It’s gone. All of it.
Goodnight grains. Goodnight flour. Goodnight cereal, rice and all that baking powder.
We spent the past weekend throwing out all of our dry good stockpile. ALL. OF. IT. I went through moments of chills, being totally grossed out and generally sick to my stomach having to throw out so much food.
Late Friday night we discovered and realized we had a major moth infestation. Eggs hatched in the flour and a cupboard that we rarely open became home to some unwanted house guests; moths, a lot of them. I get chills still thinking about it.
Since it was impossible to tell which bags had been infested and which ones were safe, we had to throw out everything.
This is just from the pantries we were forced to throw out. Our neighbors probably think we’re moving. It’s a good time to think about it since we have a lot less to pack now!
I don’t want our misfortune to be in vain. I did some digging and here are 5 tips to make sure your stockpile doesn’t end up like mine!
The freezer is a stockpiler’s best friend. There is a chance the dry grain you bought at the store might already have eggs in it ready to be hatched. (I know gross) Before you even open or place it in your pantry, store it in your freezer for a couple days. The freezer will kill whatever is possibly inside and prolong the life of your dry good.
2. AIR TIGHT CONTAINER
As soon as you open your flour or other grain, decant it right away in an air tight container. Putting a rubberband or rolling the flour bag over as tight as possible is not enough. It needs as little oxygen as possible to keep bugs from forming.
3. EXPIRATION DATE
Buy the freshest, furthest expiration date you can find in the store. Look behind the products placed in front. The longer it’s been sitting on the shelf, the greater chance something is already forming inside. (I know gross)
4. COOL PLACE
Store your dry goods in the coolest place possible, at least 72 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Keep away from moisture and humidity. Keep away from outside walls. If you’re like us, you don’t have many options on where to store your food. We live in a small city apartment, our kitchen pantry was our only option and probably not a good one because of the next tip.
5. AVOID LIGHT
Our pantry was exposed to quite a bit of light everyday. If you are not using your grains everyday, probably a good idea to keep them in the darkest place possible, especially if you are storing anything in mason jars or clear containers.
Last night we headed to Costco to pick up some snacks and juice for our very bare cabinet.
Throwing away so much food and having to clean and clean and clean some more, I’m unsure if I’ll stockpile grains again. Being Indian, I always have a good amount of rice in the house, which I’m now planning to keep in the freezer.
I’m so emotionally spent after this weekend, I don’t know if I’ll stockpile the way I used to ever again.
It’s not a good deal, if you end up throwing it away!
A special thank you to Frugal Living at About.com and FrugalVillage for your stockpiling tips.
Do you stockpile? How do you keep bugs from forming?