How To Store Food a Long-Term without Spoilage

Food Storage Long-Term without Spoilage

For long term storage most of the food that we buy at the supermarket will only last a few months to a year packed. The only exception to this rule are goods that are preserved longer by canning these can last for years, if the seal is not broken. You will want to check the expiration date on the package to see how short or long the life expectancy of that product is. Food manufacturing producers and processors do not concern themselves with the additional costs of packaging for long-term storage due to the fact that most people do not keep food around for a long time. However, this does not apply to survivalists; who like to store and stockpile their food supplies for years.

This will mean that preppers and survivalists will have to repackage the foods and supplies they purchase for long term storage. Properly packaging and storing these foods will preserve them much longer, even up to 20 years. Food storage long-term without spoilage will mean having proper packaging that will help seal out insects, rodents, microorganisms, moisture, and oxygen, keeping the taste of the foods fresh and retaining its nutritional value.


  • Gathering Supplies. In addition to your food supplies, you will need to have the right kind of containers and other supplies to store the supplies. This includes:
  • food grade five gallons buckets
  • 6 gallon aluminized Mylar bags
  • Oxygen absorbers

The food grade buckets you can get locally from your local home improvement store, the Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers you may have to purchase online.

  • Collect materials. Items such as a vacuum cleaner with a hose, a hair straighter, or a clothing iron to seal the Mylar bags. You may want to have a rubber mallet to help you close the buckets to ensure a proper seal, although this is not absolutely necessary.
  • Food packaging. You will want to pack as much food in the containers as possible; this will help save some money on storage. Place the Mylar bags into the buckets and fill them with the dry food to about an inch high from the top. Most people will only fill one type of food in each container, but you may want to store foods together that will be prepared together. Using multiple bags in the containers will help you stay organized.
  • Create Seal. For the food to keep fresh for a long time, the container must be completely sealed so that oxygen does not get to it. Mylar bags are excellent for this as you can melt the opening with heat to form an airtight seal. Using an Iron or hair straightener, melt together the top two inches of the bag but leave two inches of a gap unsealed at one side of the top.
  • Remove oxygen. This is the most important step in the process. Put the oxygen absorber into the bag. For flour, sugar, milk powder and other essential baked goods, you will need an oxygen absorber 750 cc per container. For beans, pasta and whole grains, you need a 1000cc oxygen absorber for each container. They work quickly to absorb oxygen, so you will want to quickly move on this. Once the oxygen absorber is put into the container you will want to suck out as much air as possible with the vacuum cleaner hose.
  • Sealing the Bag. With the oxygen removed it is time to close and seal the bag. This is done pretty much the same way that the seal was first started: with a hot clothing iron or hair straightener. Be sure to hold the bag closed while sealing so that more air cannot sneak in. You will want to work quickly so that the oxygen absorber does not get used up with the room air instead of in the container.
  • Secure the Container. The sealed bags keep food fresh, but will not protect it against rodents. Fold the flap down and put it into the bucket, then secure the lid on top. To secure the lid hit the edges all around the top with a rubber mallet or you can use your hands to force the lid down tight.
  • Check the Contents. Ensure to mark the bucket with the contents inside. If you have stored more than one type of food together, set the amount and quantity of each. Do not rely on just your memory as you may forget, especially if the items are stored for several years.

Store Supplies. All the food supplies should be kept in a cool, dry place. While your stores are protected from moisture, you still do not want mold or mildew on the outside of the bucket. Heat can cause the food to lose their nutritional value quickly, so a cool location will help keep it fresh.

Most food supplies stored in this way should stay fresh and usable for 20 years or more. While the Mylar Bags themselves are not able to keep rodents out, the container can. The containers themselves are not airtight, so using the two together will help ensure optimal protection for your food supplies.

The key to this system is to absorb the oxygen and keep it out hence the oxygen absorbers. Not only do they protect the foods against oxidation, but insects cannot survive in your food without oxygen. Also any bacteria cannot survive without oxygen present. In this method, the food will be fresh and usable when you open it, as it was the day you packed it.

Checkout this video to see how it is done.


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