Search This Blog

Food Storage Shelf Life

I just got an e-mail from a good friend that stated a lot of canned food and properly-stored dry good will last a long time. Here's the jist:

When stored away from light and heat, in airtight moisture-proof containers at temperatures between 40-70 degrees F:

-white rice

-apple slices
-macaroni (pasta)
-rolled oats
-potato flakes

-powdered milk

The following items have an indefinite shelf life (last a very very long time!) when stored in the original packaging, away from heat and light and moisture (and bugs/rodents!):
-baking soda
-granulated sugar

Canned foods when stored away from moisture (to prevent rusting of cans) and away from variations in temperature (not in attic or garage) should last 20, 30, 100 years! These include jams, fruits, veggies, and even meats! The vitamins and nutrients degrade but studies show protein levels stay pretty much the same, although the taste ain't all that great!

For items I grow myself, I've been dehydrating then using a seal-a-meal and storing small baggies in mason jars (unprocessed). I'd like to re-pack some of my supplies. I used to buy bulk dried fruits from because my kid loves them but am switching to because they have better prices. Need to buy blackberries, blueberries, mango and green peas... he loves these!

Sorry... I digressed! When I buy pasta and huge bags of rice (among other things(, I'd divide in smaller portions and seal-a-meal'd them. But I don't want to keep doing that. I'm thinking I'd like to seal in a mylar-bag and put in a bucket (used and cleaned icing bucket from bakeries). Will buy the supplies after we move (hopefully within another month).

Here's a link for the mylar supplies:

I would also like to #10 can (that's the can that things from Providant Pantry come in) my own supplies but I can't find a supplier for a non-Mormon. Anyone have a link and a cost?

1. The info above said "wheat" or "corn" - not the flour made from those. Grains should be stored whole, and ground when ready to use.

2. I can't find info on storing gluten-free grains like quinoa. I'm going to assume that properly sealed in mylar bags or #10 cans that the whole grains of quinoa, amaranth, etc. should be good for at least a couple of years. Hope so.

3. The info said "pinto beans" - sure am hoping it's good for other legumes, like lentils, split peas, black turtle beans, white navy beans, etc. We just don't like pinto beans much.

4. Not on the list was honey but we've all heard the story of honey from ancient Egyptian tombs that was still edible and delicious.

5. Before I store bought-rice, I always freeze it for 2 days to kill any bugs. Starting to do that with almost everything I buy to store!

6. I just read that a lot of dry goods can be preserved in quart canning jars, with just the tight seal of lids and rings, and not processing. Anyone done this?


Rebecka said...

One thing to remind people about honey, is that it can granulate, but is still good. Just heat up the honey and it will look like we are used too. Also, we but supplies from our local LDS Bishop's store and we are not Morman. I just stopped by the store, told them that I was not a member of the church, what we were trying to accomplish and could be purchase from them. We were able to purchase from them. Note: I did have cash on me to pay with. Hope this helps!

Also, we grew our own teff this year. I would think you could store the seed similar to other grains, grinding them when you want them.

PreparednessPro said...

You might be surprised at how yummy and versatile beans are. I can make a navy bean bunt cake that is to die for. Here is a link to the recipe. You should check it out. I think you'd be surprised and might be so inclined to start storing more beans.

Preparedness Pro

Debbie said...

I pack lots of quart canning (wide mouth seems to work best) jars and use my vacuum sealer with jar attachment. Have sealed flour, sugar, mixes that only need water, etc. Keeps it fresher longer and pests out. Lots of info on youtube on creative ways to vacuum seal other containers..

ThrtnWmsFam said...

Great info! I'll have to try the bean bundt cake, and storing more things in canning jars. I am of the mind that we can never have enough jars anyway! Thanks again... Vikki

Preparedness Pro said...

Honey will also store indefinitely. I have had great success storing dry goods in Mason jars and sealing them with my FoodSaver. I've stored brown rice, M&Ms, nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, even butter! If stored in a cool, dry place, these jars will be good for five years. Here's the butter how-to:

TheSurvivalMom said...

I like that short, sweet little summary of how long certain foods will last! I enjoy dehydrating foods as well, and today will dehydrate quite a few apple slices and a few bags of frozen vegetables.

Great blog! I'm going to link to it on my own blog.


Anonymous said...

For all you non LDS (Mormon) out there; They have dozens of sites with the info you're looking for. Grain (almost all grains) properly stored are good for half-a-lifetime. If honey crystalizes, just heat it. Stuff like that. Many of their warehouses are open to the public. Call and ask, or get to know a Mormon. They're generally very nice people. I love sealing dry goods in mason jars. Just put on a lid, and use the suction cone appliance of your foodsaver or seal-a-meal.