Freeze Treating

NOTE: This section is not intended to address freezing high-moisture perishable foods. They are outside the scope of this work and are much more capably addressed in the books Ball Blue Book or Putting Food By. Information on these books may be found in the Resources Section.

Freeze treating, like vacuum sealing, is also a very simple concept, but it must be done right if it's to be of any use. The major reason for freezing dry foodstuffs is to kill off any potentially lurking hidden insect infestations. Freezing will accomplish this task just fine if you follow the steps I outline below.

#1 - The foods you want to preventatively treat against insect infestations should be at room temperature or even slightly warm and should have been at that level for at least several days. This prevents any insects that might be present from becoming acclimated to cold temperatures which would make them much more resistant to being killed than they otherwise would be.

#2 - The bigger the package you want to treat, the longer it will take for its contents to fall to the desired temperature all the way through. Freezing the goods in small amounts of five to ten pounds at a time will give a quicker, more certain result than attempting to freeze a five gallon bucket.

#3 - Put the product into your freezer and freeze it to 0° Fahrenheit (-18° Celsius) all the way through the package and keep it there for three days. If there is enough air humidity in your house to cause condensation on the outside of a glass of ice water it is a good idea to put the product in a moisture proof container before freezing, otherwise you can probably just leave it the way it came from the store.

#4 - Once the time is up, you can repackage the product into your storage packaging if it's not already in it. Whatever you keep it in needs to be insect proof. Once the food comes back up to room temperature it is as susceptible to outside insect infestation as any other food. Promptly sealing it into your storage packaging will prevent any after-the-fact insects from being able to get into your chow.

There are some other foods that are quite dry in moisture content, but would benefit from remaining frozen at 0° Fahrenheit. These are foods like yeast, cultures for yogurt, kefir and tempeh amongst others, herbs and spices. It is vital that they remain quite dry if you are going to store them this way.

Misc.Survivalism FAQs maintained by Alan T. Hagan,
Copyright ©1996, 1997, 1998, 1999. Alan T. Hagan. All rights reserved.

Excluding contributions attributed to specific individuals all material in this work is copyrighted to Alan T. Hagan and all rights are reserved. This work may be copied and distributed freely as long as the entire text, my and the contributor's names and this copyright notice remain intact, unless my prior express permission has been obtained. This FAQ may not be distributed for financial gain, included in commercial collections or compilations or included as a part of the content of any web site without prior, express permission from the author.