If you are storing wheat for long-term food storage, you need to ensure that you do it right, as this food item can go bad quite easily?
Wheat is the most fundamental food item that you can keep in your food storage stockpile, but if you fail to store it properly, you risk your entire supply getting contaminated. That is why you want to approach your wheat supply with careful consideration by storing it in a way that will ensure its quality and edibility when you need it the most.
To store wheat for long-term food storage you must place it in containers that are either air-tight or vacuum-sealed. However, if you want to maximize the shelf life of your wheat, then you may want to combine both methods. In addition, you need to store wheat in a place that is cool and dry.
When it comes to emergency situations, food storage is one of the ultimate ways to secure the safety of yourself and your loved ones. If an unforeseen circumstance arises such as a natural disaster, the first thing that you are going to want to prioritize is having your basic needs met, which for just about everyone is going to mean having a sufficient amount of food - with wheat being one of the most important. Grains such as wheat are the most logical and beneficial food items for food storage systems given how versatile they are, as well as their nutrient value. That is why food storage veterans prioritize having a large amount of wheat stored in their stockpiles above everything else. However, the key is to store it properly, as this is also a food item that can easily go bad if it is not kept in the right conditions. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at how to store wheat for long-term food storage in more detail.or
After years of working as a food storage specialist, I have had an extensive amount of expeirence storing wheat for long-term storage. My experience has taught me that the best way to store wheat long-term is to eliminate every possible source of contamination during the process of storage.
Wheat: Long Term Food Storage
These days, the practice of food storage is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Whether you are expecting a zombie apocalypse, another pandemic, a natural disaster, or simply just like the idea of being prepared, having an adequate amount of food storage at home is just downright logical. There are so many scenarios that could come about in life that could catch you off-guard and, unfortunately, they can be extremely challenging to predict.
The best thing that we can all do is take pre-emptive action and ready ourselves for these situations so that when they arrive, we have got a sense of reassurance that we are going to be okay. The reason that food storage is such a vital part of preparing for emergencies is that having access to basic goods is often very complicated, annoying, or even impossible in these situations. You have to consider that the vast majority of people in the country are still not practicing food storage at home, which means that they are going to be caught off-guard when an emergency comes about.
What usually happens in this situation is that supermarkets get sold out and shelves are left empty. To keep you from desperately shopping for your essential goods in this scenario, all you have to do is prepare ahead of time. There are a lot of important items for a food storage system but wheat should be at the top of everyone’s list. Wheat is a highly nutritious grain that provides our bodies with carbohydrates, which are the most crucial nutrient for giving us energy. There are so many ways that you can use wheat (especially if you turn it into flour), that this one food item can essentially be the foundation for your entire diet in an emergency.
With that being said, given that food storage is all about longevity, you want to ensure that your wheat is going to last as long as possible. If you store your wheat properly, there is no reason that it won’t be good for at least 20 to 30 years. However, if you overlook the importance of storing it properly, then you are going to significantly lower its shelf life - or you can risk your stockpile getting contaminated. Keep reading to learn more about how to store wheat for long-term food storage.
Food Storage Containers for Wheat
The first place that you are going to want to start to maximize the shelf life of your wheat is to utilize various methods with food storage containers. There are a lot of different approaches that you can take with storing your wheat in containers and you can decide for yourself which one works best for you based on your preferences.
The most important thing that you want to prioritize is that the container is air-tight. The number one reason that people’s wheat gets contaminated in their food storage is due to air. While this may not be a huge issue for the wheat that you have stored in your kitchen, which you likely use quite regularly, it certainly can be for long-term food storage, as this kind of contamination starts slowly and sneaks up on you.
In addition to an air leak in your wheat storage, you start to run the risk of moisture getting inside of your stockpile. If there is any point of entry into your wheat storage, then you open the door for any number of contaminants to enter - with water and moisture being notorious. Whether it is a small leak in your house that made contact with your stockpile or you simply live in a region that gets quite humid, moisture prevention is something that you do not want to overlook.
With that being said, a food storage container should not only be air-tight but also durable. The reason for this is that pests have a habit of finding their own ways of getting into people’s wheat storage, no matter how ‘air-tight’ the packaging says it is. Pests such as rats, moths, and cockroaches are common enemies of food storage stockpiles and they can be tough to stop unless proper containers are utilized. However, it is not uncommon for pests to have laid eggs inside of wheat before you even open it. If you want to be 100% certain that your wheat is pest-free, you should consider freezing it or heating it thoroughly to kill any eggs inside. Let’s take a closer look at some great options for food storage containers for wheat.
Factory Sealed Sacks
Many people buy their wheat by the lb at the store, which is perfectly fine if you have got a good container system in place at home to stockpile it. However, an easy and often effective workaround to this is to buy your wheat wholesale in a factory-sealed sack.
When you buy wheat in factory sealed sack, you have a sense of reassurance right from the start that the product has been kept contained since it was processed, which means that there is a highly unlikely risk of contamination during its transport This is a great go-to option for your food storage if you want to start with a supply of wheat that is guaranteed to be quality.
What you will find, however, is that the packaging has an expiration date on it, which is not nearly as distant as you would like for a long-term food storage system. The truth is that wheat rarely goes bad within its labeled timeframe - especially if you store it properly. If you are buying this wheat solely for your food storage, then the best way to maximize the shelf life on your factory-sealed sack of wheat is to simply leave it unopened.
Most wheat suppliers and wholesalers mark the listed expiration based on the fact that they assume the person buying it is going to open it for immediate use, which results in oxidation. You can skip this risk by leaving your factory-sealed sack unopened until you really need it. Furthermore, if you want to increase the shelf life of your sack of wheat, even longer, you can place it inside a sealed box or chest. This way you minimize oxygen contamination even more and also mitigate the chance of pests making contact with your wheat supply.
One of the most traditional methods for food storage which is still highly effective today is to keep your goods in mason jars. Mason jars have been proven to get the job done for well over a century, however, any air-tight jar will be just fine.
If you are like most people, you probably already have some jars laying around the house that you can utilize for this. So long as they have air-tight lids, they will be perfect for storing your wheat.
What you do want to be careful of when storing your wheat in mason jars is that these containers can be quite fragile. Even light contact with a glass mason jar can result in cracks or breaks, which is why you want to ensure that they will be kept in a safe place if you do decide to use this method.
In addition, most people’s mason jars are relatively small, which can become a nuisance if you have 6 months to a year’s worth of wheat storage to deal with. In this case, it may be wise to get your hands on some larger mason jars so that you can make the most of your space. We also recommend bubble wrapping your mason jars for long-term wheat storage - just for added protection.
One of the safest and most convenient ways to store your wheat is to keep it in air-tight plastic containers. These are very common items that can be found in just about every household, as they tend to be used for food items outside of food storage stockpiles.
Old-school Tupperware containers have been around for decades, are a very solid option for this approach, and you may already have some at home that you can utilize. These containers were designed to be air-tight and are meant to increase the shelf life of food items. However, if you have got old containers laying around, you may want to first confirm their integrity before fully committing to them, as wear and tear over the years does add up. If they are in good condition, then they will be perfect for storing your wheat.
However, you may want to re-invest in some newer air-tight containers to seal the deal on your long-term wheat storage. There are so many different options for air-tight storage containers out there and you really can’t go wrong with what you choose, so long as they are completely air-tight. A good way to reassure this is to check the product and see if they have lids that clamp on tight. In addition, these containers keep food even better if they have rubber seals or lips to keep air and moisture from entering.
Plastic, air-tight containers such as these are one of the best approaches that you can take for your wheat storage. The great thing about air-tight storage containers is that they are available in a wide variety of sizes. If you have got a smaller amount of wheat storage to keep, finding some medium-sized containers is going to be very easy. On the other hand, if you are dealing with a 3 to 12 month supply of wheat there are plenty of large and extra-large air-tight containers that are going to suit you better.
Not everyone has the money to invest in their wheat storage system, but that does not mean that you cannot find an option that meets your budget. High-grade air-tight containers are going to get the job done the best, but at the end of the day, if it closes and it’s air-tight, it will work.
One of the best solutions for affordable wheat storage is to use plastic bottles. This is a method that is either dirt cheap or even free, as plastic bottles are what most people tend to throw in their recycling bins. In fact, you probably already have some at home!
Plastic bottles such as used water bottles or even soda bottles are perfect options for storing wheat long-term. You can use a funnel to pour your wheat inside of the plastic bottles and then simply fasten the lid and you are good to go. What you will want to do beforehand is thoroughly clean and sanitize the bottles prior to pouring your wheat in.
This is certainly not the most convenient way of storing wheat but it is effective and that is the most important thing. It can get a bit time-consuming to use this method, which is why it may make sense to use larger plastic bottles.
If you are planning on creating a large-sized system for your wheat storage, then you are going to want to invest in some food buckets. This is a container method that you will see utilized by so many food storage enthusiasts and survivalists as it is hands down one of the most optimum approaches for storing large amounts of wheat.
Food buckets can be easily spotted, as they are often used for other types of household items and hardware, but the ones that you specifically want to use for your wheat storage are those that are marked as ‘food grade’. A food-grade bucket was designed specifically for storing foods like grains.
What is really great about food buckets is that they are usually being sold in large sizes such as 5-gallons, which means that you can fit up to 30 lbs of wheat in just a single bucket! If you have got hundreds of lbs of wheat to store, then a food bucket is going to be your best bet in getting the job done optimally.
In addition, food buckets are extremely durable. The containers are hard plastic and are designed to withstand a reasonable amount of impact, which means that you do not have to stress about them breaking if they get knocked around a little. In addition, this durability also means that pests are not going to be an issue, as they will have a hard time getting through a food bucket.
If you plan on keeping your wheat stored in food buckets for years, you may want to consider adding some additional protection to your grains before you solely rely on the bucket. Food buckets are great but if you want to guarantee your food’s safety, you should consider placing your wheat inside vacuum-sealed bags first.
Storage Places For Wheat
If you have found some appropriate containers for your wheat, then the majority of your wheat storage has been taken care of. However, one of the most important aspects of food storage is not only the containers that you use but the places that you keep them.
Storage locations are a vital part of keeping your stockpile safe and maximizing your wheat’s shelf life. The reason for this is that wheat still needs to be kept in a certain type of environment in order to keep from going bad. Although this is a dry food item, it can still get damaged or contaminated in the wrong setting.
What you want to prioritize when picking places around your home to store your wheat storage is that the area should be dry and cool. Wheat is stored best when it is kept at temperatures that are below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, you want to keep your wheat away from moisture at all costs. If you have sealed your containers air-tight, this should not be a problem. In addition, try to keep your wheat storage away from direct sunlight at all costs. Let’s take a look at some places around the house that are great for long-term wheat storage.
A basement is really one of the best places you could ever ask for when storing food. So, if you have got one, put it to good use!
Provided that it is clean and does not have any leaks, you will find that a basement really ticks all of the boxes as far as food storage environments go - it’s cool and dry!
What is great about this kind of environment is that it is underground, which means that it should have a stable temperature all year round - with minimal sunlight.
This one is really straightforward and most kitchens are equipped with them. Pantries are fantastic locations for food storage in your household.
A pantry is already designed for dry food storage, which should make utilizing it for your wheat pretty intuitive. What I often find, however, is that so many people tend to clutter their pantries with other items such as kitchenware and leave little room for food storage goods.
If that is the case for you, try to re-organize your pantry space and optimize it for your wheat storage, as this is one of the most practical and accessible places in your home for it.
Now, not everyone has got the freezer space for their wheat storage but if you happen to have a considerable amount of room, there is really no better place.
This is likely not going to be a practical approach for someone who just has a single freezer attached to their modest-sized fridge. However, if you have got a large chest freezer in the house and have room to spare - load it up with wheat!
A freezer is going to add longevity to your wheat’s shelf life better than any other storage area, as the temperature is guaranteed to keep it from going bad for years. If you have put your wheat in air-tight containers and have put them in a cool and dry place, it will already last for at least 20 years.
However, a freezer will add to this amount significantly. So, if you want to have your wheat storage last as long as possible, this is the way to go. In addition, keeping your wheat storage in your freezer is going to secure your food from contamination better than any other method.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker