Did you know that properly stored canned food may be fit for consumption for up to 5 years? How crazy is that! Regardless of what will happen over the next half a decade, that can of baked beans will still be as good as the day you bought it. Therefore, it may be worth taking note of which products have the longest shelf life in order to build a non-perishable food list that will see you stocked up and fed during any eventuality.
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What Type of Food Can You Find on a Non-Perishable Food List?
In the simplest terms, non-perishable food is characterized by the fact that you can store it for several years. Canned meat and vegetables are the most obvious food that spring to mind. But it also includes other items like dried food, such as grains and legumes, oil, and even freeze-dried food.
If you’re beginning to think that this sounds like it’s going to be similar to a pantry shopping list, then you’d be right. All of these long-lasting food are things that are best to store in your pantry or cupboards. It is food that you’re most likely already buying, but haven’t given much thought to their longevity.
When preparing a shopping list for an emergency, such as a hurricane food list or a survival food list, you will want to include some canned goods. Usually, unopened cans can be stored from 1 to 5 years, depending on the product and the manufacturer.
Items like canned peaches, tomatoes and pickles have the shortest shelf life, around 1 year, because they contain highly acidic juices. This is because those tangy acidic juices speed up the process of food decay. Choose low acidic products instead, such as canned meat, soup, and beans. They will last significantly longer: about 2-5 years. What’s more, canned food can be as healthy as fresh food. So, should you have to rely on these in an emergency, your health won’t suffer.
Honey will survive longer than you! Unlike your life, the shelf life of honey is basically limitless.
The vegetal origin of some oil makes them rich in fat and minerals. This is great for keeping you healthy in an emergency. However, this also contributes to their rapid decay. Extra virgin and refined olive oil will last the longest on your shelf: up to 3 years. But, try and avoid oil such as avocado and coconut oil. While they have excellent properties that do things like prevent heart disease and fight back against Alzheimer’s Disease, they go bad after just a few months. But, whichever you choose, it’s important that you have something to fry your food in.
There are also multiple kinds of dry food you can store:
- Grains – such as rice, groats, and oatmeal
- Legumes – such as peanuts, peas, and beans
- Condiments and snacks – such as seasoning, sauces, and granola bars
One of the best things about dried food is that it takes up less space than fresh and perishable food items. It also means that the nutrition such as protein and vitamins contained in them are not lost. This will keep you healthy when you come to use them.
However, it is important to note that cooking dried food requires water to rehydrate them and make them edible, with the exception of non-perishable snacks. So, if it’s likely you won’t have access to fresh water in an emergency, make sure you also have plenty of bottled water on your non-perishable food item list.
Freeze-dried food is another great item to have on your non-perishable food list. If stored properly it can last up to a decade-defying 30 years. However, this is completely dependent on how it’s stored.
This is because the freeze-drying process doesn’t preserve the food: it actually just slows down the rotting process. In order to ensure it lasts for the longest possible time, if must be kept out of contact with all moisture. To do this, keep it in a completely sealed airtight container. You may also want to place a silica gel packet inside the container as well, to be sure to absorb any residual moisture in the air inside the container.
Stocking up on freeze-dried fruit, vegetables, and meat is especially important if you are preparing a survival food list. They can prove to be a vital source of essential nutrients when fresh food is lacking. All you need to do to make them edible is rehydrate them with a little water
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Now when you know what food you can store, don’t forget something to drink! The most obvious choice, bottled water, will stay good for 2 years. But there are multiple other drinks you can hydrate yourself with.
If you plan to add products such as coffee and tea to your non-perishable food list, they will need to be stored properly. Not only does allowing that delicious aroma to escape mean they’ll become less tasty, it will mean its shelf-life will reduce, too. So, remember to keep them tightly closed and away from any moisture. When stored this way, tea and coffee should last for about a year.
Also, have you heard of UHT drinks?
UHT is the process of heating a product to high temperatures in a very short time, which guarantees sterilization. UHT milk and juice are fit for consumption for up to 6 months. The problem begins, however, when you open them. Due to coming into contact with air, their shelf life is then dramatically reduced from half a year to just one week. So, when you do crack one open, be sure to consume it quickly.
Non-Perishable Food and Survival Food List
As you can see, you can quite easily and healthy live off a pantry only diet using a non-perishable food list. In fact, it’s not that bad at all, and is surprisingly diverse. Some non-perishable snacks and food can even last for longer than you. Since nobody knows what is going to happen in the future, having a list of non-perishable food items at hand may come in handy.
Non-perishable Grocery ListCopy to clipboard
- Canned fruit
- Canned meat
- Canned soup
- Canned vegetables
- Granola bars
- Peanut butter
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Extra virgin olive
- Olive oil
- Freeze-Dried fruit
- Freeze-Dried meat
- Freeze-Dried vegetables
- UHT juices
- UHT milk
Do you already have a stock of non-perishable food items for emergencies? What from the list do you find surprisingly tasty? Do you prefer UHT milk to fresh milk? Let us know in the comments.