image – BisonRMA
There are six enemies of food storage; oxygen, light, time, temperature, moisture, and pests.
Any of them alone or in combination could cause the destruction of your food supply. There is now an “almost ideal” solution for long-term food storage – mylar bags – which can help keep your food safe from the five of the six of these food storage enemies. These bags are ideal for off-grid survival, backpacking, or camping in the woods.
Mylar was a type of metallic plastic product developed by DuPont Chemical Co. back in the 1950’s. Made from a special type of polyester film, mylar bags are extremely light, durable, thin and flexible. The strength and durability of mylar bags are such that the material is perfect for use in solar filters, high atmospheric helium balloons, emergency space blankets and insulators.
Mylar bags allow you to keep things such as rice and pasta for long-term storage if you are planning to build a stockpile for emergency preparedness. These bags could help you keep your dry goods fresh and safe from rodents and spoilage for years.
Mylar locks moisture both in and out – and this is important to understand. You will need an oxygen absorber or a desiccant packet when using your mylar bags for storing dry goods – such as rice, coffee, tea, flour, sugar, spices, or bread. It is imperative to research and understand which foods a desiccant packet and which need additional oxygen absorption. Desiccant packets are good for sugar and salt since they are natural preservatives. Pasta and flour need oxygen absorbers to extend their shelf life.
There are several benefits offered by mylar bags. Some of them are outlined below:
• Mylar bags are airtight, moisture proof, and resistant to puncture (except by the pesky rodents – so you will need to place them inside rodent-proof containers if this is a potential problem, which it generally is).
• They are specifically designed for food and contain no chemicals or toxins which could be released into your food.
• The bags do not allow any light to get into the foods stored in them.
• Sealing mylar bags is easy using a heating element such as iron.
• Mylar bags ensure that you have a long shelf life of survival food.
• They are simple to use – just cut them to size and seal up with an iron.
There are several sizes of mylar bags. Spices, baking powders, and dehydrated meats and fruits are the smaller foodstuffs that can be stored in one-gallon mylar bags. The five-gallon size is perfect for larger bulk grains.
Thickness is essential to the quality of mylar bags. The typical range of thicknesses is between 3.5 and 7 mils. (note – this is a USA measurement ‘thousandths of an inch’ – not millimeters!) The thicker the mylar bag, the better able it is to keep out moisture, oxygen, and light. Moisture can lead to microbial growth while oxygen is an important factor in the quality deterioration of foods.
There are mylar bags that have a zipper on the top and a gusset on the bottom. The most common used is the plain open top bag that is sealed with heat. The zip top bags come handy when using a food item for a short-term seal. Do not use the zip top as an option for long-term storage.
Notes on desiccants and oxygen absorbers:
• Absorbers that are used up are brittle inside and feel more like they are filled with coarse sand.
• Fresh absorbers feel like they are filled with soft powder.
• Oxygen absorbers only remove oxygen from the air; not all air.
• Do not expect absorbers to “vacuum pack” your mylar bags.
• Do not use a desiccant along with oxygen absorbers. The former can keep the latter from working properly.
OK, here is a video:
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