Mylar, a flexible aluminum and plastic compound, makes a superlative food storage bag. The opaque bags keep food stored properly and fresh better than plastic or glass, and for longer periods of time. Most dry staples, dehydrated foods and freeze-dried foods are suitable for storage in mylar. The bags come in many sizes, and can be sealed in a vacuum sealer or by hand.
What Food Can You Store
Any food that is dried, has very little moisture, or in which the moisture can be removed from, can be kept in mylar bags. Items such as whole wheat, dried berries, white sugar, salt, pure sorghum molasses, pure honey, cereals, dried beans and corn, rice, whole spices and many other things. Flour, pasta, powdered milk, soft grains -- like rolled oats, rye and barley -- and dehydrated vegetables store well in these bags. Pure honey and molasses can be stored like this because they contain natural ingredients that stop bacteria from growing.
Proper Sealing Methods
Storing food in mylar bags requires proper sealing to prevent air and moisture from seeping in. They're intended for use in vacuum sealer machines, which remove air from the packaging and seal the bag all in one operation. Alternatively you can remove oxygen from the filled bags by throwing in oxygen absorbing packet, or drive oxygen from the bags by dropping in dry ice. To use the latter method, put some dry ice on the top of the food and don't seal it right away. Wait for the dry ice to evaporate completely and then seal the bag. About 1 to 2 ounces of dry ice is all you need for each bag.
Proper Storing Methods
After putting the food in the bag, seal it properly or the food will go to waste. A hot iron and either an ironing board, or some wood wrapped in a towel can mimic a sealer. Place the bag on top of the board, and then iron across the top to seal the bag. Check the seal for leaks once done. Label the bag with the packing date and expiration date, in case someone else opens the bag.
Food Storage Times
Some food is good indefinitely, while others are good for only a few years. Honey and molasses are good for an infinite amount of time, provided you keep them away from moisture. Wheat, corn, and other hard grains can be stored for 15 to 20 years. Soft grains, such as rolled oats, rye, and barley can be stored for 8 years. White rice can be stored for 8 to10 years, while brown rice can be stored for only 1 to 2 years. You can keep beans and dried vegetables for 8 to10 years each, without losing quality. Dried fruit and pasta can both be stored for 10 or 15 years.