Skip to comments.10 Places Anyone Can Store Food
Posted on 10/15/2012 6:56:41 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
One of the cornerstones of preparedness is storing food. No one argues the point of whether food is important. Maybe an argument can be found in where food is placed in the hierarchy of prepping needs, but no one will say that it does not have a place. What I have found, though, is that not too many discussions occur about where these rations will be stored.
It seems as though it is always assumed that every prepper has an extra room in the house to fill with shelves that can be neatly stacked with cans and boxes and labeled by category or a basement to do the same. I know that I, for one, have not always had these options available to me. Whether you live in a large house, a small house, an apartment or a dorm room, the need for stored food doesnt change, resulting in the need for places to store foods wherever you may live.
Some of the places that storage food may be stored regardless of the type of dwelling you live in include:
Under the bed: There is a fair amount of space under a bed which can be used for storing food instead of lost TV remotes or slippers. What makes the space under the bed even easier to use for storage is some of the specially manufactured containers that specifically fit the dimensions of the underside of the bed. These containers slide in and out easily from under the bed and make it easy to organize your food storage. The flexibility of these containers would also allow for storage foods to easily be loaded up and taken with you in the event that an evacuation were necessary. A good substitute for these containers would be shallow cardboard boxes.
Under the coffee table: The shelf under a coffee table provides additional space for storing food. This can be a great option for someone who lives in a smaller living space like a loft. Obviously, this could be an eyesore in a main living area but can easily be disguised by covering the table with a tablecloth.
Under an end table: Storing food under an end table is essentially the same as a coffee table but on a smaller scale. This can be a useful tactic in the most size-restrictive spaces like dorm rooms or military barracks.
Make your own table: This is perhaps the perfect option for those who buy storage foods in bulk. It also happens to be the one non-standard food-storage option that I have heard of the most. Foods that are in boxes are especially well-suited for this storage idea. Make a table out of food storage by stacking two boxes of food on top of each other, centering a 2-by-2 piece of plywood on top of the boxes and cover with a tablecloth.
On the closet floor: You know that space on the floor of your closet? Yep. That space below your clothes that doesnt really seem to be good for anything except for losing an occasional shoe. It can also be an ideal storage area. This area may be particularly ideal for storing long-term foods in No. 10 cans that you may get from companies like Mountain House.
On a closet shelf: The shelf in the top part of a bedroom closet is not always used. If there is open space or junk sitting on your closet shelf, it is space that most likely is being wasted. If shelf space is chosen to store food, always make sure that the shelf can support the weight of the items that are being stored on it. This is especially important to keep in mind when storing canned goods on shelving. Because of weight concerns, the top shelf of your closet might best serve as a storage area for foods such as pasta, instant potatoes, ramen noodles and other lightweight boxed foods.
In the linen closet: A linen closet can be another great storage area in the home, whether it is for linens or something else. When I lived in an apartment, there was a linen closet; but I did not have enough linen to make complete use of this area. In a situation such as this, excess space in a linen closet could be used to store food. Remember to always evaluate the amount of weight that you are thinking about placing on a shelf before you put it there to ensure that it will not cause the shelf to break or pose a safety risk.
Behind the couch: If the couch is up against the wall in your house, it is likely that you have at least 4 to 6 inches of space that most people would consider dead space. What can be done with this space depends on the individual piece of furniture; but it could allow for at least one row of soup cans, boxes of macaroni and cheese, jars of pasta sauce, etc. Essentially, the limit is the creativity of the person placing the food storage items behind the couch. If someone is really inclined toward engineering and is concerned about gaining quick access to these items, it could be possible to tie or tape these items together, which would allow them to be pulled out together without having to move the furniture.
Inside your luggage: Do you have luggage that sits empty in the closet for the greater part of the year? Most people do. This makes your empty luggage an ideal place to store items such as canned and/or dry goods while you are waiting for your next chance to relive the Spring Break trip you took with your friends in 1992.
Out in the open: OK, so I dont mean literally just sitting out in the open. But if there is an open space in a room, there is an opportunity to use a set of cabinets or piece of furniture as a second pantry. This can look like just an ordinary piece of furniture in the home while disguising your emergency food stores.
While places to store food for a difficult time are limited only to your imagination and the space that you live in, there are without question places in every home where foods can be stored. Once a decision has been made as to where you plan on storing your food, make sure that it is in appropriate containers. Plastic totes are a great way to keep critters out and protect food from the elements that cause it to go bad at an accelerated pace. Dont forget to annotate expiration dates and rotate storage foods so that you dont end up with a cache of useless foods. Perhaps most importantly, dont forget where you stored your food.
Gee, I thought one of the answers would have involved a hollow tree (cf. Potter, Beatrix. The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes. London:Frederick Warne & Co., 1911)
Canned food if properly stored will last over 20 years. I know this from experience. In Vietnam I was eating C Rations from the 40’s. I’d take them any day over LRP’s or MRE’s.
Unfortunately I have stored too many that way :-(.
11: Between your rib cage and your knees
(see: Roseanne Barr, Michael Moore)
Thanks for the post though some make fun of preps. They’ll be the first ones whining knocking at your door. Hope they don’t lose their jobs or worse when a supply of food would give them a buffer and they don’t have to explain to their kids why mommy and daddy didn’t care enough to provide a little insurance.
Remember not to store food where the temperature is too extreme. A hot garage or attic will ruin your supplies.
Too bad prescriptions cant be stockpiled.
I would think that the biggest problem in storing food would not be finding a place to put it, but finding some way to keep insects out of it. For instance, I know that if I put a bag of flour in the cabinet sealed inside of a plastic container with a silicone seal, somehow moths and weevils will grow inside of it. How they get past the seal is a mystery, but they do every time.
When in the field one night I opened a can of CRat Chili. I pulled out an 5 inch long vein from some animal. I then started bargaining for fruitcake.
They were in the bag when you bought it. Next time put the bag in the freezer for a few days before putting it on the shelf.
Why can’t prescriptions be stockpiled? You don’t believe those USE BY dates do you?
There’s one other place you can store things....if you have a house with space underneath it that is dry....we have probably 800sq ft of space under our house...it’s dry and cool and the ground is covered in black plastic.
With the risk of grossing everyone out, it could be that they were already there. Industry standards allow for a certain amount of insect eggs, parts and excrement in food articles like flour, cornmeal and the like. You also have the added issue of contamination during transport.
Foodstuffs should be rotated on a regular basis, particularly if one is planning on long-term storage. Any eggs will hatch, and the rotation allows you to weed it out of your supplies.
Out of curiosity, has this happened with a single type and brand of food item, or does it happen in everything?
the food has their eggs in it. They hatch out after sealing. I’ve had success freezing pasta and flour first before long storage. This kills the eggs.
I’ve noticeed it happening with stored flour and nuts. I’ve always assumed that the crafty insects wiggled through the seals as if their life depended on it. I never considered the possibilty that they were there already.
Neither had I until someone pointed it out to me. Like I said....gross. LOL!
Try #10 cans of food from:
You can keep enough cases of cans under your bed to feed you for a year. I keep to basics like oatmeal, rice, potato flakes, barley, powdered milk, etc.
The food is good as long as the cans don’t rust through. You can paint the outside with clear shellac, candle wax, etc. to keep them about 100 years.
Buy food from Walton by the pallet to save on freight. For about $1000 you can buy enough to feed a family for a year.
That’s a lot cheaper than freeze dried.
A small pressure cooker will save on fuel and cooking time. With a grain grinder, you can bake bread using fresh flour forever. The whole grains in sealed in mylar bags inside 6 gal. pails will keep for at least 20 years.
Heat treatment is tougher but sure. A couple of hours in a 200 degree or so oven will generally do the trick. Safest way is to put the flour in a tin, but make sure the tin is try. Even a little moisture can damage the product. I've had people tell me that 180 degrees or so will do the trick and flour (and the paper bag it comes stored) will not combust and burn at that temperature or even the 200 degrees which is the lowest most gas ovens will go down to.
But, unless you have the time to watch it carefully, I think freeze treatment is just easier and safer.
Keep them refrigerated and they will last years past the expiration date.
The doctor won't prescribe more than 30 days.
Ugh,those C-rats were pretty bad but that was gross
Really the one one I cared for was ham&eggs.
They were better than a snowball as we
would to say over there.
Trading was rampant
Don't be fooled by the "expiration date" printed on the label. Most times it is exactly one year from the date the script was filled, what an extraordinary coincidence! Effective life of a drug is dependent on how it is stored. Cool temperatures and darkness will insure a longer life. Avoid freezing liquids.
The country's largest consumer of prescription drugs is the Department of Defense. Can you imagine the impact on suppliers and the costs if the DoD had to roll over their entire supply of drugs every year? It doesn't happen because the DoD did studies on the actual longevity of prescription drugs and found that their useful life was much longer then one year. They also found that drugs slowly declined in efficacy rather then having a fixed life after which they just stopped working.
I read about this in a back issue of "Backwoods Home" and unfortunately the article did not include any hard data on actual life. Perhaps the Government Printing office might have copies of the studies available.
As to how to acquire "extra" medication for storage I would ask my doctor to provide 90 day scripts w/ 3 refills for all maintenance drugs (lipids, blood pressure, &c.) through a mail-order pharmacy (MEDCO, CVS, &c.). These pharmacies generally let you refill at about 65 days thus you get another 90 pills leaving 25 for your "stash". You renew your "yearly" script at 260 days, you have 100 pills in storage, you keep on rolling. After a year or two you start rotating your pill stash, using up the oldest and replacing them with fresh.
“The doctor won’t prescribe more than 30 days”
My doctor prescribes by courses and usually my pharmacist asks do I want them all at once or just 1 box/bottle at a time. BTW, I’ve found usually most pills are only good for 2 years
In Vietnam I was eating C Rations from the 40s.
My son still has c rations - hope they are good if we need them.
My friend, who passed away at 101 years old, opened a can of tuna from the 90’s and ate it.
She was 97 then and had the best time eating it on a sandwich
And then *snap* — just like that, four years later she was dead!
There’s a way around that...talk to your doctor, tell them you need an emergency supply....unless of course you are using a PAIN KILLER or something like that, they will likely comply.
Darn, you just told them where my Walton food is.
My grown son and two other family members, shake their heads at the #10 cans under the beds they use. They have never cared enough to see what is in any can. I think they believe it is just regular canned food that will go bad. All three of them stay away from any food in a can - they are “modern” eaters only of fresh food. They even frown at frozen food from the grocery.
You know what I think? If a long term emergency happens, they will come here and look to see what is in those cans.
Right now, I'm the nutsy prepper family member to them.
That is the stick in the mud. Some meds you can get 3 months (they still wait until that is gone to re-order) but anything for pain management they will not.
I told my doctor I needed pain meds. due to hurting everywhere. I was serious about that, but I wasn't thinking the way he did. He gave me a prescription for those pain meds three times a day and the drug store filled three months at a time and keep refilling it. Most of the time I don't take one a day. I have bottles of the stuff and keep adding more. I'm thinking, “barter goods”.
I tell people I took care of her for nearly six years before she finally passed away and I always get the “Sorry for your loss”
I smile and say “Well, she lived to 101 years and 5 months. She had it coming”.
Most people get the joke.
Thanks for your witty reply.
" Studies performed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that 90% of medications tested were perfectly fine to use 8-to-15 years after the expiration date."
I've bought my antibiotics from here for years and have many stock-piled.
Other meds, check the web or contact the manufacturer. Many other antibiotics just lose potency.
growing up poor in farming country in ND and spending 7 yrs in Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club, I can no longer stomach the thought of having to eat canned food, however hunger is the best seasoning. I have put “storage” in all of the little nooks and crannies in the house, the best was the old cistern, able to fit a full pallet into that unused space!
That’s because the eggs are already in there.
“...spending 7 yrs in Uncle Sams Yacht Club, I can no longer stomach the thought of having to eat canned food...”
None of these three people were in the military so have no reason for an aversion to canned food except in their minds. Most of the Walton food was canned by them straight out of the fields - it has yet to be cooked and some of it is actual powder since that is the only way to have that product. I do have grocery stored canned food, also.
Fresh food is excellent but if it is not available, canned grocery store food will keep you alive. My mother canned most of her life, and we ate that food every winter. This attitude, “I won’t eat anything out of a can”, is ridiculous. If an emergency happens and they refuse canned food, even the Walton food, they can go die.
As others point out, the bugs get in your stored food because the eggs or larvae are already in the food when you store it.
After a few pantry weevil investations we have resorted to the freeze treatment.
In fact, we bought an inexpensive older, used freezer primarily for this purpose.
Other than canned foods, foods that just can’t be frozen or foods we will eat almost immediately, we now pass every food product through the freezer. That includes grains, rice, pasta, flour, cake mixes, prepared dressings, dry soups, yeast, seasonings, etc.
When the food comes in, it goes in the freezer and stays there until we need the room for the next batch. But we make sure foods stay in for sufficient time - usually at least a week. Some foods we are using, like an open bag of flour or rice, are stored there until they are used up.
So far it seems to work.
100 year old canned food found safe to eat
"The steamboat Bertrand was heavily laden with provisions when it set out on the Missouri River in 1865, destined for the gold mining camps in Fort Benton, Montana. The boat snagged and swamped under the weight, sinking to the bottom of the river. It was found a century later, under 30 feet of silt a little north of Omaha, Neb.
Among the canned food items retrieved from the Bertrand in 1968 were brandied peaches, oysters, plum tomatoes, honey, and mixed vegetables. In 1974, chemists at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) analyzed the products for bacterial contamination and nutrient value. Although the food had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the NFPA chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they had been when canned more than 100 years earlier.
The nutrient values varied depending upon the product and nutrient. NFPA chemists Janet Dudek and Edgar Elkins report that significant amounts of vitamins C and A were lost. But protein levels remained high, and all calcium values "were comparable to today's products."
NFPA chemists also analyzed a 40-year-old can of corn found in the basement of a home in California. Again, the canning process had kept the corn safe from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition, Dudek says, the kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.
The canning process is a product of the Napoleonic wars. Malnutrition was rampant among the 18th century French armed forces. As Napoleon prepared for his Russian campaign, he searched for a new and better means of preserving food for his troops and offered a prize of 12,000 francs to anyone who could find one. Nicolas Appert, a Parisian candy maker, was awarded the prize in 1809.
Although the causes of food spoilage were unknown at the time, Appert was an astute experimenter and observer. For instance, after noting that storing wine in airtight bottles kept it from spoiling, he filled widemouth glass bottles with food, carefully corked them, and heated them in boiling water.
The durable tin can--and the use of pottery and other metals--followed shortly afterwards, a notion of Englishman Peter Durand. Soon, these "tinned" foods were used to feed the British army and navy.
The canned food principle that won Nicolas Appert his prize of 12,000 francs has endured over the years. What might surprise Appert, however, is how his discovery is making food shopping and storing easier for the 20th century consumer.
Those who order coffee at fast food restaurants now also are served canned half-and-half, which has been transported and stored without concern about refrigeration. Hikers can take flexible pouches of canned food on backpacking trips without having to worry about saving water to reconstitute freeze-dried meals. And, in this society of microwave owners, Americans who don't have time to prepare a well-balanced meal can pick up a plastic container filled with a canned, nutritious dinner."
From: The Canning Process: Old Preservation Technique Goes Modern by Dale Blumentha in FDA Consumer magazine, Sept 1990
For month coding, if a number is used, numbers 1 through 9 represent January through September, and letters O for October, N for November and D for December.
If letters are used, A=Jan. and L=Dec., unless otherwise noted.
For year coding, 8=1998; 9=1999; 0=2000; 1=2001; 2=2002, etc.
Bush Brothers & Company
Position 1: Month
Position 2 and 3: Day
Position 4: Year
Example: 2061 (February 6, 2001)
Chiquita Processed Foods
Ten digits (only 6-8 are pertinent to consumers)
Position 6: Year (A=1999, B=2000, C=2001, etc.)
Position 7 and 8: Julian Date
Example: A195 (July 14, 1999- July 14 is the 195th day of the year)
Del Monte Foods
First line, four digits
Position 1: Year
Position 2, 3 and 4: Julian Date
Example: 9045 (February 14, 1999)
Faribault Foods (www.faribaultfoods.com)
Consumers can send inquiries and product coding numbers via an online contact form.
A company representative will help them understand the coding.
Second line, first four digits
Position 1: Year
Position 2, 3 and 4: Julian Date
Example: 9045 (February 14, 1999)
First line, four digits
Position 1: Year
Position 2, 3 and 4: Julian Date
Example: 0195 (July 14, 2000- July 14th is the 195th day of the year)
Hormel Foods Corporation
Five digits on the top line
Position 1-4: Information about plant and manufacturing
Position 5: Year
Example: XXXX0 (2000)
Second line, second through fifth digits
Position 2: Month (Jan=1, Sept.=9, Oct.=A, Nov.=B, Dec.=C)
Position 3 and 4: Date
Position 5: Year
Example: 4A198 (October 19, 1998)
Maple Leaf Consumer Foods
Top of can, grouping of last four digits
Position 1: Year
Position 2,3, and 4: Julian Date
Example: 9130 (May 9, 1999)
Second through fourth digits
Position 2: Month (letter)
Position 3: Date (A=1, Z=26)
Position 4: Year
Example: MDE0 (April 5, 2000)
Pillsbury/Green Giant and Progresso
Position 1: Month (letter)
Position 2: Year
Position 3: Plant information
Position 4 and 5: Date
Example: G8A08 (July 8, 1998)
Two digits on the first line
Position 1: Month (letter)
Position 2: Year
Example: L1 (December 2001)
Second through sixth digits
Position 2 and 3: Month
Position 4 and 5: Day
Position 6: Year
Example: S02050 (February 5, 2000)
“Too bad prescriptions cant be stockpiled”
Heat is even worse. For every 10 degrees over 70 F, food degrades quite a bit. It’s easier to protect food from pests than it is from heat.
I used to buy those little Jiffy brand corn bread mixes at 3 for a buck. One time I opened the sealed wax paper bag and found a bunch of tiny worms crawing around. I never could eat the stuff again.
Those are just common pantry moth worms. The moth lays the eggs on a surface and when they hatch the larvae can chew through the surface, whether it is wax paper, cardboard or plastic. The cornbread mix had probably been on the shelf a while in warm weather and a moth laid eggs on it, either at the store or at the house. The other boxes may have been newer or else there was only one moth loose in the place.
You can often see the very fine “sawdust” such moth larvae make at the store if you inspect bags of beans or pasta, esp. in the summer, and if they have a pet food aisle with bird seed the sunflower seed is the main culprit.
They are actually quite edible- pure protein, no noticeable flavor, and pale, but wiggly stuff in the food is disconcerting and you would never want to serve it to guests. just mix it up and cook it and give it to your dog- he will love it and you won’t waste it.
If you are squeamish about eating insects, consider that if you have ever eaten anything with red food coloring, such a soft drinks, there’s a good chance you’ve been eating the extract made from cochineal beetles. Recall the red #? listed on the label, I forget which number indicates the beetle juice.
Have the same thoughts about some of my own kin-folks , they live off mcdonalds chicken nuggets and no fresh vegetables out of the garden . They're weird at times...
It appears schools can't be trusted to explain food as the govn. is trying to force kids to eat what the govn. wants them to eat.
I'm talking about training to know which food chemicals do what in the body. What chemicals foods have in them and how they help the body to function.
I guess that will never happen.
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