The Four Main Enemies Threatening
Your Long Term Food Storage:
There are basically four main items that will affect the duration of how long your stored food will last: the amount of Oxygen contacting the food, the amount of humidity present inside the container, the amount of light that the food is exposed to, and the actual room temperature where the food is stored.
To simplify all of this, here are four easy rules of thumb that you would want to have to ensure the longest shelf life possible for your stored food:
1. Make sure that your stored food is exposed to as little Oxygen as possible (using our high efficient Oxygen Absorber in our virtually airtight MylarPro Bags will easily solve this issue)
2. Make sure there is as little moisture or humidity inside the food’s container as possible. (somewhere under 20% is most desirable)
3. Make sure that as little light as possible reaches your stored food (the special foil layer built into our MylarPro Bags virtually blocks out all the light and easily solves this issue)
4. Make sure that you store your food containers in a cool location (the sweet spot seems to be between 33 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit).
In a nutshell, understand that Oxygen, which is naturally found in air, will oxidize many food compounds. To quickly understand this concept, think about what happens when you cut into an ordinary apple. In the beginning, it is crisp and fresh, right? But if you leave it out in the open air for several hours, what happens to it? It starts to turn brown, right? Well, simply put, your apple is oxidizing in the presence of Oxygen and you can actually see it with your own eyes.
So, if that much damage can happen in a matter of hours to an apple, imagine what impact Oxygen would have on all your food that you are trying to store for up to 30 or 40 YEARS.
But, what if there were a way to completely remove ALL of the Oxygen from inside your food container? Well, actually, there is a way. The solution is to first place your food in a virtually air tight and specially engineered multi-layered Mylar Pro Bag. Next you would want to add one of our high efficient Oxygen Absorbers (consult the “Quick Reference Oxygen Absorber Chart” to ensure that you have the appropriate “cc” rated absorber for your container). And then just seal the bag (watch our “How to Seal a Mylar Pro Bag Video” to see how easily you can seal the bag to allow your food to last for 30+ years)
To make it simple, understand that excessive moisture content will also degrade the nutritional value of food over time, especially if it is the humidity level rises above 20%. The good news is that most dry foods (like grains, legumes, powders, and etc. typically have less than 15% humidity inside the product). Since our multi layered Mylar Pro Bags are virtually airtight, if you first vacuum or force out most of the air inside before sealing it, your food will remain fresh inside EVEN IF you wind up storing the bags in a humid location later on.
Simply put, even though light is a friend to a plant while it is growing a fruit or a vegetable, it can become an enemy to the item once it is picked. In essence, over time the light will penetrate the food’s outer shell and cause it to naturally break down. As an example, did you know that if you made fresh orange juice placed it in an air tight clear glass container and stored it in a cool room (like at the same temperature as you would find inside a refrigerator) that the potency of the vitamin C inside would greatly diminish in a matter of days if it were exposed to light.
Whereas if the orange juice were instead stored in a non-transparent plastic container, or even in a dark glass container, where little light could penetrate, then the Vitamin C would still be nearly the same high level of potency, even days later.
Think about it; if light can have such a dramatic affect on a food in just a matter of days, think about what type of an impact it could have on your food stored over a period of 30+ YEARS.
That is why you should use a MylarPro Bag that has a built in special foil layering to virtually block out any harmful light from ever reaching your food.
Of all the four factors (Oxygen, Light, Humidity, and Temperature) that can cause your food to lose its quality, flavor, appearance, texture, and vitamin potency more quickly, Temperature is the one that could potentially have the greatest effect on the quality of your food. Therefore, you want to make sure that you store your food in the coolest location possible.
To put it simply… if you do not store your food
in a cool location,your food will NOT last long.
In general, the cooler the location of where you store your food, the longer the food will last. When you think about it, this concept has been common knowledge for ages and it is the very reason why most every home has a refrigerator and a freezer inside their kitchen to store their perishables.
However, the point we want to get across to you is that temperature will also apply to the so called “non-perishables” or “dry food goods” too. So, even though for ages you have grown accustomed to just storing your dry goods inside a pantry, you need to understand that pantries are just for short term storage of those items.
So, if you really want to maximize the shelf life of your stored foods, you should find the coolest location that you can reasonably find. We are not suggesting that your pantry is not be the best location to store your food long term, rather, we are just pointing out to you that perhaps you may have an even more suitable location somewhere else. For instance, some people like to take advantage of the free and natural cooling properties associated with storing their foods below ground in a basement or a cellar or something of the sort.
But at the same time, you might be asking how cold is too cold? Well, I guess that depends on the item that you are storing. For instance, though it is common to freeze items like meats and vegetables, many people do not like the resulting texture or taste of many dry food goods once they have been thawed out. Therefore, it seems then that the sweet spot is somewhere between 33 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
In actuality, the moment you start getting above 60 degrees or so, then for approximately every extra 10 degrees, the shelf life of your food starts to rapidly diminish. In fact, according to some studies, the storage life of your food could actually reduce by nearly 50% for every rise in temperature of 10 degrees Fahrenheit. For instance, if your particular food item would normally last for 30 years if stored at 70 degrees, then the shelf life of that food item could drop to as low as just 15 years when stored at 80 degrees. Likewise, using that same theory, it would then drop down to just 7.5 years at 90 degrees.
So, just like in the field of Real Estate, where the 3 most important words are Location, Location, Location, you can basically apply that same concept to long term food storage too.
As an example, Mylar Pro is located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert in Phoenix, Arizona. Many days during the summer months, the temperature outside exceeds 110 degrees. If it is that hot outside, can you imagine how hot it would be inside an unrefrigerated garage or in an outdoor shed? That’s right; if the structure isn’t ventilated or insulated too well, the temperatures inside could easily exceed 130 degrees. Just imagine how quickly your food would perish if you hadn’t first read this information and made the poor decision to store it in a hot place like that instead. All those efforts to protect your food from Oxygen, Humidity, and Light would all have been for naught; the extreme heat would have ruined it all.
We understand that sometimes it is difficult to find space in the premium indoor locations and that it is much easier to find spare space in out buildings instead. However, we just want you to make sure that the year round temperature of the location does not get too hot to spoil all of your efforts. Likewise, if you don’t like the taste and texture of thawed out dry foods, you will also want to make sure that the location you pick does not freeze either.