The one thing that concerns most people when they’re preparing their emergency stockpiles is how they can keep their food as good as long as possible. After all, it doesn’t do anyone any good if significant portions of their food stores end up going bad. That’s why we’ve decided to list some of our favorite hacks for keeping food in good condition longer. Before we get into these hacks, however, we would like to take a few moments to start with some general information on protecting food stores before moving on to the hacks for keeping foods fresher longer.
General Food Storage Advice
The first step to keeping food in good condition is to make sure that it’s properly stored. For foods that are going to be consumed over the next week or couple of weeks, that means placing it in your pantry and making sure that the food isn’t going to be exposed to moisture or extreme temperature conditions.
For long-term storage, however, the consumer is going to have to put a little bit more thought into the area where they store the food as well as the packaging the food is stored in. This means keeping the food on shelves that are elevated off the floor and putting them into containers that are made from food-grade plastic to prevent rodents from getting into it.
It’s also a good idea to use mylar bags inside the food containers for storing things such as sugar, flour, grain, or cereals. Oxygen absorbers can also also be used to extend the shelf life of foods. As their name implies, oxygen absorbers remove the oxygen in a food container. With less oxygen, the food is capable of lasting longer.
The last thing that we’d like to talk about before getting to our food preservation hacks is food rotation. It’s extremely important to rotate your food stocks regularly. This means transferring some foods from your long-term food storage pantry into your short term food storage pantry and replacing it with newly purchased foods. This keeps the food rotated and prevents it from spoiling before it can be used.
The Best Food Preservation Hacks
Okay, now that we’ve dispensed with the general advice on keeping food from prematurely spoiling, we’d like to turn our attention to providing some hacks that preppers and survivalists can use to get the maximum shelf life out of their foods.
Use Nylon Stockings For Storing Onions
A great way of storing onions is by placing them into a pair of stockings and then hanging them up. This allows air to circulate around the onion bulbs and also prevents them from getting squished because they’re not being stacked on top of one another. Just place them in the stocking and then tie a not between each of the onions. This will allow the onions to last up to 8-months at a time.
Wrap Banana Stems In Plastic
A trick for keeping bananas fresher longer is to place plastic around the stems and then hang them from either a hook or from a banana holder. The plastic will prevent ethylene gas from traveling from the stems to the rest of the banana. Since ethylene gas causes the fruit to ripen quicker, this will help to keep the bananas fresher longer.
Use Mineral Oil To Preserve Eggs
A trick used by many preppers is to coat their eggs using warm mineral oil to extend their shelf life. You see, the problem with the eggs bought in the United States is that they’ve been cleaned before they’re sold. This cleaning process removes the protective coating that prevents oxygen from reaching the egg. As a result of this coating’s removal, the eggs have a shorter shelf life and need to be refrigerated.
The eggs can be gently coated with mineral oil and then returned to egg cartons for long term storage. This will extend the shelf life of the eggs significantly. Many preppers have reported that they’ve extended the shelf-life of their eggs by up to 5-months using this method.
Freeze Eggs For Long-Term Storage
Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable using the mineral oil method for preserving your eggs, you can freeze them. All that you have to do is to crack them into an ice cube container and add a little bit of salt to prevent them from becoming grainy. Then they can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.
Use A Food Dehydrator
Using a food dehydrator is also a great way to prepare food for long-term storage. Food dehydrators can be used to dehydrate a variety of different fruits and vegetables. This extends their life and makes them more shelf-stable.
Store Root Vegetables In Sand
The following hack might sound a bit crazy, but believe us when we tell you that it actually works. Root vegetables can be stored in the sand and that will keep them in good condition for up to 6-months at a time. What type of vegetables can be stored in the sand? Well, let’s take a quick look at the following list.
When storing root vegetables in the sand, make sure that you use food-grade sand, don’t wash the vegetables beforehand, and keep the different root vegetables away from one another.
Remove Pasta From Its Cardboard Container
A way of helping pasta last longer is to remove it from its cardboard container and place it into a suitable plastic container. This serves two purposes. One the plastic container will keep out grubs and other pests, and two, it will reduce the amount of oxygen the pasta is exposed to during storage.
Soak Your Berries In Vinegar First
The last food preservation hack we’d like to give all of our readers is to soak their berries in a solution of white vinegar and water. Place your berries in a bowl with 10-parts water and 1-part vinegar and allow them to soak for 5-minutes. After 5-minutes place them in a colander and allow them to sit until they’re fully dried. They can then be placed in the refrigerator. Soaking the berries in this way kills the microorganisms on the berries and this gives them a longer shelf-life.