The Six Main Enemies to Food Storage

Simply put, storing food is not something that is very easy to do. There are a lot of factors that go into food storage, and if not done right, the food that you have invested in can go to waste. 

Many people will not even know that their food has gone bad until the time comes that they need it. To help you ensure the security of your food storage, here is a list of common enemies to food storage.

1. Temperature

The ideal temperature for food storage, depending on the preservation method, ranges from 40 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Excessive time spend above the recommended temperature will reduce shelf-life and nutritional value.  This is especially true for foods that are stored in pouches.  Metal cans tend to protect the food better, but are still susceptible to extend periods of excessive heat.

2. Moisture

Moisture in your food will degrade it very quickly. Make sure to store food off the floor and away from outside walls.  Most metal cans will have a rust preventative coating on them and are fine even in humid environments, but this coating will lose its effectiveness quickly if the can sits in water for any reason.

3. Pests

Who hasn’t opened up a really old box of oatmeal or some kind of grain, only to find a bunch of creepy crawlies running around? Keeping food in airtight containers and cleaning up food particles on your storage shelves will help keep out unwanted guests.

Food that is stored in pouches is particularly susceptible to pests, and consequently should be stored inside a secondary container like a bucket, or a storage bin.

4. Oxygen

Exposure to oxygen is one of the main causes of food degradation.  Because of this, professionally packaged long-term food storage is almost always vacuum packed, and contains an oxygen absorber.  When packing your own food, you should follow these methods to avoid the damaging effects of oxygen.

5. Light

Have you ever noticed how items that are kept in the sun fade in color and become brittle?  If exposed to light for an extended period of time, the same thing will happen to your food storage.  Ideally, your food should be kept in a dark area.  Clear food containers should always be kept inside of boxes.

6. Storage Space

The last one, surprisingly enough is storage itself. Finding a place to put your food storage can be quite difficult, especially in smaller living spaces. Ideally, your food should be stored in basements, closets or under beds.  Some people have even gone to the extent of using food storage as furniture (draped over by a fancy cloth of course).

Although attics, garages, and sheds seem to be the most “logical” places to keep you food supply, based on their exposure to the elements, they are generally the worst places to put your food.


Being vigilant of these different enemies to food storage could mean all the difference.  In addition to purchasing the right foods for your family, make sure to store your food in the right conditions.  That way you can feel confident that your food will be ready for you when you need it.

by Alyssa Staheli

8 Replies to “The Six Main Enemies to Food Storage”

  1. How big are boxes that are shipped? L- W – H and in cubic feet? I have some shelving in my basement, but that already has stuff on it. Just wondering what kind of space would be required for just 3 month supply?


    We use two different types of boxes for our food. Our four can boxes measure 13″L x 13″W x 7.25″H. We then store three of these boxes inside of one master case which measures 25″L x 14″W x 14″H.

    Our backpacks ship in boxes that measure 25″L x 12″W x 12″H.

    If you have any additional questions, please contact us at, or 1-866-946-8366.

    -Food Insurance

  2. Regarding food storage, I live in Texas and have outside storage buildings where the inside temperature exceeds 120 degrees. In considering long term storage, I am thinking about purchasing a used freezer (top lid chest style) and partially burying it but just up to the door seal. Is this a viable method. Any consequences (other than rusting out over time)?


    For best results the food needs to be stored in a cool, dry place. Your freezer idea sounds like it should work as long as it protects the food from the elements and keeps it below 72 degrees.

    If you have any additional questions, please contact us at, or 1-866-946-8366.

    -Food Insurance

  3. I am grateful for your research, information and ability to provide supplies that are easily accessible. I would really be grateful for a similar product line for our pets. I know that I would be sharing my stash with my 2 German Shepherds. I have thought abut this quite a bit and have wondered how to pack nutritional pet food in a way that would satisfy the same space and weight requirements as their human counterpart. I do think that there would be a large market for this. I believe many others, like myself, would agree that sharing whatever time left to us with those creatures who are responsible for supplying a large percentage of what we consider to be the “quality” in our quality of life. Should this seems frivolous; remember that a large number of those found dead after disasters, stayed behind because they wouldn’t leave their pets. I see this realty as unfortunate since those lost possessed character traits I would like to see present in those who would be left to reshape our future. Gandhi believed you could judge the level of evolvement achieved by a society in the way it treats it’s animals. I agree.

    1. Thank you for posting that. I too am concerned about my beautiful and faithful German Shepard. I also have two cats. I just can not think about leaving them behind.

  4. i see that you answered the sizes of some cases above and i have two back packs that are of a manageable size.
    My question is how many cases of witch size do you ship in the orders of one year , six months or three month orders and is that all at once?

  5. Can this food be frozen in the boxes it arrives in? I have a partially empty chest style deep freezer that could be easily cleared for storage use, but it is in my garage which experiences extreme summer heat. The freezer stays plugged in and cold year round. Is keeping the food in freezing temps possible?

  6. do you have a tasting package before investing in a large amount of something the family will not eat. I know when your hungry but its my money.. and I want desirable tasting to my taste. I like different things than my wife..

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