CC (cubic centimeter) is a unit of measurement that oxygen absorbers use to gauge the volume of oxygen it can absorb. For example, a 500CC oxygen absorber has the capacity to absorb up to 500 cubic centimeters volume of oxygen.
Oxygen absorbers are commonly sized between 500CC-2000CC.
First in, first out (often abbreviated as FIFO) is a term first coined in the disciplines of computer science and accounting but is also widely used in preparedness and food storage circles.
The term in the context of food storage refers to the method of consuming food that has been stored the longest so as to ensure no food goes spoils and gets wasted. This system of rotating your food storage only works if you learn how to cook with your food storage by storing foods you normally eat or are will to add to your daily diet.
Food fatigue is a very real and very deadly phenomenon that occurs when the body is subjected to eating the same food(s) over and over again.
Whereas starvation is the lack of food, food fatigue is the presence of food but the same food (think beans and rice) day after day without any other flavors or textures. Can you imagine eating beans and rice breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day for 30 days?!
The problem of food (or appetite) fatigue generally impacts both the very young and very old the worst.
Fortunately, there’s a few easy steps to ensure you never have to experience food fatigue.
- Ensure you store a wide variety of food types as well as a variety of beverage powders.
- Storing spices and seasonings the same way you store bulk whole foods is an excellent idea. When you’re eating the same thing over and over, having some spices available is a terrific way to change the flavor or texture of a meal.
- Another good idea is to include certain “comfort foods” in your food storage plan. Hard candies are one example of a comfort food you should store. Having these comfort foods will provide not only a welcome relief from eating the same few meals over and over again but also provide a morale boost in a difficult situation.
A food grade bucket will be made from high density polyethylene (HDPE) AND be unadulterated from any possible previous containment.
In other words, a food grade bucket will be constructed from HDPE, which 99% of the time will be indicated somewhere on the bucket by the following resin code symbol:
However, to truly be considered food grade, the bucket will also need to be free from any harmful chemicals it may have been previously exposed to if used. Also, some color dyes may make the bucket unsuitable for food storage purposes (even though the food is stored inside Mylar bags placed in the bucket). With all the uncertainty surrounding what is and isn’t a food grade bucket, there are two main attributes to look for:
- The bucket is made of HDPE and displays the “2” symbol somewhere on it.
- The bucket is new and hasn’t previously been used for any type of chemical or other non-food storage purpose.
- The bucket should be white to ensure no harmful color dyes are used. Although not all color’s present a health risk, white is the safest bet.
Food grade buckets generally range from 70-90mils thick.
A Gamma Seal Lid is an improvement over a traditional lid that’s used to seal a food grade bucket. Gamma seal’s will generally fit any 3 ½ – 6 gallon sized food grade bucket and offer not only the convenience of being resealable but also provide superior airtight/waterproof sealing power. Unlike traditional lids that generally only provide one use before they’re used up, Gamma Seal lids have two components: a rim and a lid. Both components have rubber seals that provide a dual layer of protection from the elements. If need be, the rim and lid can easily be removed and used with another food grade bucket.
HALT is an acronym that stands for Humidity , Air , Light , Temperature.
It refers to the primary environmental considerations for ideal long term food storage. Basically, the less food is exposed to any of the of the HALT attributes, the longer it will keep.
A heat sealing device refers to any device that can be used to seal a Mylar bag shut. The most common household device that can be used to seal Mylar is an iron. Another example of a common household heat sealing device is a hair straightener.
In addition to common household devices, there are also several commercial heat sealing devices available that are much more efficient such as the Hot Jaw. The primary advantage of a commercial heat sealing device is its efficiency.
Mason jars are reusable glass jars with a two piece, airtight lid. Mason jars are commonly used to can food . In the context of bulk food storage, mason jars are used to store extra oxygen absorbers once they’ve been removed from their original packaging.
A mil is a unit of measurement commonly used to describe the thickness of both food grade buckets and/or Mylar bags. Not to be confused with millimeter (mm) a mil is the equivalent of one thousandths of an inch. 1 mil = .001 inch.
The plural form of a mil is mils. The most common sizes of food grade buckets are 70 or 90mils thick while Mylar bags generally range from 4.3 – 5 mils.
1 mil =
0.001 international inches (1 international inch is equal to 1,000 thou)
0.0254 mm (1 millimeter is about equal to 39.37 thou)
MRE stands for Meal, Ready to Eat. In Canada, they’re known as an IMP or Individual Meal Pack. As the name suggests, it contains everything needed to eat a full meal, including a beverage.
Genuine MRE’s are issued to members of the military to provide sustenance in combat situations or other scenarios in which a hot meal isn’t readily available. They’re comprised a patented flames-less water heater, an entree, an appetizer, a desert, a beverage powder, and a hygiene/condiment bag.
MRE’s have retort aluminum packaging which can delaminate (divided into layers) under freezing conditions.
Pricing and nutritional quality of MRE’s are also a drawback. Cases of 12 meals are priced anywhere from $70-$90 online! That’s over $7 per meal which obviously isn’t going to make storing in bulk a very cost effective option.
The primary reason for MRE’s is to provide soldier’s with fuel for their bodies. MRE’s are very high in sodium and preservatives and because of these two additives, are considered a “dead food”. That is, there is very little to no nutritional value in a MRE. Sure, they’ll provide you with 1200-1300 calories per package, but that’s about it…
Bottom line – if you come across a steal of a deal ($20-$30) per case, buy a few cases. Unlike freeze dried food, MRE’s only require a tiny amount of water (<1oz), so they’re better than nothing, but certainly not the best type of food to store long term (shelf life of 3-5 years).
Mylar is a common trade name for a polyester film made from stretched polyethylene terephthalate. It has multiple industrial applications, but in this context, is used to preserve the shelf life of stored food. It acts as a protective barrier from primarily oxygen and humidity.
Conventional Mylar bags need to be sealed by a heat sealing device whereas zip-lock Mylar bags include a sealing mechanism that can also be heat sealed. Mylar is an extremely strong and effective barrier but can be easily punctured by sharp or pointed objects which is why food grade buckets are also utilized when storing food.
An oxygen absorber consists of a small iron filled packet used to extend the storage life of food. They’re mainly used for food packaging purposes to prevent unwanted color change, stopping oils in foods from turning rancid, as well as slowing the growth of harmful bacteria and microorganisms such as fungus.
Oxygen absorbers are measured in cubic centimeters (cc). Common sizes range from 100cc-2000cc. Oxygen absorbers need to be stored within 10-20 minutes after being opened. They can be resealed in the original packaging with a specialized re-sealer tool, or stored in a mason jar.
Resin identification codes (RIC) are internationally recognized and were created by the Society of Plastics Industry in 1988. The purpose of having a system of RIC’s is to increase the efficiency of separating different polymer types for recycling.
Below is a list of the seven most common RIC’s.
There’s a few definitions for shelf-stable but we’ll focus on the definition from a perspective of long term food storage. A shelf-stable food would be one that stores mid-to long term (at least 12+ months) without any type of refrigeration.
Some examples of shelf-stable foods would include stored bulk whole foods, canned goods, etc.