We have become so used to storing food in plastic bags and plastic containers that I am asked often if food can be stored in Kootsac bags.
Kootsac bags were designed to bring your food home from the bulk food section of your natural food or grocery store. They are not intended for storage, but rather to help reduce the amount of plastic bags ending up in the landfill - Kootsac bags can be reused over and over - they will last for years.
Both the ripstop nylon and silk bags are woven fabrics and are not suitable for long term storage. The nylon bags have a pretty tight weave and will hold flour really well, but are still not waterproof.
The best way to store your food is in glass jars. I like mason jars the best because they have so many uses.
Tips for storing dry food, herbs and spices:
Label your jars clearly, and always include the date - I use pencil for the date so that it can be changed later instead of using a whole new label. Dates are so important. I learned the hard way - it's so frustrating to find a jar of something in the cupboard and not know how old it is is or what kind of flour it is. What a waste! Take the time to do this and it will save you heartache and money.
Store your jars in a cool, dry place, preferably out of direct light. I know they look so pretty on exposed shelves but they will keep so much better in a darker place. This is especially true for more delicate things like herbs and spices.
If you do like to keep your spices on an open shelf like I do, then try to find amber jars which protcet your herbs and spices from direct light.
Storing your food in jars instead of plastic bags will not only keep your food fresh and dry, but it will eliminate the leaching of plastic chemicals into your food and will also protect other foods from little critters like weavils which can sometimes travel on food you bring home.
Practice using your senses to determine if a dry food is still good. Learn how to know when grains or nuts smell rancid. Look at the colour of your herbs and spices - have they faded, or do they still look vibrant? You don't have a 'best before' date on bulk bin foods, so training yourself to be discerning will help you make good choices for your health and save you money when buying them.