Dry pack canning is the best way to maintain a long-term food supply. Properly packaged, low-moisture foods stored at room temperature or cooler (75°F/24°C or lower) remain nutritious and edible much longer than previously thought according to findings of recent scientific studies. Estimated shelf life for many products has increased to 30 years or more. While there is a decline in nutritional quality and taste over time, depending on the original quality of food and how it was processed, packaged, and stored, the studies show that even after being stored long-term, the food will help sustain life in an emergency.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has many home storage centers located throughout the world. Whether you are a member of the church or not, you are welcome to come to the home center and can items. It is preferred that you attend with a member, but there are plenty of helpful people at the home storage center. Visit the provident living website of the church to find a location near you.
I have been to my local center many times, but with a baby at home I was finding it more difficult to coordinate naps, extra hands, and dry pack canning. So for members of the church you can borrow a sealer from the home storage center. Call or visit the center and ask to be placed on the list to check out the sealer. There was a two month waiting period for the sealer when I called, but that gave me plenty of time to accumulate the product that I wanted to can. All of the things that you need for dry pack canning are available for purchase at the home storage center with an order form.
So, for the week that I had the sealer I was able to seal 72 #10 cans of a variety of food. Some of the food I purchased from the home storage center, some I purchased in bulk from other sources. Since I had two months before I could check out the sealer I was able to get some really great prices on things. If you go to the home storage center to seal your cans you must purchase the items from the home storage center. (Side note: the home storage center prices are excellent.)
This is the sealer I checked out. A bonus to this sealer is that it is silent, so I could work during nap time.
All food items except for sugar will need an oxygen absorber added. Don't open the absorbers too early and make sure to reseal the bag they came in after each opening. They activate fairly quickly and you want them to activate in your sealed can, not in the bag.
The can on the left is not sealed. The can on the right is sealed. Be sure to label everything BEFORE you seal it or you will have a great guessing game to play.
This is one closet where I store our food storage. But under the bed, behind the couch, all other closets are other places I have things stashed away. Remember the biggest thing is to maintain a cool temperature to ensure that the food lasts as long as it can.
ROTATE AND USE your food storage!
If you are new to dry pack canning and are unsure how to start I would be more than happy to help you.