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Their has been lots of discussion over buckets. What is food grade? Do I "need" food grade buckets? Do I "need" food grade buckets if I'm using mylar?
Some things in life can be skimped on. You can eat rice and beans daily and save yourself a pile of money on your grocery bills. You can move to a smaller house and learn that 2 people don't need a huge Chipboard McMansion to live in.
I try not to skimp when putting away food. Finding out that a container failed or that you have an infestation when rotating your food years from now may just be an inconvenience. Opening the food and finding this when you REALLY need the food- i.e, an emergency constitutes a good deal more than just an inconvenience.
Not to sidetrack but here again is where I think QUANTITY can help as well. If I'm convinced that all I need is 5 buckets of rice, 2 buckets of beans and that will make me good to go (don't follow that advice btw), and years later I find that 2 of the buckets of rice got infested and are no longer edible, I've effectively just cut my food storage by 1/3. That means 1/3 less time period where I have food to eat.
Let that sink in please.
Not to say that quantity alone can overcome a problem with poor packaging, nor SHOULD you purposely package poorly, but stuff DOES happen, and having a little more than even you "feel" like you need might save your bacon one day.
OK back on track....
Buckets- look on the bottom of the bucket for the three arrows chasing each other and a "2" in the center of it. This is HDPE 2. I know I know, someone will say "that doesn't make it food grade, rabble rabble rabble rabble!" I would tell you to call Ropak- the biggest bucket manufacturer in the U.S. and ask them what they would recommend for packaging grains. Then call Waltons, Honeyville or any of the professional packing houses that pack superpails and ask them what grade of bucket they use.
I'll save you some time here- HDPE2 is what is used.
"But it's NOT food grade, rabble rabble rabble rabble!"
Go and see Sally the counter gal at the local bakery. If your looking to pack food on the cheap, she is your new best friend. Ask to purchase for a small amount ($1-2. each) their used icing buckets. BEHOLD! What marking is on the bottom of those buckets? HDPE2! And just think, that icing wasn't packed in mylar liners, that FOOD (the icing) was in physical contact with the side of that HDPE2 bucket!
Firehouse subs sells their used pickle buckets for $2.00 Here again, these are HDPE2 buckets where the pickles were (GASP!) in physical contact with the side of the bucket.
Here is where the analytical types are going to freak- these buckets would not be considered "acorrding to Hoyle" food grade buckets, yet food that is eaten EVERY DAY is in physical contact with these buckets.
In short, if it's HELD FOOD IN IT and is HDPE2, it's "safe" to use.
What you DON'T want to use-
Buckets that have held ANYTHING with chemicals in it- cleansers, cleaners, acids, etc. I don't care if you are using mylars or not, stay away from stuff like this.
What MAY work with mylar-
Buckets that have held sheetrock mud. This cleans up with water and the buckets can be cleaned pretty well. IF and I want to understand that word, IF you are using mylar you might could get away with using old sheetrock mud buckets.
Personally, I would stick with bakery buckets, pickle buckets and/or buy new buckets.
5 gallon buckets can be purchased new at Lowes, Walmart and Home Despot. (pun intended). Where possible shoot for the white buckets. There's been a lot of hype about buckets with any type of coloring in them. Some folks think they are up there with Obama and the antiChrist... LOL
In my experience of storing food for 22 years, we have used MANY buckets that were green, red, even blue. Up till the later part of the 90's, our buckets were packed WITHOUT mylar as mylar and absorbers weren't readily accessible. Other than oxidation resulting from no oxygen barrier (that's what the mylar does, a bucket itself is NOT an effective oxygen barrier), we have seen NO problems with colored buckets. Your results may vary.
The important thing, especially late in the game, is to DO SOMETHING. If you over analyze things, their is a reason not to do anything. You can't allow yourself to get paralyzed into INACTION due to that.
Get moving, time might be short. Good luck.
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