Ok yesterday we talked about how grains & legumes have a moisture level, and how they need to be within the levels so your food does not spoil. Well today I am going to talk about why it is really important to maintain the right moisture levels for your food storage and home storage (your 3 month rotation food supply).
Importance of Moisture
We all know that moisture can be damaging if it is at inappropriate levels. Companies that provide their foods to a supermarket take great effort in reducing the water content of dry foods to prolong shelf lives. Once it is reduced to the desired level the product can then be packaged for storage. Unfortunately, merely reducing moisture content is not always sufficient to keep foods from spoiling. There are four environmental conditions that may cause a moisture problem in your food storage:
1–Sometimes humid air gets trap into the packaging, which rises the moisture level of the food causing it to spoil.
2–Falling temperatures may cause the humidity in the package to reach a point where it can condensate in the food, causing it to spoil.
3–If the container is not sealed properly, moisture levels may rise, causing your food to spoil.
4–Package material may not be adequately protecting your food. Paper, wood and cardboard have this fault. Some plastics also do not protect your food. Metal and glass containers offer excellent protection against moisture, but their seals may not protect your food.
Step 1– Make sure that the moisture levels for your food storage are at the acceptable levels. Remember that grains and legumes should be stored at or below 10%. Powdered milk, dried eggs, and dehydrated or freeze dried foods should be between 3% to 10% for best results.
If your food storage is below 3% in moisture levels, it can make reconstitution of some foods difficult or may damaged your legumes. Typically dehydrated and freeze dried foods that are sold for home food storage will have less than 10% moisture in them.
Step 2– If your food storage items are under 10% moisture level, you can pack them in your storage containers using the packaging method of your choice and you can usually expect it to stay in good condition.
Choosing the Right Storage
As we all know the right storage container is very important for your food storage. If you choose the wrong container, your food storage can be to heavy to move, or it could split open and spill all your grain all over the floor, or it could become the leaning tower of Pisa. So when choosing a container you should follow these helpful tips.
The containers that I have found to be the best for grain and legume storage are the (6-gallon Pail with Gama Air-tight Lids – 10-pack). They come in various sizes and can be stacked on top of each other saving you space. The containers now even come with gamma seals which are lids that screw on instead of having the lids that you need snap on and use a Claw Bucket Opener.
For our #10 can we use the Shelf Reliance Food Rotation Systems, more specifically the Harvester which holds our cans. The great thing about the Harvester is that you can choose the size of the cans that it will hold, so if you have #10 cans and the pantry size cans, and tuna cans they all can be stored on this and it also helps with your first in and first out, making rotating your food storage as easy as pie.
For our kitchen cabinets we use the Food Storage Organizers, which also uses the first in and the first out food storage rotation system.