From the beginning of mankinds time on earth, humans have tried to build homes that would keep their families safe. From caves to small huts to castles and underground bunkers, humans have continued to strive for safety.
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The object of food preservation, aside from storing your foods and making them last longer, is to prevent the growth of bacteria, yeast and fungi. If food is not preserved correctly it can cause botulism and other sickness that you don't want to experience.I will discuss a few different ways to preserve foods, but the way you choose to do this is up to you and may require more research on your part. Here are different methods of preserving food for you to choose from. Home storage should consist of a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. After this goal has been reached, emergency and expanded storage should begin.

1. The choice of storage foods depends on availability, nutritive value, cost, storage qualities, and other considerations. Store foods that the family is willing to eat. In times of stress, it may be difficult to eat unfamiliar or disliked foods.

2. Store a variety of foods, as no single food has all the essential nutrients in the correct proportions.

3. Store the highest quality or grade of food obtainable. For example, wheat should be cereal grade, double cleaned, at least 11 percent protein, and no more than 10 percent moisture.

4. Store foods in sturdy metal, plastic, or glass containers with tightly fitting lids. Sturdy wooden, straw, or earthenware containers may also be used, but a plastic bag liner would help protect the food from possible contamination.

5. Store foods in areas that permit easy access and allow control of temperature and humidity. (In general, cool temperatures prolong storage life and quality.) Not all storage items should be located in one area of the house; not all should be stored in one type of container.

6. To destroy insects that may infest grains, nuts, dried fruits, or other foods, place the food in temperatures of 0° F. (or below) for four days. As an alternative, the food may be sterilized by being heated at low temperature (around 200° F.) for about one hour, depending on the nature of the food. Spread the food on shallow pans so that the heat can penetrate easily. Stir the food occasionally to keep it from scorching. Dry ice kills most adult insects and larvae, but it probably will not destroy the eggs or pupae. Pour two inches of grain into the bottom of the container. Add dry ice; then fill with grain. Eight ounces of dry ice is recommended for one hundred pounds of grain, or one pound for each thirty gallons of stored grain. Seal the containers loosely for five to six hours; then seal them tightly.

7. Storage foods should be planned for and acquired according to an orderly and systematic plan. Food costs can be minimized by budgeting and shopping wisely. Borrowing money to acquire food storage is not a good idea.

8. Use stored foods on a regular basis to maintain quality and minimize waste. Maintain a food inventory and replace items as they are used.

Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand Twizel New Zealand

one of the oldest food preservative techniques that reduces water activity to prevent bacteria growth
•Vacuum Packing: The storage of food in a vacuum sealed bag or jar.
•Curing/Salting: draws out moisture in meat through a process called osmosis. The meat is cured with salt or sugar or both.
•Sugaring: Used to preserve fruits
•Smoking: Used by exposing meat to smoke off of materials such as wood
•Pickling: Pickling is a method of preserving food in an edible anti-microbial liquid. Typical pickling agents include brine (high in salt), vinegar, alcohol, and vegetable oil, especially olive oil but also many other oils.
•Canning and Bottling: Canning involves cooking food, sealing it in sterile cans or jars, and boiling the containers to kill or weaken any remaining bacteria as a form of sterilization.
•Jellying: Food may be preserved by cooking in a material that solidifies to form a gel. Such materials include gelatine, agar, maize flour and arrowroot flour.
•Potting: A traditional British way of preserving meat (particularly shrimp) is by setting it in a pot and sealing it with a layer of fat. Also common is potted chicken liver; compare pâté.
•De-Hydration: Removing of moisture from food
•Freeze Drying: To preserve food by rapid freezing and vacuum drying.

Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand

In this article I have chosen to discuss food dehydration as a source of preserving your foods.

There are many different benefits to food dehydration. Dehydrating is another low cost way to preserve foods that you can't or don't want to jar. Or perhaps you have an over abundance of a fruit or vegetables and no way to can them, then this might be the way to go for you! This way is very good for a person who doesn't have a lot of space to store foods and is also a worry free way to save your foods and not be concerned with botulism.

Selection and Preparation:

•Select your fruits or vegetables carefully. You don't want any that are bruised. You want fruits that are ripe and ready to eat.
•Cut your food selections into pieces as you would serve them. For example, you would slice bananas, but with apples you could slice them or cut them into rings. Keep food evenly sliced is size and in thickness. Slices cut at about 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch usually dry more quickly than thicker cut slices.
•To prevent browning, try to stem your foods or coat light colored fruits and vegetables with acids such as lemon juice or a product called Fruit Fresh before drying.
•Most fruits need some sort of preparation before drying. Most fruits do not need to be peeled before drying, but things such as cherries or tomatoes have a waxy peel so would need to be cracked also known as blanched. Blanching means to scald or parboil in water or steam in order to remove the skin. Apples are peeled, cored and sliced. Peaches would be cut in half and pitted. Here is a good place to get an idea of how to prepare different sorts of fruits.

Drying Process:

•Dehydration Equipment: Selecting the right equipment that is good for you is important. The three most common ways to dehydrate are using a conventional oven, a store bought dehydrator or using the sun. If you purchase one please make sure to read the directions. Drying times with each method will vary.
•You want to maintain a temperature of 130F-140F degrees. The important thing to have is air circulation. The circulating air removes the moisture from your foods to prevent spoilage. The drying temps of 130F-140F allow for fast removal of moisture to seal in flavor and nutritional values. If you don't have proper air circulation or the temperatures are not correct, that will allow unwanted changes in your food you might not like, such as texture, color or flavor changes.
•If dried correctly, your food should be leathery, hard or brittle.

Conditioning Your Fruit:
This process is done after you dry your fruit.
•Conditioning is a process used to equalize the moisture to reduce the risk of mold growth.
•When you remove your fruit from your dehydrator, it might still contain some moisture due to its positioning or thickness in the machine.
•After being dried, allow the fruit to condition for about 8-10 days. To condition the fruit, take the fruit that has cooled completely and pack it *loosely* in plastic or glass jars. Seal the container and let it condition. The excess moisture will be absorbed by the drier pieces.
•Gently shake the jars daily to loosen the fruit so it doesn't become compacted.
•Check the moisture in the jar. If you begin to see condensation in your jar, remove the fruit and return it to your dehydrator.
•After conditioning you may then package and store your fruit.

Packaging Your Fruits and Vegetables:
•The amount of food you package in one container is completely up to you. We like to package ours in amounts we think we might eat, because once your food is re-exposed to air and moisture, the quality of the food and its nutrients will lower.
•Choosing how you package your food can depend on what you are packaging. Metal cans, glass jars or plastic containers are all acceptable ways for storing dried foods. Plastic bags are acceptable as well, but are not mouse, bugs or pet proof. Foods that have been sulfured should not touch metal cans so make sure and place it in a bag first and then in the metal container.

Storing Your Finished Products:

•Store in a cool, dark, dry place and use within 6-12 months after packaging. Most dried fruit will last about a year if stored at 60F and 6 months at 80F. I would not recommend storing in the garage.

•Storing your foods in glass jars or containers is ideal so you can check your foods moisture frequently. If you see any condensation but no spoilage then eat immediately or re-dry. Anything with mold or that smells bad should be thrown away.

Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand

Sealing food in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers is one of the best ways to store your emergency foods. A Mylar bag is a vapor barrier bag that blocks oxygen, moisture and light, the three big enemies of food storage. Think of it as a flexible metal can. Many preppers get by just fine with using only food grade buckets and oxygen absorbers. Most foods will keep for years stored that way.

1. Plastic buckets are generally used for bulk storage because they're fairly rodent proof. They tend towards water impermeability, but they're not always great at that. What they really do is keep the mice and rats out of your food. Important thing, right?

2. The second layer of the food storage is a plastic Mylar bag. Mylar evolved out of the NASA space program and is a really cool material which is used everywhere. It's an interior layer of polyester and an exterior layer of evaporated aluminum that has the ability to keep all moisture out of the things you store inside it. It is not, however, strong enough to be used on its own - you need an exterior layer.

3. The third thing that goes into many Mylar bags is something to kill bugs. I use oxygen absorbers. You can purchase these purpose made, or you can simply buy off the shelf hand warmers at the end of the winter season. Either way, the iron filings/powder will reduce the amount of oxygen left in the bag after it is sealed, thus reducing the ability of vermin to live in your stored food.

Step 1- Get plastic buckets. Food grade plastic will not leach any chemicals into your stored food. Other buckets might. Use these at your own risk and with your own best judgement.
Step 2 - Purchase Mylar bags and insert into the bucket. Fill with what ever food product you are storing.
Step 3- Open O2 absorber and toss into bucket.
Step 4- Press all the air you can out of the top of the bag.
Step 5 - Have, on hand, a hot iron and a board. Flatten out bag at its seams and use iron to seal the bag. Mylar adheres to itself with heat, so just iron it shut and double-check that no air is able to get in and out - I do this by flattening the whole thing down as I fold the extra material into the bucket. If there is a little bubble of air pressing back at me, it's a good seal. Alternately, you could pull the extra material up and see if it sucks air back down into the bag.
Step 6 - Put lid on bucket
Step 7 - Label and date so that you can rotate the stock.

Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
Twizel New Zealand
Many families have had their lives changed forever by disasters in New Zealand in recent years. Having a survival plan could go a long way to helping your family during and after a disaster in New Zealand. Learn how to prepare your home and family for survival in a disaster in New Zealand.