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Anybody else using this method for food preservation? My wife and I began using it this year, and so far have achieved excellent results. The method reduces the weight of a product by an average of 60-90%, and the bulk by at least as much. We have rehydrated strawberries, tomato puree, zuchinni, squash, onions, peppers, and peaches so far, with excellent results. For example, 28 cups of tomato puree fits into a quart jar with room to spare. We have an Excalibur dehydrator, which is far better than the old Nesco stackable we used to have. It is well worth the expense for anyone interested in dehydrating food for long-term storage. We also got a Pro 2100 vacuum sealer, but have just acquired it, so I will update once we have used it some.

 

Vacuum sealing and dehydrating are the best methods I have found for preservation and storage of food. Whether you are storing up food for a "rainy day", or just tired of the canning game, this method deserves a look.

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Nancy said:
Joe, You mentioned the 3.5ml have held up well so far. How long? 1yr? 2? I may try some 3.5ml as I have more buckets now. Thanks, Nancy

Hi Nancy!
To answer your question...
I have had food in 1 gallon 3.5 mil bags for over a year and moved them into and out of 55 gallon barrels and they have held up well so far. If one fails one could easily just use that particular one first or reseal it into another bag. I label each bag with one of those Avery stick on labels where I write what is in the bag, the date bagged etc. and then cover the label with clear tape.

I don't know if you you have crunched the numbers but for me the only O2 absorbers worth buying are P/N: OAP1500/50 50 of the 1500CC absorbers for $14.90 which are plenty big enough for a 6 gallon pail with room for error. I use them for the 1 gallon bags rather than the 300 cc (P/N: OAP300/50) which are $12.50 for 50 and suitable for up to 1 gallon bags. The larger ones for almost the same price give you lots of room for error, and you can use a single absorber for any bag from 1 to 6 gallons.

The only problem I seem to have is that some bags just don't seem to get evacuated of air while some work very well. I would say that perhaps 10% don't suck down tight and I plan to use them first.
Remember too that a bag with a lot of air left in it may still have all the oxygen taken out and that the gas you see may just be the nitrogen that the O2 absorbers do not take out.

Keep me posted on what you learn as this is the first time I have compared notes with others on this subject.

Blessings
Joe
Joe, I have crunched those numbers before on the O2 absorbers, been a couple years though as they do not store well. I think I read they are good for about a year. This is before they are used. I had some before I knew this and they were not good. Next time I get some I will try sealing a couple in a mylar bag. So I was left with food to stash away and no O2 absorbers. What I did was fill my bags, one at a time, shake them down good, start a fan fold at the level of the food and then seal. This seems to work well so far as I can tell by the bag most of the oxygen is out. Not sucked up but the unfilled area stays down flat.
I had a few bags at first that did not suck down tight and I thought it was because I did not shake the bag down well before sealing. I also tried to put my absorbers in the middle. Also some items need a higher absorber for the size container than others. For example...Elbow noodles have more air in the holes and don't shake down as tight as say wheat.
Still, I was impressed. Did about 200 lbs of grains, etc. Had them stacked in a wood crate, no lid Wanted to keep an eye on them for a week or so and see how they did). Got up one morning after a couple days and some were not sucked down anymore. Lived in a place I could not keep mice out of or under control and they had chewed little bite marks into some of the bags. No holes, just puncture marks. Now I keep them in 5 gallon buckets and a nonworking chest freezer.
Didn't know the fact about the nitrogen. Interesting. I have never met, or talked with anyone else that uses the mylar bags. Have recommended them and Sorbent Systems to others but they are still using 5 gal buckets and dry ice. Oh, and I have also reused them, just rinsed in warm water and dried. Need to dig out a bag of corn meal soon that should be from about 3 years ago. Will post the results on that as everyone says flours should be stored in the freezer. My thoughts were without the air how can it go rancid? Nancy
Thanks for your experiences Nancy.
We are doing similar things I think.

The plastic buckets are NOT the way to go IMHO.
They leak oxygen through the plastic according to many sources and
I would not trust 25# of product to the top seal either.
I think I would use bay leaves or DE to make sure weevil eggs don't survive.
It might even make sense in Mylar.

I like my system of one gallon bags - don't ask me why.
If I mis-seal a bag I only lose 5# of food and it stays fresher than an opened 5 gallon pail.
It is more labor but the costs are about the same I think.

I think wheat berries are better to store and more versatile but for now I don't have a grain
mill so I buy mainly flour like you do.

Have you learned about soaking/fermenting/or sprouting grains and beans to make them better/safer to eat?

http://www.survivalblog.com/2010/11/using_the_grain_you_have_store....

http://www.amazon.com/Nourishing-Traditions-Challenges-Politically-...

There is also info here: http://forum.westonaprice.org/healthtopics.html

I thought I was well versed on food and nutrition until I went down the above rabbit hole.e

Have a great week it has been great finding more like minded people.

Joe

I LOVE dehydrating and vacuum sealing. I also seal my beans,rice, pasta and sugar. Oh yes, my herbs. A month or so ago I read about a homemade sundryer that works well here in the high humity country. I will find the referance and post it.

Here it is  Building and Using a Midwest Solar Food Dryer  http://www.manytracks.com/Homesteading/SolarFoodDryer.htm can hardly wait for my sweetie to build one.

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