“But, behold the tree. I have nourished it this long time, and it hath brought forth much fruit; therefore, gather it, and lay it up against the season, that I may preserve it unto mine own self.”
- Humidity- Even dry beans, rice and wheat contain about 10% moisture. The less moisture, the less chance food will spoil and thus the greater the shelf life.
- Air- Oxygen causes oxidation in food storage. Oxygen absorber packets and dry ice are used to displace oxygen, and create a partial vacuum in food storage containers.
- Light- When food absorbs light, it loses some nutrients and color. Many fats degrade quickly when exposed to light. By keeping food storage out of light, it can increase how long the food storage will last.
- Temperature- The USDA said, “Each 5.6 C. (10.08F) drop in temperature doubles the storage life of the seeds.” Cool storage leads to longer food storage life.
|Food (Stored in No. 10 Cans in ideal conditions)||Shelf-Life Estimate (yrs)|
|Wheat, white rice, cornmeal||30+|
|Pinto beans, oats, pasta, potato flakes, apple slices||30|
|Non-fat powdered milk, dehydrated carrots||20|
“Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year’s supply of food and clothing and were debt free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food-free.”
-President Thomas S. Monson
Personal Notes: Once while living in Provo, we stored several 50-pound bags of oatmeal in my closet. During the summer, we saw little black bugs appearing in my room. When we finally opened the closet, hundreds of tiny bugs were eating the oatmeal. Apparently 90 degrees is too warm for food storage! I am grateful for the principle of food storage- it brings me peace and confidence that I will be able to provide for the basic necessities of my family.