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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Provisioning > Weevils, Grain, and the Tropics ...
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Thread: Weevils, Grain, and the Tropics ... Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-28-2007 08:36 AM
SallyH "WEEVILS - People say that freezing your flour will kill weevils and their eggs. Just refrigerating them does not work, though. Even weevil-free flour will often have weevil eggs, so this is a good preventive measure. Many cruisers put bay leaves in their flour, rice, etc. to ward off weevils, but the one time I tried this I found the taste of the bay leaves unpleasant, though I may be the only person who feels this way. If you find weevils in your grains (rice, etc.) and want to salvage, you can try putting a container of grain in the sun and flick off the weevils as they come to the top and die (my friends do this, but Iím too squeamish - Iíll toss the stuff first). I sifted the rice I bought (10 kilos, just could not toss it), which sifted out the weevils, adult and larval. I then heated the rice in the oven and put it into air tight bottles. 18 months later, no weevils have reappeared in that rice (it wasnít very good rice, which is why it took me so long to use it all up). Regardless, disinfect the locker where the stuff was stored or you're going to lose everything. An Indian cook giving lessons on cooking curries said that some spices, such as Cumin, are vulnerable to weevils, and if you occasionally ďsunĒ these spices (yes, put them out in the sun), you will kill the weevils and eggs and prevent infestation. So try with all your other items as well. They will bore through cardboard boxes, plastic bags, whatever, to get at your flour or pasta. Nasty things (and they taste dreadful - never mind how I know)."

From the free ebook The Cruisers Dictionary - "Tips & Hints" by Jeanne Pockel
.
04-26-2007 12:19 AM
sailingdog Basically, boasun is suggesting to remove most of the oxygen from the interior of the containers, before sealing them for long-term storage. This may even help prevent the food from spoiling as quickly.

The tip about boxes, any cardboard or paper packaging actually, is a good one, especially in the less well developed countries.
04-26-2007 12:11 AM
Boasun most tops will just pop up a bit. But the container will be filled with CO2 and the pesties will not survive in there. Just push the tops back down.
CO2 is heavier than air and will displace the air in the container.
Seal the container firmly after the dry ice has desolved, melted, disapated? Whatever.
And if your groceries are delivered in cardboard boxes. Then unpack the boxes either on the pier or on deck. Don't take them into the boat. Many vermin come aboard in the lining of those boxes. This is one trick we use on the work boats here in the Gulf of Mexico. To keep out the vermin.
I have found piss ants nesting in a box of coffee filters, yuck!! So inspect all that goes below.
For the screw on lids; Start them but don't tighten them down for awhile. The CO2 will displace the air in those type containers after a short while and then seal them. All on deck of course. But they will be safe to open or stow in normal usage afterwards.
04-25-2007 08:32 PM
leffklm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boasun
One way to keep the little bugs from growing or spreading is to use air tight containers...
After you had put your product into the container(20# container) add a two inch diameter piece of dry ice. Be sure to do this on the open deck. Size the Dry ice to the size of your containers. You do not want to take large chunks of dry ice down below. This method is otherwise safe to use and in most ports you can get the stuff. Dry ice is solid chunks of CO2 at below -375f and as it warms up turns back to an inert gas. But this trick has been used successfully for about a century now. Nothing hatches.
Put the rest of the dry ice in your coolers that you keep on deck. to keep frozen items frozen.
Warning: Do not have large chunks of dry ice down below. It displaces air and that means that you will have a lack of oxygen in your living spaces. Ventilate well if you have made that mistake. And don't enter the space until it is well ventilated.

But it is a good way to keep those pesky bugs in check. Just follow the safety rules when handling the stuff.
Boasun,

It isn't clear from your posts whether you are putting the chunks of dry ice directly into the containers and then sealing them. If so, people need to be aware that there is an explosion risk from doing this if the containers seal tightly enough and if there is insufficient room for the CO2 gas to expand once the dry ice sublimates. I would guess that it shouldn't be an issue with most tupperware-style containers that aren't filled to the top with product and if the chunks of dry ice are small enough; however, some pretty spectacular explosions can occur under the right conditions. The bigger risk might be that the CO2 gas would expand enough to push open the seal on the container and allow for the pesties to get back in.

Best,

Leff
04-25-2007 08:12 PM
Valiente
Quote:
Originally Posted by l0keman
The USDA and FDA are having a hard time trying to sell fact that it's very safe, though.
I guess most people don't know that most of the spice supply is irradiated already, then. I had a friend who worked at a place called "Griffith Laboratories" here in Toronto, and he drove forklifts full of spice into special chambers that would nuke 'em to kill the wigglies.
04-25-2007 01:10 PM
sailingdog Weevils are little beetles that mainly eat plants... love things like wheat flour and pasta too...
04-25-2007 12:55 PM
l0keman Trueblue, you are very right. I happen to be a military health inspector and have a lot of the same training the FDA and USDA gets. They check a sample lot of bread and you are allowed so many bug parts per pound same with meats (so many worms per pound). But as with anything, there are limits and exceptions. Some bugs can make you very ill to eat just a leg or two, so it matters on the bug type. Radiation is the very best way to kill anything in the food and also extends shelf life on a lot of perishables, such as beef. The USDA and FDA are having a hard time trying to sell fact that it's very safe, though.
04-25-2007 11:58 AM
Boasun One way to keep the little bugs from growing or spreading is to use air tight containers...
After you had put your product into the container(20# container) add a two inch diameter piece of dry ice. Be sure to do this on the open deck. Size the Dry ice to the size of your containers. You do not want to take large chunks of dry ice down below. This method is otherwise safe to use and in most ports you can get the stuff. Dry ice is solid chunks of CO2 at below -375f and as it warms up turns back to an inert gas. But this trick has been used successfully for about a century now. Nothing hatches.
Put the rest of the dry ice in your coolers that you keep on deck. to keep frozen items frozen.
Warning: Do not have large chunks of dry ice down below. It displaces air and that means that you will have a lack of oxygen in your living spaces. Ventilate well if you have made that mistake. And don't enter the space until it is well ventilated.

But it is a good way to keep those pesky bugs in check. Just follow the safety rules when handling the stuff.
04-25-2007 11:43 AM
Freesail99 We have boats, we can fish .....
04-25-2007 11:41 AM
Looking TB, That picture is disgusting! One more reason to stay away from processed foods. Oh, and the explanation for nuking to kill weevils?... Might just dissuade me from my further rant on Sailboat microwaves.
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