30 minutes.

3. Reseal the supply of absorbers by one of any of the following methods:

(i) Seal the absorber bag with an impulse heat sealer

(ii)Place the absorbers into glass canning (screw top lid) jars. 500 ml will hold 25 absorbers.

4. Place one absorber into each container.

5. Remove additional groups of absorbers, as needed, during packaging.


The most important thing to remember when starting your food storage plan is:-

Store what you eat and eat what you store!

This is especially important if you are on a tight budget for purchasing with your food storage. Do not waste food. If you have something stored that you cannot use, maybe you can exchange that item with another family for something you do use.

Start making your own bread, use half milk and half powdered milk each day and gradually increase the amount of powdered milk you use.

Work out what your family eats and the amounts used over a 2 week period and then start working out the amount you would need for 12 months or even longer.

Try new recipes using food storage. If your family likes it, then you can include the ingredients in your list. The Internet is an amazing place for recipes.

The next thing I want to discuss is the storage life of foods and how to correctly store them to maximise the length of time they can be stored.

Four factors that affect food storage:

Factor #1: The temperature:
Temperature has more to do with how long well dried foods store than anything else. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) states, "Each 5.6 Degree C drop in temperature doubles the storage life of the food". Obviously there is a limit as to how far this statement can be taken. Basically, it holds true from room temperature down to freezing. The temperature must remain stable. Shifts in temperature can cause deterioration.

Constant storage Temp in Degrees C Storage life in years
5 degrees - 40 yrs
10 degrees - 30 yrs
15 degrees - 20 yrs
20 degrees - 10 yrs
25 degrees - 5 yrs
30 degrees - 2.5 yrs
35 degrees - 1.25 yrs

Note: the above chart is not for a specific food, but is a general guide.

Factor # 2: Product moisture content:
Food with excess moisture can spoil right in their containers. This is an important consideration when packing food with dry ice as moisture condenses and freezes on the outside of the dry ice. For long term storage, grains should have a moisture content of 10% or less. It is difficult to accurately measure this without special equipment.

Factor #3: Atmosphere the product is stored in:
Food packed in air don't store as well as in oxygen free gases. This is because air contains oxygen which oxidises many of the compounds in food. Food storage companies have a couple of different processes for removing the oxygen:

  • Displacing the oxygen: This is done by purging out all the air in the product with an inert gas. Nitrogen is almost always used because it is the most inert gas known. People doing all their own packing occasionally use dry ice which gives off carbon dioxide gas, and probably works just about as well.
  • Absorb the oxygen: Oxygen absorber packets do just that. Air contains about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, leaving about 1% for the other gases. If the oxygen is absorbed, what remains is 99% pure nitrogen in a partial vacuum.

If oxygen absorber packets are used, care must be taken to use a storage container that can stand some vacuum. Mylar (foil pouches) with oxygen absorbers are not affected by the vacuum.

Factor #4: The container the product is stored in:

To get the best storage life out of your product it must have a hermetic (air tight) seal. Containers that do this well are:

  • #10 cans (ones your standard spaghetti or baked beans come in)
  • Sealable food storage buckets
  • Sealable food quality metal or plastic drums.

Whatever container you use, be sure it is food grade as your product can be tainted with whatever the container is made from. The base of the container should be stamped with the letters HDPE and the triangle of arrows with the number 2 inside. This denotes that it is food grade plastic.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What to store?

In order to know what to put in your food first need to determine who will be eating the food. There are three choices; bugs, the sewer system or your family. You decide!

If you do not store your food properly; moths, weevils, bugs or mice will get it, no matter how well you store your food. If you do not choose to store the right foods and rotate your supply, nobody will eat it.

The aim is for you to store the right foods, rotate your foods, and your family will eat it.


They store foods with the vision that in the not too distant future every family will be sequestered into their own "bunker" - fending off scavengers.

PRACTICAL AND PROVIDENT assume that when the storage will be used it will be most likely during periods of unemployment or storms, which make getting food impossible. That during this crisis, life will go on pretty much the way it has always gone except that you will be eating from food storage and not from the shops.

On the surface, siege food is easier. There are only a few foods that need to be stored and the amounts to store have been worked out for you already. But there are some drawbacks. Siege food is workable. There is a lot of work to prepare the meals, a lot of adjustment on the part of the families, but it is possible. Here is a list of some of the problems that must be solved:-

Leavening Agents

Where is the yeast?

Just about everything you can do with wheat requires yeast or baking powder or sourdough starter.

Here is a rule of thumb:

- Half a pound of yeast

- One pound of baking powder

- One pound of baking soda

per person per year

Yeast is a living thing and it will die on you. Store it in the freezer and rotate . Dispose of it after it has reached expiration date. Dead yeast is good for nothing.


If you are going to rely on wheat and beans and powdered milk, you're going to need to store over and above amounts of water to what is recommended to drink.

Remember it is recommended that we store two weeks worth of water only.

What and beans are useless without first soaking them in water. Powdered milk is useless unless made up with water. Plan on three cups of water to one cup of wheat or beans.


What and beans need to be cooked. There is not much you can do without this process. It is against the law in Australia to store kerosene or petrol, so the very thought of storing flammable liquid is out of the question.


For children under the age of one, honey is a no-no. Honey causes Botulism in young children. Botulism is fatal. Use sugar instead.

Non-Fat Powdered Milk

Children should not drink non-fat or low-fat milk. Fat is a vital building block for young children's bodies.

Wheat and Lactose Intolerance

"In our family, we spent a year of our early marriage as food fanatics. Out went the sugar, the white flour, anything processed - even red meat for a little while. We knew we had to ease into healthy eating. We did everything right. incorporating whole wheat flour into bread recipes with white flour, adding more as time passed and reducing more of the white processed flour. Finally we reached the point of exclusively using our own stone ground flour.

We felt wonderful.

Then the body started telling us there was a problem. It would not tolerate anything with whole wheat in it. There more we ate, the more the intolerance grew.

Finally we gave up and returned to our pre fanatic lifestyle. We can tolerate small amounts of wholewheat".

Be aware of food allergies.

Be aware of diabetics.

Human Tastes

We need variety in our diet.

Week 2 of the 2011 Food Storage Challenge

Week 2 $10 challenge

3 kgs sugar and 1 box salt

Week 2 $20 challenge

5 kgs sugar and 1 box salt

We are storing sugar now because due to the floods in Qld, the prices are about to rise. Sugar is also used in our food storage as an ingredient in lots of things (including bread) so is a good one to store.

Salt is used as a seasoning. About 1/4 of a tsp is good for you (per day), and we are so used to having some salt in our food that it would taste very bland if we suddenly had to cut it out because we were using food storage.

The best salt to purchase is one with Iodine. Some people's bodies cannot tolerate Iodene though, and if you can't, store something else. You can also store things like chicken salt, rock salt or dried herbs instead as a seasoning if you already have a supply of salt, for variation purposes as well.

2011 Food Storage Challenge

This week I started my $10 a week food storage challenge. If you would like to join me in this, it will end up supporting one person for 6 months, or two people for 3 months. If you want to support 2 people for 6 months, double the quantity.

Of course, you should only store what you will actually eat. If you can't have salt, store something else. Remember to eat what you store and store what you eat!

Week 1 $10 challenge

2 large cans tuna and 1 box salt

Week 1 $20 challenge

4 large cans tuna and 2 boxes salt