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I'm wondering if there's anything else that could be used to preserve dry goods.
 

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Hand warmers are the same thing as oxygen absorbers some people even use them for the 5 gal pales. The heat is caused by the reaction of powdered iron and a salt solution. The oxygen combines with the metal and make rust (iron oxide) using up the oxygen.

PS: Silica gel is used to absorb moister and most can be rejuvenated in the over and used again. Both Oxygen absorbers and silica gel can is sold on Amazon.com
 

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Both, along with mylar bags can be found on ebay also.
Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers is the 21 century way of storing food for long time cheaply and very easy to use. I think for storing foods it almost makes vacuum packing obsolete. Unfortunately I had to find that out the hard way after I purchased a vacuum sealer.
 

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I have also heard that the plastic soda bottles are treated with an oxygen reduction chemical. I've seen people store rice, beans etc in these for long periods of time once they are cleaned out.
 

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that kinda scary to think i have rice with a bag of rust .
You can eat rust too it's not toxic. Old doctors used to say boil three iron nails in a pot of water and leave it for a day and then drink it to cure anemia. Come to think of it many iron vitamin brands use it too. Powdered iron oxide.
 
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