Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Great Ideas Sometimes Fail
UPDATE: From Foodsaver
Some dry foods have the potential to puncture FoodSaver bags.
For these items, you may:
1. Use FoodSaver Canisters or mason jars
2. Use a paper towel as padding for dried foods with a puncture potential when using FoodSaver Bags.
Since the point was to have lightweight meals I can store at work, I hope the paper towels work.
I had this super idea for making some emergency packets of food to keep at work as part of my preparedness challenge. I am fortunate to be in a building that has a full service cafeteria in addition to various snack machines; however, should there be a disaster that prevented us from leaving the office, we have 400 people in our buildings, and that doesn't count the other tenants. How long would the supply of food really last, especially without refrigeration?
Our offices, and even every cubicle, are furnished with a wardrobe. Half of this is a closet with a hanger rod for coats or extra clothes. The other side has two deep shelves plus three file drawers below, all can be locked up. I have seen these shelves looking more like Kroger than an office, everything from soup, bread, candy and sodas. Why not stock it with a few days worth of full meals that needed no refrigeration, at least enough to keep you from starving.
The dehydrated food we've been preparing sounded like a good idea to me, my own homemade MREs using our dehydrator and vacuum sealer. I took a couple pieces of beef jerky (purchased only for demo purposes. I can't trust that this commercially prepared product is safe to vacuum seal). Then I layered the bag with dehydrated potatoes, green peppers, cucumbers and zucchini, topping it off with a couple of dried orange slices for a sweet treat. Light weight, cheap and will last for a very long time.
It worked perfectly- see how pretty it is? --------Was------A few hours later I picked up the bag and everything shifted- the seal had broken when the sharp edges of the dried vegetables pierced the bag. Drat!
This isn't over yet- it is still a great idea. Even our CERT trainer said we need provisions at work, and a change or two of clothes. I've e-mailed Foodsaver, the maker of the bags, to find out how best to proceed. I'm sure there is a solution, perhaps wrapping the vegetables with another material before using the sealer.
If you all have any experience with this, please let me know!