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#98 - Preparing Dry Bulk Foods for Long-Term Storage

When preparing grains, beans, and legumes to be added to your long-term food storage plan, be sure to place them in the freezer for at least 72-hours to kill any pest and pest eggs which may be included inside the packaging. This freezing method also kills certain types of bacteria. Personally, I freeze mine for a full 7 days.

You want to freeze these items at as low of a temperature as you can possibly do, so if you have a deep freeze, utilize that instead of the freezer above your refrigerator. If you have a chest-type freezer, place them as close to the bottom of the freezer as you can where the temperature stays the coldest. But use whatever type of freezer that you have, don't go out and buy another freezer just to do this with.

Once you have removed the grains, beans, and legumes from the freezer, before you bag them in vacuum sealed bags or mylar bags for long-term storage, you need to let them return back to room temperature.

As the temperature rises once again on these items you will notice that they appear to be sweating. This moisture on the food is not moisture coming out of the food, it is the same condensation process that happens when you have a cold drink in a glass on a hot day and moisture collects on the outside of the glass. If you seal these foods up before that moisture has completely dried it will allow the food to rot from the moisture inside your bags once you seal them up. You will trap that moisture in the bags.

Allow the packages of rice, beans, legumes, etc. to sit out for at least 5 full days at room temperature to dry completely before packaging them for long-term storage. If you have a dehydrator, running them through the dehydrator for a few hours will also ensure they are dry before sealing them up. I run mine through a dehydrator for about 4 hours at 115 degrees.

The added time of properly preparing your foods for long-term storage is worth the effort by then knowing that you have a food source that your family can rely on years from now in an emergency when you need them.



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