Author Topic: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets  (Read 25298 times)

Offline ladieu

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Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« on: March 03, 2010, 08:31:06 AM »
Ok so I finally have accumulated enough pasta/rice/beans/lentils, etc to justify the purchase of some 5 gallon buckets.

I was watching dehydrate2store and she mentioned that she bought her buckets at tractor supply and they were "food grade" and had some rubber seal on them.

I popped over to tractor supply and they just had normal buckets with normal lids, the same kind you would buy at lowes, and lowes has them cheaper (99 cent lid vs 1.99 lid)

OK so newbie question: what makes a 5 gallon bucket "food grade" or can I just buy buckets at lowes and use them.. Neither bucket mentions food safety anywhere on it.   

Roknrandy

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2010, 08:41:59 AM »
The numbers dont mean grade, It's to tell you what type of material it's made from.

The numeric codes that you see on many plastic items are used to help sort post-consumer plastics for recycling purposes. Different types of plastics are sometimes referred to as “resins” and the numeric symbols are known as “Resin ID Codes.” Each number (1 through 6) signifies a specific type of plastic and usually appears inside a small triangle (often formed by three adjoining arrows) imprinted on the bottom of a plastic item. The number “7” is used to represent a group of other plastics or combinations of plastics. Resin ID codes are not intended to provide guidance on the safe or appropriate use of any plastic item and should not be used for this purpose.

<1> PETE, aka PET (polyethylene terephthalate) Used for most transparent bottles, such as water, soda, cooking oil, and medicine bottles. Generally safe to use (not reuse); generally recycled.

<2> HDPE (high density polythylene) Sturdy, rigid plastic found in reusable food storage containers, milk and detergent bottles. Generally safe; generally recycled.

<3> PVC (polyvinyl chloride) Used for plastic wrap, and detergent and cooking oil bottles. Additives in PVC can increase the risk of birth defects and hormone-related cancers. Its production can be hazardous to workers and the environment. Generally not safe; not recycled.

<4> LDPE (low density polyethylene) Flexible plastic used for bags or wraps, such as produce bags and baby-bottle liners. Most number 4 plastics are not designed for reuse. Generally safe; generally not recycled.

<5> PPE, aka PP (polypropylene) Pliable plastic found in squeeze bottles, reusable food containers, and yogurt and margarine tubs. Generally safe; generally recycled.

<6> PS (polystyrene) Used in rigid take-out containers and foam meat trays. Can leach styrene when heated, a possible endocrine disruptor and human carcinogen. Not safe when heated; generally not recycled.

<7> Other; most often refers to PC (polycarbonate) This plastic is most commonly used for baby bottles, five-gallon water jugs, and reusable sports water bottles. It can leach out the hormone-disruptor bisphenol A, especially when heated. Because this group can include various other plastics, it has limited recycling potential.

I use cat litter containers as they are a #5. I caulk the lid shut when I drop my mylar bags inside and label them.

Offline ladieu

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2010, 10:59:03 AM »
Good to know. I have been stockpiling my kitty litter containers to use for container gardening, however always good to have other uses.

The 2 buckets I got at lowes yesterday were HDPE ... don't recall the number, but I did notice it. So I am guessing it is OK to store stuff in these. They will be in other packaging. For now I am just putting the stuff in the original packaging and then just throwing some O2 absorbers in the bucket... seems to work OK....

-Nick

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 07:34:38 PM »
ladieu, you can often get 5 gal buckets with lids for free at bakeries (inside walmarts, sams, grocery stores, donut shops) -- anywhere they use a lot of frosting... You may have to clean them out when you get them home, but the price is right. I've collected about 50 buckets that way.

Offline ladieu

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 09:18:00 PM »
sweet! I'm all about free stuff, this is an awesome tip.  I would collect a bunch and then just take them all to one of those DIY car wash places and spray them out with that high pressure hose they have there.

-Nick

Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2010, 04:37:55 AM »
Tractor Supply just changed the lids they use to ones that do not have the gasket. The price is fine, and they should be ok if you are using mylar, but I think I'm going to get my lids from Home Depot which still has the gasket. I like the white buckets, just my prefrence though. Most of the places around me don't give away their buckets, and if they do they want you to "stop in" on certaint days and times. I only go to town once a week, so it would be hit or miss.

Offline dabucnut

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2010, 08:02:33 PM »
I've often been told that using "non" food grade buckets was bad news because of the mold release agent used during the injection molding operation. As a machinist by trade, and having some injection molding experience, including mold making let me offer this for you to consider:

The amount of mold release used on production machines is minimal. First of all, it's expensive over time and thus not every part or bucket made would be receiving the "juice". If the mold was made properly, and maintained, and the operator/set-up guy did his job, then the parts would fall out of the mold without needing it.

Ultimately, washing out your new or used buckets would take care of 90% of any impurities. And mylar bags/ziplocks/food sealer bags etc would go that extra mile for you.

Just my two-cents worth...

Cheers!

Roknrandy

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2010, 07:54:37 PM »
I've often been told that using "non" food grade buckets was bad news because of the mold release agent used during the injection molding operation. As a machinist by trade, and having some injection molding experience, including mold making let me offer this for you to consider:

The amount of mold release used on production machines is minimal. First of all, it's expensive over time and thus not every part or bucket made would be receiving the "juice". If the mold was made properly, and maintained, and the operator/set-up guy did his job, then the parts would fall out of the mold without needing it.

Ultimately, washing out your new or used buckets would take care of 90% of any impurities. And mylar bags/ziplocks/food sealer bags etc would go that extra mile for you.

Just my two-cents worth...

Cheers!

Your right about the possible release of some chemical from the bucket or what was in them initially. I do rinse mine out with soap and hot water then air dry for a few days before I add any bags to them.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 04:10:46 PM by Roknrandy »

Offline nafterize

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2010, 12:52:57 AM »
I'd like to semi-hijack this thread with a question:

If I'm using food grade (frosting) 5 gallon buckets with good lids (will upgrade to gamma lids eventually for convenience) do I really need to use mylar + o2 absorbers? In other words, can I just put goodies in my clean food grade bucket and be good for a year or so?

My idea is to get into these buckets somewhat frequently to replenish my smaller daily-use tubs of staples to facilitate rotation. I don't have the room to store buckets that won't be opened for a few years.

Offline ladieu

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2010, 06:37:05 AM »
I don't know much... just getting that out of the way.  Before I knew about prepping I always had extra stuff in my pantry. I have eaten year old rice which was stored in the original bag it came in right in my pantry... same goes for spaghetti... all seemed normal.

I would assume putting it in a bucket would not shorten it's life

Roknrandy

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2010, 06:48:16 AM »
I'd like to semi-hijack this thread with a question:

If I'm using food grade (frosting) 5 gallon buckets with good lids (will upgrade to gamma lids eventually for convenience) do I really need to use mylar + o2 absorbers? In other words, can I just put goodies in my clean food grade bucket and be good for a year or so?

My idea is to get into these buckets somewhat frequently to replenish my smaller daily-use tubs of staples to facilitate rotation. I don't have the room to store buckets that won't be opened for a few years.

the mylar does two things to help extend your food, one is block oxygen and other air born things from getting to the food and two it keeps light from getting in breaking down the items. an o2 absorber is only there to remove what oxygen is in the bag/bucket. If your not going to use the buckets for long term storage (more than one year) your setup will probably be ok (no mylar or o2 absorber). The gamma lids are nice and would work great for what your doing.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2010, 08:22:26 AM »
I agree... I keep some buckets for short-term (1 yr or less) storage and don't bother with the mylar and oxygen. These tend to be things I use a lot of and rotate out quickly in the normal food stocks... and/or things that really aren't suitable for long-term storage (such as flour, nuts, dried fruits -- the purchased kind, etc.) I suppose it would extend the life of even those things if I did use the mylar and O2 absorbers, but I use them quickly enough that I'm not bothering with it now.

Offline smajda

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2010, 10:34:10 PM »
Hey I have the same thing going on as the original poster. I'm not quite at a place where I'm going to be doing year long storage.  You got to start somewhere, so I was going to buy a bulk supply of Rice, Beans, Oats, and Lentils, things we eat a lot of in our house. So this would be short term storage, stuff I would basically eat in a year. I have been buying a couple of 5 gal buckets at my local co-op, they used to have Peanut butter, tahini, pickles, for 75¢ a piece w/ the top!  I just gotta clean them.  Im just gonna do some soap, water, and maybe a bit a bleach to get the odor out of some.

Just wondering if I am on the right track here?

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2010, 05:58:05 AM »
Yep! sounds like it will work out just fine...

Offline ladieu

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2010, 07:33:18 AM »
You guys rock! I went to costco and they gave me all the free buckets I can handle. They just throw them out anyway.

I'm planning to experiment with some self watering containers this year made from buckets in the garden.

+1 lvschant

Roknrandy

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2010, 08:36:16 AM »
Hey I have the same thing going on as the original poster. I'm not quite at a place where I'm going to be doing year long storage.  You got to start somewhere, so I was going to buy a bulk supply of Rice, Beans, Oats, and Lentils, things we eat a lot of in our house. So this would be short term storage, stuff I would basically eat in a year. I have been buying a couple of 5 gal buckets at my local co-op, they used to have Peanut butter, tahini, pickles, for 75¢ a piece w/ the top!  I just gotta clean them.  Im just gonna do some soap, water, and maybe a bit a bleach to get the odor out of some.

Just wondering if I am on the right track here?

Vinegar also works to remove odors

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2010, 08:37:29 PM »
Thanks, ladieu... there are so many good uses for these buckets! Even if you don't need them all for food storage, they can be used all around the homestead. We store dog food in them and general purpose use around the house. The self-watering idea sounds really great.

Offline smajda

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2010, 10:50:22 AM »
Vinegar also works to remove odors
Thanks for the tip Rokn

Offline ladieu

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Re: Food storage newb question: 5 gallon buckets
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2010, 12:08:27 PM »
I had a lunch bag that had a foul odor... i left 1/2 cup of white vinegar sit in the bag overnight zipped up... when i opened the bag in the morning the scent was gone.

You can do the same for a microwave,etc

For more uses of white vinegar click on the natural cleaning supplies link in my signature

-Thanks

Nick