Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How To Use Mylar Bags and Oxygen Absorbers

In our Prepping Basics series, I've talked about storing grains in buckets using mylar bags along with oxygen absorbers to keep out the bugs, humidity, and air. All three of these things will shorten the life of your food or make it unfit to eat. USA Emergency Supply has all the items needed for long term storage, but I thought a visual on exactly how to store the food might be helpful.

Bison Risk Management Associates is a group that teaches emergency preparedness as well as personal safety for both businesses and individuals in Northern California. Their You Tube video, although a bit long, is the best tutorial I've found on using the mylar bags and oxygen absorbers. 

In the video, a round stick is used, but a flat piece of wood would be a bit easier since it wouldn't roll away from you. Another video showed someone using a left over piece of Corian countertop, while a third video used a piece of metal (actually a construction level). So use what you have around the house. 

Additional thoughts: 

• You can stick cooking instructions inside the bag before you seal it if you think you might need it later.

• Label the outside of the bag and the bucket with a sharpie. Be sure to date when it was sealed.

• Be sure to check that the seal was successful sometime the next day.

• Buckets should be stored in a cool location, out of direct sunlight.

• This method is best for long term storage. Use your gamma seals on buckets without sealed bags for food that you will be getting into more often. 

• Don't forget to rotate your food, even grains stored long term! Make them a part of your lifestyle.

Hope this is helpful and it encourages you that it isn't all that difficult to store food long term. 


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