When you’re building a stockpile, the most important thing you can do is stock it with foods that have a long shelf life. These foods will last, you won’t have to worry about them going bad, and you know they’ll always be there if the SHTF.
With the global population ever-increasing, the demand for food is too, and food with longer shelf life is becoming increasingly sought after.
With that in mind, this article will introduce you to the diverse range of available foods with long shelf life that is available.
Here is a list of some of the best foods with a long shelf life.
Best Foods with a Long Shelf Life
1. Corn Starch
One of the longest shelf life foods is corn starch. It is a white, powdery substance made from corn and used in cooking or as a thickening agent in sauces, gravies, and stews.
Corn starch has a long shelf life and can last for an indefinite period of time when stored properly.
2. Canned Vegetables, Fruits, and Beans
Canned food has a long shelf life and can generally last up to two to five years if the canned fruits, vegetables, and beans have been stored properly.
3. Dried Fruits
Dried fruits can last anywhere from six months to one year, but proper storage and packaging can extend the shelf life up to two years.
Dried fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they are a great snack option for those looking to add more fruit to their diet. You can make dried fruits by dehydrating them.
4. Dried Pasta
If stored properly, most types of dried pasta can last up to two years, while cooked pasta should be consumed within three to four days and stored in the refrigerator. Purchasing dried pasta in bulk and storing it in a dry and dark place is the best way to ensure it stays safe to eat.
5. Jellies and Jams
Jellies and jams are beloved pantry staples that have been around for centuries. Their sweet flavor and spreadable texture make them ideal for various sweet and savory dishes, from toast to ice cream to pork roast.
Most jellies and jams have a long shelf life. Unopened, commercially produced varieties should last up to two years if stored in a dry, cool place.
6. Maple Syrup
Pure maple syrup has a shelf life of up to two years when stored in a sealed container in a cool, dark place. However, when opened, the syrup should be refrigerated and used within six months.
If you find that your maple syrup has gone bad, check the color and consistency of the syrup. If the syrup appears cloudy or discolored, it’s likely gone bad. Additionally, if the syrup smells sour or has an off-taste, it’s best to discard it.
If stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, rolled oats can last up to six months. On the other hand, quick-cooking oats need to be used within two to three months.
Vegetable oil is an incredibly versatile product, used in everything from cooking to cleaning. Its shelf life can vary depending on the type of oil and its packaging, but generally speaking, vegetable oil can last up to two years.
Unrefined vegetable oils, such as extra-virgin olive oil or cold-pressed canola oil, have a shorter shelf life due to their lack of preservatives and oxidation.
If stored properly, these oils can last up to six months. Refined vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, sunflower oil, and corn oil, are more stable due to their processing and preservatives and can last up to two years.
Popcorn is a popular snack enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s crunchy, salty, and light, which makes it a great snack for movie nights, game nights, and more.
The shelf life of unpopped popcorn is six months if stored properly. If stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer, the shelf-life will increase substantially.
10. Powdered Milk
Powdered milk is a great way to store milk for extended periods of time. It is a form of dehydrated milk that has been processed to remove most moisture, leaving a fine powder.
Generally, the shelf life of powdered milk is quite long and can last anywhere from one to two years.
11. Ramen Noodles
Unopened ramen noodles have a shelf life of two to three years, depending on when and how they were packaged. Once opened, the shelf life of ramen noodles is significantly reduced, usually lasting just a few days.
The shelf life of rice depends on the type of rice you have and the way you store it. Generally, uncooked white rice has a shelf life of up to two years, while brown rice has a shelf life of about six months. Wild rice has a shelf life of up to ten years.
Uncooked brown rice has a shorter shelf life because it contains more oil and fat than white rice. These compounds can go rancid over time, making the rice unsafe to eat. If you want to store rice long term, you should keep it in a cool, dry place away from the sun.
Salt is a very versatile mineral that can spruce up everything from soups to lentils to dried beans. It can last indefinitely.
Salt does not go bad in the traditional sense, but it can lose flavor and potency over time. Table salt, which is made of sodium chloride, has an indefinite shelf life when stored in a cool, dry place.
Honey is a natural sweetener that has been used for centuries. It has a variety of uses, from sweetening tea and coffee to being used as a natural remedy for ailments such as sore throats, coughs, and skin irritations.
When stored properly, honey can last indefinitely, but it will eventually darken and lose its flavor over time.
15. Canned Tuna
Canned tuna is a shelf-stable and nutritious food that can last for a long time when stored properly.
Generally speaking, canned tuna has a shelf life of two to five years when stored in a cool, dry place.
16. Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce has been around for centuries, and it’s a popular condiment used to add flavor to dishes. It has a distinct flavor that’s a combination of sweet, sour, and spicy.
Most Worcestershire sauces have a shelf life of two to three years when stored properly, similar to soy sauce. Once opened, it should be refrigerated and used within six months.
You can also extend the life of Worcestershire sauce by storing it in the freezer. This will prevent the sauce from spoiling and extend its shelf life up to six months. To freeze, pour the sauce into an airtight container and freeze. When ready to use, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
17. Powdered Eggs
Powdered eggs are made from dehydrated egg whites and egg yolks combined and dried into a powder.
When stored in ideal conditions, the shelf life of powdered eggs can be quite long. Unopened packages of powdered eggs can typically last up to five to 10 years.
Once the package is opened, the shelf life will decrease to approximately six months. After this time, expect it to go bad.
Vinegar is a versatile ingredient that has been used for centuries for various purposes, ranging from cooking to cleaning to health remedies. It’s also a surprisingly long-lasting product with an indefinite shelf life.
It won’t spoil, but its flavor and potency can change over time. Generally, the longer vinegar is stored, the more potent its flavor will become.
19. Jarred or Canned Tomato Sauce
Canned tomato sauce has a long shelf life, provided that it is stored properly in a cool, dry place.
Unopened canned tomato sauce will last for up to two years, although it is best to consume it within 12 to 18 months of purchase for the best flavor. Once opened, canned tomato sauce will last for around three to four weeks in the refrigerator.
Tea is a beverage that has been enjoyed for centuries, and it can be a great way to add flavor and variety to your diet. When properly stored, tea can last for up to two years before it begins to lose flavor.
Some teas, like green tea, however, can last forever. However, the longer the tea isn’t in use, the less flavor it will have.
Sugar is an essential ingredient in many recipes, but it can also be tricky to store. Depending on the type of sugar you have, it can last a few months to several years.
Sugar technically does not spoil, but it’s best to use it within a certain timespan. White sugar is best used within two years of opening because it absorbs smells and can attract bugs very easily. Brown sugar, on the other hand, should be used within one year of opening.
22. Powdered Jello
Powdered Jello can last for up to two years if it is stored properly. After two years, the powder may still be safe to consume, but the flavor and texture of the Jello may not be as good.
23. Pickles and Pickled Veggies
Pickled vegetables can last up to six months when stored properly. Picked vegetables should ideally be kept in the refrigerator during this time. If the pickled vegetables have a mushy or slimy feeling, it’s spoiled and should be tossed out.
Beef jerky can last up to six months if stored properly. Jerky should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It is best to keep it away from heat, light, and moisture. This will help to keep the moisture and flavor intact.
You may ask yourself, what foods have a long shelf life and are healthy? Grains are definitely one of those foods.
Grains are an essential part of a healthy diet, providing essential nutrients and energy to the body. However, grains can spoil quickly if not stored properly. Proper storage of grains like whole wheat can help them last up to a year or longer.
26. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a kitchen staple that has been used for centuries in baking, cleaning, and even medical treatments.
It has a long shelf life and can be stored for years without significant loss in potency or effectiveness. It will not go bad, but it will lose its potency over time.
Unopened bottles of hard liquor like whiskey, vodka, and gin will last indefinitely, whereas opened bottles should be enjoyed within two to three years.
To get the most out of your liquor stash, you should store it at a consistent temperature, away from sunlight, and in a cool, dark place.
28. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a popular food for many people. It is a great source of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Generally, peanut butter can last up to nine months in a pantry or cupboard and up to one year in a refrigerator.
Bouillon cubes, a concentrated stock or broth made from meat, fish, or vegetables, can last up to two years in the pantry if stored properly.
Liquid bouillon, on the other hand, has a shorter shelf life of only one year if stored properly. To maximize the shelf life of liquid bouillon, it should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Cheese is a delicious and widely enjoyed food that has been around for centuries. It is a versatile food that can be enjoyed in various ways and is an important ingredient in many recipes.
Cheese can last anywhere from a few days to several months, depending on the type of cheese, how it is stored, and how it was made.
Hard cheeses, such as cheddar, can last up to six months when stored properly in a cool, dry place. Soft cheeses, such as cream cheese and Brie, should be consumed within two weeks of opening.
Pemmican is a traditional Native American food that is made of dried meat, fat, and berries. It has a ton of nutritional value and can last up to 10 years when stored properly.
Pemmican is made by drying meat, fat, and berries that are then pulverized into a paste. This paste is then placed in a container and sealed to preserve it. The fat in the mixture acts as a preservative, allowing the pemmican to last for a very long time.
MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat) are military-grade meals designed to provide soldiers with a nutritious and convenient emergency food.
MREs are usually packaged in a sealed pouch that can easily be stored in a backpack or carried on a belt. MREs are designed to last up to five years if stored properly.
33. Instant Coffee
Who doesn’t like a hot cup of coffee in the morning? Instant coffee will last up to twenty years if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
34. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is made from cocoa beans that have been roasted, processed, and blended with cocoa butter, sugar, and other ingredients.
The longer the cocoa beans are fermented, the more intense and bitter the chocolate will be. This means that dark chocolate can last longer than other types of chocolate. Generally, dark chocolate can last up to two years if stored properly.
Hardtack is a biscuit made from flour, water, and sometimes salt. It has been around since the 16th century and was a staple of sailors and frontiersmen due to its long shelf life. Hardtack can last for up to 25 years or more when stored properly.
The main reason why hardtack has such a long shelf life is because of its low moisture content. It is made with only a few simple ingredients and contains no added preservatives.
What Food Has the Longest Shelf Life?
So, what food has the longest shelf life? The best shelf life food for preppers and survivalists has to go to honey. Honey is one of the oldest and most beloved foods known to mankind.
It has been used for thousands of years as a sweetener and for its healing properties. Traditionally, honey has been regarded as a food that never spoils.
It has been reported that honey found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs was still edible after thousands of years.
This is because honey has a low water content and contains enzymes and organic acids that have a preservative effect. When stored in an airtight container in a cool and dry place, honey can last indefinitely.
The Benefits of Building a Food Stockpile
Building a food stockpile is an effective way to prepare for an emergency or unexpected event. Having a stockpile of food ensures that you have enough food to last throughout the duration of an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance.
By having a food stockpile, you can rest assured that you and your family will have enough food to get through any difficult situation. It is a necessary addition to your SHTF plan.
A food stockpile ensures that you have a supply of food that can last for months. This is especially beneficial during natural disasters or other events that could cause food shortages, and food isn’t readily available at the grocery store.
By having a stockpile of food, you can rest assured that you and your family will have enough food to get through any difficult situation.
Having a food stockpile can also provide peace of mind. Knowing that you have a supply of food that can last for a while can give you a sense of security. Having a food stockpile can also help you feel more in control of your life. Prepping by building a food stockpile really has no big downsides.
How to Extend the Shelf Life of Long Term Food Storage
Long-term food storage is an important part of being prepared for any emergency, whether it be natural disasters or economic downturns.
Being able to store food for a long period of time is a great way to ensure that you and your family will have access to nutritious and tasty meals during difficult times. Here are some tips for food preservation.
1. Choose the right storage containers. When it comes to long-term food storage, it is important to choose the right containers for the job.
Plastic buckets with airtight lids are a great option for storing various items, from dry goods to canned goods and other items. This will help keep the food away from moisture. Make sure to label the containers with the date of purchase and expiration date.
2. Store food at a cool room temperature without light. To get the longest shelf life from your long-term food storage, it is important to store it in a cool, dark place. This can be an area of your home that is not exposed to direct sunlight or even dedicated storage space in your basement or garage.
3. Use oxygen absorbers. Oxygen absorbers are small packets that are designed to absorb oxygen from a container and replace it with nitrogen. Oxygen is one of the main causes of spoilage, so using oxygen absorbers can help extend the shelf life of your food storage.
Foods with a long shelf life are an important part of having a well-stocked pantry. They provide a level of security and convenience in times of need and can help to stretch a food budget.
We discussed a variety of different foods, from honey that can last forever, to pemmican that can last 10 years, to canned fruit that can last up to five years.
While some of these foods may not be the healthiest, they can provide a level of security and convenience in times of need. With proper storage and rotation, these foods can last for a very long time.