Emergency Food Storage Containers
In case of disaster or natural catastrophe, food will become scarce. You need to have food supply during such time. Most people are not aware of the importance of emergency food storage containers. There are many types of emergency food storage containers available in market today.
Some are made from plastic while others are made from metal, wood and even glass. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. The main thing is that they must be durable enough to withstand the rigors of a disaster or other calamity.
Emergency Food Storage Containers: What Are They?
Emergency food storage containers are basically containers used for storing foods in case of emergency. These containers come in different sizes, shapes and materials. Each type has its own purpose and function. For example, one type may be designed for freezing foods and another type for preserving them.
The most common kind of emergency food storage container is the plastic grocery bag. These bags are usually made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polypropylene. PET is a petroleum-based polymer that has been widely used since the 1930s to make plastics. Polypropylene is a similar material but it’s made from petroleum-derived hydrocarbons instead of petroleum itself.
The most common use of these two types of plastic is for packaging petroleum and other liquids.
There are many types of plastic made from these materials, such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is used to make milk jugs; low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which is used for bread and newspaper bags; and polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl), which is clear, flexible and used to make shower curtains.
Can They Be Used For Long-Term Food Storage?
These types of plastic are not ideal for long-term food storage. While the oxygen and water vapor can be removed from the bag, they are still not airtight. These plastic bags will only keep the food fresh for one to two months at most. Then it will start to develop an unpleasant odor and flavor. The food stuck inside will no longer be edible and you’ll have to throw it out.
There are other types of containers that can be used as emergency food storage containers. The most common are metal and glass.
Metal: These types of emergency food storage containers are usually made from stainless steel or an alloy. Of the two, stainless steel is preferable since its non-toxic and more durable. There are also alternatives to these metals such as glass. Although glass is breakable, it can be used for food storage.
Glass: There are two types of glass commonly used for food storage: Pyrex and soda-lime glass. It’s not likely that your container will break if drop since most are fitted with a metal or plastic lid. The main advantage of using glass is that it’s non-toxic and odorless, which makes them suitable for long-term food storage. The disadvantage is its weight and brittleness.
Finding The Right Container
It’s important to find the right container for the right food product. Most containers are made from plastic, glass or metal. These different materials have different characteristics so it’s best to choose based on how you’ll be using them. For example, you wouldn’t store coffee in a container that’s ideal for water storage, even if it is airtight.
It’s always best to store similar foods in similar containers since this helps to preserve the quality and taste of the food.
Common Types Of Emergency Food Storage Containers
There are many types of emergency food storage containers. Some are more practical than others so it’s important to choose the right one for the right food product.
Plastic: There are many types of plastic used for food storage. It’s important that you choose a plastic that’s resistant to oil, grease and strong acids. The most common type of plastic used for food storage is polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), which is ideal for dry food. The second most common is high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is used to store both dry and liquid foods.
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is also used to store dry goods such as cereals. There are also certain types of plastic that are used for special purposes such as:
– Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) is used to make bottles that contain water, juice and soft drinks.
– Polypropylene (PP) is used for such things as medicine bottles and food jars.
– Nylons can be made into any form such as sheets, ropes and bags. These are used to hold liquid foods such as oils and milk products.
– Polystyrene (PS) is a type of plastic that’s used for boiling water. These containers are usually in the form of Styrofoam.
– Polycarbonate (PC) is a very tough type of plastic that’s very hard to break or melt, which makes it ideal for storing toxic or corrosive substances.
– Other types of plastic such as acrylic and PVC can also be used to store dry or liquids foods.
Glass: Probably one of the most common materials used for food storage containers is glass. It’s used to store both dry and liquid foods. The types of glass used are:
– Glass jars with screw on lids: These jars are mainly used for canning purposes but can also be used to store food.
– Bottles with screw on lids: These are mostly found in the form of certain drinks such as soft drinks or beer. They’re also used for the purpose of food storage, mostly for liquids.
– Jars with snap on lids: These jars have one piece lids that are fused to the rim of the jar. They’re mostly used for dry storage.
– Jars with pull up or push down lids: These jars have older style lids that are not as secure as snap on or screw on lids. They’re mostly used for dry goods.
– Fliptop jars: These jars are also used for dry goods and consist of two lids. The inner lid is smaller than the outer lid and can be flipped or tilted to one side to allow the contents to be emptied out.
– Tumblers: These use a rolling action to secure the lid so they’re ideal for liquids. They often come with carry handles, which makes them easy to transport.
Metal: Metal is also used to store food. There are many types of metal that can be used for this purpose such as:
– Tin was one of the first metals used to store food and is often used to preserve foods such as canned green beans, fruit and meat.
– Iron is often used to make canned foods such as canned vegetables, soup and meat.
– Aluminum is mostly found in the form of foil and is often used to wrap foods such as hard cheese.
– Steel is mostly used in the form of tins and cans. Many food products such as soup, meat and vegetables are sold in this form.
There are also other types of metals such as brass and bronze, which are mainly used for decoration or as part of a container that contains another material.
Paper: Paper is mainly used to store dry food items. Some of the materials it’s used for include:
– Boxes: These are made out of paper and are used to hold crackers, cookies, brownies, candy, nuts, etc.
– Bags: These are made out of paper and can be placed directly into a cupboard. They’re often used to store flour, sugar, chips, etc.
– Pouches: These are made out of paper and are often sealed with a Ziploc type closure. They’re used to hold items such as tea, coffee, herbs, powdered sugar, etc.
Other Materials: There are other materials that can be used to store foods such as:
– Wooden boxes: These are usually carved from wood and are mainly used for decoration or to give a food gift a rustic appearance.
– Corks: These natural materials are often used to preserve wine and other liquids such as oils and vinegars.
– Wicker: These natural materials are often used to make baskets that can be used to hold many different types of items.
– Leather: This material is often used in the form of a pouch or a wallet. They’re often used to hold coins, credit cards or cash.
– Glass: This material is used to make glasses, bottles and jars. It can also be used in the form of dishes, bowls and cups.
– Dishes, Bowls and Cups: These are often made out of glass, ceramics or wood. They’re mainly used for holding and eating food.
– Wrapping Paper: This material is mainly used for decorative purposes. It’s often used to wrap gifts.
Food Storage Tips
Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your food storage:
– Store what you eat and eat what you store: If you’re not going to eat it now, then there’s no point in storing it. If you try to store items that you don’t like or don’t eat on a regular basis, you’re just going to waste your time and money. Additionally you run the risk of your food expiring before you ever get around to eating it.
– Shop the sales: If possible buy your food in bulk when it’s on sale. Just make sure you have somewhere to store it. You can also buy items that are non-perishable when they’re on sale and can them yourself.
– Can It Yourself: Most foodstuffs such as fruits, pickles, jams and jellies tend to last a long time, if you prepare them or yourself. By preparing them yourself, you can save a lot of money instead of purchasing pre-prepared foods.
– Get creative: Don’t just store the same old foods. Get inventive, use up your leftovers and try new recipes.
Best Foods for Your Food Storage
The following is a list of popular foods that are good for your food storage program:
1. Pasta and Sauces: Cans of pastas and sauces are great for adding flavour and depth to other food items.
They’re also very versatile and inexpensive to purchase.
2. Canned Meat: Canned meats are great for adding ” protein ” to your meal.
Canned meat in a bucket will also keep for up to 25 years, making it an excellent food staple to have in your food storage program.
3. Dehydrated Grains and Legumes: These non-perishables can be easily re-hydrated when needed to add variety to your meals and they’re very nutritious too.
4. Powdered Milk: A good source of calcium and vitamins.
5. Hard Red Wheat: This grain can be used in breads or any of your favorite recipes that call for flour.
It will keep for up to 30 years if stored properly.
6. Dried Beans and Peas: These are an excellent source of protein, as well as fiber.
They’ll last indefinitely if stored properly.
7. Honey: This is a good sweetener and adds a nice flavour to many foods.
8. Salt: An essential for cooking and can help prevent dehydration during an emergency.
It will last indefinitely and you can always use it to flavor your food too.
9. Canola Oil: A good all-purpose oil, that can also be used for lubricating things like door hinges for a quiet entry.
10. Pepper: Not just for flavouring food, but peppercorns can be ground up and used as a mild substitute for gunpowder when used in priming pans for muzzle loading firearms.
11. Hard Liquor: While not a foodstuff, the intoxicating effects of alcohol make it a popular “anesthesia” substitute during emergency situations. In high enough quantities it can literally make a person feel euphoric and help take their mind off of the situation at hand.
12. Bouillon Cubes: A great way to add some flavour to your food and these can easily be stored in your pocket or even in a wallet as they take up very little space.
Things to Avoid Storing
1. Glass Bottles: These are heavy and break easily, especially when your hiding out from a marauding gang.
You don’t want to risk your family’s safety by breaking a glass bottle of apple juice while trying to quietly evade a roving gang. All the noise from the broken glass will certainly give away your position and leave you stranded without any food or water.
2. Dairy Products: These are very heavy and require a constant temperature between 36-38 degrees to prevent them from spoiling.
They also require a lot of water to wash and sanitize all of the bottles that they’re stored in. Again, you want to avoid anything that will make a lot of noise or require a lot of water if you’re trying to stay safe.
3. Delicate Foods: Foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and breads are just not practical for storage.
Sources & references used in this article:
Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Family Safe in a Crisis by P Layton – 2012 – books.google.com
High Insulation Borosilicate Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids-50webs. com by J Poppendieck – 1999 – Penguin
The Economics of Emergency Food Aid Provision by MT MAHMOOD
Warning device for food storage appliances by VR Caffarena, T Ogasawara – Materials Research, 2003 – aafashion.50webs.com
Preparing and Storing an Emergency Safe Drinking Water Supply by M Caraher, S Furey – Springer Books, 2018 – Springer
Methods and systems for emergency water storage by DG Alderman – US Patent 6,771,177, 2004 – Google Patents
Temperature-stabilized storage containers by A Albertin, T Obreza – EDIS, 2020 – journals.flvc.org
Emergency container for an accidentally amputated member by A Sudhalkar – US Patent App. 13/278,345, 2013 – Google Patents