Storage Secrets

April 15, 2010

I thought I was being so responsible. I bought a bucket for that 25 lb bag of brown rice. Good for me! I’m storing grains! I’m eating grains! Hurrah! My problem came when the lid I bought to go with the bucket…didn’t fit. I even had my (very strong) husband try, and he couldn’t get it on either. Well I thought I’ll just put the lid on top and put something heavy on it. Good enough.

Wrong. Not good enough. And now after a couple of years, a session of cleaning out rice with my sister-in-law (thanks Janers!), and some extensive research (at least 5 minutes on google), I know a little bit more about preventing pests and properly storing grains.
I’m new to grain storage, so I’m still learning, but these are some of the tricks I’ve seen to prevent insect (weevil, moth, etc) infestation.
  • Keep your kitchen CLEAN. Don’t give them a 24/7 restaurant. If I had a free one I’d never leave. Neither will they.
  • Store food in sturdy storage containers, not paper sacks, ziploc bags, or anything else bugs can eat through.
  • FREEZE grains, flour, cornmeal, beans, etc for 3 DAYS at 0 degrees F to kill insects in all stages of the lifecycle.
  • BAKE grains, flour, cornmeal, beans, etc for 15 MINUTES at 140 degrees to kill insects in all stages of the life cycle.
  • Use DRY ICE to kill insects (I would assume it gets them in all stages of the life cycle as well). Instructions from the LDS church’s website are very good. Click HERE for them.
Some people swear by putting garlic or bay leaves in their storage container.  I don’t recommend it, as it does nothing to kill the eggs or insects.  Repelling them will just send them somewhere else in your house.  And my sister tried to the bay leaves and said it didn’t work.
If you’ve stored grains improperly and are dealing with an infestation, you can by sticky traps for the pests. It won’t solve your infestation, but it will get rid of the pesky moths!  I got some at Western Garden Center.
I’m trying the freeze for 3 days method with my rice. Since I just bought a ton of buckets (and GAMMA lids! Yay!), I might also try the dry ice and baking methods for some of my other grains, beans, and flours.

By Becky

Becky is a mom to 4 kiddos and wife to an awesome guy. She's a food fanatic and loves creating and improving recipes. Bread is her weakness and delicious food is her passion!