Storing food in 2 Liter bottles

Yes this sounds crazy right? Its not there has actually been a Brigham Young University Study that backs up the facts that I’m going to talk about in this post.

Before I get into HOW I will give a few perks of using this method

  • Food Grade Plastic and offer a good oil and moisture barrier
  • Free, if you drink soda start looking for deals and stocking up after you use them
  • Can be stored in smaller places than a Food Grade 5 Gallon Bucket, especially for bug out uses
  • Can be carried easily by even a small child

I think this is an option for a lot of prepper’s, granted if you have ample space, and that’s not a concern then you definitely don’t want 1000lbs of dry goods to be stored in small 2 liter bottles as that will be a pain to try and store all of them together.  You could pyramid them but for the bulk of you food you would still want to probably go with the buckets.

However this would be a great addition for charity/barter, in that if you have your families food needs already stored and have some set aside for charity/barter, this would make it easier to trade and barter with.  You could put a few pounds in each bottle, seal it up with O2 absorbers and then use that as a bartering implement, easier than opening a bucket and spooning it out every time.

As I mentioned this would also be a great addition to a bug out kit, you could have a 2 liter bottle full of rice, quinoa, wheat (to soak for wheat berries) or other grains and then just have to cook it or soak it in water on the go.  The Viet Cong during the Vietnam War usually only carried a baggie of rice and a fish sauce as their sole food source, you really don’t need that much and good wholesome wild rice or wheat would be a great carb intake for on the go eating.  You could even pour a little wheat out and soak it in a canteen all day for dinner if you had to!

In the study BYU took a standard 2 liter PETE bottle added 3.3 lbs of wheat and a “Ageless ZPT300″ O2 absorber packet.  They also had 2 controls consisting of a bottle with just wheat and a bottle with just a O2 absorber and no wheat.

After 12 months they found this

  • The bottles with 02 absorbers did not have oxygen increase over the period, the bottle with no O2 absorber saw decrease in total oxygen content over time
  • Weevils, Moths, flour Beetles were eliminated in 8,5 and 4 days when oxygen levels remained below 1%.  Saw Tooth Grain Beetles were eliminated in 12 days at a >1% oxygen content
  • Bottles containing O2 absorbers are good for at least a year with no appreciable increase in Oxygen

In short the study was done for only 12 months so we will not know what the true length of time was, whether it was 15, 30 or 30+ years.

However In my opinion there is no reason why, if stored properly it couldnt last the longer of the times.  As always this should be stored in a cool dry place, and away from sunlight, which speeds up the degradation of the plastics.

post ad storage food

Its pretty simple just open the bottle, pour the food in, pop in a O2 absorber and re cap it.  I would probably tape up or seal up the cap as well to make sure there is no chance of O2 getting in.  It should also go without saying…but you will need to wash out the container thoroughly, perhaps even adding a drop of bleach or two and then let it dry THOROUGHLY! make sure not one drop of water is in there!

The study also concluded that other low moisture foods such as rice, quinoa, oats, etc should also work just as well.

I hope that this might be of some help to you all, for the beginners especially that may not be able to buy the big buckets of stuff yet.  You can go to costco/sams and buy bulk food and store it in empty bottles you would normally have thrown away.



PETE bottles paper.091910

Hyperlink to BYU site





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  1. These are great for the car kit or to stash in little places in a camper if you have one, also outbuildings if you live on farm/rural place – never know where you might get caught in a storm or other situation.

  2. I have done it the past and it works well.


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