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Long term (healthy) trouble free food storage ideas needed

 
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I'm looking for some thoughts on what to store long term; focusing on health.
If we would only consider calorie intake then storing white rice in bulk would be all I need. A 3 year rice only died would be quite boring
Not to mention unhealthy.
So I'm looking for long term storage ideas that add some variation to rice. Bulgur, beans, macaroni, spaghetti, corn flour, flour, etc.
If you could only pick one food and have to survive on it long time, peanut butter seems to be the prime choice. Nothing beats variety but peanut butter has a lot of different nutrients.
But I wonder how long it stays fresh?
I'm aiming at storing for at least 10 years.

I also want to add some 'luxury' like ketchup, candy, jelly, muesli, cookies, etc
I know I can/should rotate, but I want a 'base system' that's as maintenance free as possible.
But if I put something like ketchup in a bucket I can't rotate.

I've been thinking about putting a week supply in each bucket.
I've a few reasons for that. Firstly to avoid that I eat all the good tasting stuff in the first month but also that I don't want to have a lot of opened buckets. I have 22 liter 5.8 gallon buckets.
A bucket of rice, spaghetti, macaroni, etc, etc would be a lot of open buckets, which would take long until they are empty. I prefer to keep them closed (oxygen free) for as long as possible.

I've also been thinking about storing food that last a long time together in a bucket. For example rice, beans and various pastas in the same bucket. But that means everything needs to be packed otherwise it will all mix together. Unlikely I'll take the mylar bag route. So'll put it in the bucket as I buy it in the shop.
That raises my next question. If rice is in a plastic bag, what's the use of using oxgen absorbers? Should I simply assume the bag is leaking air or even puncture it on purpose so the oxygen absorbers can do their work?

I'm limited in space and money. So a bucket should be as full as possible, last as long as possible, and cheap.

I'm looking forward to tips on the above.

Another issue I want to raise is energy.
Beans are healty, I like them, they store well, but take long to cook. So what if fuel is very hard to get? Soaking and haybox are things I've been thinking about, but looking forward to tips on that too.
 
pollinator
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I'd consider adding potatoes. The humble potato is a powerhouse of energy and nutrients. Slice them thin, dry them, then vacuum pack them.

To use them, you have a few options:

1. Bake a scalloped potato dish, adding more liquid to the recipe to allow for the potatoes to rehydrate during baking. Or, conversely, print out a recipe like this and keep it handy:  https://ezinearticles.com/?Dehydrated-Potatoes-and-Au-Gratin-Recipe&id=1850888  I've not tried this exact recipe, but ones similar.

2. Add dried potatoes to soups and stews.

3. Grind them up fine as a base for instant mashed potatoes.

For variety, also consider storing sweet potatoes. They are also full of nutrients.

Edited to add: I see you mentioned soaking your beans. If you don't mind soaking, have you tried sprouting some seeds? Sprouted alfalfa, chia, etc. If you can store the seeds well, they'll stay viable for years. Then you can sprout them for fresh greens. That would definitely be a way to add in variety and freshness.

 
Tony Masterson
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I've never dehydrated anything, so I'll have to study that a bit.
How long can I store them?
 
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Tom, you can buy potatoes that are already dehydrated.  The way I buy them they are called hashbrowns and mashed potatoes. These do not store indefinitely like rice and flour. I have not tested the hashbrowns as we use those rather quickly but mashed potatoes get an orange tint and the taste is not quality.  

Like most everything especially the things you mentioned has a short shelf life.

I have had success with the long-term storage of the boring things like rice, flour, cornmeal.  Pure honey, jams, and jelly keep indefinitely for me. Spices keep rather well long term.

Something to consider is that some foods will not taste the same after being stored long term.  I have 20-year-old grits that I cook every now and then when I run out of fresh grits. They are good and filling if you are hungry but they are rather tasteless. So far no matter how much butter I add they are still bland.

What I do is have a rotation system. I don't use buckets as I want my rotation to basically be in my food pantry.  My office is my pantry. It is a whole room with shelves and a desk.

Don't buy things that you will not eat.

My experience with pasta products so far has been that they take a lot longer to cook. With sauce on them, the taste seems to be ok, I only tried them once.

Here is a thread that might offer some suggestions:

https://permies.com/t/93304/kitchen/Stocked-Food-Storage-Pantry
 
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Anne Miller wrote:
My experience with pasta products so far has been that they take a lot longer to cook. With sauce on them, the taste seems to be ok, I only tried them once.


Longer than what? Are you talking about old pasta?
 
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I buy grains and pulses in 25 or 50 pound sacks that I empty into 5gal buckets kept in the woodshed. I fill up big jars from the buckets and keep those in the kitchen. The buckets are all unsealed, but I go through them in a year or less so I don't think it's a problem.  I don't really see a benefit to eating ten year old beans.

But if I was going to buy ten years of food all at once, I'd probably mix different things in each bucket. I'd divvy up my 50lb sacks into heavy duty paper bags and put an assortment of things in each bucket. Then I could have one unsealed bucket on the go at a time.

The things I buy to store are chickpeas, navy beans, black beans, red split lentils, green whole lentils, steel cut oats, barley, millet, buckwheat, sunflower seeds, and cornmeal. I grow rye, dry peas, and potatoes every year, so never buy those. I gather two or three years worth of walnuts from my parents' trees from time to time and hang them in mesh bags from the ceiling. I hope to be growing my own millet, barley, and beans in the next few years. If I can figure out how to shell sunflowers without too much fuss, those will be grown too.  We don't go through much rice, so I just buy regular grocery store sizes. I like having all the colourful kinds, rather than white.

For luxury items, I have a wide variety of dried fruit, a gallon bucket of tahini, and I make jam for my husband every few years.
 
Jan White
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Oh, and for low energy bean cooking, I've discovered thermoses. I soak a pot of beans, boil in fresh water for ten minutes, dump into my 2L thermos, and have perfectly cooked beans a few hours later.
 
pollinator
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Anne Miller, for my taste buds rice, flour, cornmeal and anything that has fat in it has a short storage life and needs to be stored in the fridge or freezer. I can taste that they go rancid pretty quickly stored at room temperature. I worked for a chocolatier last year and I was her super taster. I can also tell you if the baking powder you used in your biscuits has aluminum in it. I actually threw out 3 lb of rice recently because of this issue. It's always a crap shoot for me to buy nuts. I just went to natural grocers who store their nuts in the fridge and stocked up and am super disappointed about the macadamias which are already rancid. :-(
 
Tony Masterson
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Jan White wrote:Oh, and for low energy bean cooking, I've discovered thermoses. I soak a pot of beans, boil in fresh water for ten minutes, dump into my 2L thermos, and have perfectly cooked beans a few hours later.


I like that idea. I'm going to look for (reviews of) a good thermos that stays hot for a long while. (I could combine it with a haybox)
 
Jan White
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I've got this one

https://www.thermos.com/genuine-thermos-brand-stainless-king-vacuum-insulated-stainless-steel-beverage-bottle-2-0-l.html

and two smaller ones in the same line. I think they're 710mL. They also seem to be discontinued and replaced with a gimmicky thing.

Food stays hot for over 24 hours in the big one. I don't think you'd ever need a haybox. For the smaller ones, I do have a crocheted cozy to put over the cap, cause for some reason these companies just won't insulate those.

You have to watch how tight you put the lid on the big one or the pressure will prevent you from ever getting it off again. Only flaw in my mind.
 
Anne Miller
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Rebecca Norman wrote:

Anne Miller wrote:
My experience with pasta products so far has been that they take a lot longer to cook. With sauce on them, the taste seems to be ok, I only tried them once.


Longer than what? Are you talking about old pasta?



I am not sure how old the pasta was, it could have been 5 years old maybe?  We moved here in 2013, so it may have been from that date or earlier.  We thought it lasts forever.  I think it will.

I would say that normally spaghetti noodles take 8-10 minutes.  So this was like 20 minutes and still al dente.
 
Tony Masterson
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Jan White wrote:I've got this one

https://www.thermos.com/genuine-thermos-brand-stainless-king-vacuum-insulated-stainless-steel-beverage-bottle-2-0-l.html

and two smaller ones in the same line. I think they're 710mL. They also seem to be discontinued and replaced with a gimmicky thing.

Food stays hot for over 24 hours in the big one. I don't think you'd ever need a haybox. For the smaller ones, I do have a crocheted cozy to put over the cap, cause for some reason these companies just won't insulate those.

You have to watch how tight you put the lid on the big one or the pressure will prevent you from ever getting it off again. Only flaw in my mind.


Thermos seems to be one of the best. Looking for a 2L/67oz food jar. Can't find any beside in Chinese shops. But they perform less than the Thermos.
There seem to be very few decent reviews of thermos flask/jars.
https://outdoorsmagic.com/article/best-thermos-flasks-reviewed/
https://www.popularmechanics.com/adventure/outdoor-gear/g3089/best-thermos/

 
Anne Miller
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denise ra wrote:Anne Miller, for my taste buds rice, flour, cornmeal and anything that has fat in it has a short storage life and needs to be stored in the fridge or freezer. I can taste that they go rancid pretty quickly stored at room temperature. I worked for a chocolatier last year and I was her supertaster. I can also tell you if the baking powder you used in your biscuits has aluminum in it. I actually threw out 3 lb of rice recently because of this issue. It's always a crap shoot for me to buy nuts. I just went to natural grocers who store their nuts in the fridge and stocked up and am super disappointed about the macadamias which are already rancid. :-(



Denise, I am talking about all-purpose flour and white rice.  Self Rising flour will lose its "self rise" as well as baking powder.

Brown rice and other flours will go rancid.  I cook the brown rice for the dog.  After it is cooked I do not detect a rancid flavor or smell, I don't eat it just tasted it.

I have been eating food storage for most of my life so I may have gotten used to the flavor.  I paid good money for that food and I am not going to throw it away.  When we get to the point that is all we have it will be better than nothing.

I have heard other folks say that cornmeal will go rancid, maybe it is organic?  Mine doesn't or as I said I am used to it.

I buy cheap.  When I went to the store in September I got 5 lb sacks of all-purpose flour for 99 cents each.  Buying in bulk might be cheaper though I don't buy bulk because I always end up losing stuff to bugs.  I have sifted bugs out of bulk rice and beans.
 
denise ra
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I eat lots of animal protein and vegetables. I avoid processed food and rancid foods because they are not good for me. I spend money on the cleanest food I can afford and generally spend very little on health care. My long term food storage plan is to know and buy from local farmers so that in the event of food chain disruptions I already have a relationship with them and they continue to sell me food.
I was in Texas during the ice storm and my hosts did not have this sort of relationship with a farmer. It's was disconcerting to see the grocery store shelves empty once we finally got out.
 
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I buy field corn whole and make it into masa when needed. Last year I grew some as well. Just make sure you have some pickling lime as well.
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