Signs of the times, Gamma Seals, food storage

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

Signs of the times……

Customer comes into the shop the other day and asks me where the gold/silver dealer in town is. He heads over there and comes back with a sack full of pre-1964 silver coinage.

Another customer comes by and takes a dozen #10 cans of Mountain House off my hands.

Another customer comes by and wants to stock up on AR-15 magazines.

Ah, the natives are restless, my friends.

That reminds me, I put in an order for the Gamma Seal bucket lids last week and they arrived today. I need a bunch for myself but to get the good deal I needed to get a few dozen…so, I’ll have a post about it up in the next day or two and if anyone wants them at a good price, that option will be available.

Someone asked in comments about food storage. Not really sure what exactly the question is, and Im sure Ive covered this somewhere but I’ll post it again…

For me, food storage is in several layers:

Daily use – this is the stuff in the cabinets and cupboards in the kitchen. It isn’t long-term food (unless that’s the only way the particular food product is available) and is usually used up within a couple weeks. There is probably enough food there to last at least several weeks. Might get boring after a while, but you wont go hungry.

Pantry storage – this is the same as the Daily Use stuff but only items that have a longer shelf life. Its basically a bulk repository of Daily Use things. For example, I may keep three or four jars of pickles in the kitchen cabinets for day-to-day use. Pantry Storage is where the extra four cases reside. Same for things like canned soup…a dozen cans in the cupboards and a couple cases in storage. The kitchen is resupplied from this stockpile and whatever is removed is replaced when economically feasible. This way stuff gets rotated. If the supermarkets were to close tomorrow, this is where the food would be coming from.

Long term storage – this is where the MRE’s, freezedrieds and bulk things like corn, wheat and rice are stored. The MRE’s (a couple months worth) are for those wonderful times when a functioning kitchen just isn’t in the cards or for when its time to go, go, go. The freezedrieds are nice for their ‘put it away and forget it’ convenience. This is mostly food that doesn’t need to be rotated for quite a while.

Added up, the whole thing, for two people, works out to about a year. I normally don’t inventory the things in the kitchen so I cant really say how much food is there but its easily a couple weeks if you don’t mind eating from a limited menu. I do keep track of the other stuff though and know that theres about a years worth of foodstuffs, probably more if one were careful in their consumption. Those figures also do not take into account any last-minute purchases. (The kind where you see the writing on the wall and run down to the supermarket and snag as much as you can before everyone else.)

Im a huge fan of canned goods but they’re heavy and best suited for staying in one place. I keep the MRE’s and freezedrieds so we can have a portable food supply if we had to leave in a hurry. As far as canned goods go, I buy them by the case if I can and note the date of purchase on the lid of each can. It all gets stored on steel wire shelving well off the floor and away from heat sources (pipes, ductwork, etc) or cold sources (vents, windows, etc). The classic ‘store in a cool, dry, dark place’ is the goal.

The bulk stuff (corn, wheat, rice) either goes in 15-gallon blue barrels, or goes into a mylar bag and then into a 5-gallon bucket. Rarely, some foods will get vacuum sealed and then stored in the buckets. For example, the 30# of orzo I recently picked up was packaged in a cardboard box – probably the worst container for long term storage. I weighed the stuff out in 5# increments, vacuum sealed the 5# into a nice modular brick shape (do this buy putting the bag in a cardboard container like a cereal box and then draw the vacuum) and tucked it away in one of the ubiquitous 5-gallon buckets.

So, maybe that answers the question. Maybe not.