Long Term Food Storage – A Little Practical Exercise with Popcorn
My long term food storage plans include popcorn, one of the four basic food groups, or so I’m told.
I won’t say that my long term food storage program is in a state that completely satisfies me, but I will say that I have backup supplies, and I’ve done some experimenting with how I might build up a larder for emergencies. I know I haven’t done this correctly nor methodically, but when I do, you can be sure I’ll craft a few articles to explain my approach and reasoning behind it. In the meantime, I conducted an exercise with some popcorn lately, and I wanted to share my success. Here’s the story.
Several years ago I found a great buy at a garage sale; small steel drums with a rubber gasket and locking band. The guy wanted $2.50 a piece, so I bought all he had. I figured they would be great for storage of some kind, and indeed they are. They’re large enough to have decent capacity, but small enough that they can be hauled around a bit if necessary. Try moving a standard 55 gallon drum that’s full. If you don’t have a special drum handler, you’re going to have some trouble.
Anyway, I decided there was no time like the present, so I made certain they were clean and put some dried food inside two of them and sealed ‘em up. I suppose a couple of years have gone by now, and I haven’t done much thinking about the contents. Recently I had a hankering for popcorn, and there was none to be found anywhere in the house. Since we live a good distance from town, I didn’t want to go out just for popcorn. After all, I’m one of the gas savers, so I stay put. That’s just how I am. So, instead of wasting fuel, I did more thinking, and that’s when it dawned on me that one of the drums had popcorn in it.
Sure enough, a quick check of the sticky notes I had taped on the top showed what was “behind door #1″ and it was popcorn. Like a feverish fan at the movie theater needing a popcorn fix, I grabbed a wrench, loosened up the locking ring, and dove into the drum to retrieve the popcorn. A little while later I was enjoying a bowl of not the greatest popcorn, but one that was much better than merely simulating having some. My first adventure in long term food storage was a success of sorts.
Experts in long term food storage know that I should have had oxygen absorbers and probably desiccant in the drum along with the rice, beans and popcorn. Ideally, that’s what I should have done, but I was only experimenting with long term food storage, I wasn’t being nearly as serious as I should have been.
So, the lesson I learned from this is that the drums worked well at keeping critters and bugs out, they stacked easily, they hold quite a bit, and I’m at least somewhat ready for an emergency with a bit of food stored inside of them. One thing is for certain, with their small diameter and substantial steel walls, they are practically indestructible. And, they still have plenty of popcorn tucked safely inside should I get another hankering for my favorite snack.
Clair Schwan is feeling his way through long term food storage with some experimentation first, and then some deliberate planning and following the advice of experts in this area. For now, he’s happy that some of the resources he’s collected along the way will come in useful when the time comes to be much more serious about having food put away for emergencies.