Long term food storage requires great attention to details in order to ensure that your food will have its true intended shelf life, and that it will taste good while being nutritionally satisfying when you do eat it. Don’t always believe the marketing when you see “25 year shelf life,” make sure you actually understand what is in your food and what it takes to make it shelf stable for a long term period.
Start With The Individual Ingredients
Food storage meals are only as good as the ingredients that are in them. With ready-made meals, this can be even more integral, because all the food inside is only as good as its weakest link. Read through your labels, do you see things like hydrogenated oil, do you see soy or soybean oil? How about things like Monosodium glutamate? May of those ingredients, especially the oils, only have a shelf life for 1-2 years. That tells us the food simply cannot be good for 25 years no matter what the slogan is. Make sure when you are looking for food storage realize that many companies are not offering the product they are marketing. Read your labels to make sure you avoid the problem early!
We all know that freeze dried or dehydrated food increases its shelf life, but did you know that it actually comes down to the percentage of water content in your food? The FDA requires content of at least 7%, but to ensure that your food wont need extra preservatives or oils to make it last look for food under 5%. Most companies will skip this step but again ask questions and read labels.
By staying as natural as possible in a process, food will stay just as fresh and stable as food that has been preserved and processed! This means that a single serving meal will actually meet all the caloric, vitamin, and mineral requirements that you need in order to stay healthy in case of an emergency.
Of course, the combination of ingredients and their sourcing is only the start of the process. How our food is packaged makes sure that the quality remains intact. One of the most important elements is how companies remove oxygen from the packaging. Look for companies that go the extra step with nitrogen flushing instead of the oxygen removing packets. This will again ensure that the food you have will be there for you when you need it.
As goods are parceled out into rations, make sure to use industrial grade Mylar bags which are vacuum sealed and approved to have the highest resistance to permeability. Before these bags are sealed, use a final nitrogen flush, to make sure that any hidden moisture is removed, and that the nutrients are sealed in to your food. By taking all of these steps, you will know that your family will have a great food source for years to come!
About the Author: James Tolboe is an owner at Valleyfoodstorage.com and has a passion in helping others prepare for everything life might throw at them. Visit the site today for any questions and to see if they have products to help you be ready.