By Troy Butcher

When setting up your long term food storage plan, there are important features to consider. Shelf life should be your top pick. Survival food that can stay on the shelf without needing to rotate it out is what determines the shelf life of the food.

In general, food is perishable, and the same thing holds true with food storage. Emergency food storage tends to fail because of the need to rotate it. Difficulties surround long term food storage because of the size and weight of the food.

Some survival food products carry a longer duration than others. The ingredients, how the food was prepared and packaged are all factors that make up length of time that a food can sit on a shelf. In order to achieve a successful emergency food supply, you have to look for food storage options that allow for 10 or more years sitting on a shelf without rotating. Ideally you could get many additional years out of your food storage products.

A new standard in the food storage business is being set by companies advertising a 25 year storage. Food that doesn't spoil quickly can stay on the shelf longer and is much better for you. What do you have to exchange for this lengthened time? You shouldn't have to exchange anything in return for the longer duration. There are processes like freeze drying and dehydration that can maintain food in it's original state. As you reconstitute these freeze dried foods you regain original size, shape and flavor. Hence, there is no need to exchange length of shelf life for taste and nutrition. The food storage packaging is also key. As you remove air and add nitrogen, you can increase the overall shelf life. Nitrogen flushing is commonly the process used and this helps your food storage remain fresh for a longer period of time.

The food storage containers can also provide benefit in the storage length and storage space for that matter. Food that is stored in an air tight containers that are also UV resistant can play an important factor. Heat tends to play the biggest factor in decreasing the length of time a food can last without spoiling. So not only is the container important but also where you are storing the food. Food needs to be kept in a nice temperate surrounding. A home basement is an ideal location.

Finally, food storage shelf life plays into one of the most important factors in any successful emergency food storage plan. Look for food that can last at least up to 25 years. There are products out there today that match this criteria, so don't settle for anything less.

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