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Old 08-14-2011, 04:00 PM
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Default Storing rice beans and oats in mylar bags for shtf



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My SHTF food preps include mylar bags, #10 cans, MREs and canned goods. In this article and video ware going to discuss making up 20 mylar bags of rice, beans, oatmeal,,,,, and various other items.

Awhile back I made up some homemade superpails of oats, rice and beans. I found the 5 gallon mylar bags difficult to work with and a little difficult to seal. After that experience I decided that the largest bag I was going to mess with was probably going to be around the 2 1/2 gallon size.

For my current project I decided to make up some 1/2 gallon and some 1 gallon mylar bags. Inside of the bags I am going to store oats, rice, beans, instant mashed potatoes,,, and a few other things.

Items to be stored in mylar bags:

2 great value whole grain old fashioned oats, 42 ounce containers
4 great value whole grain quick oats, 42 ounce containers
3 great value elbows enriched macaroni product, 3 pound boxs
1 hungry jack mashed potatoes, 26.7 ounce box
2 great value mashed potatoes, 2 pound box
1 20 pound bag of rice
several 1 pound bags of pinto beans
20 mylar bags with ziplock seal


Old fashioned oats I wanted a heavy oat that could be used to cook with, as well as make oatmeal or oatmeal cookies.

Quick oats this was my wifes idea. She wanted something that we could pour hot water over and it be ready to eat. My incoming shipment of #10 cans is breakfast stuff, such as freeze dried scrambled eggs with bacon, freeze dried scrambled eggs with ham, granola, powered milk, powered orange drink and freeze dried strawberry slices. Quick oats would make a nice side dish to some scrambled eggs with bacon chunks.

Elbows pasta is a flexible food item. It can be boiled, then hot sauce poured over the top, or add some cheese, or mix it with other food products.

Mashed potatoes are being stocked as a side dish. Some of my #10 cans include stuff like chili mac and cheese, and beef stew. The mashed potatoes are filler material to go along with the 310 cans.

Warning about storing mashed potatoes in mylar bags: Some over-the-counter mashed potatoes contain animal fats, such as milk byproducts or butter. These animal byproducts can spoil over time and go rancid. When buying mashed potatoes to store in mylar bags, read the list of ingredients and pick the ones with no animal byproducts.

Rice is a good food product to store in mylar bags. And like the mashed potatoes and elbows the rice is going to be used as a side dish for the #10 can main entrees.

For people that are stockpiling rice for SHTF, they need to be aware that eating a lot of white rice may raise their risk of diabetes. I know a lot of survivalist are stockpiling mainly rice, beans, elbows, pasta,,,, for their main food source after SHTF/TEOTWAWKI. White rice should not be a main meal, it should only be a side dish.

The plan for white rice on my SHTF food preps is to open a #10 can main entree, open a bag of white rice, and have the rice as a side dish to the main meal.

Pinto beans are an excellent food source for storing in mylar bags. Pinto beans are an excellent source of fiber and protein and can be eaten as a main entree or as a side dish. When stored in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber, pinto beans can be stored for 20+ years in ideal conditions.

When filling the mylar bags with oats, 2 of the 42 ounce containers equaled 3 1/2 gallon mylar bags. Instead of filling the 1/2 gallon mylar bags full, they were filled to within about 3 inches from the top. This left some slack for the ziplock top to be closed and sealed.

All of the bags were filled at one time, oxygen absorbers inserted at one time, the ziplock was sealed, and then an iron was used to seal the extra material above the ziplock seal. Between the ziplock and the end of the mylar bag, there is about 5/8 3/4 inch material that can be sealed with an iron.

When the project was complete, I had 20 mylar bags filled with a variety of food products. All of the mylar bags were double sealed once with the ziplock, and again with an iron.

Special considerations

One of the issues facing my family, during tough financial times, family members are finding it difficult to prep, and pay their everyday bills. I feel that my family is becoming more and more dependent on help from others. As basic living expenses get more expensive, people are finding it difficult to even afford basic items for living day-to-day.

Its not that my family members are not trying, its that general living expenses have outpaced wages over the past few years. The cost of food has been going up, the cost of fuel has been going up, the cost of just about everything has been going up, expect wages. This makes it difficult for everyday people to stockpile SHTF survival gear.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:51 PM
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Thanks for the hands on advice. This is my next area of concern and my next project. Please keep us posted.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:21 PM
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Nice! I always look forward to your posts, they are always helpful, in-depth, and detailed! (and it's nice to watch a video!)
Old 08-14-2011, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
For people that are stockpiling rice for SHTF, they need to be aware that eating a lot of white rice may raise their risk of diabetes. I know a lot of survivalist are stockpiling mainly rice, beans, elbows, pasta,,,, for their main food source after SHTF/TEOTWAWKI. White rice should not be a main meal, it should only be a side dish.

The plan for white rice on my SHTF food preps is to open a #10 can main entree, open a bag of white rice, and have the rice as a side dish to the main meal.
In a post-SHTF world, adult onset (Type II) diabetes is not going to be a significant NEW problem. Basically it requires certain genes, and usually obesity, bad diet, and lack of exercise. I just don't see that as a significant possibility after the balloon goes up.

Your comments about using rice as a base and other stuff to flavor it is spot on. This is what many Asian cultures have done for millenia, and most of us would be well served by the same approach. White rice is pure simple carbohydrate. It will be an essential element to avoid caloric malnutrion. Just eat some meat with it (or the bugs that infest, a la US pow's of chinese in past wars).
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:44 PM
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one thing, shouldn't one 500cc o2 absorber be ample per 1 gallon bag?
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:54 PM
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one thing, shouldn't one 500cc o2 absorber be ample per 1 gallon bag?
Why is it that on Amazon the 1 gallon mylar bags are being combined with 300cc absorbers?
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by aletoledo View Post
Why is it that on Amazon the 1 gallon mylar bags are being combined with 300cc absorbers?
Thank you! I have been trying to figure that out myself, I have read 300cc is the recommended cc level for 1 gallon containers so I thought I would be safe and get 500cc but now I see this
Old 08-15-2011, 12:27 PM
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you didn't mention anything about ultimately putting the filled & sealed mylar bags into a gasketed bucket .....

The sealed bucket is the "heavy lifter" in providing the long term storage ...... a mylar bag exposed to the atmosphere will have a limited life span .....
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Illini Warrior View Post
you didn't mention anything about ultimately putting the filled & sealed mylar bags into a gasketed bucket .....

The sealed bucket is the "heavy lifter" in providing the long term storage ...... a mylar bag exposed to the atmosphere will have a limited life span .....
I have heard from some people that it is ok if the bucket doesn't have a gasket, from what I have heard it will shorten the shelf life but I wonder by how much.
Old 08-15-2011, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illini Warrior View Post
you didn't mention anything about ultimately putting the filled & sealed mylar bags into a gasketed bucket .....

The sealed bucket is the "heavy lifter" in providing the long term storage ...... a mylar bag exposed to the atmosphere will have a limited life span .....
I thought mylar would be ok in a non-gasket bucket..
Old 08-15-2011, 06:58 PM
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I got two 5 gallon buckets from Walmart but the buckets are semi transparent so it's not going to be dark...
Old 08-16-2011, 12:29 AM
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A gasket or non-gasket lid doesn't make any appreciable difference. Good Mylar is very close to impermeable to oxygen, so putting it in a plastic bucket, with or without gasket lid, isn't going to assist because plastic is less impermeable. The bucket is meant more to protect the bag, not enhance the oxygen barrier properties of the system. A tight-sealing plastic tote, toolbox, ammo can, or any other rigid container can provide similar protection...buckets just happen to be convenient. One other thought is that it might be easier to keep bugs out of a bucket with a gasket lid, which could very well be true.

300cc is sufficient for most foods in 1-gallon bags. 300cc will clear 1.5 liters of air of oxygen. A 1 gallon bag generally will hold about 12-14 cups, or 3 liters of volume. As long as the food is dense, it will occupy at least 2/3 the airspace, leaving in most cases only 1 liter of air to clear. Some less dense foods need more absorption due to the greater airspace it has to clear.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:34 AM
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You live and learn, and learn by doing. I recently did my first bagging session. Twenty five 1 gallon bags. Contents included some of the usual items.. oatmeal, pintos, split green peas, great northern beans, potato flakes (thanks for reminder Kev regarding the potential animal byproducts, will have to check the product bag tomorrow).

Instead of an iron, I used a hair straightener that is about an inch and half wide. In hindsight, I would NOT recommend using such a device. I found it difficult to get both sides of the bag flat when applying the straightener, and have ended up with 25 bags with lots of wrinkles in the sealing area. I didn't think of this as an issue at the time, and now I'm afraid I have 25 useless bags. I also think I tried to put too much in the bags in conjunction with using a hair straightener. I could have done better had I had another pair of hands.

However.... I'm not completely certain they are useless either. Here's why. I understand not to expect the bags to suck down tight like a bag of vac packed coffee. For all the various food items, I used two 300cc absorbers. On two bags of the potato flakes, I did get the tightly sucked down affect, while all the others look like they did when I sealed them. All my bags had wrinkles in the seal area. You can see some examples in the pics maybe??

I'm inclined to believe that virtually all the bags are not sealed properly. But that doesn't explain why two of my six bags of potato flakes (all with just as wrinkly of seals as the bags of beans, peas etc) pulled down tight. I am considering just leaving the bags as they are, and stuffing them into 5 gallon bags with 2000 cc worth of absorbers, and chalking it up to a learning experience.

Long story short... I learned

Use an iron pressed down over a flat surface rather than a hair straightener
Don't overfill the bags. I had 2-3 inches of bag to work with. With an iron, that may be OK, but with a hair straightener, it does not work very well.
Make sure you don't have wrinkles in your seal regardless of heating element used

Tips - In addition to magic marking the bags with the contents and packing date, I hope to find accurate info so I can mark approximate expiration dates. I might forget how long its supposed to store. Or, maybe someone other than myself ends up using the bags 10-30 years from now.
Also, while some cooking is obvious, I decided to cut out the cooking instructions for some of the items and include them in the bag as well. On a few, I included the nutritional info too.

Pics 2 and 4 is one of the unexpected sucked down bags of potato flakes.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:52 AM
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How do we know how long food will store properly? It's commonly cited that rice and beans packed properly in mylar and 02s, cool temps etc will store for 30 years. But I also read that these 02s were only invented in the 90s. In other words, nobody has actually stored anything for 30 years yet. Is the "30 year" mark just based on shorter term measurements extrapolated out?

Also, is there an authoritative source which cites how long different food items can be expected to store when stored properly in mylar and 02s?
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:19 AM
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To Velvet Elvis. Your mylar bags are sealed fine if you can push down on the bag and nothing escapes. How far the bags suck down has more to do with how much air was in to begin with along with the surface of what's inside. Using the apprpriate 300 cc in a mylar bag with remove the oxygen but leave the other ingredient carbon dioxide argon and nitrogen which is fine. I use a hair flat iron and have no problems sealing my bags but they are 8 mill from the mormon canery.
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velvet Elvis View Post
How do we know how long food will store properly? It's commonly cited that rice and beans packed properly in mylar and 02s, cool temps etc will store for 30 years. But I also read that these 02s were only invented in the 90s. In other words, nobody has actually stored anything for 30 years yet. Is the "30 year" mark just based on shorter term measurements extrapolated out?

Also, is there an authoritative source which cites how long different food items can be expected to store when stored properly in mylar and 02s?
The 30 years are from canned goods. BYU has the test results on their web site;
http://ndfs.byu.edu/Research/LongTer...odStorage.aspx

Granted, they didn't use O2 absorbers, but used dry ice instead. But more recent tests have shown O2 absorbers to be easier to use and gets the O2 concentration even lower then what happened with dry ice. Hence, better. So much so that the LDS canneries now carry both the old #10 can, Mylar bags and O2 absorbers. They also don't do or recommend gas purging anymore too.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:25 AM
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Those mashed potatoes - what would you say the shelf life extends too? I've been toying with putting away mashed potatoes in mylar but haven't yet because I have been wondering if it is worth it.
Old 08-16-2011, 10:50 AM
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This is a great thread!!!
When I first got started storing my dehydrated vegs,etc. I did so in qt ball mason jars....then I moved over to 5 gallon buckets for wheat,lentils,rice and rolled oats and beans.....along with ezekial bread mix.
I'm doing more with gallon sized Mylar these days and I use 2 500cc absorbers because I use the 7 mil thick bags(overkill probobly)
I have 2 gallon buckets,1 gallon buckets....and I'm starting to make up variety buckets full of several different items in 1 gallon mylar bags.
Old 08-16-2011, 11:11 AM
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Awesome thread.. I've never tried mylar before but now have the courage to give it a try. Any suggestions where the best place to buy mylar bags for my first try ?
Old 08-16-2011, 11:29 AM
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Ditto hrdrock2
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