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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Storage containers redux

I was in touch with a fellow bushcrafter, Buroak, over at Bushcraft USA, my favorite forum, and we were discussing using Gatorade containers for long term food storage. His idea was to use the 64 oz bottle for rice/beans/whatever type of loose food and add dry ice to it.

First, a short discussion on dry ice. Dry ice is extremely cold and you must never, ever touch it with your bare hands. Some suggest you use heavy leather gloves, I suggest you use good metal tongs to handle it. Wrap the ice in a towel to smash it up. It would be horrible to catch a piece of this stuff in your eye. Dry ice evaporates into a heavier than air gas called carbon dioxide or CO2. The CO2 fills the bucket and no living creatures can survive in this atmosphere as all the oxygen has been displaced. Foods stored in CO2 environments will last for years. When you fill a bucket, bag, or other container with grain,you lay a piece of dry ice on top and set the lid on the container. You must wait for the dry ice to completely evaporate before securing the lid.

For a 5 gallon bucket, a piece of dry ice about 1/4 pound will do. For a 64 oz Gatorade bottle, I figure a hefty teaspoon full size piece will do. This is a good idea because if you use small containers, you wont be bothering the large, long term storage food. The small container should have enough grain for several meals, maybe a weeks worth.

I suggest you go over and join Bushcraft USA. Its a great site and a lot of wonderful, knowledgeable folks who are more than willing to share information. Also, I loaded the Food Storage FAQ in the downloads section. This is a wealth of information for do it yourself food storage. Check it out.

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