This is for Mr. Buggy and others that want to control bugs and anything else that shortens the life of stored goods. Oxygen absorbers are a great way to pack food for long-term storage. They only work when the air/oxygen is controlled with a sealed storage container. Mylar bags and plastic buckets with a good seal seem to be the best way to control this.
O2 absorbers can be purchased in various sizes. Those sizes are rated in CCs of O2 to be removed. A 6-gallon bucket will require three of the 700cc /750cc size absorber packets. Here is a link to general information about oxygen absorbers:
Any stored grain needs to be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. With these steps most grains will keep 10 to 30 years. Most will keep 10 years without losing much food value. Whole grains are the best way to go… flour of any grain will not retain its food value for nearly as long as whole grain. You will definitely need a grain grinder/mill. The human body can only get about 30% of the nutrient from a grain if it is eaten whole. Note: you can NOT store soy beans or brown rice for long periods of time as the oil content is high, and they get rancid in a few months.
It is always a good idea to use a food grade bag inside the storage bucket, no matter what size. A three or four mil bag will work fine. Fill the bag inside the bucket, add the absorbers, and tie the bag shut. Make sure it is as full as the bucket will hold, as this keeps the air volume to a minimum.
If you choose to make your own absorbers:
It will take about 6 grams of iron filings and 6 grams of sea salt for a 5/6 gal bucket. Mix the two elements together and place in a small paper envelope. Put 2 to 4 drops of water on the envelope just before it is placed in the grain. There is enough moisture in the grain to keep this process going for a long time if the bucket isn’t perfectly sealed.
This process is perfectly safe. The salt rapidly converts the Iron (Fe) to Iron Oxide (FeO, or Fe2O3). The oxygen is all tied up with the iron, thus leaving a near oxygen-free environment so the grain won’t oxidize. It is almost the same as nitrogen-packed; 78% of the air is nitrogen and that is about the only thing left when the oxygen is gone.
Bugs won’t survive without oxygen, and you have solved two problems at the same time… bugs and oxidization! Hope this is helpful…
Thanks for your wonderful email and the great information you provided! We appreciate our readers who take the time to write in with such useful information and suggestions!
My question to your readers is this: do you have any good recipes for using greens? My southern California garden is full of greens now, but the problem is I didn’t grow up eating greens. The only greens I ate when visiting the South were slimy things like canned spinach. I have been stir-frying turnip leaves, spinach leaves, and Chinese cabbage, but need some ideas on seasoning them. Also in tough times, are the tops of carrots and radish useable?
Southern California Girl
Dear California Girl,
I’m publishing your letter and asking our readers to send in a few recipes or seasoning suggestions that we can put on the website on how to handle those greens – other than boiling them! And I absolutely love stir-fried carrot or radish tops! Don’t throw those away!
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