Whether you’re preparing for a major pantry clean-out or you’re about to load up on essentials for a long term blackout, there are quite a few items where an expiration date doesn’t apply.When stored properly — in an airtight container, kept in a cool, dry place — there are a number of pantry staples that can last just about forever.
We’re not talking until the end of time forever, although some of these staples just may hold up that long. Rather, when stored properly, these items can last for years tucked away in the pantry.
The Simplest Reason Why Food Goes Bad
There are a number of reasons why food goes bad, but one of the main causes is bacteria growth. The main culprit for bacteria growth in food is moisture — when moisture is present, it creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
These foods either aren’t very susceptible to moisture and bacteria growth, or actively discourage bacteria (as in the case of alcohol). Others of these depend quite a bit on proper storage.
Many of so-called long term storage foods can really be stored for about six months before they go bad. So in my opinion your food stock plan should include foods that last for more than 6 months. This way you will not be forced to rotate all your food every 5-6 months just to be sure that if SHTF you will have fresh food on your table. Today we are going to talk about food that last for at least one or two years in your pantry.
I know canned meat is not that tasty but it is a great item to store for long term due to the long shelf life. Canned meat is a great source of protein.
Beans and Canned Beans
Store more canned beans than dry. Dry beans require large amounts of water and energy to prepare – when SHTF, water and energy are what you want to conserve. Be sure that the canned flavored beans you choose are not made with HFCS(high fructose corn syrup) – you’d be surprised how many older brands have switched their recipes to use HFCS instead of sugar. Better to store plain canned beans so you can control seasonings and the amount of any sweetening, as well as have options of savory, sweet dish and general variety. If you plan to feed dogs/cats with people food, you will want to store plain foods – for instance, onions, garlic, raisins or macadamias as an ingredient makes dogs sick, and xylitol will kill a dog.
It’s my opinion that the canned food part of your food plan should include a substantial selection of a variety of soups. They simultaneously address your meat and vegetable requirements, especially when you stock a variety of soups. I’d suggest some of each of: Split-pea soup, a couple substantially-bean-related soups, and several beef and chicken soups chosen to cover a variety of vegetables between them. Since this is for surviving SHTF and not weight loss, read the labels and pick the soups with the *most* calories, fat, carbs, and protein. I especially aim for high fiber as well, in order to help you to feel full in case you need to make your food supply last and are forced to cut back on consumption a bit. They even supply a little bit of purified water, although obviously not nearly enough in and of themselves. Rotate them not only on the shelves, but also if you ever do have to eat them during SHTF, to balance out your dietary intake.
Everybody loves pasta. I use to stock up on Italian pasta because it is made with durum wheat(grano duro) flour and this gives a longer shelf life. Pasta can be mixed up with almost anything to get a wonderful meal.
Sugar is another sweetener with no expiration. This includes all varieties — white, brown, and powdered. Be sure to store it in an airtight container to prevent moisture from dampening the sugar.
Dried fruit are not only good for their long shelf life but also for their nutritional qualities. They are a great source of potassium, fiber and make a great energy booster due to their content of sugar.
If you plan to have milk on your table after SHTF then you should stock up some powdered milk. While it’s not as refreshing as the fresh stuff when it comes to drinking, powdered milk is quite useful for cooking and baking.It can be rehydrated to put on cereal, made into pudding, and as an add- into almost any kind of soup to make it a cream soup. Store it in a sealed container in a cool, dark place, and it will have an indefinite shelf life.
Peanut butter can maintain its freshness for up to two years and is the best source of energy you can find due to its high content of protein and fat.(be sure you are not allergic to peanuts)
Honey is one of the best things you can store due to it’s unlimited shelf life .Honey never goes bad and its properties makes it the most precious thing: is a good natural anti-septic, can treat burns(applied directly to the wound) and is a great energy booster. Even if it crystallizes or the color changes slightly, don’t throw it out — it’s still perfectly safe to eat.
Sea vegetables / Powdered Super Greens
A popular item selling in health foods stores today are the sea vegetables that come in powdered form, or pill. In a time of catastrophic disaster, most communities are going to be hurting for fresh produce. Sea vegetables are a super food, packed with vitamins and nutrients and health benefits that help boost immunity, provide tissue repair and wound healing, and can even have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. What this means is that sea vegetables like kelp and chlorella and others are super foods. Though I list sea vegetables as number ten, they should probably be the number 1 survival food on this top ten list. The reason again is that fresh produce is likely to be in short supply or disappear completely in several areas, in a widespread emergency.
As a bottled supplement, these can go a long way to provide essential vitamins and minerals, and an assortment of beneficial health properties, in a time of emergency. So, it is the powdered supplement with a long-term shelf-life that I recommend as a key survival food.
White rice does store for longer than two years. Yes, it might smell a little old (due to the starchy covering it has but I’m presently using really old (10-15 yrs) rice successfully. All you need to do is rinse it well to remove the starch and voila…tasty rice. Also, you can mix a little of old and a little of new if you like. Wild rice does not have this same set of problems, because it is actually grass seed, not rice. Store whole non-ground grains, and a grain grinder of sufficient quality, instead of storing ground grains, flours, meals, or cereals that use processed grains.
Tip: I put all my Grains, Flours, Rice, Powdered Milk in the freezer for at least 72 hours to kill any eggs or larvae before I seal them in Mylar bags and then into buckets for added protection.
Pure vanilla extract
Pure vanilla costs a good deal more than its imitation counterpart, and for good reason. Not only is there a huge difference in taste, but pure vanilla also lasts a lot longer.
Cornstarch is a go-to thickener for pudding, sauce, and gravy. Most recipes use only a couple tablespoons, yet cornstarch is usually sold in large packages, but don’t worry — this is totally okay since it doesn’t have an expiration date. Just remember to keep the lid completely sealed and store it in a cool, dark place.
Coffee / Instant Coffee
Have you ever tried to quit drinking coffee, after years of counting on it to get you up in the morning and through the day? If not you, someone in your party is likely to consider coffee (or simply caffeine) an essential, and may be tired, lethargic, and have headaches without the stuff. Coffee doesn’t have to be a top priority, but being able to grab it will be something more than one person in your party is likely to be thankful for. It’s a quick mood booster and good for morale. And it’s also something that could be traded like a commodity during a crises situation.
When stored properly, popcorn can last indefinitely. Plus, it’s whole grain, low in fat, and high in fiber.
As long as the packaging is intact and they are stored in a cool dry place, these bars, which many kids find comforting, will keep long past their expiration date.
The shelf life of olive oil can go as much as 3-4 years for an early harvest, high polyphenol containing olive variety which has been filtered then packaged in a well sealed tin or dark bottle then stored in a cool dark place.
Invented by the natives of North America, pemmican was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers. These people spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time.
Pemmican was light, compact, high in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and if done properly can last anywhere from a few years (decades) up to a lifetime without refrigeration!
Pemmican consists of lean, dried meat which is crushed to a powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. Back in those days the natives made it with bison, deer, or elk but nowadays it is usually made with beef. Crushed, dried berries can be added as well.
You can find the recipe to prepare pemmican HERE.
Biltong is a great survival food. It has his origins in Southern Africa and it’s a variety of dried and cured meat. Its shelf life can go up to 3-4 years. You can find out the recipe to make biltong HERE.
Throughout history bread has been a vital staple of life. Archaeological evidence suggest that pre-neolitic cultures cooked a very simple flat bread on hot stones. Hardtack is one of the first survival foods used by sailors.Hardtack was also called the ship’s bisket, sea bisket or ship’s bread. This bread was not made to be enjoyed, it was made out of necessity. Ship’s captains faced a continuous challenge having enough food on board to feed a large crew for a long journey. Food spoilage was really their greatest concern so the hardtack is really born out of necessity, it’s a means of food preservation. If it was prepared properly and stored properly it would last for a year or more. In addition, the bisket form helped in portability and dividing the rations to the crew.
If you found this article useful, please like our Facebook page and stay up to date with the latest articles.
If you have any other suggestions that you wish to add to the above list please leave a comment in the section below.
Our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones.
CHECK OUR survival and prepping solutions
If you found this article useful, please like our Facebook page and stay up to date with the latest articles.
WHAT TO READ NEXT:
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BACON (STEP BY STEP GUIDE)
A RETURN TO THE OLD PATHS: HOW TO MAKE PEMMICAN LIKE THE NATIVE AMERICANS
20 LOST RECIPES FROM THE PIONEERS: WHAT THEY COOKED ON THEIR JOURNEY WESTWARD
SEVEN CLASSIC GREAT DEPRESSION ERA RECIPES GRANDMA USED TO MAKE
POTTED MEAT: A LOST SKILL OF LONG TERM MEAT STORAGE
BACK TO BASICS: HOW TO MAKE AND PRESERVE LARD
THE BEST WAY TO STOCKPILE VEGETABLES OFF-GRID
OLD FASHIONED PRESERVING-GRANDPA’S RECIPE FOR CURED SMOKED HAM
HOW TO MAKE GUNPOWDER THE OLD FASHIONED WAY
SURVIVAL HERBAL RECIPES FROM OUR ANCESTORS
HOW TO PRESERVE MEAT FOR SURVIVAL LIKE OUR GRANDFATHERS
OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES: