A Very Important Factor When Storing Survival Food
Food shelf life can mean different things to different people.
For instance, my mom-in-law who was a mom to 11 kids, and raised them on a dime, had a much different definition of the shelf life of food than I did.
To her, as long as it wasn’t green with mold, or smelled nasty, it was edible…. and it usually WAS actually still edible, even when I would have tossed it to chickens days earlier!
I guess that would be more like ‘food counter life’ or fridge life! 🙂
Definition of Food Shelf Life
Food shelf life can be defined in two ways:
Best if used by: which basically means length of time that the manufacturer will guarantee that it still tastes great and contains all of it’s food value.
“Life sustaining” shelf life…basically the length of time that the food will still be of value and edible.
There is a wide gap between these two definitions in my opinion.
The ‘best if used by‘ date in the store can vary from a few weeks to a few years, depending on what you buy. In fact, scientific studies have proventhat if stored correctly, especially with dehydrated or freeze dried food,…. things like powdered milk, for instance, has a life sustaining food shelf life of more than 20 years…. which simply means that although it may not taste as good as the fresh stuff, it is still edible and still has food value.
Some things can change during an extended period of storage such as the proteins which can deteriorate with time… or fats which can get an off-taste or odor. Vitamins can deteriorate as well, especially if exposed to heat or oxygen.
Carbohydrates and minerals don’t seem to be affected as much, which is great as they along with the protein, contribute to the amount of calories in your food intake and calories are very important in a survival diet!
Food Shelf Life is Very Dependent on Several Things
- Temperature…You want to have your food storage area at room temperature or below, but not freezing. Basements are a great place to store food, but attics are not. Excessive heat will destroy the value of your food in a hurry.
- Moisture…too much moisture can cause micro-organisms to grow and can actually cause a chemical reaction.
- Oxygen… and for sure not oxygen and moisture together. Those two combined can enhance micro-organisms plus your food will lose it’s color and flavor much more quickly as well.
- Light can do the same thing as oxygen.
Freeze Dried Food – Voted the Best Option for Survival Food
Freeze dried food has been voted as the best storage option for emergency food. In fact some of the Mountain House Foods have been tested and proven to have a best if
used by shelf life of over 20 years! If stored properly, your emergency food shelf life can last for many years and give you the insurance you need when times are tough and emergencies arise.