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Storing In Plastic

Tuesday 23rd July 2013

There has always been a lot of discussion about storing food/water in plastic. Years ago it was definitely a bad idea. Now, there are plenty of food safe plastic containers. Look for PET or PETE or HDPE and/or BPH free labeling molded into the container. These do not leach anything harmful into your food or water. 

NEVER use dairy containers, however, to store anything food/water related. The enzymes in the dairy CAN NOT be removed from the plastic and will ruin any food/water stored in that container and can even make you extremely sick. Plastic milk cartons are also biodegradable and will not store long term.

As far as rodents eating through plastic, yes, that happens sometimes, but most of those same rodents will also eat or tear through the Mylar bags many people promote. Standard Mylar, such as used in emergency blankets does not even help protect against light infiltration. If you have an emergency blanket, hold it up to the light/window and you will quickly realize just how transparent they are. Heavy duty Mylar bags made for food storage, however, are multi-layered and made to block light and the associated UV rays that are harmful to your food stuffs. A standard clothes iron will seal Mylar bags allowing you to size and shape the bag to fit your needs. Just remember, many rodents can and do tear through Mylar bags after eating through the plastic containers because Mylar is actually plastic.

Current knowledge points towards using oxygen absorbers for long term food storage instead of using nitrogen flushing. Oxygen absorbers do a more complete job of eliminating oxygen, thus killing any unwanted critters. Bay leaves, dry ice, formaldehyde and several other methods have also worked in the past and serve most people very well. Freezing before putting away for long term storage is also partially effective but requires at least two weeks, not two days as some suggest, to sufficiently eliminate the threat of living organisms. And don't ever confuse oxygen absorbers with moisture absorbers - two entirely different things. Sometimes both are required.

About the author: Jim Higgins

Jim Higgins