Photo courtesy of Homegrownharvest.com
What is the shelf life of my food storage?
The answer to that partly depends on how you store it. Food needs to be kept in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Storing food correctly means storing it at 68 degrees or less. High temperatures for prolonged periods of time will destroy your food storage. So that means your garage is NOT a good place for your food! If it is your best food storage option, then you'll want to make sure that you rotate through your stock.
About the only foods that can withstand the heat of a hot garage is wheat, white sugar, and salt (wheat is good, but sugar doesn't make a perfect food!).
Below is a list of general guidelines of the shelf life of many foods. This is assuming that your food has never been opened. Once food is opened, take special care to repackage or store food so it will stay fresh and insect-free.
Wheat, Honey, Sugar
These products will last almost indefinitely, if stored properly. The honey may harden, but it is still good (just warm it).
Vegetables and Fruit (dehydrated - nitrogen packed)
This includes banana chips, apple slices, dehydrated raisins, corn, onions, peppers, potatoes (flakes, slices, dices, hashbrowns), broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, tomato powder, vegetable stew mix, split peas, sweet peas,etc. Many people get nervous to open a #10 can (very large can that you can get in the bulk foods aisle at supermarkets or purchase at warehouse clubs like Sam's or Costco) of dehydrated fruits and veggies because they are afraid it will go bad before they can use it all. Once opened, you can repackage the food into zipper baggies for prolonged freshness, or vacuum seal the food in plastic bags or your extra canning jars.
Beans, Pastas and TVP (textured vegetable protein)
All beans and peas, macaroni, spaghetti and other pastas, and all TVP will last quite awhile if stored in #10 cans or vacuum sealed containers. If too old, beans will become very hard. So learn to eat those beans & keep them rotated!
White Flour and Most Grains
White flour can go rancid after a few years, but if stored properly, it can last 5 more years. Storing whole wheat is a lot healthier and it lasts a lot longer! Included in this group are popcorn, quinoa, spelt, barley, millet, kamut, amaranth, buckwheat, and grain mixes--like 7 grain cracked cereal.
Dairy Products (or anything with dairy in it)
Dairy products include cheese powders, powdered milk, powdered eggs, sour cream powder, butter powder, margarine powder, shortening powder, etc. Also any mixes with dairy products in them--pancake, muffin, cookies, biscuits, bread and roll mixes, etc.
White Rice, Oats, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Spices
Sometimes these items last longer than this. White rice may smell rancid after a couple years, but the rice is still good for 3-4 years and the rancid smell will go away once cooked. The shelf life of these items truly does depend on how it is packaged, the quality of the actual food, and the temperature at which it is stored.
Brown Rice, Yeast, Oil
Brown rice can go rancid really fat. It is suggested to keep it in zipper baggies or air tight containers in the freezer, or in vacuum sealed jars or bags. Yeast is also better stored in the freezer. Oil will actually last a long time if left unopened. Keep it in a cool, dark place. Do not put it in the cabinet next to the stove!
When all is said and done, remember, no one really wants to eat 20-year-old food, so always:
Store what you use and use what you store!
More helpful food storage, 72-hour kit, and stockpiling tips are on their way...be on the lookout!
Friday, January 8, 2010
- Menu Plan Monday: 2/1-2/7/10
- Spectacular Sides: Pistachio Salad
- Cooking With Food Storage Made Eas
- Conversions & Substitutions: Emergency Substitutes...
- Out of the Office
- Game Day Recipes & Hot Coupons At Kraft!
- Spectacular Sides: Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Wok's For Dinner: Fleischpflanzl
- Wok's For Dinner: Crock-pot Chicken & Vegetables
- When Life Gives You Lemons
- To-Do Tuesday: Week 3
- Wok's For Dinner: Honey BBQ Chicken Thighs
- Spectacular Sides: Sautee'd Apples
- Menu Plan Monday: 1/25-1/31/1
- Spectacular Sides: Peppered Cottage Cheese
- Wok's For Dinner: Cuban Pork & Black Bean Soup
- Friday Night = Date Night
- Freebies For Me
- Wok's For Dinner: Kielbasa Sausage & Red Beans & R...
- Wok's For Dinner: Cornish Hens in Sour Cream
- Wok's For Dinner: Frito Pie
- Creating More Storage to the Kitchen
- To-Do Tuesday: Week 2
- Wok's For Dinner: Hungarian Cabbage Stew
- Wok's For Dinner: Chicken & Rice L'Orange
- Menu Plan Moday: 1/18-1/24/10
- Bargain Buy: Bulk Meat Purchase
- Remodel & Declutter--A Twofer!
- Wok's For Dinner: Mu Shu Pork
- Wok's For Dinner: Sloppy Joes
- Shop Your Way Rewards
- To-Do Tuesday: Week 1
- Spectacular Sides: Garlic Green Beans
- Wok's For Dinner: One Pot Chicken Dinner
- Free Book Download: Maximize Your Mornings
- January OAMM Menu
- Wok's For Dinner: Sweet 'n' Sour Pork Chops
- Menu Plan Monday--1/11-1/17/10
- The Goody Bag
- Wok's For Dinner: Ham It Up White Bean Soup
- Wok's For Dinner: South of the Border Lasagna
- Food Storage...Where Do I Put It?
- Shelf Life: How Long Is This Stuff Supposed To Las...
- Return & Report: My 2010 Goals
- Kmart Smart Assist Program
- Wok's For Dinner: Shredded Beef Sandwiches
- Long-Term Food Storage: $5/Week Budget
- Wok's For Dinner: Saucy Scalloped Potatoes
- The Goody Bag
- Wok's For Dinner: Hot Pork Sandwich With Gravy
- My Goals for the New Year
- Wok's For Dinner: Chili Cups
- Menu Plan Monday: 1/4-1/10/10
- Wok's For Dinner: Chicken & Vegetable Stew With Pa...
- Bargain Buy: Potatoes!
- The Goody Bag
- Bargain Buy: Soup, Bread & More
- Black-Eyed Peas For Luck
- Wok's For Dinner: Li'l Cheddar Meat Loaves
- ▼ January (59)