Foods that keep "indefinitely"
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:57 AM   #1
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Default Foods that keep "indefinitely"

Hey all. I love this section of the forum as it just seems to interest me quite a bit.
I have learned a lot from the threads and feel that preparing is definitely a necessity. Between natural disasters and political unrest throughout the world I feel we should all be doing some type of preparing.

Of course we all know to stock up on water, food, hunting, camping, and fishing supplies. The things we would more than likely need the most of are food and water if a disaster were to happen.

Water storage is easily self explained. Food, however I feel is a bit more complicated. Food needs refrigerated, heated, stored in controlled conditions, ect....In the event of a natural disaster the electricity will more than likely be gone for most of the people in the area. This is what leads to my question.

What foods can be stockpiled and stored "indefinitely" at essentially what will be "room temperature"? This room temp will of course vary from location to location and season to season.

Are there any foods the meet the requirement of having both a very long "shelf life" and being "weather resistant"?

If so, could you please list them and the best way to store them without electricity. I live in Iowa so we have hot, humid summers and cold icy winters. This makes the decisions a bit tougher to figure out. Maybe a "summer" storage list and a "winter" list as well. Just use what is appropriate for the upcoming seasons? Any ideas, thoughts, comments, or suggestions all?

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Old 08-13-2008, 05:52 AM   #2
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Canned beans "baked beans" to me seem to have a very long shelf life; years.

Not to mention, they can be eaten hot or cold, and a decent source of protein. Cost is cheap also...

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Old 08-13-2008, 12:29 PM   #3
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NO food has an "indefinite" shelf life- despite rumors about MRE's, they have a max storage life of a couple of years. In general, the less water, the longer something can be stored. However, MOST flour, corn meal, etc, will contain the eggs of weevils or other insects- stored at room temp, they will hatch. It is not that bugs "got in there"- they WERE there. Most canned foods have a max shelf of 1-2 years before quality, flavor, texture start to decline. Dried beans, peas, etc can be stored a LONG time- do it in selaed container to maintain constant moisture levels. Honey seems to last forever. Beer lasts about a week. (GRIN) FWIW, I buy off the shelf grocery items- just buy more than I plan to use. When I go shopping again, new stuff goes to the RIGHT side of shelf, use from the left, so is being rotated. Do a google search for food shelf life, should get a lot of hits.

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Old 08-13-2008, 04:41 PM   #4
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Methods of preservation that predate refrideration. should be effective. These include salting, inmersion in sugar or other preservatives, drying, pickling, imersion in alcohol and alcoholic beverages with pecentages above around 13. Also, forms of bread that are meant to be compleatly dry, like matza, should last a long time. Dryed rice is particularly inexpensive.

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Old 08-13-2008, 06:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
NO food has an "indefinite" shelf life- despite rumors about MRE's, they have a max storage life of a couple of years.
Well, I don't know about MREs, but my dad said when he was in Korea, they were given food packaged in the 20s. He survived, so I guess army rations have or had a long shelf life before MREs came along.

I would agree with buying canned foods. Canned foods will last for a long time. Freeze dried foods should be ok too.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:27 PM   #6
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I've read a lot of canned foods will be edible long after their recommended use-by date, but the nutritional value declines. It is possible to starve to death with a full stomach. Beans and rice are good bets -- they definitely can last for a year or two. MREs and canned food...count on them being OK for a few months but maybe not much beyond that.

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Old 08-13-2008, 08:56 PM   #7
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Honey. Edible honey has been found in Egyptian tombs.

Wheat berries. They could last longer than you do. Have a grinder. Good for breads, cracked wheat cereal, crackers, etc.

Dried beans. Pintos, navy, etc. Keep lots of water on hand.

Ramen noodles. Somebody once said the shelf-life of ramen noodles is longer than the life of the shelf. Not quite true. The spices can go rancid. But still, they'll last years. Again, store plenty of water.

Canned beans, as others have said. Several years.

White rice. Not as nutritional as brown, but can keep for years.

Whole corn kernels, packed for storage. Again, have a grinder & water. Good for corn bread, corn meal, polenta, etc.

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Old 08-13-2008, 09:17 PM   #8
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Buy a decent vacuum sealer and vacuum pack your dry goods. You can also buy mylar bags and seal them with an iron, then store them in five gallon buckets.
Canned goods with pull tops don't last as long as canned goods in regular cans.
Store beans and lentils, etc, rice, sugar and flour in airtight containers and you can prolong shelflife practically indefinitely.
Don't forget to store fruit. There's an incredible variety of canned and dried fruits on the market.
It's extremely important not to allow foods to experience temperature extremes. Find a cool dry place with a constant temperature for your food storage.

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Old 08-14-2008, 12:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrel View Post
Methods of preservation that predate refrideration. should be effective. These include salting, inmersion in sugar or other preservatives, drying, pickling, imersion in alcohol and alcoholic beverages with pecentages above around 13. Also, forms of bread that are meant to be compleatly dry, like matza, should last a long time. Dryed rice is particularly inexpensive.
we all need to research how the Indians did it, they didn't have the technology we have. If we are nuked into the stone age or we consume ourselves there we need to know how they did it. I have seen photographs of Indians air dying meat and fish in cooler climates.

canned foods will be edible long after expiration date, canned vegetables with water is a good idea.

should also have on hand the stuff to make an alcohol still as you can use alcohol to fuel internal combustion engines, Brazil is about 50% 100% ethanol in their cars. check out www.permaculture.com alcohol can be made out of almost anything from yard clippings to day old donuts. Plans for a $10.00 soda can still are on youtube!

many Mormon churches have free canning facilities if you bring your own stuff open to public
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:11 AM   #10
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Thanks for the tips all.

Good information to have indeed. You never know....

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