Come monsoon and a major challenge which householders face is with regards to stalling insect-infestation in the food products in their pantry and store room … as the damp and humid season provides these insects with the perfect breeding ground.
Monsoons … a time when everything wears a fresh look! And also a time when your annual supply of grains and spices if stored carelessly get infected with a hoard of creepy crawlies!
So Foodism shares a few handy tips to prevent these destructive insects from making a home in your pantry and ruining your food products –
- Protect lentils from insects or worms during the rainy season by smearing them with mustard oil prior storage
- Sprinkle some castor oil on food grains to keep them fresh. Word of caution – pour only that much castor oil which gives the grains a sheen
- In case nuts soften due to the moisture, warm them in a microwave for a few minutes and voila they will be crisp again!
- Refrigerate dry items like semolina (post dry-roasting it), gram flour (after thoroughly sieving it) and all-purpose flour in air-tight containers
- Place neem leaves inside sugar/grain containers
- Sprinkle some cloves around your cupboard shelves and pantry area
- Keep bay leaves in flour/grain containers
- Open and place a matchbox open near grains and rest assured that weevils will not be seen thereabouts as they are repelled by the sulphur
- Keep small bags of black pepper in your pantry
- Place ginger, garlic or a whole turmeric inside rice containers to keep bugs away
- Keep spices in vacuum-sealed printed jars in cool dark places; away from water, light and heat to save them from both moisture and insects
If despite taking safety measures your grains, spices or flour get infected by bugs then simply keep them in the sunlight for a day
Taking care of cooked food:
- Stir cooked food kept in the open, after every two hours so that no bacteria settles on it
- Wrap unconsumed chapattis in newspapers or silver foil to ensure that they don’t get mossed
- Always cover food while storing so that it does not get spoiled
- Store fried papads in zip-lock packets so that they remain crisp for a longer time
Just a few preventive measures will go a long way in protecting your yearly supply of grains, lentils and spices from the monsoon insects and also your cooked food from getting contaminated