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 Preserving Your Food Storage - Wheat 
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Post Preserving Your Food Storage - Wheat
Preserving Your Food Storage - Wheat
by: Brenda Jenkins

We've had many people ask us what they need in order to store wheat for long periods of time. With plenty of available choices and possibly even gimmicks, it can be difficult to determine what you really need to do for your wheat Fortunately, if we treat it right, wheat already has everything it needs to stay good and full of nutrients for a very long time.

Presuming that the grain itself is stored in it's whole state and is not cracked, it will be stable and ready to use for many many years. There are even stories of wheat found in a tomb in Egypt which sprouted! If the wheat from your storage will sprout, it's absolutely still good to eat.

Thanks to the way the interior of the grain is constructed, the whole grain will keep almost indefinitely. Like nature's perfect plastic bag, the wheat germ and endosperm are isolated from the outside air by the bran. It is critical to keep the essential oils and vitamins away from contact with the oxygen. After they've been exposed to the air, the nutrients and vitamins begin to break down very quickly - once the wheat has been ground, the flour can easily go rancid within several days. That's why store-bought flour must have most of the nutrition stripped out and added back to the flour in a stable form.

Luckily for us, the whole grain prevents the decomposition of the elements. While the wheat is whole, the only two factors that need to be considered are the relative humidity surrounding the wheat and preventing the invasion of grain-eating pests like insects and rodents. The overall length of storage will be dramatically shortened if the wheat is stored in higher humidity or heat.

Once you've found the storage location for your wheat, you can begin determining what storage techniques you'll need. A location free from pests and insects and supporting a low relative humidity will be best for your wheat. Not only is high humidity bad for your wheat, but insects love it - they have a hard time reproducing under 40% relative humidity. While a higher heat level above 105 will also make things hard on insects, your wheat will also suffer. However, below 70 degrees, bugs also can't reproduce, and most won't live below 50 degrees.

Without question, storing your wheat below 60 degrees and under 40% relative humidity is the best way to prolong the storage life of your wheat. If you can find these conditions within your own household right now, your wheat can easily be stored in bags or buckets with tight fitting lids. Bags can be used if rodents are not a problem - if so, consider deterring them with plastic buckets. Do not store bags of wheat on bare concrete, as they will wick moisture out of the concrete and ruin in the wheat.

It may not be difficult for your to find low humidity and cool temperatures depending on the state where you live. An unheated basement is great, since our humidity rarely makes it anywhere near 40%! Depending on the state or region you live in, the local conditions will determine how your grain is stored.

For humid conditions or grain that has not been dried sufficiently, a drying agent is necessary. Oxygen absorbers are available on the market, or you can simple use some dry ice. Simply fill a bucket with 3-4 inches of grain, add a layer of dry ice and fill the bucket with the remaining grain. Place the lid on the top of the bucket, but wait before you seal it. Wait for 15 minutes while the dry ice evaporates, replacing all the air in the bucket - then it can be sealed and your wheat will remain in an oxygen and humidity free bucket. Oxygen absorbers may keep wheat from sprouting in the future, but will keep the wheat edible for many years.

With some simple consideration and proper storage techniques, your wheat can be stored fresh for years - providing your family with nutrition and food for any emergency.

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Brenda has been living the homesteading life for many years. She has been a long time user of her ... -mill.html
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Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:17 pm
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