Country Living Series

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Foods that outlive you

I found an article online this morning called Forever foods: 9 cooking staples that can outlast you (meaning, they don't go bad). The nine foods they listed are:

• Sugar
• Pure vanilla extract
• Rice (any type of white rice as well as wild rice -- NOT brown)
• Corn starch
• Honey
• Salt
• Corn syrup
• Maple syrup
• Distilled white vinegar

While there was nothing particular earth-shattering about this list - most preppers already know these items will last virtually forever - I'm finding more and more of these types of articles on mainstream news sites (this was on Yahoo). It's like they're a sneaky subtle attempt to educate the general public about food storage. While I applaud articles like this, I wish more people would pay attention.

By the way, this website - - was referenced in the article. I believe it's a handy resource for learning the shelf life of many foods that are good prep items, such as oils, pastas, spices, etc. Check it out.


  1. Interesting. I had always heard that rice went bad relatively quickly. I knew brown was worse than white due to the oils but white was always on people list of stuff that went bad. Well before wheat would for instance.

  2. I just checked out the website & put in wheat berries and it came up with only a one year shelf life, which I thought was kind'a weird. I thought the stuff lasted like forever.

  3. Actually Carolyn Renee, I just checked out a few things on that seem shorter than common sense dictates. Didn't they find still-edible wheat berries in the tombs of the pharaohs? I'd say that's a wee bit mire than a year's shelf life (wink).

    So, folks, confirm these shelf lives on your own.

    - Patrice

  4. I found the stilltasty site a while ago, it's pretty interesting.....there's 2 things to remember when looking there: they rate things based on it's in-store packaging storage (not if it's been repackaged/canned/special storing methods) and there's the pesty USDA regulations guidelines (they like to refer to so often and consider being the "highest authority")......

  5. Excellent; thanks for the links!

  6. That was a good article, but I agree that Still Tasty's website erred on the side of caution when it posted shelf lifes for foods. I guess everybody is afraid of lawsuits. Such a pity!

    The consistant message given for each food listing was more interesting, for me, than the actual shelf life posted by the StillTasty site. That consistant message was something to the effect "if it smells bad, looks bad, or tastes bad, throw it out." I'm paraphrasing. Anyhow, I think that's the key to food storage, I usually ignore the "use by" dates knowing that they are on the low side and instead rely on my senses.

    And I completely agree, Patrice, these types of articles are appearing more and more frequently in the MSM. I noticed a week ago or so that Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel was discussing EMP attacks. Although I place them low on the probability scale, it was still interesting that such things are becoming more mainstream and emerging out of the "tinfoil hat" realm.

    I also find it interesting that Michelle Obama wants Americans to cut down on our meal portion sizes. At the surface, this may be a worthy attempt to lower the national weight. Or, it could be a forewarning of things to come. Maybe she's preparing us for a Progressive plan to ship much more of our food overseas because, according to the Progressives, we "greedy" Americans are taking food off the plates of the world's poor. I can absolutely see that happening if Obama is elected for a second term. (Guess that theory puts me back into the "tinfoil hat" realm. ROFLOL)

    The turmoil in the Middle East seems to be getting the attention of many Americans who previously thought "it can't happen here" and they are now starting to consider putting a few more cans of beans on the cupboard shelf. At least I hope more Americans are waking up...finally. Somebody needs to tell those same Americans about bandaids and bullets. :)

    Anonymous Patriot
    Insomnia sucks

  7. As I follow your writings, you are my favorite! Always informative, and right on the money!

  8. It has a lot to do with the temperature at which foods are stored. Cooler is better. Those of us in the steamy south won't be able to store our food supplies for as long a period of time as those in cooler, drier climates.

  9. Sharing some sites that have aided me on,
    Safe Food Storage.

    There are 776 article entries here:
    regarding Food Storage and Expiration dates.
    Check it out!

    Safe Long Term Storage Packaging Recommendations,11666,7532-1-4063-1,00.html

    Click on the other links for Storage Conditions and they also have a Food Calculator to help you ascertain the net poundage of supplies to stock for numbers of persons.

    Food Borne Illnesses



  10. Welcome back Patrice. I don't know if you wrote your latest work for WND when you where sick. That was a fine article. You must have powered on through the flu to crank out a beauty. Thanks to Don for his pitch hitting. I have been taken to school. His unusual syle of humor is something I have alway's tried to pull off. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.

  11. Patrice -

    A LDS co-worker just took me by the LDS cannery near us. While not publicized outside LDS churches it is open to the public. Here is a link to the current LDS storage food price sheet which gives expected storage times:

    Note that while many items are rated as having a storage life of 30 years, all life numbers are based on proper packaging (the canneries have you pack the food into #10 cans with an oxygen absorber) and storage in a dry place (to prevent rust) with temperatures of under 75 degrees. I was also verbally cautioned that even doing everything right beans older than 10 years may require longer soaking / cooking times than normal.

    Dry pack canning is easy, and the prices are reasonable. Non LDS are asked to pay cash while LDS members are allowed to pay with checks. No credit cards are accepted.

    I only had one item I could do a direct comparison to commercial sources. Their dried carrots appeared to be identical to what I have purchased from Walton Feed, but at half the price.

    Each cannery also has many wet pack items for sale, but the list must be obtained from each cannery as it is different for each.

    Their items are marked "not for resale".

  12. Dear Swampie, that is the crux of this whole matter. Temperatures make this entire food storage thing a trade off. In a warmer climate you have a longer growing season than we do here in the north. You can GROW more food year round and I can STORE more food year round. We can work together! I have relatives in wamer climates were I wouldn't go even in winter, and they in turn won't come near 2 feet of snow, not even at gun point. We all need to eat, and we can all help wach other. Something to consider for the future. ;-)
    God Bless,
    Janet in MA

  13. God knows where we all live and thus He knows what foods we have and need: Acts 17:26
    "From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live."
    God Bless,
    Janet in MA

  14. That would be right on Janet in Ma. God has said that a man or womans days(by days I mean duration of life) are recorded before they even begin. If I am a miserable failure or a marginal success. I THANK GOD for letting me see a tiny fraction of what he can do.

  15. Thanks so much for posting these links! And I'm so glad you're feeling better! :)

  16. Yes, indeed, Janet! Our poor growing season is right in the middle of the hottest part of the summer. The rest of the year we can usually grow something.

  17. I just wanted to post that I have been reading, mentally planning, and slowly building up our supplies for the last few months. I have been discussing it with my husband all this time and he really wasn't on board with what I was saying. Well! He attended a gun show and a emergency preparation class this weekend and is totally on board now. I had finally given it over to the Lord to change my husband's mindset about what we were supposed to be doing and wow! God really has had him change his outlook on what we are supposed to be doing. Now, I am back to scouring the websites and getting ideas on how we can be prepared (its kinda stressful to read about all the preps we could be doing but not being able to do them).
    So, thanks for all the wonderful prep ideas/plans!