How to Prepare Food for Long-Term Storage

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  • 0:02 Food Storage
  • 0:37 What Can Be Stored?
  • 1:11 Oxygen & Food
  • 2:21 Long-Term Storage Dangers
  • 3:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

Throwing away food is not only wasteful but can also be costly. One way to preserve food is to package it in such a way that it can be stored for the long-term. Come along as we learn how to do so in this lesson.

Food Storage

Imagine that you just won a trip where you get the opportunity to travel the country for the next year. You immediately begin making the necessary arrangements for your trip. You pack your suitcases, you hire people to take care of your house, and then you realize you have an abundance of food. You need to make a decision about it. You certainly don't want to throw it away, but you can't take it with you, either. What are your options? After speaking with a friend, it was suggested that you store your food until you get back. But what can you store, and how do you store it? In this lesson, we'll learn all about preparing food to store for the long term.

What Can Be Stored?

The first thing you need to decide before you begin preparing food for long-term storage is whether or not the items you have can actually be stored. There are numerous food items that can be stored if done correctly. Some common food items that can be stored are cereals, dried fruit, crackers and cookies, pasta, candy, nuts, and a variety of mixes like pancake mixes, rice and pasta mixes, and bread mixes. Those items that are perishable, or those food items that go bad very quickly, such as milk, eggs, and cheese, are not good choices for long-term storage.

Oxygen & Food

While there are many different types of food that can be stored for a long time, any food that has too much exposure to oxygen will not last. But how does one get rid of high levels of oxygen? There are a variety of options you can choose from including vacuum sealers, containers, and canning.

Vacuum Sealers

We've all seen vacuum sealers, or those handy food savers that help package food. The purpose of those machines is to remove the air so that food lasts longer. This method can be very effective when you want to store food for long periods of time.


There is also the option of obtaining large containers like the ones that grocery store bakeries use to keep frosting stored safely for long periods of time. These large containers often come in the form of a five-gallon bucket which allows you to seal and store a large quantity of food. Keep in mind that these buckets can get heavy fast, and once you open the bucket, you'll need to use all of the food or consider repackaging the remainder all over again.


We probably all know someone who cans food. Canning is a food storage process that involves preserving food in a jar so that it can be stored safely for long periods of time. Canning removes oxygen and is a great option for long-term storage.

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