Not all food has a shelf life of a few days or even a few weeks. Did you know that there are a handful of food items that can be stored for more than decades if stored properly? We sure didn't! Here are 8 Food Items You Can Store For Years That May Surprise You. They surprised us. They make great food storage items in case you want to stock up!
Food Storage Tips
If you want your food to last a really long time, you need to make sure that it is stored properly, meaning that it's free from moisture, insects and rodents, and sunlight. Additionally, if you plan on saving food for a long period of time, you need to make sure that you store it in food grade containers. The lid should be airtight and you should utilise oxygen absorbers. Putting food in Mylar storage bags before you put the food in a large container adds an extra layer of protection from moisture and insects.
Honey doesn't really go bad if stored correctly. That's because honey has a low water content that doesn't make for a good environment for microorganisms and bacteria so they don't spoil the honey. In case you are wondering, archaeologists have found honey in Egyptian tombs dating back thousands of years that was still fit for human consumption, so we know this is true! The formation of crystals in your honey does not mean its gone bad, by the way. Just heat it up to dissolve the crystals.
Like honey, sugar has a low moisture content which inhibits bacteria growth. Therefore, sugar can last a super long time if you store it in a dark, moisture free environment in an air-tight container.
If stored without exposure to light and moisture, beans can last many decades! Dried beans are a great food storage staple because they don't lose their nutritional value over time. However, they can lose their moisture so you'll need to soak them longer when you are preparing them.
Wondering why salt doesn't spoil? It's because it's a mineral and pure minerals do not "go bad". You do need to keep moisture out of your salt if you want it to last indefinitely though.
White rice can last decades if stored properly. Bugs love rice, so keeping them out will be your biggest obstacle. All types of white rice can last a very long time, but brown rice does not because of the oil content in the grains of rice which can make it spoil.
Vinegar has a low PH (so it's highly acidic) which makes it "self-preserving". Store it in a dark, dry place!
Instant coffee is vacuum freeze dried so that it will last a long time. It can last up to 20 years in a cool, dry place but indefinitely in the freezer.
I would have never guessed that powdered milk can last as long as it can! However, for best long term freshness, powdered milk does well in the freezer. Otherwise, make sure that you've prepared it for storage properly so that it lasts as long as it can. If it turns yellow, you'll know it's bad!