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Enemies of food storage...Light

2305 Views 59 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Tiresias
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I was going through our oft used staples that are air "tight" and gone through fairly fast. Usually within 6 months and up to a year. These are all stable ingredients that are meant for the short term but, are good to a year or much more as they are. I topped off the split peas and noticed something glaring...

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We know that oxygen is a prime enemy of dried food storage. It accelerates aging and the rancidity of fats. Nutrition degrades and it facilitates the breakdown of well, everything.
We also know that heat accelerates all breakdowns, structure, nutrition, texture and on and on.

It is also clear that light also has the same effect. We know this and yet, many fail to protect from all three at the same time. It is darn near impossible in actuality in our day to day goods.

This is about the light part...
It is true that light is not of major consequence when we are eating a balanced diet and can make up for any shortfalls elsewhere. But, it does degrade food, even in the short term part of the pantry.

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I added split peas to this container about a month ago and put on top of split peas that are no older than 4 months. The change is obvious. Taste and texture are the same but, we all know that any vitamin that reacts to light is toast. This is from about 3 hours of sunlight a day in the Summer.

So, watch your food.
If you want to store it long term, do it right the first time. Because, even the short term ingredients are wrecked in short order due to one or all three of food storage enemies.
Yes, we are eating them. There is no reason not to. But, what if we were in a position to need those missing vitamins...?

Now, I have all these things, stored in bulk in mylar with O2 absorbers, stored @ 50 degrees F in the Summer and 45ish in Winter. I have this all covered but, I wanted to demonstrate a glaring difference between supermarket fresh and a few months that get sunlight.



Yours,
Shawn.
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I now have 5 feet of unused counter. Hmmm.
Custom gun rack?
It is Montana.
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Custom gun rack?
It is Montana.
NICE!

Great idea, this would also mean I get to buy more guns. 🤣
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I now have 5 feet of unused counter. Hmmm.
You didn't show the other side of your kitchen so I may be mistaken on this comment, But I do not see a cutting board, knife block, or Utensil rack, all worthy items for one's kitchen countertop.
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I tried to balance functionality & aesthetics whiling having an eclectic taste in scenery.

Realize I live alone, and at most only use 2 of the 4 burners, as something will always be cooking at same time in convection toaster oven, Instant Pot, air fryer or slow cooker, so for functionality's sake, the back area of the stove has been turned to counter space. I find this setup to be very convenient for a solo cook. There are 2 knife blocks in this photo 2nd one is in between the GE Immersion Blender and the GE S.S. Coffee maker (3rd knife block is on the other side of the sink, while rest of Cutlery are in drawers). Above the stoves are only a few of my most used Pots & pans, 12 piece Mixing bowls, Bamboo steamers, and most commonly used Utensils hanging from Pot rack. My large pots and Large Woks are above the kitchen cabinets, and rest of pots and pans etc. are in the below cabinets and in the pots n pans storage area in oven cabinets.

I read in one of my Ex's college nutritional books that standing up while eating is good to prevent indigestion, acid reflux, and heartburn (although truth be told I eat standing up due to my back), so I have a Japanese plate setting set there for my Meals, but when preparing my meals, I remove the plate setting & put it on the folding counter behind me as under the plate setting is a hard plastic cutting board of which I place that wooden cutting board near sink on it for all my Food prep, except for meats where I place a soft plastic cutting board for sanitary reasons.

Behind this photo
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Top going left to right: Pitcher filled with variety of Utensils, Kitchen Aid Glass Blender. WH Immersion Blender, Krups Juicer, Brass Zippo Lighter, GE 12 cup Food Processor w/accessory package

Bottom going left to right: W.H. mini Food Chopper, Mr Coffee Coffee Grinder, Digital Food Scale, GE Food Chopper (in a bag), Citrus Juicer.

Under this folding table holding my small appliances

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Above photo is an unplugged Mini Frig where I store all my flour, Grits, Quinoa, Couscous, Rice types, microwave popcorn, pretty much anything sunlight could ruin or that a mouse/rat would want their fury paws on. & to the right of that is a 6 draw rolling cabinet filled to the brim with additional Cutlery, Kitchen specialty Utensils, silverware, Eggs slicers, variety of peelers, and what nots whosawhatsits and doohickeys.

In the adjacent room are multitier racks where the rest of my small appliances are kept. Pretty much every Small Appliance that you can think of with the exception of a Sous Vide (boring way to cook)

BTW Shawn, those are the antifatigue matts that I was suggesting in a previous post.
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Takoyaki pan (Japanese version, used for octopus balls traditionally)
I've never had octopus balls. Didn't even know they had balls to be honest but why wouldn't they? Do you fry'em like Rocky Mtn oysters? Tokyo Oysters?
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You didn't show the other side of your kitchen so I may be mistaken on this comment, But I do not see a cutting board, knife block, or Utensil rack, all worthy items for one's kitchen countertop.
View attachment 481847

I tried to balance functionality & aesthetics whiling having an eclectic taste in scenery.

Realize I live alone, and at most only use 2 of the 4 burners, as something will always be cooking at same time in convection toaster oven, Instant Pot, air fryer or slow cooker, so for functionality's sake, the back area of the stove has been turned to counter space. I find this setup to be very convenient for a solo cook. There are 2 knife blocks in this photo 2nd one is in between the GE Immersion Blender and the GE S.S. Coffee maker (3rd knife block is on the other side of the sink, while rest of Cutlery are in drawers). Above the stoves are only a few of my most used Pots & pans, 12 piece Mixing bowls, Bamboo steamers, and most commonly used Utensils hanging from Pot rack. My large pots and Large Woks are above the kitchen cabinets, and rest of pots and pans etc. are in the below cabinets and in the pots n pans storage area in oven cabinets.

I read in one of my Ex's college nutritional books that standing up while eating is good to prevent indigestion, acid reflux, and heartburn (although truth be told I eat standing up due to my back), so I have a Japanese plate setting set there for my Meals, but when preparing my meals, I remove the plate setting & put it on the folding counter behind me as under the plate setting is a hard plastic cutting board of which I place that wooden cutting board near sink on it for all my Food prep, except for meats where I place a soft plastic cutting board for sanitary reasons.

Behind this photo
View attachment 481858

Top going left to right: Pitcher filled with variety of Utensils, Kitchen Aid Glass Blender. WH Immersion Blender, Krups Juicer, Brass Zippo Lighter, GE 12 cup Food Processor w/accessory package

Bottom going left to right: W.H. mini Food Chopper, Mr Coffee Coffee Grinder, Digital Food Scale, GE Food Chopper (in a bag), Citrus Juicer.

Under this folding table holding my small appliances

View attachment 481864

Above photo is an unplugged Mini Frig where I store all my flour, Grits, Quinoa, Couscous, Rice types, microwave popcorn, pretty much anything sunlight could ruin or that a mouse/rat would want their fury paws on. & to the right of that is a 6 draw rolling cabinet filled to the brim with additional Cutlery, Kitchen specialty Utensils, silverware, Eggs slicers, variety of peelers, and what nots whosawhatsits and doohickeys.

In the adjacent room are multitier racks where the rest of my small appliances are kept. Pretty much every Small Appliance that you can think of with the exception of a Sous Vide (boring way to cook)

BTW Shawn, those are the antifatigue matts that I was suggesting in a previous post.
An unplugged or broken mini fridge is a great idea to store food in limiting light and pests. Many on here use old chest freezers for feed and food but for small spaces a mini fridge does the job. 👍

as for countertop appliances, I just don’t use them much so the only one on my counter is an airfryer. It’s my daughters and she’ll take it when she moves out. She also has an immersion blender that came in handy when I made apple butter, might have to steal that one😉. The only regular things I use is a toaster, electric kettle and rice cooker which can be replaced by non electric means. Still they don’t sit out, they live under the sink. I do have crock pots, regular blender and a chocolate fountain lol but they live in the garage. Honestly if it plugs in I’m not that interested in it.

Maybe Shawn can use that counter top space for his appliances. Or pretty it up with some canisters that don’t let in light.
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Re temperature: As a general rule the storage life of most foods is cut in half by every increase of 18º F (10º C). For example, if you've stored your food in a garage at 90º F (32º C) you should expect a shelf life of about half what could be obtained perhaps in your pantry at 70º F (21º C), which in turn is half the storage life that you could get if you kept it in your basement or refrigerator at 50º F (10º C).
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Re temperature: As a general rule the storage life of most foods is cut in half by every increase of 18º F (10º C). For example, if you've stored your food in a garage at 90º F (32º C) you should expect a shelf life of about half what could be obtained perhaps in your pantry at 70º F (21º C), which in turn is half the storage life that you could get if you kept it in your basement or refrigerator at 50º F (10º C).
Yep. And that is why all my long term preps are stored at 50 or under. I will get the max shelf life possible.
But, this thread is about light affecting day to day things we have in our kitchens. 😀
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NICE!

Great idea, this would also mean I get to buy more guns. 🤣
I'd love a .300 blackout with my subsonic oatmeal. :ROFLMAO:
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I'd love a .300 blackout with my subsonic oatmeal. :ROFLMAO:
Yes you would!
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The sun is a wonderful thing. So necessary in so many ways. But too much sun on our skin can lead to several problems. In the short term, it can cause a painful burn (as we've all experienced) which leads to discoloration & pealing. In the long term, too much sun can lead to skin cancer, which can be very deadly.

If sun on our bodies can have negative effects, then it makes sense that it can damage other things in its path as well. Ever see sunburned grass? How about the dashboard of an older model car?

A little sun on our skin creates the very necessary vitamin D. But all good things should be taken in moderation and with good judgment. Treat your food preps like your baby and you'll be in good shape.

Thanks for the thread, MT. Good reminder.
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Would you happen to be Japanese?

If not, we are kindred souls, a good portion of my home is influenced by Japan, including numerous Woks, pans, water fountains, Cutlery, steamers, Cleavers, plating (bowls, plates, fondue plates, dipping trays, bento boxes, sushi boats, handmade chopsticks inside a handmade wooden elaborate box, Utensils, and what have you. A lot of bamboo at my home, Artwork, Hanging clothing (kendo uniforms, smoking jackets, etc.
I am actually Jewish. I was born with a foodie-polyglotting palet. Its just that with food allergies, my own take on Japanese just is divine to the taste buds. Plus I love the creativity in the cooking that the Japanese do. I especially love rice ramen dishes with a bit of partially cooked egg.
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I've never had octopus balls. Didn't even know they had balls to be honest but why wouldn't they? Do you fry'em like Rocky Mtn oysters? Tokyo Oysters?
What they do is put a specific type of noodle batter in this half ball shape and then stick a bit of octopus inside the batter. They use this special tool to flip the fried octopus over, and then tuck in the batter that is around the round thing. When done, you have a round noodle 'ravioli' like thing stuffed with octopus. I don't eat shellfish, so I stuff veggies inside instead.
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What they do is put a specific type of noodle batter in this half ball shape and then stick a bit of octopus inside the batter. They use this special tool to flip the fried octopus over, and then tuck in the batter that is around the round thing. When done, you have a round noodle 'ravioli' like thing stuffed with octopus. I don't eat shellfish, so I stuff veggies inside instead.
Sounds way better than the "Tokyo Oysters" I imagined. Do they have a Japanese name other than octopus balls? Takoyaki?
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I am actually Jewish. I was born with a foodie-polyglotting palet. Its just that with food allergies, my own take on Japanese just is divine to the taste buds. Plus I love the creativity in the cooking that the Japanese do. I especially love rice ramen dishes with a bit of partially cooked egg.
Jewish, Japanese, why split hairs... I am actually part Jewish on my father's side, so have had my fair share of Jewish cuisine, thus why I prefer Japanese food lol. Also an Udon noodle fan too. I think you would have enjoyed a Japanese store that we USE to have here in NY, it was filled with Japanese cookware, bakeware, utensils, plate settings, racks, bamboo this & that, pretty much everything one could thing of but made in Japan. Man I miss having that store around, nothing like it ever emerged since.

Heading back to the OP, that store even had Japanese style window shades to keep the light out of the kitchen.
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Jewish, Japanese, why split hairs... I am actually part Jewish on my father's side, so have had my fair share of Jewish cuisine, thus why I prefer Japanese food lol. Also an Udon noodle fan too. I think you would have enjoyed a Japanese store that we USE to have here in NY, it was filled with Japanese cookware, bakeware, utensils, plate settings, racks, bamboo this & that, pretty much everything one could thing of but made in Japan. Man I miss having that store around, nothing like it ever emerged since.

Heading back to the OP, that store even had Japanese style window shades to keep the light out of the kitchen.
Yep, I would have loved it! Here, we got a Japanese store that refuses to carry Japanese pans but will carry Japanese beauty products and snacks with some other stuff that I do like, but already own (various cheap kitchen gadgets). I'm like, thanks but no thanks!
Sounds way better than the "Tokyo Oysters" I imagined. Do they have a Japanese name other than octopus balls? Takoyaki?
Tako means Octopus and Yaki means grilled. But, it really is like a round ball with octopus inside.
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All of our daily use items are stored in cabinets. Our kitchen counter is to small for much more than the coffee pot. I love your storage system though and may have to look into that to organize what little storage I have in my cabinet's. All of our bulk items and extras are stored in the basement pantry where the temps stay pretty much 65* all year round.
I do have a question though, why did you not rotate the peas? I guess working in the dietary profession, rotation is always a priority no matter what it is. We store noodles in 5-gallon buckets. When they get low, we order more. When the new come in, we dump the older in a bowl, wash the bucket then add the new and top off with the old.
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I do have a question though, why did you not rotate the peas? I guess working in the dietary profession, rotation is always a priority no matter what it is. We store noodles in 5-gallon buckets. When they get low, we order more. When the new come in, we dump the older in a bowl, wash the bucket then add the new and top off with the old.

They are in rotation. Two years left on just the BB date, which is arbitrary at best. I was just showing what a little extra light does to food. Nothing more and nothing less.

I rotate everything, including foods I put up for 25 year storage. I am anal about food storage. Ask around. 😂
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I thought of this thread when I finished my last batch of dehydrated carrots. The new ones are super orange and I compared them to another dated 06/2022. The older jar is NOT stored in a dark place. I keep my regular use stuff on a shelf that gets indirect morning sun. I haven’t used the older jar because I’m trying to use up some dehydrated carrot cubes first ( which I don’t prefer). Food for thought.
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