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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:40 pm 
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Rather than alter the entire thread, see the end post.

There many of these threads, read, enjoy, learn, prepare.



What
We put some rice and bean in storage last night - pretty wild, eh? Anyway, two bags of black beans, 25 lbs ea; one bag of long grain white rice, enriched, 50 lbs.

How
Product was loaded into a '1 gallon' 7 mil Mylar bag, then a pair of O2 scavengers (300ml) were dropped in, the bag was sealed with a hot wire sealer.

Amount of product per bag
During extensive testing, it was determined through empirical observation that 14 cups of product provided the best amount of volume and still allow a solid seal of the bag. The experimentation was extensive, lasting an entire beer.
Note - You can fit up to an additional two cups in each bag, but then the bag becomes very fussy to get closed and sealed. YMMV. Beer was not a factor in this seal testing.

Results
We were able to get four bags of 14 cups each out of a 25lb bag of dry black beans. Based on that, we were also able to get 8 bags of rice, each with 14 cups of product from the 50 lb bag.
At the end, we had about 3 cups of beans and 4 or so cups of rice we chose not to bag.

Four bags fit comfortably in a Home Depot five gallon bucket. These buckets are not food grade, but that is not a storage factor. These buckets were the least expensive new buckets in town. A total of four buckets were used.

How many will it serve?
One serving of cooked rice is normally listed as single one-half cup.
Because 1 cup of raw (not instant) rice makes 3 cups cooked, then 8 teaspoons (1/6 of a cup) of raw rice equals a single one-half cup serving of cooked rice.
A bag of rice (as above) should provide 84, one-half cup servings per bag. (42 cups)
That yields 336 one half cup servings per bucket. Or 168 servings of one cup per serving.

Minute Rice (TM) lists 1/2 cup of uncooked rice = 1 cup of cooked rice - 1 serving.
So 1 cup dry instant rice + 1 cup water = 'about' 2 cups of product = 2 servings.

Cost
The beans were about 16 USD at my local (Anchorage AK) Costco
The rice was about 26 USD at the same vendor.
The cost of 7 mil Mylar bags is very vendor dependant. (For us, the bag + 2 scrubbers was 0.61 USD)
The buckets are 1.98 USD at the local HD outlet, the lids, 0.98 USD each.

Future planned experiments
The 'leftover' product was set aside for future efforts aimed at experiments in cooking two cup lots to determine the optimum methodology for soaking/cooking and servicing. That and we had reached our beer limit.

Why post this?
Well, should you decide to pack your own, a relatively inexpensive project BTW, you now have some idea of how much storage might be obtained per bag of product - so you can pre-plan.

Alternate choices:
In contrast, I looked on the web, several web outlets listed a bucket of instant rice (112 servings in 14 ea, "8 serving" pouches) - at a cost of 50 USD to 110 USD - depending on the vendor.
Oddly, all of the vendors DO NOT list the 'serving' size - I have to assume that the serving is the standard 1/2 cup, cooked. The FDA, Diabetic Assn, even MIT say 1/2 cup of cooked rice is a 'serving'. Minute Rice (TM) says 1 cup is a serving. You guess.

Costco sells the product at 49.99 - don't know if they ship to your area.

Final thoughts on rice.
Raw rice has to be cooked - simmered for 20 min with conventional means.
I cook mine with boiling water in a thermal flask. 2 cups boiling water to 1 cup raw rice. Takes "about" a half hour. Yields 3 cups of rice.

Minute Rice (TM) takes 1 cup of boiling water to 1 cup of product. Yields (about) 2 cups of product. Takes abut 5 minutes.

Fuel usage with thermal flask cooking is a wash for the same amount of rice. Time-wise, Minute Rice wins.
Just ensure you use a wide-mouth thermal flask or you will regret the choice of the standard mouth flask. This is experience speaking here.
Happy New Year!

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Last edited by TacAir on Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:29 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:19 pm 
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This is excellent post and a great example of a low cost means to store a substantial amount of food/calories.

Based upon this example 50 lbs of beans and rice cost less than $50. That is a substantial amount of food.

If you add some canned ham, tuna and/or chicken (for extra calories/protein) you can have a very substantial food reserve for less than $100.

Thanks for sharing TacAir!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:24 pm 
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raptor wrote:
This is excellent post and a great example of a low cost means to store a substantial amount of food/calories.

Based upon this example 50 lbs of beans and rice cost less than $50. That is a substantial amount of food.

If you add some canned ham, tuna and/or chicken (for extra calories/protein) you can have a very substantial food reserve for less than $100.

Thanks for sharing TacAir!


Well, thank you for the kind words -- thats what makes this board - this board!
I was doing it anyway, so the extra few minutes seemed like a good thing to do in case someone else was not quite 'there'.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:36 pm 
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TacAir wrote:
Oddly, all of the vendors DO NOT list the 'serving' size - I have to assume that the serving is the standard 1/2 cup, cooked. The FDA, Diabetic Assn, even MIT say 1/2 cup of cooked rice is a 'serving'. Minute Rice (TM) says 1 cup is a serving. You guess.

I'm guessing that Minute Rice might be lighter than normal rice, and that comparing the two by weight would result in a smaller discrepancy than comparing them by volume?
I don't know for sure - been too long since I did anything with Minute Rice.

TacAir wrote:
Fuel usage with thermal flask cooking is a wash for the same amount of rice. Time-wise, Minute Rice wins.
Just ensure you use a wide-mount thermal flask or you will regret the choice of the standard mouth flask. This is experience speaking here.

Excellent point about how the thermal flask/haybox cooking washes out the fuel difference.
If one has a suitable thermos flask available, I'm having a hard time imagining a situation where Minute Rice would be the better choice, given what I would think is a substantial nutritional advantage.

Nice Post!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:11 am 
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FanaticalModerate wrote:
TacAir wrote:
Oddly, all of the vendors DO NOT list the 'serving' size - I have to assume that the serving is the standard 1/2 cup, cooked. The FDA, Diabetic Assn, even MIT say 1/2 cup of cooked rice is a 'serving'. Minute Rice (TM) says 1 cup is a serving. You guess.

I'm guessing that Minute Rice might be lighter than normal rice, and that comparing the two by weight would result in a smaller discrepancy than comparing them by volume?
I don't know for sure - been too long since I did anything with Minute Rice.

TacAir wrote:
Fuel usage with thermal flask cooking is a wash for the same amount of rice. Time-wise, Minute Rice wins.
Just ensure you use a wide-mount thermal flask or you will regret the choice of the standard mouth flask. This is experience speaking here.

Excellent point about how the thermal flask/haybox cooking washes out the fuel difference.
If one has a suitable thermos flask available, I'm having a hard time imagining a situation where Minute Rice would be the better choice, given what I would think is a substantial nutritional advantage.

Nice Post!


LOL

Minute rice does have a place at the table, but given the time, I love my long grain 'sticky' rice, the brown rice is nice in some dishes, but rice balls rule.

Thanks for the kind words.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:16 am 
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We have been using our iron to seal our mylar bags. We set it just below the "Steam" settings (If it gets into the "Steam" area, it is too hot for the bags) this is plenty hot enough to do the job. I wanted to add this for those that don't have special sealers, this can all be done very easily and effectively.
We have also been adding 2-3 large ziplocs to all of our buckets, for when we have to get into our food storage. We are looking for good scoops to put in each bucket.

Great post! Thanks for sharing!

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Last edited by NoAm on Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:50 am 
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NoAmnesty wrote:
We have been using out iron to seal our mylar bags. We set it just below the "Steam" settings (If it gets into the "Steam" area, it is too hot for the bags) this is plenty hot enough to do the job. I wanted to add this for those that don't have special sealers, this can all be done very easily and effectively.
We have also been adding 2-3 large ziplocs to all of our buckets, for when we have to get into our food storage. We are looking for good scoops to put in each bucket.

Great post! Thanks for sharing!


Can you better describe the technique?
Do you iron across a board or piece of rebar for a well defined seal?
Do you place anything between the iron and bag?
What thickness of bag do you use? 5 mil, 7 mil?
How long do you apply the iron?

Etc, etc.

Thanks

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:00 pm 
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Great post, and write-up, Tac!

Prime example of simple, affordable preparedness...right here.

+1!!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:03 pm 
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No prob, it's really easy!
We lay a towel on the coffee table and a board over the towel.
Mr. NoAm holds the bag and I slide the iron over the end of the bag (literally just slide, it doesn't take much pressure)
We seal the bag about 80%.
Then I take the bag, stand it up and fold the top over to press out most of the air.
Put the bag upside down (folded) and seal the rest of the bag.
This can be done by 1 person, it's just a bit easier with 2.


We have done this with both 5 & 7 mil bags.

Powdery type of items like milk & flour can be really messy, so I wipe the bag with a barely damp paper towel and then follow with a dry paper towel and seal the rest. We now buy the milk in the #10 cans and dry vac seal our flour in 1/2 gallon size mason jars.

I will take pics this weekend when we finish up the dry food we got last week.
We did several 100 #'s of rice, wheat berries and carrots.

We will be doing sugar, cocoa and potato flakes this weekend. We find that a metal scoop works better with the powdery items. We have tried plastic cups (It sticks to the sides), glass measuring cups worked better, but the metal scoop worked the best.

The first time we packaged the dry milk, I changed clothes 3 times :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:55 pm 
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Thanks for the fast reply.

I'll doing some more rice, beans, wheat and now that we have found a local supply source for DairyX, dry milk.

Wheat here runs a $1/pound. I would hate to think what it will be if there is a transportation disruption.

Still trying to find lintels that has the husk (fiber source) that is not labled "animal feed".

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:59 am 
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Sealing the mylar bags with an iron

Set the iron just below the steam area (each iron will probably vary, do a little testing to see what works best for you)
Image

With a towel on the table and a board on the towel.....................
Have one person lay the open end of the bag on the board and one person seal the bag 75% - 90% closed (90% for the fine powdery items)
Image
Image

Gently fold the bag to get all the air out you can (This is where you have to be very careful with powdery/flaky items)
Image

Put the bag back on the board and finish sealing (I do another once over on the entire end again)
Image
Image

Picture of the completed sealing
Image

You can see how the rice we have done sealed down and you can see the formations of the rice in the bag
Image

We also cut out any special directions or warnings, toss them in the top of the barrel and add a couple ziploc bags
for when the items have to be opened for use.
Image

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:00 pm 
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Hey NoAm, nice photos!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:12 pm 
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Mr. NoAmnesty wrote:
Hey NoAm, nice photos!


Why thank you Mr. NoAm :wink:

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awesome photos, and very well done!

Thanks so much - I'll be passing this along!

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Great thread! I think having some food stored (properly!) is one of the most important aspects of being prepared. Luckily, its also relatively cheap and easy.

Hopefully threads like this will convince anyone sitting on the fence to go out and get themselves an emergency food stash.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:59 am 
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TacAir wrote:
FanaticalModerate wrote:
TacAir wrote:
Oddly, all of the vendors DO NOT list the 'serving' size - I have to assume that the serving is the standard 1/2 cup, cooked. The FDA, Diabetic Assn, even MIT say 1/2 cup of cooked rice is a 'serving'. Minute Rice (TM) says 1 cup is a serving. You guess.

I'm guessing that Minute Rice might be lighter than normal rice, and that comparing the two by weight would result in a smaller discrepancy than comparing them by volume?
I don't know for sure - been too long since I did anything with Minute Rice.

TacAir wrote:
Fuel usage with thermal flask cooking is a wash for the same amount of rice. Time-wise, Minute Rice wins.
Just ensure you use a wide-mount thermal flask or you will regret the choice of the standard mouth flask. This is experience speaking here.

Excellent point about how the thermal flask/haybox cooking washes out the fuel difference.
If one has a suitable thermos flask available, I'm having a hard time imagining a situation where Minute Rice would be the better choice, given what I would think is a substantial nutritional advantage.

Nice Post!


LOL

Minute rice does have a place at the table, but given the time, I love my long grain 'sticky' rice, the brown rice is nice in some dishes, but rice balls rule.

Thanks for the kind words.

Brown rice doesnt store as long as white rice does.


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If ya don't have O2 absorbers, be sure to freeze ya rice for about four days. Kills active bugs, but not sure if it prevents any eggs from hatching or not. I use a bay leaf in my flour, not sure it goes in with rice or not. Anyone?

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CaptBrainFreeze wrote:
If ya don't have O2 absorbers, be sure to freeze ya rice for about four days. Kills active bugs, but not sure if it prevents any eggs from hatching or not. I use a bay leaf in my flour, not sure it goes in with rice or not. Anyone?


I have the 'classic' book - "Just in Case, A Manual of Home Preparedness (Salsbury, BookCraft, 1975) - On pages 12 thru 15, she shows that bay leaves have no effect on weevils. She used whole wheat flour and wheat berries in her experiments.
Freezing is a good precaution.

This is a good book for storing and using basic foods - if you can find early editions.

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thanks for the great posts tacair and noamnesty. i've been digging through all the food storage threads in here and have seen quite a few different solutions for weevils and other pesty invaders. some solutions are minimalist and some seem to get incredibly complicated. i don't really have the means to freeze entire buckets or flood them with nitrogen gas. even freezing full mylar bags is rather impractical. my freezer is very small and completely packed with perishables. most people seem to be using O2 absorbers in combination with freezing. is that really necessary? wouldn't the fact that there is no O2 prevent any bugs from hatching and/or surviving? also, i have seen some people place O2 absorbers in the plastic bin in addition to inside the mylar bags. why is that necessary if the individual bags are already sealed and oxygen depleted?


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pipboy wrote:
thanks for the great posts tacair and noamnesty. i've been digging through all the food storage threads in here and have seen quite a few different solutions for weevils and other pesty invaders. some solutions are minimalist and some seem to get incredibly complicated. i don't really have the means to freeze entire buckets or flood them with nitrogen gas. even freezing full mylar bags is rather impractical. my freezer is very small and completely packed with perishables. most people seem to be using O2 absorbers in combination with freezing. is that really necessary? wouldn't the fact that there is no O2 prevent any bugs from hatching and/or surviving? also, i have seen some people place O2 absorbers in the plastic bin in addition to inside the mylar bags. why is that necessary if the individual bags are already sealed and oxygen depleted?


The point of the O2 packets is to keep the grain from oxidizing.

If you cannot freeze the product (easy for me, I just leave it out in the car for a couple of days - at nearly 0F every night it does the job.)

You can buy a small block of dry ice and put a small chunk of ice in the mylar bag and wait for it to sublimate. DO NOT SEAL THE BAG until the dry ice has completely sublimated (is gone) - then toss in the O2 packet and seal.

Ditto for bucket.

The freeze/dry ice thing is to kill eggs. If you don't do this - you may find the little buggers soon after you break the seal on your rice.etc.

Have fun - send me a PM if you have nay more questions.

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Last edited by TacAir on Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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if i am using dry ice in a mylar bag, does it matter if the dry ice is touching the food?

is there anywhere that sells individually wrapped oxygen absorbers? i don't currently have the means to load a dozen buckets at once and i don't want to waste a big package of absorbers.


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pipboy wrote:
if i am using dry ice in a mylar bag, does it matter if the dry ice is touching the food?

is there anywhere that sells individually wrapped oxygen absorbers? i don't currently have the means to load a dozen buckets at once and i don't want to waste a big package of absorbers.


No problem if the ice touch product, it is just compressed co2 = ensure you allow the ice to submlimate (turn to gas) completely - seal it with DI inside and you have a bomb.

I have never seen anyone seliing O2 scurbber individually. I went in with the kids and we did a group buy/pack/pizza party thing. Fun way to introduce others to the joy of not starving in a bad situation....

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Can you pack the rice and beans in the mylar bags and seal them first and then put them in the freezer for a couple days or is that a bad idea?


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gimmejr wrote:
Can you pack the rice and beans in the mylar bags and seal them first and then put them in the freezer for a couple days or is that a bad idea?


Don't see a problem with that order of business. I would keep beans and rice in different bags - unless I misunderstand you (a common problem I have)

I idea is to kill the weevil eggs, otherwise once you open the bag, you are sharing, like it or not, eh?

Let us know how your first batch turns out. And if you use the search function, you will find some menus for using the beans and rice.

If you have a fav way to cook 'em up - be sure to share....

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Last edited by TacAir on Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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