This is a discussion thread to continue the group organizing that we began in the first session of Stocking Up on Staples. Thanks to everyone who participated and shared their experiences. It was great to hear all of your individual household goals for stocking up, answer questions and share how-to's, etc.
Attached is the Excel order sheet that was handed out yesterday: Stocking%20up%20on%20staples%20order%20sheet.xlsx Note that there are two worksheets (see tabs at the bottom) on the spreadsheet: one for individual orders, one for the group order.
In thinking about what would round out my current supplies, I've checked a couple of websites online for ideas. At 'Food Storage Made Easy with Jodi and Julie' there is lots of information, all in a non-hysterical, relaxed, sometimes fairly cute style. The healthy food list had some things the LDS list left out, like seeds for making sprouts. They recommended five pounds per person of seed sprout mix, and sixty (!) pounds per person of sprout mix. I'm not sure what the difference is - I'll do more research. But it is something else to think about.
I hope everyone is keeping up the energy from the workshop and not getting too bogged down in figuring things out. I'm finding visiting a website or two (such as the Food Storage Made Easy site) is encouraging. Even one super pail of wheat would be a starting place and might give more confidence for the planning the next step . . .
I googled "shelf life of sprout" and found a chart at this website: http://www.sproutpeople.com/grow/storage.html.
It looks like the shortest estimated time is 12 months for a couple of items and up to five years for others. The site lists a shelf life of only two years for hard winter wheat, so I suspect that they are being very conservative with their estimates. We've heard of wheat from Egyptian tombs sprouting after 3000 years!
Since they may be allowing for shelf storage at 70 degrees in our kitchens, with no protection from humidity and oxygen, I'm guessing the sprouting seed we would store would have a much longer shelf life.
However, I'm trying to sprout some buckwheat I bought from Greenstar this fall (kept on the shelf in my pantry), and 99% of it isn't sprouting. Since the broccoli seed and clover seed are both sprouting, I suspect the buckwheat may not be 'alive' anymore.
I like the idea of getting fresh sprouting seed and being in control of the storage conditions . . .
Nancy - your doc shows 15 line items in a box, then another list of items underneath. Is this entire page your own order?
Would it help focus this group if we planned to only order items for the pails Katie showed us at this point? Primarily bulk dry goods: grains, beans, sugar, etc.
And then do another buying session for canned goods (oil) and packaged items (TP).
What do folks think?
1 - Would the gamma lids work on a metal 5 gallon pail? I would rather buy metal pails instead of plastic ~ for longevity and resource recovery after it's life cycle ends. I would assume that metal would last longer.
2 - Some of us mentioned putting multiple items in one 5 gallon pail. Would each item need it's own mylar bag? The only other way I could see putting multiple items in one pail would be to put them in individual plastic bags or glass jars, if they had to go into one large mylar bag together. Wouldn't the glass be prone to breaking if a pail fell? Would the plastic bag shed toxicity into the food product? I'm planning to pack for one year - intending to open the pail in one year and begin using the product. I do not plan to put up an entire years dietary needs - just experiment with some staple items: beans, sugar, grain.
3 - If standard procedure is to put one item per pail and the item is in a mylar bag, does the oxygen absorber go into the mylar bag?
I'll reply, even though I don't really have any information other than my own conjectures. I hope others with more experience may offer their insights.
1 - The gamma lids are designed for those plastic pails. But if there was a metal pail with the same opening, it would seem that you could attach the ring and the lid would work fine. I think you'd just have to assure that the ring would fit exactly.
2 - I think we would put each item in a separate mylar bag if you packed a pail with multiple items.
I would think you could use glass jars, but then you would have the problem of breakage if there was an earthquake or if the pail was dropped.
I think all of the food storage products are food grade safe, which we hope means no toxicity. Glass seems to be the safest provided you can remove air and keep it from the light - and it doesn't fall or get dropped.
I store my staples in glass in the cold cellar now. I get a large bag and break it up into smaller jars and store it (after removing as much air as I can with the Food Saver Mason jar attachment). The basement is cool and dark, and it makes it very easy to bring a jar up to the pantry for daily use, no anxiety about opening a super pail and mylar bag. Katie may be able to say more about the 'emotional' resistance to accessing carefully packaged bulk foods.
3 - Good question - I hope to leave the Feb. 19 meeting as an accomplished super pail packer! : )
I'm wondering if folks are finding it difficult to plan without prices for items?
I can't remember if it was definitely decided that I would find quotes for items before we as individuals planned our orders. If no one minds, I will contact Cayuga Pure Organics, Ludgates, and Regional Access (and Back to Basics) to find prices for the staples I've considered purchasing. I can post the prices.
As I said in an earlier post, I like the idea of storing some of the more 'exotic' grains, but it looks like the prices may be MUCH higher. I spoke with a producer yesterday who could offer us wheat and corn by the ten ton truck. Probably we aren't ready for that amount though . . . ; D
10 tons, oh dear! Thanks for putting all this brainpower into the project, Nancy! I'm definitely at a standstill regarding pricing and deciding how much money I want to spend and on what quantities... I casually googled prices for wheat berries, and found prices ranging from $50-$80 for ~40 pounds... and then I stopped looking. (for some reason, I couldn't open your document.)
I'm most interested in wheat berries, beans (any kind) and/or lentils, sugar, and salt. Possibly also a bulk container of olive oil.