We’re going way beyond beans and rice! These non-perishable foods, snacks, sweeteners, seasonings, and condiments will last a very (very) long time…
There are many foods that do not spoil or decay over time. Salt, while technically a rock, is one example. Dried beans, honey, and jello mixes are others.
If I asked you to name a food that can be stored a long time the first foods that pops into most peoples minds is probably dried beans, or possibly rice, or maybe grains (if you know a thing or two).
These type of foods, if properly sealed using mylar bags and oxygen absorbers, do have an incredibly long shelf life (upwards of 25 years).
Some may also thing of canned meats like spam, or maybe MRE’s come to mind.
But, thankfully, these aren’t your only options. In fact, you have many. Here is a list of a few of the best non-perishable foods to stock up.
What are best non-perishable foods?
- White rice
- Beans (dried, many kinds)
- Dried fruits (such as raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dries apricots, dried mangoes, dates, dried blueberries, dried plums, banana chips, figs etc.)
- Dried cranberries
- Hardtack crackers/biscuits or SESB
The items listed above can last for an incredibly long time if stored right. You have to keep them fully dry and sealed, because if you let any moisture or humidity in they will ruin.
Store them in batches in mylar bags with o2 absorbers and they will last for an incredibly long time. Once a batch is opened store them in an air-tight tupperware container and eat them within a few days or a week or two at most.
Other survival foods that are non-perishable
- Maple Syrup
- Dry mix Jello
- Instant/freeze-dried coffee
- Peanut butter (sorta, the fats can sometimes go bad after a long while)
These survival foods, although they are non-perishable, might change a little. By change I mean that the flavor might change a little throughout the years or the texture might differ slightly, thickening throughout the years.
- Dried pasta
Many, if not almost all, pasta and noodles have an incredibly long shelf-life in and of themselves, but if you leave them in the boxes they came in they will go bad. Store them like you would dry beans.
Base ingredients that are non-perishable
- Corn Starch
- Baking soda
- Corn syrup
These items can last indefinitely if they are stored air-tight, free of moisture and in a cool place. They can be used for a variety of uses, especially baking soda (post-apocalyptic toothpaste anyone?).
Seasonings that are non-perishable
- Most spices
- Most dried herbs
- Pure flavor extracts (pure vanilla extracts, etc.)
If you keep these seasonings in air-tight containers free from moisture and in a cool place, they are probably going to last you an incredibly long time. They will probably last indefinitely if the conditions are right, but seasonings and herbs will lose some strength.
The list of dried herbs and spices (meaning the herbs, peppers, and other dried powders mixed by a company and put in a jar) that can be stored nearly indefinitely is so long and varied depending on everyone’s unique tastes that I won’t try to make an exact list here.
Just know that you can keep most of them for a very long time, so go experiment and find your favorites.
Seasonings often get overlooked when prepping, but they can make any bland food taste better. And it lets you make your canned chicken and white rice meal 5 times in a row without repeating exact flavors.
Condiments that are non-perishable
- Worcestershire sauce (unopened)
- Vinegar (white, apple, balsamic, raspberry, rice wine and red wine)
- Ketchup (if unopened)
These condiments will probably change in taste and might become slightly sour (especially the ketchup), but they still remain safe to consume for years. Note however that if you ever refrigerate ketchup and mustard they will sour if left out afterwards.
Survival drinks that are non-perishable
- Water, water, water!
- Did I mention water?
You can go several weeks without food, but without water you’ll only make it a couple of days. It is important for your own survival that you have an abundant source of water.
Liquor, with its high percentage of alcohol, will dehydrate you. It wouldn’t be smart to drink these often, but it would still be wise to stock them up since liquor can be used to disinfect wounds (and provides some fun in dark times).
- Tea bags
- Water flavor packs
Tea is a really great way to flavor boring old water, especially if you have a little sugar or honey. Flavor packs work the same and last basically forever.
One thing to take into consideration is that if you keep non-perishable foods for a long time and eat them after years have passed, the food, although probably still edible, might taste a little dull or odd and the color might change slightly. And honey may crystallize or salt might form a big hard ball, but they are still just as usable.
And sometimes it’s a good idea to trust your own senses, because you can never be too careful with food.
First, do a test before eating. Smell if the food still smells good, see if the food has developed any molds or growths, and use your tongue to make sure it’s not bitter. If the food is within its long expiry date and passes the senses test, it’s safe to eat.