Just about every food has an expiry date. Well, nearly every food….
Some products have a longer shelf life than others, and some will last for a long time .But did you know there are some foods that will never spoil, that you can always keep on hand for when you need them?
So whether you’re being frugal and want to know which foods you can keep for an extremely long time without turfing, or if you are prepping for a doomsday scenario, here are 15 foodstuffs to stock up on and keep indefinitely.
Notes for Stockpiling:
If you are planning on stockpiling, just make sure you place these foods in an airtight container and store them in a cool place. Even though they don’t expire, they can still be eaten by rats and mice or spoilt by heat or dampness.
So long as it is pure honey, you can keep this sweet, delicious goop on hand indefinitely”¦ so long as you store it properly. You need to store your honey in a cool area and keep it tightly closed. It might change colour or crystalise over time, but that doesn’t mean it’s unsafe to eat. If you find it has crystalised, you can revive it by placing the opened jar in warm water and stir it until the crystals dissolve.
Honey is a great natural sweetener so if you are stockpiling, honey is must-have!
2. White Rice
Rice will keep indefinitely, so long as it’s stored in a cool, dry place inside an airtight container. Brown rice won’t keep for as long and has a shelf life of just six months because of the oils it contains. When it spoils, it will give off a rancid odour.
Rice is the perfect product to be stockpiling as it is cheap and filling and will feed a lot of people for a long time.
Sugar, brown or white, won’t go off because it can’t support the growth of bacteria. The biggest challenge with keeping sugar for a long time is that it can go rock hard. After opening, sugar should be kept in a cool, dry area. Placing it in an airtight container or covering the original package in a heavy-duty plastic bag, and sealing it tightly can prevent the sugar from hardening after opening.
Salt has been used for centuries to preserve other foods (and even bodies) so it stands to reason that this stuff on its own will stand the test of time. However, check the ingredients on your salt. If it contains iodine, it will only have a shelf life of around five years. The best way to store your salt is in a closed container in a fresh, dry place, away from sunlight and heat.
5. Hard Liquor
If you’ve survived the zombie apocalypse, chances are you might need a few drinks as a coping strategy. The good news is that hard liquor spirits like vodka, whisky, gin, rum and tequila don’t go off, even after you’ve opened them. Keep your booze in a cool, dark place away from sunlight and direct heat and keep the bottles tightly closed when not in use.
6. 100% Maple Syrup
The 100% pure maple syrup only (check the label, not maple-flavoured syrup, or anything like that) will still be available as a delicious pancake topping for your descendants long after you are gone, so long as you keep in in the freezer. Otherwise, you can get long-term storage out of it in the pantry, unopened.
7. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is packed full of sodium, making it really hard for any bacteria to develop. When left unopened, it can last for an extremely long time, but even when opened, you can keep soy sauce in the fridge for years without it going off.
8. Cornflour (Corn Starch)
Cornflour has a heap of uses. You can use it to thicken sauces, gravies or soups. It will keep indefinitely so long as it is free from contaminants. Keep it stored in a cool dry area and keep the package tightly closed between uses.
9. Dried Beans
Dried beans can last almost indefinitely so long as there is an absence of oxygen and light. Older beans will need to be soaked for longer and may also require longer cooking times.
Vinegar, like salt, is another preserving agent so of course you can expect to vinegar to preserve itself for a very long time. Store it in a cool, dark place and keep it capped between uses.
11. Pure Vanilla Extract
Pure vanilla extract will last forever. Make sure you have the pure stuff, not the imitation vanilla essence. It’s more expensive to buy it this way, but you will never have to throw it out. Store it in a cool, dark cupboard and keep tightly closed when not in use.
12. Coconut Oil
This pantry staple can be used in place of butter, shortening or cooking oil and also has other uses as a beauty product. Unrefined coconut oil (also known as virgin coconut oil) has a shelf life that has been documented as being anywhere from 2-5 years to “indefinite”.
13. Powdered Milk
Powdered milk has been known to last indefinitely, but its shelf life should be prolonged by repackaging it for longer-term storage or keeping it in the freezer. If it turns yellow or develops an odour, it’s time to toss it.
14. Instant coffee, Tea and Cocoa
Good news for fans of hot beverages. You can buy these in bulk whenever they’re on sale without having to worry about getting through it all before it goes bad. It’ll also be good for boosting morale during the End Times. You can extend the storage life of tea and cocoa by using oxygen absorbing packets or vacuum sealing.
15. Stock cubes (boullion cubes)
Stock cubes are made from salt and stock from either chicken, beef, fish, vegetables and so on that have been strained and dehydrated to concentrate their flavours. Because of the salt content, they can last forever if stored properly. They should be vacuum sealed or kept in the freezer for the best results. They are particularly vulnerable to moisture, so need to be kept dry.
What other foods you can stock for emergencies?