Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How Long Will It Store?             

An important part of food storage is using/rotating your supplies.  That way money isn't spent on food that just ends up being thrown away weeks, months, years later. Many store-able foods can be used everyday and every week.  Some are best for using occasionally to help keep supply refreshed, but more for emergency situations such as loss of job, change of income, etc.  

All storage foods must be rotated.  

Remember:  LRR: label, rotate, replace  

How long will each item store? 
Best conditions are dark, cool, dry.  If storage can be kept at or below 64°, it will last longer. But storage temperature should be no higher than 70° if possible. I would not suggest keeping food storage where it would freeze, this won't work for many items.  So do all you can to create the recommended atmosphere for best storage life. For 'dry', I keep a small fan going 24/7 in our food storage room (which is an extra bedroom now, but used to be in a basement). 

When I say #10 cans in lists below, it means 'sealed and has an oxy pack' (*except for sugar, which should NOT have an oxy pack as it makes the sugar go hard as a rock). 
After opening, shelf life will be around 6 months to a year if kept cool and covered.

30 years in #10 cans:
Quick oatmeal
Rice, white long grain
Popcorn (see notes on that post)
Spaghetti noodles
Black beans
Pinto beans
White beans
Red beans 
Brown or green lentils
*Sugar and powdered sugar 
Dried apple slices
Dried chopped onions
Potato flakes
Honey (in plastic, do not buy in metal cans for storing)

20 years in #10 cans:
Nonfat dry milk powder

10 to 15 years in #10 cans:
Freeze-dried ground beef
Freeze-dried corn
Freeze-dried peas 
Yellow cornmeal (degerminated)

10 years in #10 cans:
Unbleached flour (or white flour)
Dried carrots

5 to 10 years in #10 cans:
Freeze-dried grated cheese
Freeze-dried broccoli
Dried potato slices

3 years in #10 cans:
Powdered whole eggs


Storage items not in #10 cans......

up to 10 years:
Extra virgin Olive oil 
(if you store the full 10 years, keep this oil refrigerated after opening)
Jam / jelly
Pancake syrup / molasses
Red lentils (keep in container with tight lid)

2 to 4 years or so:
Canned tuna in water
Canned ham chunks
Canned chicken chunks

up to 2 years or so:
Applesauce (15 oz. cans) 
Tomato sauce (8 oz. cans)
Crushed tomatoes (15 oz. cans)
Green beans, regular cut or french cut (15 oz. cans)

Blogger uses dollar store items to help hold canned food

1 year:
Peanut butter
Cooking oil (vegetable, corn, canola, etc.)
[NOTE: after 1 year in my food storage room, I will put these 2 items into the fridge to prolong storage another few months while using them, which means I might have 2 or 3 bottles of each item in the fridge for a while]

Yeast: 2 years at 70°, 5 years in fridge, longer in freezer

Eggs: (we will be talking more about how to store when we get to the egg post)

Butter / margarine: up to 3 months in fridge, 2 years freezer if kept in a zip-loc bag, which will fit 3 to 4 pounds

Dry parmesan cheese: about 1 year or so, refrigerated. If the smell and taste is good, it can go a lot longer when in fridge.

Crisco shortening: up to 2 years or longer (can tell when it goes bad by the smell and color)

Vital wheat gluten: in #10 can, will store 7 to 10 years, if opened or purchased in bulk; about 6 to 12 months on shelf

Storage time not sure on the following: 
(please send in your comments if you know)

Spectrum organic shortening 
Ramen or other pasta shapes
Boxed mac n' cheese
Yogurt starter / advil or aspirin
Bacon bits 
Multi vitamins and Vitamin C
Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke
Salt and pepper (we buy sea salt, personal preference)
Ketchup and mustard
Raisins and other dried fruit such as craisins
Baking powder and Baking soda
Spices, herbs, flavorings will vary according to item

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