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wesmerc
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Posted: 12/11/2011 6:37:03 AM
When my dad moved several years ago we took a couple bags of flour from him because it didnt make sense to move them across the country. We found out about a year later that there was crawlies in them so we got rid of them. We just found some more in some sugar. What can we do about these? I have heard about freezing but then you are still eating bugs right? Is there anything we can put in there as a deterent or a storage process that makes it hard/impossible to get them?
wshbrngr
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Posted: 12/11/2011 8:34:15 AM
[Last Edit: 12/11/2011 8:38:08 AM by wshbrngr]
I think you are dealing with 2 different problems.

Sugar: I think the bugs you got are getting into the sugar bag during storage. You want to keep the bugs out, so the best option is an airtight container.

For single small bags, something like this.
If you are storing multiple small bags, something like this.
If storing bulk sugar, something like this.
You can also store sugar in Mylar bags. Do not use an O2 absorber or it will turn into a solid brick. - still usable, but you will have to break it up.

Flour: Bugs can get into the flour during storage, but unfortunately, the eggs are usually in the flour when you buy it. Over time, they will hatch.
So the bugs are probably already in there. It may sound disgusting, but you have been eating these bug eggs forever.
Using the flour with the bugs in it sounds nasty, but will not harm you.
You can freeze the flour, it takes about 48hrs in the freezer to do this. After you freeze it you will need to store it in an air tight container or some sort.
Since you have to store it in an airtight container anyway, you can also skip the freezing and just store it in Mylar bags with O2 absorbers/
The bugs cannot hatch without the air.

Another problem with flour is that it starts to lose its nutritional value fairly quickly. (The little that white flour has already)
Packed in Mylar w/O2 you are probably still looking at <10yr shelf life. (The LDS Canned flour lists a 10yr shelf life), but I am not sure how nutritious the flour will be after 10yrs.

If you are looking for long term storage, you should look into storing wheat berries and a flour mill.
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RULE762
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Posted: 12/11/2011 8:36:05 AM
The bugs are already in your food when you purchase it. Freezing kills the bugs / eggs, in effect, neutralizing them. Yes, you are still eating them, but it is not harmful to you. Keep these items stored in airtight containers to prevent the bugs from contaminating other products. Dry dog food is terrible in regards to introducing these bugs to your pantry/dry goods. Try and prevent the issue, but once it is there, don't worry too much about it. Like I said, its not harmful to you, just gross to some. Look at it as bonus protein.
Johnny_Reno
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Posted: 12/11/2011 9:31:10 AM



My grandmother told of having problems with bugs in flour. She would spread the flour out in a shallow pan and then put it in the oven which would kill the bugs. The bugs were then sifted out afterwards.

(This was back in the day when cloth flour sacks came in printed patterns so that the customer could make clothing out of the sack afterwards.)
I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition.
SteelonSteel
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Posted: 12/11/2011 10:15:59 AM
[Last Edit: 12/11/2011 10:16:43 AM by SteelonSteel]
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:



My grandmother told of having problems with bugs in flour. She would spread the flour out in a shallow pan and then put it in the oven which would kill the bugs. The bugs were then sifted out afterwards.

(This was back in the day when cloth flour sacks came in printed patterns so that the customer could make clothing out of the sack afterwards.)


J_R touched on something America has kind of forgotten. Fluffy flour was NOT the only reason our great grandmothers had flour sifters. The sifters caught the bigger bug parts so grandma's recipe wouldn"t be ickified.

Our flour and other cereal has standards, they're allowed so many bug parts per unit. 20 years ago flour mills were allowed to use more pesticides around the plant than they can now. This is partly why you're seeing a bit of a rise in bugs in stuff. My BIL has worked for Cargill for 30 years and there was a definite change in spraying at the plant.

Also shopping at some healthfood stores you can bring home bugs that will get in your other stored foods. My mother had a hell of time with millers moths that came home in bags from the health food store. When discovered she tossed the bags out but they had gotten in stored cereals, oatmeal, boxes of other stuff. She was pissed. Really the only way to get rid of an infestation is to dump everythign and scour out your storage areas so the eggs aren't sitting in the scattered flour and dust in the edges of your cabinets.

Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:

'Cause skinny chicks are like laying on a pile of coat hangers....
Stasiman
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Posted: 12/11/2011 10:18:14 AM
After living in third and fourth world countries for years, bugs in my flour and sugar no longer phases me. While I pack and seal all my stores now, back then all we did is sift the flour or sugar before use. As mentioned before, they are always there in the food, you just don't/didn't know about it before they hatch. You have been dining on them for your whole life. Take a look at the fine print of the various FDA specs for food production and you will see limits/allowances for bug eggs, bug body parts, etc...etc... Kinda makes you wanna go .

As others have mentioned, freezer, Mylar bags, and O2 absorbers will do the trick for long term storage. But as also mentioned, storing flour for the long term is less than optimal from a nutrition stand point. Better to store the whole wheat berries and make your flour as needed.

stasiman
wshbrngr
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Posted: 12/11/2011 10:21:51 AM
[Last Edit: 12/11/2011 10:23:31 AM by wshbrngr]
Originally Posted By Stasiman:
After living in third and fourth world countries for years, bugs in my flour and sugar no longer phases me. While I pack and seal all my stores now, back then all we did is sift the flour or sugar before use. As mentioned before, they are always there in the food, you just don't/didn't know about it before they hatch. You have been dining on them for your whole life. Take a look at the fine print of the various FDA specs for food production and you will see limits/allowances for bug eggs, bug body parts, etc...etc... Kinda makes you wanna go .

As others have mentioned, freezer, Mylar bags, and O2 absorbers will do the trick for long term storage. But as also mentioned, storing flour for the long term is less than optimal from a nutrition stand point. Better to store the whole wheat berries and make your flour as needed.
stasiman

and the only caveat to this is,
begin using whole wheat flour in your diet now, if you wait till after TSHTF, it may be a big shock to your system.

Besides, it is better for you anyway.

AND, the first time you eat bread with fresh, home ground flour.... you will probably say..
Oh, so this is what bread is supposoed to taste like.

In Texas "He needed killin" is a defense to prosecution - COZ_45

Whether you think you can or you think you can't . . . . You're right! - Henry Ford as quoted by Stewie Griffin
Johnny_Reno
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Posted: 12/11/2011 10:24:31 AM
[Last Edit: 12/11/2011 10:26:08 AM by Johnny_Reno]

Totally unrelated, but...





Flour sack clothing.

I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition.
BRONZ
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Posted: 12/11/2011 10:58:29 AM
BRONZ

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akcaribouhunter
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Posted: 12/11/2011 12:16:01 PM
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We have a few 5# bags with bugs that are just sitting.
Been about 4yrs and we are wondering if they are any good.
wshbrngr
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Posted: 12/11/2011 12:30:07 PM
Originally Posted By akcaribouhunter:
Tagged

We have a few 5# bags with bugs that are just sitting.
Been about 4yrs and we are wondering if they are any good.

Personally, I think if they are just bags sitting out,
at this point, the bugs probably have more nutritional value than the flour.

YMMV

In Texas "He needed killin" is a defense to prosecution - COZ_45

Whether you think you can or you think you can't . . . . You're right! - Henry Ford as quoted by Stewie Griffin
akcaribouhunter
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Posted: 12/11/2011 12:45:14 PM

Originally Posted By wshbrngr:
Originally Posted By akcaribouhunter:
Tagged

We have a few 5# bags with bugs that are just sitting.
Been about 4yrs and we are wondering if they are any good.

Personally, I think if they are just bags sitting out,
at this point, the bugs probably have more nutritional value than the flour.

YMMV


Thanks

We completely forgot them as they were hidden under a bunch of other stuff.
wesmerc
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Posted: 12/11/2011 12:53:12 PM
Thank you guys for the responses. I knew most of the stuff from seeing it scattered around the forum. This cements the problem in my mind though. I need to re-evaluate how much flour, what kind, and storage method.
AR15Texan
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Posted: 12/11/2011 1:09:39 PM
Exactly why does the flour lose nutritional value?
sunburn
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Posted: 12/11/2011 1:30:28 PM


My great grandmother often talked about that. Different brands would often have different patterns on the cloth. She stated that you would buy the bag of flour with the pattern that you like.
wshbrngr
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Posted: 12/11/2011 1:38:02 PM
[Last Edit: 12/11/2011 1:40:21 PM by wshbrngr]
Originally Posted By AR15Texan:
Exactly why does the flour lose nutritional value?

Vitamins degrade and lose potency over time.

Light, air, heat and time are enemies.
The more of these you can remove, the longer flour (and most foods) will last.

Time is the hardest one to control.

Once the wheat is milled, the clock really starts running.


In Texas "He needed killin" is a defense to prosecution - COZ_45

Whether you think you can or you think you can't . . . . You're right! - Henry Ford as quoted by Stewie Griffin
Johnny_Reno
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Posted: 12/11/2011 3:58:29 PM
[Last Edit: 12/11/2011 3:59:12 PM by Johnny_Reno]
Originally Posted By sunburn:


My great grandmother often talked about that. Different brands would often have different patterns on the cloth. She stated that you would buy the bag of flour with the pattern that you like.



Right. My mother remembers my grandmother telling my grandfather to not only find bags with the same print, but of a similar shading.

Folks who grew up in the Depression knew how to pinch a penny.

I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition.
TheWind
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Posted: 12/11/2011 4:03:52 PM
Bugs are protein and a little crunch
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Parrandero
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Posted: 12/11/2011 9:58:36 PM
Around here we eat the bugs (chapulines)
tack87
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Posted: 12/11/2011 11:07:31 PM
Originally Posted By wshbrngr:
Originally Posted By AR15Texan:
Exactly why does the flour lose nutritional value?

Vitamins degrade and lose potency over time.

Light, air, heat and time are enemies.
The more of these you can remove, the longer flour (and most foods) will last.

Time is the hardest one to control.

Once the wheat is milled, the clock really starts running.



So it doesn't loose any nutritional value before its milled?
wshbrngr
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Posted: 12/12/2011 9:12:09 AM
Originally Posted By tack87:
Originally Posted By wshbrngr:
Originally Posted By AR15Texan:
Exactly why does the flour lose nutritional value?

Vitamins degrade and lose potency over time.

Light, air, heat and time are enemies.
The more of these you can remove, the longer flour (and most foods) will last.

Time is the hardest one to control.

Once the wheat is milled, the clock really starts running.

So it doesn't loose any nutritional value before its milled?

I am not sure if that is a serious question or not.

I never meant to infer that.
It still depends on storage conditions. (see above)
Although, if just left out in the field, the wheat berries would probably rot before they lost their nutritional value.

If you are really interested, you might want to Google up how they make flour.
Long term storage of wheatberries is easier than long term storage of flour.

However, if you compare the useful lifespan in minimal storage conditions
wheat berries (~30+yrs) vs. white flour (~8 months) there is quite a bit of difference.
If you go back before before refrigerators and fancy packaging, man stored whole grains as a hedge against crop failures, famine and civil unrest.
They did not store flour or cornmeal.

Once you grind wheat berries, you are exposing all the goodies inside to the elements.
These items were protected by the hard shell.
Once you take the wheat berries and grind them into flour, it has a fairly short shelf life due to the oils in the wheat germ.

The convenience of store flour comes at the expense of a lot of the goodies that wheat provides.
Store flour lasts longer than home ground because they remove the wheat germ (and oils).
They remove so much of the good stuff they have to replace it, hence the name 'Enriched Flour' you see on your bags.
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Posted: 12/12/2011 11:31:38 AM
I've been in pest control for almost 12 years.

The sugar probably got them after it was purchased. Bugs love sugar. Especially ants and roaches. Toss it and clean area well to avoid future infestations.

The flour had them when you bought it, or they found it after you stored it. Weevils, beetles and various other grain pests will attack anything in unsealed containers fairly quickly. Raw grains are much more susceptible, however even processed grain products like pasta can be a food source. Freezing may not kill all the larvae as a home freezer may not get cold enough, and lets be honest if freezing killed them all then where do the bugs in Alaska come from?

Your best bet is to toss the infested material, clean the storage area very well, and do a crack and crevice treatment of the room with a nice pyrethroid or similiar aerosol to kill any larvae or adults that may be hiding. And seal all grain products in at least a zip lock bag or tupperware to keep them from becoming re-infested.


And bugs are protien so you could eat them too....
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Posted: 12/12/2011 11:57:50 AM


Check out diatomaceous earth. Its a powdered form of earth that cuts into the exoskeltons

of bugs and kills them right after they hatch. The stuff is very cheap.
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Posted: 12/12/2011 11:04:47 PM
I pretty much agree with the above post mentioning that using a freezer may not kill everything. Depends on what you are trying to kill and a google search might show if your deep freeze gets to temps low enough to do it.

If messing with diatomaceous earth make sure you get the kind you can eat. The one used for pool filters is not good to use around food from what I recall. And make sure you read up on this stuff, it is useful stuff but don't inhale the dust.

I vacumn pack stuff. While folks pick on canning jars there are attachments to allow you to hook a vacumn packer up to a canning jar and seal the canning jar that way.

I have enough canning jars of stuff that once I get around to sealing up mylar bags I would be able to open up a mylar bag and put its contents into the recycled canning jars and seal the canning jars up if I wanted to do so.

Mylar with 02 absorbers are how I plan to deal with storing my stuff.

The canning jars are glass with metal lids, no bugs get in that easily.

I plan to put the mylar bags into a 55gallon drum, just a lot of smaller bags in a big drum and the big metal drum will protect the mylar bags.

I have bought a lot of various glass jars with good tops and I also like metal popcorn tins and similar stuff as well.

Read up on how folks in the old days stored stuff and used stuff and kept bugs out of their stuff.

I don't honestly know if freezing in a deep freeze is enough, I personally don't think it is but perhaps it is because of the deep freeze I have and the temps it reaches.

I don't store stuff in its original container unless the original container is a metal can or foil pouch or something similar.

A cardboard box with mac and cheese in it is opened up and stored in glass jars. A bag of flour is poured into a glass jar as well.

Cereal that will be eaten quickly is sometimes left in its original bag but even with plain old cheerios I am getting to where I don't store it in the original setup because bugs or perhaps mice or something else can easily get into it.

I spent some time and effort cleaning up my kitchen and storing things to keep bugs and animals out and now it is easy to keep after it so that I don't have any more problems.

I never had a problem where I rent now, but a place I used to own taught me a few things and made me a believe in metal or glass for the main container and I am comfortable trusting vacumn sealing jars or 02 absorbers for mylar to keep the bugs and larvae from growing.
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nvgeologist
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Posted: 12/13/2011 1:23:50 AM
[Last Edit: 12/13/2011 11:44:50 AM by nvgeologist]
On degradation of the nutritional value, it all comes down to the same process by which we get the caloric value out of the flour, oxidation. Flour has several orders of magnitude more surface area by weight than wheat berries do, so oxygen has more access to do it's work. Storage with low oxygen permeability (mylar, steel, etc), low light (which affects surface temp, every 10*C temp rise doubles chemical reaction rates), low oxygen presence (O2 absorbers, vac sealing), and low temp (again, chemical reaction rate) will preserve the nutritional value longer.
/EDIT: Forgot moisture- water is H2O, and the O (oxygen) can break off to do it's oxidation gig. Water is just oxidized hydrogen. Worse yet, breaking down starch (C6H10O5)n gives you, basically, CO2 and H2O.



FWIW, this works for pretty much storage of *everything*. You wanna store things forever, put 'em in a electromagnetic free, absolute zero vacuum* with no tidal (gravity change) effect.




/Of course, then you have sublimation... Can't win 'em all.

1811guy
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Posted: 12/13/2011 9:47:30 AM
[Last Edit: 12/13/2011 9:47:57 AM by 1811guy]
Critters in preps - this is a very good reason for not storing long term preps in large containers (like 55 gal drums). As soon as a sealed container is opened, the entire contents are compromised. It is much better to package everything into smaller quantities that will be used up in a shorter time frame, thus lessening exposure and chances that the food will become contaminated. Works for water as well - I store drinking water in gallon jugs in our cold storage with no light to prevent degradation of the plastic. Makes it easier to carry out in a pinch as well. 2 weeks worth @ 1 gallon per family member per day.
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