The Food Storage FAQ, Version 4.0

Captain Dave first converted Alan T. Hagan’s Food Storage FAQ to html back in 1997, when it was version 2.5.  For this updated web site, we have upgraded to version 4.0, which was last updated in December 2004 and is current as of that time. For the sake of clarity, please note that Alan T. Hagan is the author and copyright holder of this work, not Captain Dave.

Captain Dave does appreciate Alan’s contributions to helping individuals understand food storage, teaching them how to prepare and store their own food, and for addressing such important topics as spoilage, mold and bacteria.  We hope that you find the following FAQ as valuable as we have.

Questions & Answers

Alan T. Hagan

Author of The Prudent Pantry:
Your Guide to Building a Food Insurance Program

“In this work, when it shall be found that much is omitted,
let it not be forgotten that much likewise is performed.”

Samuel Johnson, 1775,
upon completion of his dictionary.
Courtesy of James T. Stevens


This Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) file is concerned with those methods and techniques that have been found generally useful to extending the shelf lives of foods suitable for use in home food storage programs.  It is not intended for, nor should it be used in, any commercial food applications.

While you are developing your food storage program, please don’t overlook your water supply.  Without safe drinking water a food storage program is useless for within a few days you must find water or perish.

This file was last updated in 2004.  Lend a hand — point out mistakes, contribute data or information, or provide new sources of material.  Contributors will be acknowledged by name in the FAQ, unless they indicate otherwise.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Diana  Hagan, my wife, for endless patience in the years since I created this FAQ;  Susan Collingwood for sage advice;  Lee Knoper; BarbaraKE;  Gary Chandler;  Skipper Clark, author of Creating the Complete Food Storage Program;  Denis DeFigueiredo;  Al Durtschi for resources and encouragement;  Craig Ellis;  Pyotr Filipivich;  Sandon A. Flowers;  Amy Gale, editor of the FAQ;  Geri Guidetti, of the Ark Institute;  Woody Harper;  Higgins10; Robert Hollingsworth;  Jenny S. Johanssen; Kahless; James T. Stevens, author of Making The Best of Basics;  Amy Thompson (Saco Foods);  Patton Turner;  Logan VanLeigh;  Mark Westphal;  Rick Bowen; On-Liner and The Rifleman in the UK; Myal in Australia; Rosemarie Ventura; Rex Tincher; Halcitron; Noah Simoneaux; a number of folks who for reasons sufficient unto themselves wish to remain anonymous;  and last, but certainly not least, Leslie Basel, founding editor of the FAQ, without whom I’d never have attempted this in the first place.

Questions, comments, compliments or complaints may be directed to Alan at

Updated: 9/18/96; 4/16/97; 7/21/97; 10/20/97; 9/15/98; 11/02/99; 12/01/03

Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003.  Alan T. Hagan.  All rights reserved.

Excluding contributions attributed to specific individuals or organizations all material in this work is copyrighted to Alan T. Hagan with all rights reserved.  This work may be copied and distributed for free as long as the entire text, mine and the contributor’s names and this copyright notice remain intact, unless my prior express permission has been obtained.  This FAQ may not be distributed for financial gain, included in commercial collections or compilations, or included as a part of the content of any web site without prior, express permission from the author.

DISCLAIMER: Safe and effective food storage requires attention to detail, proper equipment and ingredients.  The author and Captain Dave, Inc., make no warranties and assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in this text, or damages resulting from the use or misuse of information contained herein.   This FAQ is not intended for, nor should it be used in, any commercial food applications.

Placement of or access to this work on this or any other site does not necessarily mean the author espouses or adopts any political, philosophical or metaphysical concepts that may also be expressed wherever this work appears.

Written material can be sent to:
A.T. Hagan
P.O.Box 125008
Gainesville, FL 32614-0008
(Please note, Captain Dave, Inc. has no idea if this address is current.)