We were asked this very important question by someone who recently purchased several of our BPA-FREE Spin Lid storage pails….Found Here
[We] want to long term store flour, rice, sugar, and pasta for up to one year minimum. Are there any special tips to protect the contents that I need to be aware of?
We felt like it was of importance to share on this blog due to the fact that there are often two camps of food storage that people fall into: Regular Use and Emergency Only food storage.
Here is a copy of our reply:
Basically it only depends on ‘how’ you intend to use them: Regular use or Emergency only.
If you are keeping them indoors in a pantry, basement or closet where temps are cool (not over 85) and away from a heat source (not by furnace or water heater) and out of direct sunlight – AND intending to get into them on a regular (at least monthly) basis – then all you need to do is what is at the bottom of the invoice – wash, dry for 24hrs and fill directly into the pail for ease of use!
If you are in a highly moist climate (deep south or coastal) it would not hurt to toss in an oxygen absorber.
If you are building what we call a ‘store and ignore’ or ‘stash and dash’ food storage cash that you don’t intend to get into for over a year, or it will be stored outdoors in a shed or bunker, we suggest taking EVERY precaution you can such as: First freezing your grain for one week, then allowing it to rest at room temp for one week then repeat freeze for one week (this is not a bad practice even for the above storage method if you want extra sure there are not going to be any live bugs or larvae that arrive in the grain – they can’t get in the pail but could arrive in the food). Then placing grains/legumes in heat sealed, vacuum packed metallic mylar bags WITH oxygen absorbers. This simply prolongs the life of the food in those conditions, but does not insure that all is well. That is why….
To be honest, we only use the ‘regular use’ method since I subscribe to the fact that the skills to use whole food is vital to learn NOW (not in an emergency) so there is no stall or learning curve if we need to live off of them. But that is a personal philosophy.
One other potential thing you may want to think of is that flour does not store well compared to the whole grain (and grinding as needed). It will be edible, but not act as typical flour. The whole grain already comes with it’s Creator created outer protection and can last for up to 4000 years if stored correctly.
You may be interested in our Preparedness Tips that we send to those on our newsletter at the Grain Storehouse and can subscribe by filling out the little drop-down box when the site opens.