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83

A complete answer to this question would require writing a primer on the history of food preservation and transport. I'm not going to write one. Instead, I'll focus on the most common methods of personal food transportation -- (that is, snacks, meals, and travel food) in the middle ages. Transporting foods across the village would have been a daily or ...


45

In addition of FuzzyChef's answer: Some cheaper (?) but less durable (in terms of re-using) food packaging mostly without cheating by curing: Wrapping In south-east Asia and central America even today's people use big leaves instead of aluminium foil to wrap their food1: For example, bánh chưng, a (actually very perishable) Vietnamese new year's rice cake, ...


35

Airtight packaging doesn't slow down bacteria growth. There are a few myths about them which don't apply in practice: Bacteria are not kept out, despite popular belief – the air within the container has as many bacteria as the air outside. The food in the container also has bacteria – cooking doesn't sterilize food! – so you cannot keep the bacteria out ...


33

Honey is entirely useable after crystallization. This is a natural and spontaneous process and doesn't affect the honey negatively in terms of flavor or quality. It's dependent upon the sugar content of the particular honey, and in particular the crystallization speed is determined by: the nectar source collected by bees (the sugar composition of honey), ...


32

I wouldn't recommend it for a couple of reasons: Food in general degrades much faster in the fridge than in the freezer, so you risk spoilage during that time. Most prepared foods are not recommended to be stored that long in the fridge. Most "do not thaw" meals are designed to be cooked from frozen. So you're not only left guessing what the ...


26

Your concerns would be moisture, insects and/or rodents. Simply put your products in airtight containers. You'll be just fine. (By the way, my mom always stored onions and potatoes under the sink).


24

First off, cleaning isn't necessarily bad for seasoning. "Soap removes seasoning" is largely a myth; Serious Eats discusses this at length. The seasoning is actually a polymer chemically bonded to the iron, not just something coating the outside that will easily wash off, so anything that isn't able to remove the iron shouldn't remove it. Certainly a ...


21

Basically, pasteurization is a process that kills most bacteria. Sous vide is a method that you can use to pasteurize food (eggs for example) which will kill most, but not all, bacteria. Sterilization is a method of killing all bacteria (e.g. by irradiation or heat). Sterilization would be what you'd want to use for canning, for example. Milk is ...


21

Although yes, pasteurization is not as complete as sterilization, there's one subtle difference that's not been mentioned in the other answers: pasteurization is always a heat treatment done to something that can spoil. Sterilization, on the other hand, can be done on things that can't spoil, such containers, utensils, or preparation surfaces (cutting ...


20

Freeze one, thaw it and see. The liquid separates out and leaves a pulpy structure behind. Tomato sauce (no chunks) thaws much better and separated liquid can be stirred back in well enough. Canned works as we all know so no one is bothering trying to grow a freezer-friendly tomato, yet.


18

SUMMARY: Unless I'm missing something here or you're doing very odd things with your refrigerator, you'd at most save a couple dollars per year by keeping your fridge/freezer full. Moreover, stocking up on water (or other things) to fill up fridge/freezer space won't save you much at all unless you're keeping it stored there for a VERY long time, since it ...


17

As long as they're all dry ingredients, then you should be just fine — after all, that's exactly what a box of packaged cake mix is. Again, if it's just dry ingredients, I see no need to refrigerate it. I would put it in an airtight container — preferably a glass jar*. Placed in your pantry, it should have a shelf-life of a least a couple of months. * ...


16

Non-preserved food in aluminium foil is gonna spoil almost the same as if you didn't put it in foil ... If you just want to keep the food clean, you can just use any kind of food safe container that fits - a corked glass or bottle, a tiffin, a leather hose, a sealed amphora, whatever. If a wrapping material is desired, paper and cloth have been there for ...


16

If it's unopened it will stay perfectly fine, cold or warm, until the Best Before date printed on it. It doesn't need refrigerating until opened - unless, of course, you want to drink it cold ;)


14

Around here, they're called 'deli containers'. Those are specifically the heavier weight ones that can deal with hot foods. I don't see delis using them much anymore (they've switched to thinner, less expensive ones), but all of the restaurants near me that sell soup as takeout use them. They generally go for $0.08 to $0.20 in bulk, depending on how many ...


14

Vinegar is an acid and acids are not stored in metal, it eats them. Some are less reactive, like stainless steel, but still not a good idea. Normally plastic is fine, that is what vinegar is often marketed in, but glass is usually best as the main container, but lid should either not be metal or should be fully and well coated, and I would tend to avoid ...


14

In addition to keeping odors contained and limiting the possibility of cross-contamination, oxygen degrades the quality of food. Oxygen also supports aerobic spoilage organisms. So, limiting air keeps your food fresher longer. Sealing up your food also limits dehydration. These containers are beneficial for both quality and safety.


12

Based on my understanding of physics I would say: Opaque over airtight. Things you don't want in a spice container are: convection. An open container is essentially an invitation for the spices to diffuse into the whole room. Even a simple cap will already greatly reduce this effect. The amount of air that's going to be exchanged through a not so airtight ...


11

Yes, it's bad for basically everything. Oils, of any variety, will go rancid much faster there. It'll be most obvious for the least stable ones, but they'll all go eventually. And if you've ever accidentally cooked something with rancid oil, you'll know, it's not a pleasant surprise. Anything aromatic will degrade a lot faster too. Even before your olive ...


11

Crystals breed crystals, so once a sugary substance starts to crystallize, it will seem to crystallize very rapidly. Gently warm it in a water bath or the microwave and the crystals will dissolve. This is very common with "raw" honey, but it happens with processed honey as well. It's normal.


11

I'm sorry to say that your three packages are no longer safe for consumption. Expiry dates are usually pretty conservative and food may still be good several days past them, but the concerning factor in your case is the ballooning of your packaging. As various bacteria live their lives, they produce gas. A small amount of bacteria over a short amount a time ...


11

The terms freezer and deep freeze are synonymous. There is no such term as "deep fridge" in British or US English, though apparently there is in Indian English… where if you search what you find are chest freezers. This means, whatever your terminology, a 'freezer', 'deep freeze' or 'deep fridge' is not the same as an ordinary ice box inside a ...


11

In a word, humidity. Instant coffee absorbs moisture from air rather well. I suspect that your container isn't perfect airtight, and it's in a humid place. It's possible that the container is airtight, but enough water vapour gets in each time you open it to cause problems. This will be more of an issue for small amounts in a big container. To test and ...


10

The used lid had already somewhat degraded when you put vinegar on the jar. These coated self-sealing lids are used in bottling salsa - obviously :) - jams, pickles, condiments, etc all which vary from mild to medium acidity. They work well for the purpose and for the length of time before the contents are used up. But they were never meant for long term ...


10

The reason the crust is going soft is a combination of factors: Moisture from inside the bread transfers to the outside during cooling: This is most prevalent in breads with thinner developed crusts. Leave your bread to cool completely either in the cooling down oven (best) or on the side on a rack. Humidity of bread storage: never put warm bread in a ...


10

This is generally an indication that the wine is not stable - that is, it is still fermenting, which is a defect in wines not intended to be sparkling (carbonated) wines. If you made the wine, and the winery bottled it, this is your problem. If the winery made and bottled the wine, I would bring it up with them, as it's their problem, and hopefully they ...


10

The CO2 would have to actually leave the bottle for the drink to go flat, and that's no more likely than when you store it at constant temperature. I often do this anyway as I'm short of fridge space and don't drink many fizzy drinks, and I've never had a problem


9

I could not find any credible sources indicating that flax seeds (also known as linseed) lose significant nutritional benefits after they've been smashed, crushed or ground. This article from Mayo Clinic in fact indicates that since the seeds tend to pass undigested, it is better to grind them: Most nutrition experts recommend ground flaxseed because ...


9

Any seed that has been damaged, cut, smashed, milled, or ground starts to lose flavour, texture, nutrition, and eventually will go rancid due to oxidising oils. Four hours is too short a time for anything noticeable to happen. Some types of nuts and seeds show a noticeable change over a day or two, but most take many days or weeks. Milled flax seed is ...


9

Ideally, you'd store all meat tightly wrapped and/or in air-tight containers. Further, you'd store the meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge, and the ready-to-eat food above it—just in case the meat leaks juices out, it won't be able to drip onto the ready-to-eat foods. That's perfectly safe, and indeed is what's required in a commercial fridge. The idea ...


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