Shelf Life For Various Food Items (not cans)

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by NavyKen, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. NavyKen

    NavyKen Active Member

    If these items are properly packaged in 5 gallon buckets in sealed Mylar bags with O2 absorbers the following shelf lives can be applied. Once packed, they must be stored in a dry location where the temperature is at or below room temperature (75 degrees F; 24 degrees C) the cooler the better. If anyone can locate documentation to extend any shelf lives please let me know and I will edit this list.
    Initially this list was only for the above packing method. I am now expanding it to include Canned (mason Jar) Items but I will note if its is a packing method other then Mylar but I will still avoid listing metal packed items like store bought green beans or carrots.

    Indefinite Storage Life Items:

    Raw Honey
    White Sugar

    30 Year Items:

    Hard Grains (Whole)
    -Corn, Dry
    -Durum wheat
    -Hard red wheat
    -Hard white wheat
    -Soft wheat
    -Special bake wheat
    Oats (whole or rolled)
    -Adzuki Beans
    -Blackeye Beans
    -Black Turtle Beans
    -Garbanzo Beans
    -Great Northern
    -Kidney Beans
    -Lima Beans
    -Mung Beans
    -Pink Beans
    -Pinto Beans
    -Small Red Beans
    -Soy Beans
    Powdered Milk
    Potato Flakes
    Dried Apple Slices.
    Dehydrated Vegetables

    20 Year Items:

    10 - 15 Year Items:

    Garden Seed or Sprouting Seed (Do not use O2 absorbers or desiccant also do not store hybrid seeds only store open polinated heirloom seeds)
    Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
    Dehydrated Dairy Products
    -Cheese Powder
    -Cocoa Powder
    -Powder Eggs
    -Butter/Margarine Powder
    -Whey Powder

    8 – 10 Year Items:

    Soft Grains (Whole)
    -Hulled or Pearled Oat
    Brown Rice

    3 - 5 Year Items:

    Peanut Butter Powder
    Coffee (Possibly Longer. Minor flavor loss in the first 2 weeks)
    Bottled Butter (3 years google "bottled butter" or visit Wendy DeWitt's blog)
    Chocolate (Vacuum packed in canning jars)
    Meats** (See Note)
    Brown Sugar (Vacuum packed in canning jars)

    1 - 2 year Items:

    Flours* and Other Products Made From Cracked/Ground Seed
    Yeast (1 year if frozen)
    Fresh Eggs 1 year (lightly coated in mineral oil and stored point down in a cool place. I have not tested this yet)

    *Flour stored longer than a year or two will make perfect looking loafs of bread but the bread will taste bad. LDS package flour in #10 cans with O2 absorbers and give it a 10 year shelf life. SO this remains up in the air and I would suggest testing and erring on the side of caution.

    **For the method of safely bottling meats please see Wendy DeWitt's blog below.

    Useful Links:
    Why to Keep Quiet About Your Preps. <--Everyone read this
    Food Storage Mylar & Buckets By Wendy Mae
    Food Storage Mylar & Buckets Video
    Food Storage Calculator (A good starting place for the beginner)
    LDS 30 Year Extension Message
    Wendy DeWitt lots of good info
    Other Shelf Lives
    Stock Rotating Storage for Canned Goods
  2. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    I think this thread needs to be stickied or linked in a FAQ, because "what is the shelf life of _______ ?" gets asked a LOT around here :2thumb:

  3. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Sounds reasonable Blob, there you go.

  4. efoodsupply

    efoodsupply New Member

    What's the difference between Oats and oat groats?
  5. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

    That article was published in 1918???

    The situation is much different today---all preppers are not considered hoarders.

    And it was just mentioned on the Alex Jones show, the problem will NOT be a shortage of food in the stores; the problem will be affording it..:gaah:

    I'm gonna go buy MORE rice this weekend..

    Molon Labe
  6. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    the shortage aspect will come from getting the food to the shelves

    especially with the turmoil in Egypt (look where the Suez Canal is on a map :sssh: )
  7. vn6869

    vn6869 Afraid, very afraid

    You have definitely hit on something in my opinion. The fall of Egypt will surely cause a rise in oil prices, which has a very direct effect on transportation prices for food and everyting else. It may not be so much a "shortage" as cost. And food prices are already climbing at an alarming rate, due to other factors such as the flooding in Australia.
  8. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    Oats come in more than one form. In fact, there are six basic types found at the grocery or health food store. Each kind has a different texture when prepared, different cooking times, and even some nutritional differences.

    Oat Groats: This is the harvested 'as-is' product. Whole oat groats are widely used as animal feed, but not so easily found for human consumption. Some health food stores carry them. Whole oat groats can be cooked or steamed, but because they’re a bigger grain than rice or even whole wheat kernels, take much longer to cook. It usually takes over an hour, although a pressure cooker will cut that in half. Because they are 'as-is', they have the highest nutritional value of all forms of oats. They are digested very slowly, which reduces the glycemic load and makes them quite filling.

    Steel Cut Oatmeal or Oats: Just to make things even more confusing, steel cut oats are also commonly called Irish Oatmeal. They’re exactly what the name says, being whole oat groats that have been cut into smaller pieces. This shortens the cooking time, but keeps all the nutritional value of the whole oat groats. These are much easier to find at the grocery stores than whole oat groats. Look for either steel cut oats or Irish Oatmeal.

    Scottish Oats: Scottish oats are not to be confused with Irish Oatmeal. They are steamed, steel cut oats than are then ground into a meal. This improves the grain’s ability to absorb water and allows a shorter cooking time. Some manufacturers toast the oats to create a richer-flavored oatmeal, or combin it with some oat bran to make the oat meal creamier.

    Rolled Oats or Oat Flakes: When people think of oatmeal, this is the kind they usually mean. Rolled oats can be made with the whole oat groat or using steel cut oats. Either way, the oat is steamed to soften the grain, so it can then be pressed between steel rollers to flatten it. There are four main types of rolled oats:

    Thick Rolled Oats: These are made from steamed whole oat groats rolled into flakes. Because they’re the thickest variety, it takes them longest to cook.

    Old Fashioned Oats (Regular Rolled Oats): Think Quaker Oatmeal. These are the steamed whole oat groats rolled into a thinner flake which shortens the cooking time. The texture is a bit mushier than thick rolled oats, but still pretty filling and full of whole grain goodness.

    Quick Oats: Instead of using whole oat groats, these are made from steel cut oats so are smaller pieces, and faster cooking. They digest a little quicker than regular rolled oats, but are still nutritious.

    Instant Oats: These are quick oats that have one more processing step… they are pre-cooked. Because of this, all you have to do is add hot water and they’re ready to eat. Non-flavored varieties may have a bit of salt added, but are still nutritionally decent. However, the flavored varieties can have a lot of sugar and artificial flavoring, so aren’t quite as good for you as regular types of oatmeal.

    Oat Bran: Made from oat groats ground into a fine oat meal, oat bran is then combined with some of the outer bran or husk of the oat to increase the overall fiber content of the oatmeal. Because of this, it is slightly higher in insoluble fiber than rolled or cut products. It is also quick cooking with a creamy consistency somewhat like cream of wheat. Oat bran is a great addition to breads or granola for a little extra fiber.

    Oat Flour: Steel cut oats are steamed, then ground into a fine powder to make oat flour. It has a lot of fiber, and also contains very little gluten. It can be used in place of wheat flour in recipes, though it is usually mixed with other whole grain flours since it needs a little help to make it rise due to the lack of gluten so add baking soda/powder.
  9. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    Never had it all laid out like that. Quite informative. :congrat:

    Thank You Mr. Quaker. :D :ignore:
  10. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

    On this we agree--and the cocoapuffers are gonna be in a awful lot of hurt, me thinks.:scratch
  11. IrritatedWithUS

    IrritatedWithUS Well-Known Member


    And thank you for mentioning quinoa!! Past 3 days I have been trying to remember the name of this grain! I eat it yet I ran out and had a major brain-fart. It's a good thing to have on hand because its a complete protein.
  12. semperscott

    semperscott Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the explanation on oats; information I did not know and needed to know.
  13. lilmissy0740

    lilmissy0740 Well-Known Member

    Newbie here. I am sure this is answered somewhere but I cant find it. I am purchasing different wheat berries, corn and beans for storage. My question is. I got buckets from a local bakery and they have a cake smell, peanut butter smell, etc. I washed, I baked in sun, nothing gets the smell out. I dont want my sugar and grains to smell like this so I seal saved smaller packages and then placed the packages in the buckets. Do I still need an oxygen absorber in each bucket? Or should I have purchased mylar bags and just dumped the contents into the buckets?

  14. Geo7770

    Geo7770 geo7

    The turmoil did not begin as a democracy push. It started as a food and monetary issue/ The stores in Egypt had only three items forsale when this began. Potatoes, tomatoes, and onions. The political push came from outside these countries, which seems suspicious. I smell a Soros!

    "politicians love an unarmed peasantry"
  15. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    Just one little word of warning with Quinoa-some folks can be sensitive to the seed coating that is on quinoa and if it is not rinsed properly they can get sick... Ask me how I know?;)
    I have had it twice and the first time was at a restaurant that was very fancy smancy and I was fine. Had it at a friends house and she didn't know that you should rinse it and I got super sick.
  16. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    I also buy mine from a local bakery and I soak them in hot water with about 1 to 2 cups of baking soda in them for at least overnight if not a bit longer(depends on how lazy I am that week) rinsed with a bit of vinegar and let dry and I haven't noticed any lingering smell... I have not bought any with peanut butter in them tho.. Only frosting sand fillings. I have flour, sugar and other cooking ingredients in them and have not noticed any off flavors.
    You will have to ask others about the mylar as I haven't done that yet.:dunno:
  17. Sam1957

    Sam1957 Member

    Im sorry for my ignorance but what is LDS? Also has anyone used a food saver system to seal up flour?
  18. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member


    (1)Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

    I did, but use a large bag so NO flour at all gets sucked into the machine or you'll be like me and have to buy a new machine, but I also store it in the freezer
    regular flour and gluton free flour

  19. danerogers

    danerogers Active Member

    I have not used Food Saver for flour but this gives me a chance to mention brown rice and quinoa storage. Both these grains will go rancid if stored with oxygen. I tried storing brown rice in buckets (before I knew of oxygen absorbers) and it was a total loss. Instead, I now store brown rice and quinoa in vacuum sealed canning jars using the Food Saver. After 3 years, they remain as fresh as when they were stored.
  20. Graebarde

    Graebarde Old Dawg

    I know this is an OLD thread, but I'm new to the list and working through the threads, gleaning information. Nice list and set of link references. The only thing I would caution persons about is the long term storage of seeds ment to be planted. It depends on the species as to how long the seed remains viable (will sprout). I don't have a ready reference to hand, but some are only viable for a couple of years, others can be ten years or more. Corn for example is a two to three year. Now this does NOT mean some will not remain viable longer, or with cold storage (ie in the freezer) they wont last longer.. just be prepared for failure. Your best bet is to plant heirlooms and save your seed, and have enough seed for three or four years incase of crop failures. That way the seed is 'fresh'. But a really good list.. thanks. FB