Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Storing food and 3 Ways to Stop Pests

Air tight containers are a must for storing food in college kitchens and dorms. Without airtight containers, your food will let out odors, attracting pests for the whole floor. More than that if you have food in your room, there's no need for rodent room mates.

Air tight containers will also extend the shelf life of your food. Some containers are expensive, but they're worth the investment. More than that, losing all of my food to a moth infestation has given me great faith in air tight containers. Trust me, you know you're in college if tupperware for Christmas is the best gift.

Read more for advice on airtight containers!

Invest in Materials: thick plastic or glass

Thick plastic or thick glass is a must for airtight containers. This will be a little bit pricier than cheap plastic or bags.

Ziplock bags will not cut it. If you absolutely can't afford more expensive effective containers, triple bag your unopened store packaging. This isn't a 100% guarantee but it will keep most things out while minimizing the smell.

Paper, cardboard and thin plastic can all be chewed through. The store packaging will not be enough to keep pests out.

Make sure that there is an air tight seal.

Canning Jar Set of Six ($9 via amazon)

Canning jars are great. The glass I think is really gorgeous. I use these for small snacks.

Amazon, Rubbermaid 50 piece storage set ($34)

This rubbermaid set is what I have. I have used sharpies to put my name on them along with dishwasher safe labels ($10 via amazon).

The diversity of sizes is pretty great. My only complaint is that there are so many of the tiny 'sauce' tupperware. Otherwise I think it's great; I never feel like I'm out of tupperware.

Amazon, OXO Good Grip 5 piece storage set ($50)

oh my gosh, these are amazing. So I have to confess that I didn't buy them myself. They were a Christmas gift. And what a gift! They're pricey but really worth it. The seal on these is just great. I love the top 'button' that seals them.

The only complaint is that they are not dishwasher safe. But since I generally use them for cereals and rice, I never feel the need to wash them that often. 

Method: How to get rid of pests

     1. The moment you purchase something, place it into an air tight container. The longer the product is left out, the longer pests have to get in.

     2. To get rid of pests, place the grain in the freezer for 4-5 days. This cold spell will kill any pests already in the grains. Don't skimp on the time or the pests will just hibernate rather than dying. I only bother to do this for large purchases, but this works for all sizes of grains.

     3. After the freeze, place the grains into a clean airtight container, safe in your cabinet.

I'd suggest using Expo dry erase markers or post it notes to label when you purchased the food. You can use these dishwasher safe labels ($10 via amazon) and then just write the date with a dry erase marker.