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We are looking at storing bulk Rice, Barley, Sugar and wheat in 5 gallon buckets. Instead of sealing a large amount in the entire bucket we are looking at sealing these products in smaller packages (4-5 lbs.) for a remove as needed bases. Can we use the Food Saver bags with the oxygen absorber packets and get the same results as the mylar bags?It seems to make sense to store in smaller packages that will feed a family of 4 without opening a full 5 gallon bucket of food that will not be used immediately.Again I would appreciate your opinions and input so that we do this right the first time.
 

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Rogue
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You have the right idea when it comes to sub-packaging in small units. You can get Mylar bags in varying sizes as well. A lot of people load a 5 gallon bucket with many packets of mylar packaged food rather than just one big bag.

As for mylar vs food saver. Keep in mind I have no real background with the food saver stuff so this is third hand. But those that seem to know say that the food saver bags do not have the long shelf life that mylar does. That over time it will break down and become air permeable. That removing the air places the plastic under strain which will eventually cause it to rupture.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Food saver bags let O2 slowly permeate into the contents. They're not good for long term storage. Mylar is the closest to an absolute O2 barrier that is currently available. It's not 100% perfect either, but for now, it's the best there is.

One thing to consider when thinking about breaking buckets into smaller bags, is the type of food. Some foods like grains, pastas and beans have long shelf lives, even when open. So you might have no trouble finishing a bucket of them in a year or two under normal circumstances. And in a SHTF situation where you're eating out of the buckets almost exclusively, you're going to go through them faster than you think. It's the delicate stuff like powdered milk or eggs, powdered tomato and peanut butter and such that don't have as long of a shelf life after opening. Now, if you have a large family, you may be going through milk and eggs plenty fast enough to open a whole bucket of it. But things like tomato powder go a really long way, but don't have a great shelf life after opening.

I guess what I'm getting at is that you don't need to make smaller packs of every food. Only the ones that are more delicate, or that you'll be using a lot slower.
 

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How about storing the smaller portioned food saver bags in one large mylar bag? That would give you long term storage until you open the mylar bag, with the smaller food saver bags ready for some shoter term after you open the mylar bag.

Or you can always buy smaller mylar bags and put them in a bucket. However, they tend to take more room than a vacume sealed food saver bag.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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How about storing the smaller portioned food saver bags in one large mylar bag? That would give you long term storage until you open the mylar bag, with the smaller food saver bags ready for some shoter term after you open the mylar bag.

Or you can always buy smaller mylar bags and put them in a bucket. However, they tend to take more room than a vacume sealed food saver bag.
That would work if you put O2 absorbers in the food saver bags too. Otherwise, they are going to keep the air inside them from getting to the absorber in the mylar bag. But you really don't need to do that if you think about which foods go in what size bag. Vacuum sealing doesn't remove nearly as much O2 as an O2 absorber, so it's not the ideal setup for long term storage.

You can make mylar bags in any size that you want. No need to buy specialty bags unless you know how many of what size. I always seem to figure out what I need as I go, so it's just easier to make them than try to buy them ahead of time.
 

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Time to reap has come
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Good idea. We also did the multi in 1 bucket and also the bulk. As far as the saver bags they do have issues with leaking. They dont hold seals very long from what I understand. Mylar is best. Posters gave great advice. Good luck with this venture and keep us updated.:)
 

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Mikek,
You said "You can make mylar bags in any size you want"
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Does this mean you have a "source" of mylar bag sheets?
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If so I would appreciate knowing where you buy it?
In fact I would appreciate a source of Mylar Bags in bulk quantities as well...
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I own a food packing plant (Yes an FDA/USDA Certified and Inspected packing plant) and have gotten into freeze dried Okra and a few other foods. My problem is I am paying over $1.05 for the Mylar Bags. We only go through about 600-1200 bags a week - but the nickles are adding up.
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Right now we are only packing a few "prepper" foods - mostly the ones that associates have requested (ie: Okra seems to be hard to locate - so we package it).
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Thanks
Dave
Phoenix, AZ
 

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I have what I call "tool kits":D:....what I've done is measure out 1 cup of what ever...rice and about 12 types of beans up to now and seal 'em up in them pastic bags.....but I DOUBLE bag them giving them(I seal the first bag,stick it in another bag and seal it) about a 2 1/2 - 3 year shelf life....My reasons for this is to give them to the grand kids,since it seems they're always damn near broke...POP POP usually comes through with some extra grub for them:D:
Plastic is cheaper than mylar.......but it's intent is strictly short term use and smaller quanitys at that.
I also keep several bags on hand to give out to Close friends.....in hopes that they'll get bit by the "prepper bug" like I did.:cool:
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Mikek,
You said "You can make mylar bags in any size you want"
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Does this mean you have a "source" of mylar bag sheets?
No, I don't. I buy my large bags in bulk to keep the price down, and cut them down to whatever size I need. I normally store a full 5 gallons worth of almost anything. Only particularly sensitive foods, or things that I use much slower like spices go into smaller bags. So for me, it's easier to just cut bags down as I need them.

I wouldn't be surprised if mylar sheets are easily available though. You might start with the companies making the bags. They probably offer the sheets too, or would sell them anyway.
 

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I only use gallon mylar. Well I use foodsaver for lots of stuff but really only freezer meats and such.

Gallon mylar holds about 6 pounds of rice which I move to plastic containers in the pantry when needed. 1.5 gallon cereal containers work about perfect.

Depending on how much you are storing and for how long will dictate what you use and how. If you decide to only keep a 1 or 2 year supply and rotate through you are lightyears ahead of about everyone else and there is nothing wrong with that.

For the cost of decent gallon mylar bags you don't gain much if anything with foodsaver.

For me foodsaver is freezer and mylar is pantry.
 

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LHUFFMAN
I am doing what you describe now using foodsaver bags without O2 absorbers. My oldest bucket is 1 year old and I see no signs of air permeation. I see a lot of advantages to this if you are going to rotate the food.
1. Don't have to worry about how well you sealed the mylar with the iron (temp setting, time, seal width, etc)
2. Don't have to worry about how big an O2 absorber to use or how long they have been in the open air before you use them.
3. With the foodsaver rolls you can cut any size you want and use most of the free space in the bucket by arranging different size bags and stuffing them in the voids.
4. When you do consume the food, say 1/2 bucket, You can replace them in minutes without opening new O2 absorbers, getting out the iron, board, bags, etc.
5. You can also vacuum seal canning jars (which I do ) with a size range of 1/2 pint to 64 oz.

Mylar may indeed allow less air permeation long term but if you are going to cycle through your food every three years or so, I feel the foodsaver is the more versatile and foolproof method.
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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LHUFFMAN
I am doing what you describe now using foodsaver bags without O2 absorbers. My oldest bucket is 1 year old and I see no signs of air permeation. I see a lot of advantages to this if you are going to rotate the food.
1. Don't have to worry about how well you sealed the mylar with the iron (temp setting, time, seal width, etc)
2. Don't have to worry about how big an O2 absorber to use or how long they have been in the open air before you use them.
3. With the foodsaver rolls you can cut any size you want and use most of the free space in the bucket by arranging different size bags and stuffing them in the voids.
4. When you do consume the food, say 1/2 bucket, You can replace them in minutes without opening new O2 absorbers, getting out the iron, board, bags, etc.
5. You can also vacuum seal canning jars (which I do ) with a size range of 1/2 pint to 64 oz.

Mylar may indeed allow less air permeation long term but if you are going to cycle through your food every three years or so, I feel the foodsaver is the more versatile and foolproof method.
You are describing a short term food storage plan NOT a long term storage plan. As long as you understand you are storing short term (under 3 years) you will be fine. The problem is when people take the storage methods for short term storage and then pretend they are storing long term.
 

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Inglorious Deplorable
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LHUFFMAN and PAMD58.

It is odd that I resurrected this dead thread, and others are now going to use it to harm others. Sorry, not on my watch. Maybe I need to add more clarity for the challenged.

I put O2 absorbers in the Foodsaver bags. The foodsaver bags still look sealed. Bags are still tight. It looks like no air has entered. I though I came up with a good way to save the O2 Absorbers. (It would have been better to use mylar bags to store the O2 absorbers)

I have two different indications to show that Oxygen did enter the bags and destroy the product.

First, the bag of 500cc absorbers had swollen up easily two or three times thicker than when they were put into the bag. This swelling is caused by the expansion of the iron solid as it reacts with with oxygen and becomes iron oxide. This is the same force that can split concrete if the rebar rusts inside of a reinforced concrete beam. The bag was still tight and looked vacuum packed. O2 entered the bag and interacted with the iron in the O2 absorbers. They are ruined.

Second, I put two 2000cc O2 absorbers in on five gallon mylar bag. I only had one to pack and I had two 2000cc absorbers in the foodsaver bag. When I originally opened the absorbers, that were immediately repacked when the other absorbers were used in food preps. I had them in the foodsaver bags for about two years. The original food storage bags shrank down around the rice before. I also packed more rice now. It has been a week. The mylar did not shrink down. I need to reorder O2 absorbers, cut the corner, insert and reseal.

It appears that Nitrogen is not able to penetrate the foodsaver bags, thus keeping pressure on the bag. Oxygen does penetrate the foodsaver bags.

Your food will not last as long as you expect. It will be a sad day for you when you starve to death and those of us in the O2/Mylar crowd are still alive.

If you don't believe me, fine. You can run this test yourself. -- Enjoy liberty. Just don't lead other to doom.
 
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