1. Dried beans
Dried beans such as pinto beans, black beans and lentils can last for up to 30 years. Beans are also incredibly versatile, filling and full of fiber. Researchers at Brigham Young University found that, although dried beans do decrease in quality over time, 30 years on they were still edible. Make a chili, daal soup or vegetarian shepherd’s pie and you’ll be all set for the months to come.
2. Powdered milk
Powdered milk is not just for wars and camping. While some use-by dates advise that powdered milk should be consumed within 18 months, you can buy certain brands with a 25-year shelf life. You can also freeze powdered milk to keep it as fresh as possible.
3. Hard liquor
If you’re going to be stuck indoors, you might as well enjoy yourself. While you may wish to toss out the Baileys or advocaat, anything that is 100% alcohol is safe to consume for basically the rest of time. Oxidation may alter the taste, but the effect will be the same.
Pemmican is a Native American dried meat and has long been a favorite of survivalists. It’s made by drying and grinding meat from big game animals like elk or buffalo, and mixing it with available berries and rendered fat. It can be eaten raw or fried.
5. Raw honey
Honey is considered to be the only food that can last forever. Archeologists excavating ancient Egyptian tombs have often found something unexpected amongst the tombs’ artifacts: pots of honey, thousands of years old, and yet, unbelievably, still preserved. Honey also has medicinal purposes, it is packed with antioxidants and can be applied topically to burns. Handy to have around.
Is there anything apple cider vinegar can’t do? Besides offering a number of health benefits, it can also stay in your pantry forever. It’s not only apple cider vinegar that you can hang onto, though. White vinegar, balsamic vinegar, raspberry vinegar, rice wine vinegar and red wine vinegar also don’t have expiration dates. “Because of its acid nature, vinegar is self-preserving and does not need refrigeration,” according to The Vinegar Institute.
Continuing the sweet theme, sugar has an incredibly long shelf life if keep in an airtight container. Though sugar is not a health food, it can give you an energy boost if times really do get tough.
8. White rice
White (or polished) rice will maintain its nutrient content and flavor for around 30 years when stored in oxygen-free containers in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Brown rice, however, doesn’t fair so well. The recommended shelf-life of brown rice is six months due to the natural oils found in its bran layer.