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For more information on food storage, read Leslie Probert's articles in the Deseret News Mormon Times online. Click here.

Buying food in buckets or #10 cans?

We highly recommend rotating the food you store in fast and delicious recipes. If you know you will find it hard to open a more expensive bucket of food, consider buying your food in #10 cans. Many people find it easier to open and experiment with food in a #10 can.

Keep in mind that larger containers, like buckets, are heavy to lift, move, and stack. #10 cans come six to a box and are easy to carry and very space efficient to stack.

Some people like the large amount of food stored in buckets. If you store them, be aware that you cannot stack buckets more than three high without risking breakage of their airtight seals.

When #10 cans seem too large for single people and couples

#10 cans of powdered eggs, butter, margarine, shortening can feel daunting to open and consume when only one or two people are using them. #10 cans of dried celery and green peppers, usually used only 1-2 tablespoons at a time in recipes, can also feel overwhelming. Keep in mind that once opened, these foods will be good to use for a year, as long as they are kept away from moisture and light.

You can freeze half the contents of a can until you can use them. Or share the cost of a can among interested family or friends and divide the contents into ziplock bags for use over a period of a year. Bags should be stored in opaque containers to protect food from light. This allows you to rotate what you store.

Plastic Storage Buckets with Mylar bags

Plastic buckets are air permeable, and resent studies have shown seals in both regular and gamma lids are unreliable. Lining buckets with Mylar bags, which can be sealed, protects food from oxygen.

You can buy food packaged in buckets lined with Mylar bags, called Superpails. Or you can purchase the bags, buckets, and oxypaks (oxygen absorbers) and package foods yourself. Look for bags with ziplock closures, which close easily after opening, protecting your food from moisture. Ziplock closures make bags easy to seal after adding your own food and oxypaks. Some people prefer to buy Mylar bags that must be heat sealed to ensure bags are sealed well.

This method of packaging is especially beneficial for rice, oats and other foods that have a greater risk of going rancid. (Rancid foods are dangerous to eat.)

Simple way to kill insects in food for long term storage

When food is stored an oxygen deprived environment for 12 days, insects in all stages are killed. Oxygen absorbers in sealed containers are the most effective way to kill insects.

Oxygen absorbers work very well in #10 cans. However, buckets must be lined with Mylar bags to ensure an environment where insects cannot survive.