In case of an emergency, knowledge truly is power while preparation for an emergency is wise. Knowing which foods can last “forever” if stored correctly and keeping them on hand could possibly save you from going hungry should an earthquake, health problems, or other disaster keep you isolated in your home for a long period of time.
Following are items which will keep indefinitely if stored properly:
- Pure vanilla extract, not imitation, is one of those food items that can last forever in a cool, dark place in a sealed bottle.
- Salt will keep indefinitely if kept dry and stored in a cool place.
- Bouillon cubes (salty, without fat) won’t spoil, although the flavor lessens over time.
- Honey will never spoil because of its antibiotic properties. If it crystallizes, place jar in warm water and stir until the grainy parts dissolve.
- Maple syrup will keep indefinitely if you refrigerate it or freeze it in an airtight plastic container.
- Sugar does not support bacterial growth and so will never spoil. It has an indefinite shelf life when stored in a cool, dry place (40% to 70% relative humidity) in an airtight container. If it cakes, simple roll the package to get it loosened. Brown sugar may harden because of the molasses content. Opening the bag and placing a moist paper towel over the open bag should rehydrate and soften the sugar once again. Another method for softening hardened brown sugar is to put it in the microwave for one minute, low heat.
- Cocoa, unopened
- White, basmati, or wild rice will keep practically forever in an airtight container. Brown rice can go bad because of the higher oil content.
- Corn starch and corn syrup both keep a long time if sealed tight and kept in a cool, dry area.
- Miso soup will keep indefinitely under refrigeration because of its salt content.
- Distilled white vinegar lasts for years in a tightly closed bottle kept in a cool, dark place.
- An unopened bottle of Madeira keeps indefinitely. Brandy, gin, rum, vodka, scotch, rye whiskey, schnapps, as well as most liqueurs whether open or unopened remain safe to drink if you keep the lid on tight and store in cool, dry area.
Unlike the circulating rumor suggests, twinkies do not last 100 years. They retain their freshness for almost a month.
Yakima Food Co-op, Facebook recommends, among other vendors, Chester “The Honey Man” Ferguson, Yakima Valley for raw honey and Irish eyes garden seeds, Ellensburg.
Suggestions for storing seeds to give them a long shelf life
Food storage guide
The Ready Store “MRE is short for Meal, Ready-to-Eat, which is an individual, self contained field ration in lightweight packaging used by the military to provide food and nutrition to its members in combat or field conditions where food was not readily available. MRE meals are perfect for food storage and emergency situations.”
Disaster preparedness food
Mountain House Emergency Preparedness
Epicenter.com “We offer MRE products from Sopakco, AmeriQual and MRE-Star brands!”
MRE storage life chart