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10 Foods You Can Store For 100 Years

Pemmican. Image source: Gardenvarietymama.com

Pemmican. Image source: Gardenvarietymama.com

French bread will only last a few days before it goes bad. And canned goods will last you a few years.

So all food has an expiration date, right? Wrong!

Some foods can last a century. Yes, that’s right. A hundred years!

Here are 10 foods that can last (pretty much) forever. In fact, if stored property, they will never spoil and will stay as fresh as the day you bought them — and will make a great addition to your pantry or emergency food supply.

So feel free to use that 10-pound bag of jasmine rice from 1998 that you were saving for Y2K.  As long as it was stored correctly, it’s just as good for you as the day you bought it.

1. Raw Honey

Shelf-life: Indefinite

Honey may crystalize over time, but in terms of safety, this gold liquid is nearly immortal. If it’s stored in a sealed jar, it can last for centuries, according to the National Honey Board. Raw honey has such longevity that it has even been recovered from Egyptian tombs. Honey can sweeten your hot tea, alleviate seasonal allergies, and also can be used to treats wounds and burns. If your honey does crystallize, just place the jar in warm water until the crystals dissolve.

2. Pemmican

Shelf-life: Indefinite

Pemmican was first made by Native-Americans and later by European fur traders and settlers. It was made from meat of large game like buffalo, bison, elk or deer. The lean meat was cut into small pieces and dried by putting it over an open fire. Then it was mixed with fat and pressed into little cakes. Sometimes, berries were tossed in for extra flavor. Pemmican makes a great survival food. In fact, it was given in rations and used by British soldiers during the Second Boer War (1899-1902).

Discover The World’s Healthiest Storable Survival Food!

3. Rice

Shelf-life: 30 Years to Indefinite

Rice is the perfect food for storage. And, like honey, has been found perfectly preserved in Egyptian tombs. White, jasmine, wild, Arborio and basmati rice all have an almost indefinite shelf life. White rice is considered by many to be the ultimate survivalist food to stockpile in order to be ready for a food crisis. But brown rice doesn’t have the same good fortune; its high oil content makes it turn rancid faster. Just be sure to store rice in an airtight container to keep out any bugs. I like to put bay leaves in bulk bags of rice to keep the bugs away.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Shelf Life: Indefinite

You can buy apple cider vinegar and not worry about it going to waste. So stock up on this healthy condiment and use it for salad dressings, marinades or even household cleaning. And if you feel a sore throat or cold coming on, put a tablespoon in a glass of water and drink it; you’ll feel better!

5. Salt

Shelf Life: Indefinite

Image source: UCHealth.com

Image source: UCHealth.com

Sea salt is the healthiest salt, but regular table salt is fine. Salt adds taste, preserves meat and helps food keep its texture. And if stored properly, it will never go bad. In the event of a grid failure, salt makes a great way to cure meat. Here is what one source says:

“Historically, brining and salting has been used as a method to preserve meat. Some methods were as simple as submerging the meat in a barrel of salt water. The salt solution was judged ready when it would float a raw egg. This solution would require approximately 8 pounds of salt to 5 gallons of water. Cover the meat completely with the solution and leave covered until ready to use. From the amount of salt it requires you can see that it pays to store a substantial amount.”

6. Vanilla Extract

Shelf Life: Indefinite

Made from dried, cured vanilla beans, pure vanilla extract has a sweet, rich flavor. And since it’s made from alcohol, pure vanilla extract will stay fresh and flavorful forever. However, imitation vanilla does not have the same life span, so make sure that you buy the more expensive vanilla extract. From cookies to cupcakes, pure vanilla extract is usually used for baking. But historically, it was used to treat burns, cuts and wounds.

Prepare now for surging food costs and empty grocery store shelves…

7. Sugar

Shelf Life: Indefinite   

White, brown and powdered sugar will last forever. If it hardens over time, you can break up the chunks by warming it up and stirring it, just like with honey. Sugar doesn’t support bacterial growth, but don’t forget to store it in an airtight container to keep the bugs and moisture out. And sugar can be used for more than just a sweet treat — it makes a great scrub to use on your face and body.

8. Soy Sauce

Shelf Life: Indefinite

As long as it’s never opened, soy sauce will last forever. Soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, salt, wheat and water. The high sodium content of soy sauce helps to preserve it. But if you’re gluten intolerant, make sure that you buy a soy sauce that is gluten-free. From stir fries to soups, soy sauce is an important ingredient in Asian recipes. My favorite way to eat soy sauce is to make a quick sauce by mixing ¼ cup of honey, ¼ cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. It makes a great stir fry sauce or glaze for chicken.

9. Bouillon

Shelf Life: Indefinite

Because bouillon has large amounts of salt, it can last a long time. However, over time, the taste of the bouillon can be altered. So if storing bouillon cubes, it’s best to use a food sealer or seal in Mylar bags. It makes a great survival food used in broth or soup to deliver much-needed electrolytes to the body.  I use it often in soups and stews; it’s a great way to save money and keep food costs low.

10. Powdered Milk in nitrogen packed cans

Shelf Life: 25 Years to Indefinite

In a difficult situation, powdered milk makes an emergency source of calcium and vitamin D for young children. It can last indefinitely in nitrogen-packed cans and can be placed in the freezer. And if the powdered milk develops an odor or turns yellow, it’s time to discard.

So whether you’re planning for a disaster or simply want to have a pantry stocked with non-perishable food for an unexpected snow storm, having these 10 food items is important. And if you store these foods properly, they might just last forever.

What foods do you keep stocked that will last forever? Write your response in the comments below:

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24 comments

  1. Thanks for the info on brown rice. I did add a few lbs to my storage but I’ll need to change that to white or others…

    • I loaded up on brown rice, totes full, only to find it had turned rancid, I wanted the nourishment of the brown rice, and, I wasn’t crazy about white rice, except to make rice packs, I have at my feet during the deep freeze in New England. Even put a rice pack in my belt to keep me warm during snow removal. Old and have a hard time keeping my body core warm. Can’t live without my rice packs during the winter, especially this winter when there is no break from this awful cold

  2. I have to take exception with the statement on canned goods. Here is a statement from the USDA site:
    Note the part on storage times or useful life for canned goods…
    What do can codes mean?
    Cans must exhibit a packing code to enable tracking of the product in interstate commerce. This enables manufacturers to rotate their stock as well as to locate their products in the event of a recall.

    These codes, which appear as a series of letters and/or numbers, might refer to the date or time of manufacture. They aren’t meant for the consumer to interpret as “use-by” dates. There is no book or Web site that tells how to translate the codes into dates.

    Cans may also display “open” or calendar dates. Usually these are “best if used by” dates for peak quality.

    Canned foods are safe indefinitely as long as they are not exposed to freezing temperatures, or temperatures above 90 °F (32.2° C). If the cans look ok, they are safe to use. Discard cans that are dented, rusted, or swollen. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/food-labeling/food-product-dating/food-product-dating

    • There is a great explanation of how to “decode” those mystery numbers and letters in Deyo’s Dare To Prepare…Chapter 11 has many shelf life suggestions and corporation explanations so you can figure it out for yourself – as well as a Julian calendar to make that easier too.

  3. but almost everything on your list is quite unhealthy !!! How long can we store wild and whole grain rice? What about dried beans? What is the best way to store them? vacuum-sealed? Sugar and salt may have their uses, but I certainly would not count on them for too much more than a body scrub ingredient and an addition to pickling foods.

    • I agree with you Diane. I think this is only an items list to spur us to do our own research. I looked into the issue of the commercially canned goods and found the canned goods under FDA rules should have a shelf life of at least 5 yrs. Some of the info came directly from a meat canning co.-what the codes on the cans meant and understanding them. Good info hunting. With that info I have stored canned goods that will provide approx 5 yrs of decent food. This involves fronting, inventory control and turnover. These are used with other food items not as stand alone. http://www.bing.com/search?q=Usda+rules+on+canned+goods&form=U147DF&pc=U147

    • I agree with you on the non- health point but perhaps this list is only to stir our interest in doing research…

    • Starvation is unhealthy. White rice is to keep you alive. Powdered milk and honey with a touch of salt or bullion will make it palatable.

      The point is if you have 365 lbs of rice you get to live another year. Ain’t pretty or popular but there it is.

  4. No mention of wheat? Wheat has been found in Egyptian tombs along with honey. Wheat has more nutrition than rice.

    • Little Bright Feather

      It is not safe to eat wheat products anymore since Monsanto sprays all wheat with their poison Round Up before it even goes to the market /companies – THAT is why so many people are so allergic to anything with wheat in it – it is NOT the gluten – it’s the poison Round Up alll wheat is sprayed with .l DC and their evil entities are determined to kill us all. This Round Up will do it ! Everyone it is estimated now have Round Up in their blood. It’s sprayed on us also in the deadly Chemtraiils.

      • There are sources for non-GMO wheat, like Wheat Montana, and I’m sure the few more could be located doing some digging around online. Also, if your local health food store carries it (or will order it), get Jovial’s brand of Einkorn wheat (the most ancient type still available). I’m sure one could buy a few packs at a time and transfer them into vac-sealed packaging w/ oxygen absorbers, then stored in a cool place for a long time.

  5. Mormons do emergency food on an industrial scale. They even have their own company to make it. I will be looking at their advice, too.

  6. Yes wheat is good, you could look at other grains too, most of which can make beer. The same was a great part of the Egyptian workers diet along with Onions. Research of diets around the world can lead to foods to help sustain you in emergency situations. Simple and most often at hand in the wilderness, meaning you don’t have to carry what grows in your region. Some like Beer may require you hold up in a convenient area until fish or game meat is smoked, read up on the smoking process of meats and fish. The salt will be helpful as well as sugar when making brines. One thing more, if your worrying about what foods are healthy or not, you could be doing yourself in if the emergency situation last any considerable time.

  7. Another item I found at a dollar store, was 24 hour candles. These are great if you want a limited light source for a camp and could be housed in a makeshift Tin Can light holder with a side slot cut to direct the light instead of it being seen 360 degrees.

  8. My wife and I use a dehydrator and a food sealer. We dehydrate organic frozen veggies and fruit and are now trying our hand at meat. If you keep bottled juices at low temps they will last longer. Also natural peanut butter (with the oil on top) will last quite a while. We live on a fixed income so each time we shop we bring home one or two extra items to store. We also rotate our stock of canned goods as used. We have two freezers down in our shelter room and have found the fuller you keep them the less they run. All in all we have a least a one to two year supply of food for our entire immediate family, plus we hunt ,have chickens and garden and orchard. Took us twenty years to get to this point but one step at a time makes your journey. We are also totally prepared to defend what is ours. Stay prepared my friends!

  9. There needs to be a distinction between foods that deteriorate in quality and taste but are still nutritious or will sustain life.
    Some foods change due to age like the yellowing of the dried milk over time but if it came to you starving to death,
    it would be better to consume the milk than to throw it out and die. Same goes with canned goods. It is the micro organisms
    that make canned food unsafe and if totally sealed, the food will be edible forever as long as bad bacteria are not given
    a chance to take hold even if the food taste is diminished. Not too long ago I opened some homemade canned green beans
    that were twenty years old ( made by my grandma ) and stored in the dark in the basement and they did not taste bad.
    It is the enzymes in food that cause food taste change but they do not cause the food to become unsafe.
    ( kind of like freezer burned meat… the taste is altered but it is still safe and nutritious to eat….. all it is is frozen dehydrated
    in reality )

    The mention about pemmican is not correct as to extreme longevity. The fats used in the making of it will
    go bad in less than a year but it very well could last a few weeks or months and that would be quite an accomplishment
    with no other means of preservation. Certainly it was good enough for indians and soldiers etc.

    I dont know what the maximum shelf life is of peanut butter but I have eaten some that was several years old
    both natural and the JIF kind mixed with chemicals that prevent oil separation while sitting on the shelf.
    Once again, I bet peanut butter is safe and nutritious for a long time because even if the oil becomes rancid,
    it is not harmful. It just tastes funny and the peanuts would still have a lot of nutrition.

    On the kind of natural peanut butter where the peanut butter floats to the top, because of how long that lasts,
    I would want to explore using peanut oil in making pemican. ie mixing the peanut oil with dried powdered
    meat and dehydrated fruit or sugar or honey etc.

    Someone mentioned dried beans…… I dont know what could happen to dried beans over time but I dont know
    why they could not last or at least still be nutritious and safe for 20 or 30 years or more if they werekept very dry ? ? ?

    • I know that I have some dried pinto beans that were canned by LDS church and they are about 20 years old. No matter what I’ve done I can’t get them tender. All that to say, I don’t know how long dried beans will last.

    • Not true on the pemmican. I’ve got it 15 years old, still good.

  10. Technically not food but will store forever – and in some cases gets better with age – alcohol …. store it for future barter …. learn to distill and turn your over abundant produce into longer lasting alcohol ….

  11. I think a lot of people are missing the main point (FOODS YOU CAN STORE FOR 100 YEARS) meaning these items have been proven shelf stable for extremely long periods of time.

    You can store anything you like long term 1+ years, but that is not what this article is about.

  12. Nice reading experience. Input from experienced preppers means a lot. Thanks.

  13. Terry Birmingham

    God told Moses not to eat pork or any other scavengers, people including Christians should wake up, cancer is runing rampage, 65 percent of pork in the store is contaminated. Look it up.

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