How to Care for Freeze Dried Food
Freeze dried foods are usually fully cooked with the ingredients, flavoring and spices already added. They are then dried by exposure to a very cold vacuum that extracts the moisture. To enjoy a freeze dried meal, all you have to do is add water -- hot or cold, depending on the food. Freeze dried foods can last for years and make excellent survival or camping food, but only if stored in the proper conditions.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:
- Sealable, airtight containers
- Re-sealable plastic bags
- Storage area that stays about 37 degrees Fahrenheit
Store freeze dried food in its original airtight packaging whenever possible. If you purchase freeze dried food in bulk, you will need to purchase airtight buckets or pails for storage.
Keep freeze dried food packaging in cool, constant temperatures: basements, root cellars, pantries and cupboards are good options. According to Survival Acres, a temperature of around 37 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal to prolong freeze dried food shelf life up to 40 years.
Place a thermometer in your storage area and consult the temperature/shelf life chart in the Resources section for the likely shelf life of your stored freeze dried foods.
Rotate use of your freeze dried foods: As they approach the likely end of their shelf life as estimated in the previous step, consume the older foods and replace them with fresher foods.
Travel with your freeze dried food by placing small meal-sized quantities in Ziplock-type plastic bags. If you're traveling with larger quantities of freeze dried food, invest in small airtight, sealable containers to hold the food.
Tips & Warnings
Use oxygen absorbing packets to help remove oxygen from re-sealable buckets and pails of freeze dried food, prolonging their shelf life. Just add the packet and seal the container.
Article Written By Marie Mulrooney
Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.
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