I’ve had the phrase “store in an airtight container” in my head for ages – until I opened a back up tin of acha grain that I’d stored for about 8 months. I got a shock, it was a mess! Webby, crawling, yuck! I was fascinated to talk to a neighbour who’s been living here for decades and has perfected the art of storing food here. She kindly went through the foods I have in my pantry and advised me which she thought should be stored airtight, and which needed a bit of airflow.
It never occurred to me to give grains, or seeds, some air, as I was worried about rodents, but she says she hasn’t had problems like this, and anyway, I have a cat! She advises just putting a piece of cloth over the top to keep the dust off. I’m thinking that if I’m storing a small amount of say, egusi seeds, I could use a jar with a piece of cloth and the screw lid to hold it secure. For larger amounts, a milk tin is idea with a piece of cloth over the top. But small baskets work too.
I’m going to re-arrange my food store to reflect this advice. I’m hoping I’ll get less shocks if I need to open my emergency food stores some day!
dates (but check them regularly)
maize whole or ground