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Are there any natural ways to prolong my food?

If you don’t have oxygen absorbers to prolong your dry goods, what do you use? A reader asks Tess this very important question. Learn some natural remedies to prolong your food storage without the use of oxygen absorbers.

Hello Tess,

We cannot get silica or oxygen absorbing compounds. Yet, I want to ensure that we have food preserved for a very long time, not just the usual one year turn around that comes from having a small farm.

How do I preserve food such as rice, wheat, corn, everything, so that it will keep for at least three or four years without eventually getting full of bugs or simply breaking down.

Thank you.

Carol B.


Hello Carol,

What a great question. When you do not have access to oxygen absorbers or other modern day food extenders, it’s time to turn back to history for the answer. There are natural products and procedures you can use that will help store food for the long term.

1. Using diatomaceous earth when prepping and sealing food containers will keep the bugs off your food. They are organic and are food safe. Use 1 cup to each 25 pounds of food.

2. Bay leaves are also another preventative measure that some preppers have had success with repelling bugs. According to scientists at  Cornell University Department of Horticulture, “Destructive insects often locate their food by smell. Many plants, especially culinary herbs, produce strong scents which may confuse insect pests looking for a host to feed on. Garden vegetable plants such as garlic, onions, chives, and herbs such as catnip, horehound, wormwood, basil, tansy, and mints all produce scents which seem to repel insects or mask the scents which attract insects. A certain level of insect protection can be achieved by carefully interplanting some of these as companions to vegetables.” Basil has seemed to have some properties for insect control in food storage products also.

On a personal note, my husband and I have used this method for many years and it seems to help as we have not had an instance of insects taking over our food storage.

3. Also, other preppers who have used glass canning jars to store their dry goods have gone the extra mile and dipped their finished cans in wax to seal the edges to prevent bugs from getting in.

Keep in mind that there are certain natural elements that are deemed food enemies. These are: moisture, sunlight, insects and temperature fluctuations. When these are introduced to your stored food, the food will begin breaking down. Ensure that your containers are thoroughly cleaned and dry before storing food in them. Also, make sure your food is stored in a cool, dry, dark place away from sunlight. Learn more about your foods worst enemies.

I hope this helps.

Best of luck,


This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on January 8th, 2013

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