Frequently Asked Questions


How are mylar bags sealed and are they effective for long-term storage?

Mylar bags are 4 ml thick and must be sealed with a heat press such as an iron or a “Seal-a-Meal”. Products packaged in mylar bags can be stored long-term but should be placed inside a container that is rodent proof for extra protection since the mylar bags are susceptible to rodents and punctures.

What is a super pail (SP)?

The super pail has a mylar bag inside the bucket. The product is sealed inside the mylar bag and then sealed inside the bucket. The mylar bag provides extra protection for the product helping it to store longer and protecting the product from any deficiencies that may exist in the bucket. The super pails are best for long-term storage.

Are the #10 cans the same as those sold by other companies?

Not necessarily. Some companies do not completely fill their cans creating the illusion of a better price. These cans may be cheaper than those we sell, but there is more empty space in those cans. We fill our cans as full as possible, so there is not a lot of air space inside the can. One way to determine the best price and value for your money is to compare the cost per ounce of product. Also, it is important to remember that the taste and quality of the product may vary depending on the grade and quality of the ingredients used to make the product.

Can products purchased in bulk (bags or boxes) be stored for extended periods of time?

Products purchased in bulk (bags or boxes) will need to be repackaged in air-tight containers (buckets, cans, or mylar bags) for long-term storage. Mylar bags should be kept in rodent proof containers for extra protection.

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What temperature should food be stored for long-term storage?

The ideal or optimum temperature for long-term food storage is 60˚F in a cool, dry place where the temperature remains fairly constant. Extreme fluctuations in temperature can cause the food to lose its nutritional value.

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How are the shipping costs calculated?

The online order system provides a shipping quote for UPS ground shipping. The cost will vary depending on the weight of your order and your location. Some orders may qualify for freight shipping (usually approximately 500 pounds or more) and may be cheaper than the UPS quote provided. Freight shipping quotes must be calculated manually and will be provided via email if your email address is provided. Some orders may need to ship via U.S. Mail. These quotes must also be calculated manually and you will be contacted via email, if provided, with the cost of shipping. If contacted with an alternate shipping cost (mail or freight), your order will not be charged until you have approved the shipping cost.

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Is the cost of shipping for all items on your website calculated at the time of ordering?

Most of our items will ship at the cost calculated when you place your order. There are some items that require shipping by dimensional weight instead of actual weight. These items are plastic buckets (empty), water drums, and the siphon pumps. If you order any of these items, you may be contacted with an adjusted shipping cost since often times the cost to ship at the dimensional weight is higher than the actual weight of the product. If the cost is higher than the original quote provided by our ordering system, we will email you the corrected cost. Your order will not be charged until you approve the corrected shipping cost.

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What is the difference between dehydrated and freeze dried products?

Other than the drying process, there is very little difference between dehydrated and freeze dried foods. Both have low moisture content, and the nutrition is almost exactly the same (within a few grams). Both will store for the same amount of time. Freeze dried products are lightweight and retain their shape in the drying process thus they require more storage space than dehydrated products.

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How many oxygen absorbers do you need when repackaging food in air-tight containers?

The Z500 oxygen absorbers will absorb 500+ cc of oxygen. The Oxy-guard absorbers will absorb 200+ cc of oxygen.   Rainy Day Foods uses one Z500 (500 cc) oxygen absorber in each of its #10 cans and one to two (1000 cc total) in its 6 gallon buckets. One Oxy-guard absorber (200 cc) is used in each of the #2.5 cans.  Higher elevations have less oxygen in space than sea elevation.

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Do all 1-Year Food Pack units give you enough food for one year?

No. You need to have approximately 500 pounds per year or 2000 calories per day per person. Some year supply food pack units only contain about 125 pounds of food. This amount would only feed one person for about three months. When purchasing a unit, pay close attention to the amount of food provided in the unit, checking both the weight and the calories provided. You may need to purchase more than one unit to actually provide the amount of food needed for one year.

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Are all serving sizes the same and equal to one meal?

No. A serving is actually a portion of a meal that usually contains 150-200 calories. Three and one-half of those size servings would only amount to 450-750 calories a day. A person would need much more than that to survive for an extended period of time. Eating only 450-750 calories a day for an extended period would result in slow starvation.

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Does all food storage take up the same amount of space?

No. The less the food weighs (such as freeze dried products), the more space you will need to store the necessary amount for a year’s worth of food. Heavier foods (such as dehydrated products) are more space efficient than lightweight foods.

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11.) Does all food store the same amount of time and 2.) how do I find the expiration date on the cans and buckets?

1. - No. The storage life of dehydrated and freeze dried foods depends upon the product and how it is stored. If food is stored under ideal conditions (cool, dry, constant temperature of about 60˚F), it will store anywhere from 3 to 30 plus years. Mixes (pancake, biscuit, etc.) will store the least amount of time, and grains, rice, and beans will store the longest. Fruits and vegetables will store approximately 20 years, and dairy products will store about 5-10 years. For the best results, products must be stored in air-tight containers at a cool, constant temperature.

(The approximate shelf life for each product is shown with the product on our website.)

**Because the actual shelf life of products will vary depending on the conditions in which they are stored, Rainy Day Foods does NOT guarantee the longevity of the products and will NOT replace or refund any product that has an original purchase date of more than six months.**

2. - We do not put expiration dates on the products as their shelf life can vary depending on the storage conditions. There is a date code for when the product was packaged. On the cans it is usually under the plastic lid or on the bottom of the can. It is the second set of 5-digit numbers and is in a Julian date format which reads dddyy, where the first three numbers are the day of the year ranging from one to 365 or 366 and the last two numbers are the year. On the buckets, it is a small sticker on or near the label. It is also a Julian date code of 5 digits and may be either the first set of numbers or the second set if purchased in the latter part of 2023.

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What are “natural” foods?

The “natural” foods are those items that come to us certified organic. Due to all of the requirements of the government that would allow us to sell those items as certified organic, we have chosen to sell them as “natural” products. They are the same items that we used to sell as “organic”; we just cannot label them as “organic” anymore.

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What is sprouting?

Sprouting is the practice of germinating seeds to be eaten raw or cooked. It is a convenient way to have fresh vegetables for salads, or otherwise, in any season. Seeds can be germinated at home through various processes.

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What seeds can be sprouted?

All viable seeds can be sprouted, but some sprouts should not be eaten raw. The most common food sprouts include:

Legumes, pea family (i.e., alfalfa, clover, fenugreek, lentil, pea, chickpea, mung bean, and soy bean).

Cereals (i.e., oat, wheat, maize or corn, rice, barley, rye, kamut, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat).

Oil seeds (i.e., sesame, sunflower, almond, hazelnut, linseed, and peanut).

Cabbage family (i.e., broccoli, cabbage, watercress, mustard, rocket or arugula, mizuna, radish, and daikon or kaiware sprouts, tatsoi, and turnip).

Parsley family -- these may be used more as microgreens than sprouts. (i.e., carrot, celery, fennel, and parsley).

Onions (i.e., onion, leek, and green onion).

Other vegetables and herbs (i.e., spinach, lettuce, milk thistle, and lemon grass).

Although whole oats can be sprouted, oat groats sold in food stores, which are dehulled and require steaming or roasting to prevent rancidity, will not sprout. Whole oats may have an indigestible hull which makes them difficult or even unfit for human consumption. All the sprouts of the solanaceae (tomato, potato, paprika, aubergine, or eggplant) and rhubarb cannot be eaten as sprouts, either cooked or raw, as they can be poisonous. Some sprouts can be cooked to remove the toxin while others cannot.

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How do I start sprouting?

The seeds are normally first soaked, and depending on the type of seed, this process can take anything from 20 minutes up to 12 hours. Before soaking, the seeds are rinsed to remove soil and dirt. The soaking increases the water content in the seeds. Draining and then rinsing seeds at regular intervals must continue until they germinate or sprout.

To sprout seeds, the seeds are moistened and then left at room temperature (between 55 and 70 degrees F) in a sprouting vessel. Many different types of vessels can be used. One type is a simple glass jar with a piece of cloth secured over its rim. “Tiered” clear plastic sprouters are commercially available, allowing a number “crops” to be grown simultaneously. By staggering sowings, a constant supply of young sprouts can be ensured. Any vessel used for sprouting must allow the water to drain from it, because sprouts that sit in water will rot quickly. The seeds will swell and begin germinating within a day or two.

Sprouts are rinsed between twice a day and three or four times a day according to climate and type of seed, to prevent them from souring and provide them with moisture. Each seed has its own ideal sprouting time. Depending on which seed is used, after three to five days they will have grown to 5 to 8 centimeters (2-3 inches) in length and will be suitable for consumption. If left longer they will begin to develop leaves and are then known as baby greens. The growth process of any sprout can be slowed or halted by refrigerating until needed.

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Why should I sprout?

Sprouts are rich in digestible energy, bioavailable vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and phytochemicals. These nutrients are essential for human health. Sprouts will increase protein quality, crude fibre content, essential fatty acids and vitamin content; improve cardiovascular health; improve bone mineral density, etc. Sprouts are fast growing, easy to grow, and very nutritious.

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