When considering the problems inherent with long term food storage pests may be one of the greatest pitfalls that are overlooked regularly by many people. Imagine the journey your food will have to take and the odds of possibly contamination by one pest or another increase greatly. Pests are not the only problem face though, heat, cold and damp could all contribute to the deterioration of your product. A 20% loss is not unheard of across the United States and that percentage only grows when it comes to less developed countries and inefficiently protected produce. Some instances of an 80% loss have been recorded in Africa’s less developed countries.
So what can we learn from this information when it comes to long term food storage in our homes? Buying your produce from a source with a good reputation would be an excellent start. Pick a retailer who uses local suppliers where possible. Not only will you reduce the potential amount of food lost during transportation but it can also give a healthy boost to your local economy. There is nothing like the feeling of knowing exactly where your family’s food comes from and fresh food should always last longer when stored properly.
The Right Containers Are Needed For Long Term Food Storage
Correct storage containers are essential to the longevity of your food when in storage. Air tight seals and correct light filtering can not only greatly increase the shelf life of food but also prevent pests from getting in and destroying products. There are many options of food containers for the home available to the public. From simple dishes with lids for your leftovers and off cuts to be refrigerated to larger dry goods containers for your pantry and everything in between, with enough research you should be able to find the ideal storage solution for your needs.
Many retailers now stock oxygen absorbers to place in your sealed containers. By reducing the amount of oxygen and increasing nitrogen levels you can greatly increase the shelf life of most produce. There are even options of containers with these built in.
Another option for long term food storage is the deep freeze. By following some simple guidelines most of the products you buy can be frozen in your home. Setting the ideal temperature will be the first thing you need to do. Although frozen at 0 degrees Celsius the ideal temperature is between -18 and -23 degrees Celsius. Though freezing your food seems like an easy option you should always check the guideline that should normally accompany your freezer unit for exactly what foods you can store and for how long. Some of the products you buy will contain their own guidelines on the packaging. Again, containers that are specifically designed to handle the subzero temperatures of freezer storage are widely available on the market.
In closing, by simply planning ahead with your storage requirements, you should be able to make the job of storing food over the long term a much easier task to undertake. Spend some time researching the best options for your living arrangements and you should be reaping the benefits in no time at all.