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Vacuum sealing bags for winter preservation

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by wellington, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Has anyone tried using those bags that you use your vacuum to suck the air out for preserving grasses, weeds, etc, for winter feeding?
    I used the food vacuum sealer before and it worked good but the machine started to fail way too quickly. I went through two of them before giving up.
    Then it hit me a couple days ago, when I got some grape leaves, that the vacuum storage bags might do the trick.
    So, although most of my grape leaves have dried out, I still vacuum sealed them and will see how it works. Will be doing the same too mulberry leaves and grass.
    Will update in a few weeks on the success or failure, unless someone responds with their results that has already tried this.
  2. T Smart

    T Smart Active Member 5 Year Member

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    If it works, I might just have to do the same thing! I try my best to vary the diet in the winter, but it's difficult and sometimes expensive. Let's hope winter isn't too harsh this year.
    wellington likes this.
  3. Iochroma

    Iochroma Well-Known Member

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    There is a well-known paper on blanching mulberry leaves before freezing them to use as food in the winter for silkworms. The take-away is a ten to 30 second blanche in boiling water before freezing is quite advantageous.
    This also reduced disease organisms. Vacuum sealing alone might create a condition for anaerobic pathogens to grow.
    RosemaryDW likes this.
  4. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Thanks, I will do a search to try and find it.
    I could possibly try freezing the bags after vacuum sealing them. I would think though, without air, nothing would be able too grow. I have no clue about that kind of stuff though. So far the grape leaf is in the exact same state as when I sealed them. I have not been able to do any of the others leaves. However, I am trying fresh cut grass just today. Have 2 large bags, will see how they do.
  5. Iochroma

    Iochroma Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Freeze them immediately. Things most certainly CAN grow without oxygen, and many of those things are very bad. Have you heard of Botulism?

    Here's the article on blanching if you want to dive in:
    https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/kontyushigen1930/55/2/55_2_137/_pdf
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  6. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Does any one see or have an issue with just drying and storing, not freezing? That's how the tortoises find many leaves on the ground.

    If we harvest fresh leaves, dry, and store in a cool dark dry place doesn't that cover all the points?

    I've been doing this for a few years now, no mold, change in taste (yes I try a few), and a simple dryer at low temps seems to do the job just fine. Stored in paper bags or plastic bags that are not sealed air tight, low air exchange at best/worst.
  7. Iochroma

    Iochroma Well-Known Member

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    Yes to Will. Drying, absolutely dry, as in using a food dryer, should reduce the chances of pathogens growing in storage.
  8. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    i will not put anything that could still have bugs in/on them in my oven which is the only way I have to dry them.
    I don't have the room to let them dry naturally either. Tried that last year. Hanging them in mesh bags and trying to turn them so they would dry properly. It worked but not very well and couldn't do enough to last longer thru winter.
    The vacuum sealing takes no time and a lot less space.
  9. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    i didn't consider botulism as it's not food but leaves. I also understood botulism to happen when there is a flaw in the seal of say can goods, etc.
  10. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Curious as to why you wouldn’t put them into the oven?
  11. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Bugs, don't want bugs crawling around in my house or where I cook my food. To dry out things in the oven the temp is only like 200. The thought that the bugs could crawl around in there before they die is disgusting and who knows if they could crawl out. No thanks.
    Besides the time they are in my house between getting them from bag to tray to oven.
  12. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Makes sense.
  13. Rdoyle225

    Rdoyle225 New Member

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    I have a 1/2 of iceberg that we eat for tacos we vacuum it it is still good it been 3 weeks or mor
  14. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Didn't realize I didn't update this. I sealed grass, grape and mulberry leaves, then put them in the freezer. This better work as I bought a freezer just for this.
    I hadn't had too take any out yet. I have dried ones I'm using now. I will make another update when something is opened.
    Morcomshane likes this.
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