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Proper food storage is important for minimizing food wastes, keeping your grocery budget in check, and stocking your freezer.

With so many options, how do you choose the best way to store food? 

Vacuum sealers and Mylar bags both keep your food fresh, but there are a few important differences between these two products.

In this article, we’ll look at the debate between Mylar bags vs. FoodSaver bags. 

But first, let’s preface our discussion by considering our goal of food preservation.

Why preserve food?

The main goal of food preservation is to prevent bacterial growth

Bacteria carries diseases and can make you sick. 

If you ingest unhealthy bacteria, it can make you very ill. 

You may have experienced this if you’ve had the unfortunate experience of food poisoning.

So, when storing food, it’s very important to minimize bacterial growth. 

The method you choose for food preservation determines the rate of bacterial growth, so you can see why it’s so important to get it right!

What does bacteria need to grow?

Luckily, scientists have a lot of food research about bacterial growth. To grow, bacteria needs access to oxygen, warmth, moisture, and light.

If you eliminate one or more of these essential resources, bacteria cannot breed. That’s why we freeze our food.

It’s also the reasoning behind food dehydration and vacuum sealing. 

When you consider Mylar and food saver bags, you’re mainly concerned about oxygen and moisture availability.

Both function by sucking the air and moisture away from the food. 

When you use Mylar bags, you add a tablet like the 200 – 300cc Oxygen Absorbers for 1 Gallon Mylar Bags Long Term Food Storage O2from Oxyfree (view at Amazon) that absorbs moisture for extra protection. 

Also, the opacity of Mylar bags blocks light from coming into contact with your food. 

If you use Foodsaver bags and store them in the freezer, you also effectively block light.

Mylar bags

Mylar bags are very easy to use and require minimal preparation. 

You can find them in thicknesses varying from 3.5 to 7 mils, depending on your intended use. 

They also come in a wide range of sizes. 

This allows you to store virtually any quantity of food that you desire in Mylar bags.

You can even find 55 gallon Mylar bags, such as the BayTec 55 Gallon Mylar Plastic Bag – Heat Sealable (View at Amazon), if you want to store food in bulk.

But, there are plenty of smaller options as well. 

How to use Mylar bags?

Mylar bags are simple tools that require very little work on your part. 

First, you need to add an oxygen absorber to the bag.

Most Mylar bags come with oxygen absorbers, but, if yours does not, they’re easy to find at the store. 

Make sure that your oxygen absorbers are fresh. 

They are not reusable, and it’s best to use the newest absorber that you can find. 

If you use an old oxygen absorber, your food is likely to expire much faster.

Then, add your food to the bag. Dry, uncooked food works best. 

Leave a small amount of space at the top of the bag, and add an extra oxygen absorber. 

Finally, simply push the air out of the bag and seal it with heat. 

You can use an iron or flat iron to seal the bag; it’s very easy to do.

FoodSaver bags

Food saver bags, such as the FoodSaver 11″ x 16′ Vacuum Seal Roll | Make Custom-Sized BPA-Free Vacuum Sealer Bags | 3-Pack (View at Amazon), are also easy to use but require a bit more preparation and equipment. 

You need to have a vacuum sealer, such as the Foodsaver V4400 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer Machine with Automatic Bag Detection and Starter Kit | Safety Certified | Black and Silver (view at Amazon), which can be loud and requires storage space.

You can also find food saver bags in various sizes, but you’re a bit more limited. 

As you can imagine, the larger the bag, the more difficult it is for the vacuum sealer to effectively remove all the air.

Also, food saver bags are clear. 

Clear bags do not give you protection against light, which can lead to faster food degradation. 

However, you can combat this by storing your food in a dark place. 

It’s not a 100% fix, but it will definitely help if you’re storing food long-term.

Mylar bags vs. FoodSaver bags: Which is right for you?

So, should you use Mylar bags or FoodSaver bags? 

Neither is inherently better than the other, but one may be preferable for your end use.

For example, FoodSaver bags work very well for short term meat storage in the freezer. 

They effectively prevent freezer burn and will protect your meat better than Mylar bags.

However, FoodSaver bags are not the best option for storing dry food in extreme long term scenarios. 

If you want to store food for over a year, Mylar bags are probably the better choice.

Over time, FoodSaver bags may leak and allow air to enter. 

Also, since food saver bags are clear, light becomes much more of a relevant issue. 

If you store food for extremely long periods of time, light can really damage the quality of your food. 

Mylar bags, however, leak less and are opaque, effectively blocking light.

So, think about how you intend to use your food storage bags. 

Depending on the situation, Mylar bags may be better than FoodSaver bags, or vice versa. 

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the pros and cons of each food storage container.

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