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Storing Whole Grains/Flours and Rancidity?

1574 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  crunchymomof2girls
For those of you buying whole grains and flours and storing them in bulk, don't you have problems with them going rancid? I buy whole grain flours from my local co-op out of the bulk bins, and because they go through so much, I have never noticed them being rancid when I buy them. However, once, back when I didn't do everything from scratch and things sat around for some time, I pulled some flour from my tepid (albeit not "cool") dark cupboard to find it most definitely smelling rancid. I've had similar problems with some whole grains - like wheat and even brown rice.

So, I've taken to storing all of my whole grains and flours in the refrigerator or freezer - which is fine I guess - but they take up a lot of space and I have to find containers for them all. Right now I'm using Gladware.

So, do any of you have problems with this, and if so, how do you solve it? Maybe I just have cupboards that are too hot. We have 10 foot ceilings and most of my food storage is up in the top cuboards because they can be hard to get to. Pots, pans and dishes go down below. The top cupboards do tend to get warm in the summer.

So how long are y'all able to store these items without them going bad? I guess maybe I should start finding containers to keep them down in our basement. It's finished, so it's not like going down to a dungeon every time I need some grain.
They would definitely stay cool down there.

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Hmmmm, we don't have that problem.. we store our beans/grains, sometimes for months & I can't remember ever having a problem so I would guess that the heat is the culprit.
If you're looking for containers, have you tried reusing your glass jars? We have all of our bulk in glass, mostly almond butter & tomato sauce jars.

And, could you possibly store your dishes/glasses up where you've been storing your grains? They'd be okay at warmer temps.
istopre all our grains in the freezers...but not beans...and pretty much thats all i have room for in my freezer.
I store all of the flours in the freezer. I haven't had any trouble with things like rice and dry beans in the pantry. I think I would just start buying them in smaller portions.
I have stored whole grains and not had a problem with rancidity. I generally keep the bulk of them in the basement where it is fairly cool even in the summer. However, I recently had a bunch of whole wheat flour go rancid. It was from a different source, so I wonder if that has something to do with it. I had some white flour from the same source also go rancid, which really surprised me because I didn't think there was anything left in white flour to go bad. I now store my whole wheat bread flour, that I buy in 25 lb bags, in the refrigerator. I use it in about 3 months. I also store whole wheat pastry flour and white flour there, but I buy smaller quantities because they don't get used so much. Most other things I only buy in 5 lb quantities (beans and whole grains) and they get used quickly so I don't have a problem. Light, air and heat are the big enemies of all food. Keep them in the dark and cool. I have also read that double packaging helps, such as zip loc bags and then in a larger plastic container. You can also use a straw to suck out the air as you seal the containers. You might also try spliting the larger orders with friends.
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To my knowledge, whole grains themselves do not go rancid. It is only once they are ground that the oils are exposed and they go rancid. So I store my whole grains in airtight bins in a dark pantry, and they last indefinitly. I grind my own flour, so it is always fresh. When I do store wholegrain flour, I put it in the freezer.
We store everything in tupperware containers so im not exactly sure how to answer your question. our stuff never gets bugs or goes bad.
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