Can I Keep My Food Storage in the Garage?

By David S.

In most instances the garage is not a good location for food storage. Most garages are not insulated and thus the temperature can fluctuate a lot.  Large fluctuations in temperature are worse for the food storage than a high constant temperature. Even if the garage is insulated you still have a number of other issues to deal with.  The garage door is usually not insulated and can let heat in or out more than the walls themselves.  If there is no living space above the garage, then the garage attic must be insulated as well.  You would also need to properly seal any other areas where air can come in or go out such as around windows, below the garage door and where wires and pipes enter or exit the garage.  Your best bet is to monitor temperature and humidity for a while and see if they are okay.

Dry food storage is affected by four things, temperature, moisture, light and pests.

The temperature should stay below room temperature (75 degrees or less).  The warmer the temperature above freezing level, the shorter the shelf-life for keeping it’s nutritional value.  The LDS Church website points out that the staple dry goods, such as wheat, rice, etc. will last at least 30 years if kept below 75 degrees.

The humidity should be as low as possible.  Anything above 50 or 60% is a poor location.  It is better to aim for about 15% if possible.  This can also be helped by using oxygen absorbers in with the food and sealing the storage containers properly.

We’ve already seen how the garage is a poor location for the first two conditions.  The garage is also a great home for pests.  That means that three of the four conditions make the garage a poor choice unless you can guarantee the conditions listed can be met.

Photo source: LDS Intelligent Living

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5 thoughts on “Can I Keep My Food Storage in the Garage?”

  1. Beth,

    I need a little more clarification, just so we can both make sure we are talking about the same product. Do you have the kit featured on this page: http://store.lds.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product3_10705_10551_21003_-1__195787? This is the more recent starter kit and it only has 4 cans of food and is more for demonstration/teaching purposes. “Years ago” the starter kit came in two boxes (box 1 and box 2 – hopefully yours were labeled that way), and had more cans of food but also oil/lard and salt and pepper.

    Do you know which you have?

    Thx!

  2. There aren’t any meats in the “long-term” storage plan, they are more of a short-term storage item. You can read about the LDS church’s guidelines for food storage here: http://www.providentliving.org/channel/0,11677,1706-1,00.html.

    The current price list can be found here: http://providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,8133-1-4352-1,00.html

    The Home Storage Centers will NOT ship items to you, but the church’s distribution center will (for some items), but the price is a higher than if you go to the Home Storage Center and buy/can/pick up the items yourself. You can view the distribution center here: http://store.lds.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category3_10705_10551_21158_-1_N_image_0

  3. Though not a church member I believe that they are correct in the need to prepare for the future. Is there a Home Storage Center available to my family in the New Jersey area? Thank you and may God bless you and yours.

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