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Old 15-01-2016, 18:47   #1
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Rice and other long-term rations storage

Hi all, and hope life is smiling on you.

To topic - long-term rations are handy to have stashed away, even if I don't get away as much as I would like. I figure rice, flour, beans, coffee, sugar, pastas, dried fruits, spices, UHT milks and creams, tins/cans of all sorts, etc are all good to have lots of. With good rations stashed one can drop the lines and get going for a weekend, or even a week or two without even having to provision. I like when my boat is in ready-to-go mode - just makes me feel good.

Anyway, I have started collecting PET bottles (think Diet Coke bottles) for storing rice. I figure they hold a decent amount, they are free-ish, they will keep moisture out, are pretty abrasion and shock proof, and their shape will still allow an amount of locker ventilation. Square/rectangular plastic would be more space efficient, but they cost packets of cash.

Flour I can buy in a rectangular-ish plastic container, and that container is really useful for later storage use.

I store rice in the bags they are bought in sometimes - that's okay, and fits into spaces well.
Tins I just use fabric shopping bags that hold a nice 'brick' of 6-8 cans depending on size of tins.
Some things I will double-bag into zip-lock bags of various sizes - bags of stuff in the grams to kilo+ ranges.
I do notice a lot of bags hold excess air, and consume storage spaces - sometimes (depending on product) I prick a small hole in the bag, push the air out and tape over the hole again.
Abrasion has not been an issue so far, but I can see how passages might cause some issues (packing carefully should solve that).

So, what other tips are out there people?
How do you stash food for long-term storage.
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Old 15-01-2016, 18:58   #2
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

Hi Tony

You might enjoy The Boat Galley — getting the most out of your boat kitchen . . . and more!

Lots of great ideas for long term food storage.
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Old 15-01-2016, 20:13   #3
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

Look into the vacuum-sealers. Here's one: http://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-V224.../dp/B0044XDA3S
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Old 16-01-2016, 00:40   #4
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

Don't store too much, eventually weevils will surface from most grains etc if they are stored for too long.
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Old 16-01-2016, 01:25   #5
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

Don't puncture the zippies. fold them and squeeze all the air out, then seal, then the next bag the same way.

We eat a lot of mayonnaise. Those jars make excellent storage for beans and lentils.

There are some bottled fruits that come in squared off plastic containers. The half peaches and pears are the ones we can tolerate. Good containers.

Milk or orange juice jugs are also squared off. Hard to clean well, but once you have, then they will do fine for dry goods storage.

One time, Jim bought a 5 k. plastic bottle of Basmati rice. It is rectangular, and has stored lots of rice in its day.....

If you go as far as the Middle East, I've heard their bugs can eat their way into your zippies, and recycled pop bottles, so be prepared to lose some food.

If you have to leave the boat for a long time, like over 3 weeks, it's really best to remove all the stuff bugs can erupt from. Norna Biron's right, the weevil eggs are in the pasta, cereals, etc., and they hatch while you're gone, and then something really nasty happens in the locker that winds up as a foul smelling black slurry that eats holes in stuff. *Don't ask!* However, none of the stuff in the mayo jars got infected, only unprotected wheat products.

Given your location, when you leave the boat, load up on cockie killers, it's a wise precaution. Again, don't ask. It can be quite a battle to get rid of them, and so gross your good lady would be turned off.

Ann
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Old 16-01-2016, 03:20   #6
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

With ziplocks, I just close them almost all the way leaving a small gap at the end, squeeze the gap sideways to open it up, wrap my lips around it,suck hard and squeeze the last bit closed. It's almost as good as a vacuum sealer

Second the plastic fruit containers; we've got several Goulburn Valley ones holding dry goods.
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Old 16-01-2016, 03:22   #7
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

There are a couple of fixes for keeping out weevils, in long term stores. Assuming that your containers are up to keeping the vermin from chewing their way in. Plus, they'll need to be air tight.
Oh, & BTW, there are plenty of bugs, just here in the US which will eat through a plastic bag like it wasn't even there. BTDT, ugh!

But IIRC, in some stores, the addition of a couple of Bay Leaves works. Though the fool proof method is to add some dry ice, when you're packing the container. And to seal the lid, just before the last bit of it evaporates.

Supposedly, as it melts, the CO2 in the dry ice displaces all of the oxygen in the container. It being heavier than air. And thus nothing can grow in there; to include weevil eggs, & those of other vermin.
As to the technique behind doing the Dry Ice thing, you'll have to do some looking online for it. But it shouldn't be difficult to find.

That, & oxygen absorbers are said to work too. But be careful in what kinds of containers you put them into. As for instance, if you put them into a jar with a screw top lid & a gasget, you'll have to puncture the lid, at a minimum, in order to get it off. Due to the vacuum which they create inside of the jar, "vapor locking" the lid into place.
But again, no O2, & nothing will be growing in there.

Also, your flour & other ground grains, will keep a lot longer if left in their unground state until you need them. As there's less surface area per grain/flake in a whole kernel, berry, or seed, than there is in a grain/grains of flour. And thus, there's less for the O2 to get to & make them go rancid.

The other enemy of things is moisture. So the more tricks which you can pull out of your hat to keep it at bay, the better. And Ziploc's ain't waterproof, nor are a good number of plastic containers toouted to be so.
With the biggest enemy of course being water vapors (vs. the seals on various containers).

So, basically it boils down to having a "sacrificial anode" for moisture, packed in with any & all of your stores. Much like putting rice in the salt or sugar shakers in some seaside resturants. As the rice draws the moisture out of the air & surrounding media, faster than does the stuff that it's packed in with.
So oxygen absorbers, & dessicant packs would likely be the order of the day, for a good number of hydrophilic stores.

PS: Vacuum sealers are passable. But work MUCH better if you double, or bettter yet, triple seal, anything of importance. Like meat that you plan to keep in the freezer long term for example.
As with it, if you only single layer the vacuum storage media, you'll get freezer on things left in there long'ish term. But by triple bagging them, you should be good for a year, to several years. Before the burn sets in.
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Old 16-01-2016, 03:47   #8
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

I've heard if you freeze your grains for a day or two it will kill the weevil eggs. YMMV I'd like to hear others opinions on this.
I've started putting rice in water bottles with an O2 absorber I packed it very full you can certainly tell is in a vacuum. Got the O2 absorbers off Ebay.
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Old 16-01-2016, 05:31   #9
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Mike View Post
I've heard if you freeze your grains for a day or two it will kill the weevil eggs. YMMV I'd like to hear others opinions on this.
I've started putting rice in water bottles with an O2 absorber I packed it very full you can certainly tell is in a vacuum. Got the O2 absorbers off Ebay.
I have vacuum sealed convenient sized packs of bread flour and then froze them for a week or so. I'm still finding and using the odd bag of flour two years later, with no evidence of weevils. So in my experience freezing is successful.

However, I can categorically state that a bayleaf added to containers of grains makes no difference whatsoever!

The best way I've found to reduce the likelihood of weevils is to always buy from stores with a high turnover, don't store for too long and store in glass jars with well fitting lids. I learnt the hard way 😐
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Old 16-01-2016, 05:50   #10
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

I don't eat wheat, pasta, rice, any grains nor beans so I don't have a weevil problem. Yay!

But I do have a large stick of canned food for emergency use - at least 30 days. Before a very long passage I stock up to have emergency food for the mileage at 2 knots. (Actually 2 knots plus 1 day. So if I have a problem it takes the day to fix some jury rig and then to be able to proceed slowly). So for a trans Atlantic canaries to Caribbean 2,500nms @ 2kts = 52 days.

Canned food seems very robust, the cans dont rust, don't roll around.
One can is 5 years old - I bought it in a French supermarket by the picture on the label. But when I got home and googled the translations "Beef Intestines" I chucked it in the grab bag. I hope I never sink!

So:

I always have food aboard for a quick get away and emergencies.
Always fill with fuel when I arrive so I have full tanks so I can leave anytime.
Some people take a week to get going. I can up anchor and sail 1,000nms with 10 minutes notice.

Its much more exciting to be able to go immediately than to be living a 'dead' boat

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Old 16-01-2016, 06:37   #11
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

We've been throwing out a lot of stores in the Caribbean. Weavels in pasta, flour and rice. Mostly they are there when we buy them. Try steer clear of paper wrapped supplies. Often the flour has traces of crust just under the fold at the top. Most of our stores go into tuppaware containers after they come aboard. Friends just told us they use the plastic water bottles for flour and rice. Put it in with a funnel and it still comes out ok apparently. We will probably try that method as well.
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Old 16-01-2016, 06:49   #12
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by NornaBiron View Post
Don't store too much, eventually weevils will surface from most grains etc if they are stored for too long.
Yup...this is what I found with Thai Jasmine rice. I bought a large bag at costco. Put some rice in 2, 1 gallon square, tall storage containers with tight fitting peel lids and rolled up the remainder in the main bag. A number of months later, found the bag infested but the tall containers were fine...lesson learned.
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Old 16-01-2016, 07:04   #13
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

Rice weevils - ugly little bar stewards aren't they! Our first encounter with them was with rice we'd bought six or eight month's earlier in Suriname, they we're inside the heavy and still sealed clear polythene packaging. I couldn't see any holes, so I sunk two bags into a bucket of water overnight to check - the contents, including the living weevils remained bone-dry! My understanding was that the eggs could be laid inside the living rice grains before they're harvested, then survive the subsequent processing and packaging and if you don't eat the rice (including the un-hatched eggs?) early enough, they hatch out in the bag; free protein!
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Old 16-01-2016, 07:12   #14
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

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Rice weevils - ugly little bar stewards aren't they! Our first encounter with them was with rice we'd bought six or eight month's earlier in Suriname, they we're inside the heavy and still sealed clear polythene packaging. I couldn't see any holes, so I sunk two bags into a bucket of water overnight to check - the contents, including the living weevils remained bone-dry! My understanding was that the eggs could be laid inside the living rice grains before they're harvested, then survive the subsequent processing and packaging and if you don't eat the rice (including the un-hatched eggs?) early enough, they hatch out in the bag; free protein!
I think that's the same with all weevils. The adult drills into the whole grain and lays her eggs. Even after the grain has been ground the eggs will survive and eventually hatch.

I bought some long grain white rice from a well known European chain supermarket with a high turnover a few weeks ago. The rice was in date and in undamaged packaging. I have often bought this brand. I got it home and transferred it to a tupperware box with a well sealing lid. When I went to use it a few days later the box had bugs and.......moths in it! Not buying that rice again!
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Old 16-01-2016, 09:36   #15
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Re: Rice and other long-term rations storage

I have heard that micro waving grains prior to sealing in storage containers will prevent the weevil and other worm problems? Does anyone have experience with this?
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