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Why you shouldn’t store canned goods in the garage

The USDA recommends storing canned goods in a cool, dry location.

Stockpiling food and water is like a little insurance policy: Hopefully you never have to rely on it, but if you do, if could prove to be priceless. Whether it’s the threat of natural disaster or the fear of a pandemic, having a safety stash of food and water can give you a little piece of mind. However, if you’re planning to store your stockpile in the garage, you may want to reconsider.

While it may be a neatly out-of-the-way option, the garage isn’t necessarily the best place to store your excess canned goods. The USDA recommends storing canned goods in a cool, dry location — and most garages fail on both accounts.

Damp garages can cause cans to rust rather quickly. Rusted cans can have tiny holes that will allow bacteria to enter. (If the rust is light enough that you can rub it off with your finger, and no rust is present inside the can, the food is still safe to eat.) Cans stored in a hot garage — or one that, even on occasion, exceeds 85ºF — have a high likelihood of spoiling.

The USDA also recommends never storing your canned goods — emergency or otherwise — near the stove or under the sink, for similar reasons.

If any canned goods are bulging, rusted, leaky or deeply dented, they should be thrown out immediately. Also, going through canned goods every month or so and eliminating cans that have expired can help make room for newer items.

WHERE TO STORE EXTRA CANNED GOODS

While your extra cans may take up kitchen space, the safest place to store your stockpile is in the kitchen pantry or other dry interior home temperature-controlled closet or pantry.

If you’re having trouble finding space for your stockpile, it might be time to do some spring cleaning. Or, if you’re stockpiling for something like hurricane season or possible health pandemic, you could also stock up on canned goods, store them in your home temporarily, then make a nice donation to your local food bank should those items end up going unused.

Meghan Rodgers is editor of Everybody Craves. Reach her at 412-380-8506 or mrodgers@535mediallc.com. See other stories, videos, blogs, recipes and more at everybodycraves.com.

TO YOUR HEALTH: Packing up and moving – just part of life’s changes

Springing forward in time always spurs me into Spring Cleaning, and this year we have a colossal task in front of us as we prepare to pack up the house we’ve called home for the last 12 years.

Twelve years may not sound long to some, but for me, it’s been an eternity — in fact, the longest period of time I’ve ever stayed in one place.

I like change, and perhaps even weirder, I love moving. I love cleaning out closets, organizing shelves, re-organizing shelves, finding new places for my favorite things, and creating that “home” feel in a new place.

I know, I know … there should be a support group for people like me, but you must consider that as a Marine Corps kid I moved all the time. That was my normal. So, as an adult, I tend to survey my surroundings every two or three years and wonder why they are the same.

But I digress … spring cleaning. This year will involve quite a bit more than washing curtains and oiling cabinets, and I will admit I’m a little overwhelmed in some areas.

The garage, for example, seems like an Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole of WD-40, ant killer, fertilizer, butterfly nets, shovels, gloves, rainboots … the list literally goes on for days.

Think about your garage. It is the holder of all random objects — the things you save for “future use as needed.” Do I pack half bags of soil? I can imagine throwing away useful soil for my flowers! What about the scrap metal I’ve saved for future school projects? And, how many coolers does one family need? Six seems like an excessive number. What about a broken go cart? The engine works, but the frame is bent. We haven’t managed to repair it for a few years. Do we move it and repair it “later”?

And that’s just the garage.

Who wants to clean out their attic? Ours houses the crib, high chair, pool floats, Little People Toys, and my high school mums. Yes, my high school mums have moved with me throughout my entire life. It might be time to let those go.

Ironically, much of my social circle is embarking on this same spring cleaning project. One of my high school friends just bought a new house in Oklahoma. Another is helping to sell his dad’s house. My sister in Houston just sold her house and moved. My sister-in-law is developing ideas for a lake cabin in Nocona.

My friends and family have mournfully looked at our backyard as we prepare to say goodbye to what we’ve so lovingly referred to as “The Puddle” for so many years.

But, it seems 2020 is the year of change. A year of new perspectives. And a year of new views on new horizons.

Spring has sprung. Time to clean out the cobwebs, find the packing tape, and see what new adventures lie ahead.

Jones is the owner of Liz Jones Wellness LLC, offering yoga, personal training and corporate wellness programs in Hunt and Rockwall counties.

She can be reached at Liz@LizJones.co or through LizJones.co.

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