Long term food storage is crucial for your preparation plan. Having a decent amount of food, gear, and supplies stored away for when SHTF is one of the first preps to get done.

Why Food Packaging Is Important

The importance of food packaging can’t be overstated.

How you store your food for the long term is just as important as what you’re storing food. The absolute last thing we want is for STHTF and discover that our three-month food supply has gone bad because it wasn’t properly packaged and stored for the long term preservation.

Food Packaging Material Guide

If you store food incorrectly or choose the wrong foods to store, it will only cost you a lot of time and many. Not to mention when you go to actually use the food you stored in an emergency and find that the food spoiled. It could become a life or death scenario.

Types of Food Packaging Material

before we get to the best food packaging material that we recommend. Let’s go over the different types of other materials that are commonly used to package and store food for the long term.

Different types of packaging material include:

  • Tetra Pak Containers
  • Glass Containers
  • Plastic Packaging
  • Wood Packaging
  • Cardboard Packaging
  • Metal Packaging
  • Laminated Packaging
  • Vacuum Packaging

There are many different types of packaging and different methods for packaging food for storage. It can get rather complicated. But it’s not necessary.

The Best Material To Use For Long-Term Food Storage

PETE seems to be the best material that exists today for storing food long term. Now when we are referring to storing food. We are referring to storing dry foods.

What is PETE?

PETE stands for polyethylene terephthalate. Essentially it’s a kind of plastic.

If you look under the recycling symbol of a few plastic bottles, you’re likely to see the PETE letters under the recycling symbol. Many bottles are made with this type of plastic.

What makes PETE the better plastic to use?

Most plastics are actually quite porous to the moisture in the air. This is exactly what we don’t want for our stored emergency food supply.

Important: This material and method of packaging food for long term storage is meant for storing dry foods only. When it comes to foods that carry a lot of moisture or are really anything but completely dry, different food storage methods are required.

Testing PETE Bottles

For the size of bottles, you want to use to store your dry foods, shoot for sizes no larger than one gallon. Which makes for a nice dense hefty container of food.

Preparation is key when it comes to storing food. We want to get the right supplies and then confirm and double check that they are packaged properly and the materials we use work the way they should.

We want to test the bottles to make sure they are the real deal and will protect and preserve the food.

Step 1:

Close the bottle’s seal tightly and immerse the bottle underwater. Once immersed, squeeze and press the bottle and see if any air escapes the bottle. You’ll see bubbles if it does.

If bubbles are present, the seal is no good and you’ll have to replace it.

Step 2:

You’ll want to go get oxygen absorber packets for this if you don’t already have them. They are packets of iron powder. Iron powder helps keep the food fresh and prevents it from spoiling.

You can find them at home storage stores or you can get these from Amazon.

Insert an oxygen absorber in the bottle.

Step 3:

Fill the bottle with your choice of dry foods. Such as:

  • Beans
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Dried fruit

Step 4:

Wipe the bottle’s top sealing edge with a cloth, make sure it’s clean. Screw the lid on after.

Step 5:

For storing the storage container itself, we want the temperature around the PETE bottle to be cool and dry. And avoid storing them in any path of direct sunlight. This will help prevent food loss from heat exposure.

Common and effective locations would be a closet or dry basement.

Make sure you go through this testing process for every bottle and container.

If you refill the container in the future, just make sure you insert another oxygen absorber when you refill it.


If you don’t already have a survival pantry stocked or food supply of at least thirty days, it’s a good idea to start prepping some food. Try packaging some dry foods with PETE so you can get a feel for the material and see if it works for you.

What material do you usually use to package food for long term food storage?

Up Next: Fire Safety Guide: The 5 Classes of Fire

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Long-Term Food Storage: Best Food Packaging Material
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