Wheat is more than just a grain. It's a powerhouse of nutrients and a key player in long-term survival food supplies. High in fiber, minerals, and vitamins, wheat can be your lifeline in times of crisis. But just having wheat isn't enough. It must be stored properly to keep it safe and nutritious.
Knowing your wheat is the first step to effective storage. Wheat comes in several varieties, each with its unique characteristics. This knowledge can guide you in making the right choices for your long-term storage needs.
Hard red wheat is high in protein and gluten, making it perfect for making hearty bread. Its strong flavor makes it a favorite among those who appreciate a rich taste in their baked goods. If your long-term survival plan involves baking bread, hard red wheat should be your go-to.
Then there's soft white wheat. This type has a milder flavor and softer texture. It's ideal for baking items that don't require a strong gluten structure, like pastries, cookies, and pancakes. If you envision a variety of baked goods in your survival menu, white wheat gives you more options.
Hard white wheat is another choice you could consider. It is a good all-rounder, suitable for both bread and pastries. Its flavor is milder than hard red wheat, making it popular among those who prefer a softer taste but still want the flexibility to bake bread.
There are many places to find wheat for your storage needs. Local farmers' markets or co-op stores often have high-quality wheat. You can also check out bulk food stores or online markets. Always aim for high-quality, whole grain wheat. It’s not cheap, but nothing is these days. Why is food so expensive? In the end, having wheat stored for an emergency will be money well spent.
One of the best ways to buy wheat is in bulk. It's cost-effective and ensures you have plenty to store. But remember, quality is key. It's better to get good wheat in smaller amounts than low-quality wheat in bulk.
When buying wheat, do a quality check. Good wheat should be clean, without any dust or dirt. It should also be dry. Wet or damp wheat can spoil, making it unfit for storage. The wheat should be free from pests too.
Once you have chosen the right type of wheat, it's time to focus on storage. Ensure to source high-quality wheat berries, preferably from a local grower or processor. Fresh, nutrient-rich wheat berries’ shelf life is 30 years, making it perfect for long-term storage.
When storing wheat for emergencies, airtight containers are your best friends. They help to protect the grains from the outside world and extend their shelf life. Think of these containers as fortresses. Like a strong fortress protects against invaders, airtight containers guard wheat against elements like moisture, pests, and harmful air.
Let's look at the most common types of containers.
Plastic buckets: Make sure to use food-grade plastic buckets. They are a reliable and practical choice for storing large quantities of wheat. They're robust, stackable, and can be sealed tightly to keep out air and pests.
Mylar bags: These bags are great for storing wheat because they have an oxygen barrier that helps to keep the grains fresh. When sealed properly, Mylar bags can protect wheat for many years.
Plastic bottles: They are convenient and widely available. However, ensure the bottles are food-grade, clean, and dry before filling them with wheat.
Glass jars: These are great for storing wheat, especially in dark, cool places. The jars can be vacuum-sealed to keep the wheat fresh for longer. Just remember to store them carefully to avoid breakage.
Just like Superman has weaknesses, wheat has two major enemies: light and air.
Exposure to light can degrade the quality of wheat over time, affecting its nutritional value. Similarly, air, especially oxygen, can lead to the development of bacteria and insects, reducing the grain's shelf life. This is where an oxygen barrier comes into play. It acts like a superhero's shield, protecting the wheat from its enemies.
For those serious about storing a large amount of wheat for the long haul, there's a top-notch method. This includes lining food-grade buckets with Mylar bags and adding oxygen absorbers into the mix.
Step One - Gather Your Supplies: You will need food-grade buckets, Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, and your wheat.
Step Two - Line Your Bucket: Place the Mylar bag inside the bucket. It acts as an extra layer of protection for the wheat against air and light.
Step Three - Add Wheat: Pour the wheat into the Mylar-lined bucket. Leave a bit of space at the top.
Step Four - Add Oxygen Absorber: Place an oxygen absorber on top of the wheat. Oxygen absorbers are like superheroes. They snatch up any excess oxygen, keeping the wheat safe from bacteria and pests.
Step Five - Seal Mylar Bag: Squeeze as much air out of the bag as you can, then seal it. Mylar bags often have a ziplock-style seal, but you can also use a hot iron to seal the bag tightly.
Step Six - Seal the Bucket: Place the lid on the bucket and secure it tightly. The bucket provides an extra barrier against light and pests, and makes it easy to store and stack your wheat.
This method might take a bit more effort, but it provides the best protection for your wheat. You will rest easier knowing you have a secure supply of wheat, ready for any emergency. The safety and security of preparedness are in these very acts. Being self-reliant and independent means taking these actions now to safeguard our tomorrow.
Storing wheat is not about shoving it somewhere and forgetting about it. No, it needs the right conditions to stay in peak shape for years. Cool, dry, and dark places are the best. These conditions slow down any biological or chemical reactions that can harm the wheat.
Like Goldilocks, wheat likes its storage temperature just right. Not too hot, not too cold. The sweet spot is between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hot and humid spots, like garages or attics, are bad news for wheat. Heat speeds up reactions that can spoil wheat. Humidity can introduce moisture, leading to mold. Don't let your wheat suffer in these places. Your emergency food supply is too important to risk!
You don't want bugs in your wheat. Trust me. Treating wheat to prevent pests is key for long-term storage. A little work now saves a lot of headache later.
Pests are the villains in the story of wheat storage. But don't worry, there are heroes too! Oxygen absorbers, vacuum sealing, freezing, and diatomaceous earth all fight against these villains. They ensure that your wheat stays safe, secure, and ready for use.
All living things age, and wheat is no exception. As time passes, wheat experiences a drop in its protein content, also known as gluten. Furthermore, its ability to sprout new life (the germination rate) decreases. Don't fret - this is natural. And the best part? Proper storage can slow these changes.
How long does wheat last? Decades. That's right, wheat berries’ shelf life, when properly stored, is 30 years or more. Remember, it's not just about storage, it's about proper storage. Think cool, dry, dark, and pest-free. Don't do it right, and you'll have ruined wheat before you know it.
Wheat is fantastic. But it's not the only grain on the block. In a well-rounded emergency food supply, wheat works with other grains. Team it up with the likes of white rice, rolled oats, and pasta. Mix it up to keep your meals interesting and nutritious.
Grinding Wheat into Flour:
Stored wheat can become fresh flour with the right tools. You'll need a grinder or a mill. Manual ones give you a good workout and don't need electricity. Electric ones make the job easier. Put the wheat berries in, give them a good grind, and voila! You've got yourself some fresh, nutritious flour. Use this flour for baking bread, making pancakes, or thickening sauces.
Cracking Wheat for Cereals:
You don't always have to turn wheat into flour. Sometimes, you can crack it. Cracked wheat is great for breakfast cereals. To crack wheat, you use a mill set to a coarse grind. This breaks the wheat into smaller pieces without turning it all the way into flour. Then, just cook it up like you would oatmeal. Add some sweetener and fruit if you like. A hearty, wholesome breakfast is ready to start your day right. Try some cracked wheat hot cereal with some freeze-dried fruit for a warm, comforting breakfast.
Cooking Wheat Whole:
Wheat doesn't always need to be ground or cracked. You can cook it whole too. Think of it like rice. Boil it in water or broth until it's tender. It's a bit chewy and has a nutty taste. Use it as a side dish, in soups, or salads. Or get fancy and use it in place of rice for a delicious wheat berry risotto. This gives you another option for using your stored wheat. The more ways you know to use it, the better off you'll be.
Sure, you can store wheat and become a master baker, but what about the other meals in a day? Relying solely on one type of food might make your taste buds go on strike! Diversifying your storage with various food items ensures a balanced diet.
When the world is full of uncertainties, Valley Food Storage provides a guarantee. They store food in airtight containers that lock out light, air, and pests to make sure you have a 25 year emergency food supply. Oxygen absorbers are used to suck out unwanted oxygen, keeping food fresh and ready-to-eat for a long time. Their products aren't just packages, they're peace of mind in a bucket (or a bugout bag!).
Remember, food storage isn't just about stashing away food, it's about ensuring that when the time comes, the food you have stored is safe, nutritious, and enjoyable. With Valley Food Storage, you have a trusted partner who shares your values of self-reliance and preparedness. They don't just sell prepping supplies, they provide a secure, safe future in every package.
Storing flour long-term is possible, but storing wheat itself is a big step towards being ready for anything. It's about taking care of yourself and the people you care about. It's about knowing that no matter what happens, you have food. You're not just storing wheat, you're building self-reliance.
Remember, quality matters when storing wheat. You want wheat that's as good in ten years as it is today. That's why you need to store it correctly. Follow the tips in this guide, and consider letting the professionals at Valley Food Storage help you out.
In the end, it's all about safety, security, and self-reliance. By properly storing wheat, you're taking a crucial step towards being prepared for whatever life may throw your way..