Tuesday, October 19, 2021

12 Kinds of Food That Have a Long Shelf Life

 Most people do not go out as much during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have stocked up with food and medicine at home. There are several emergency food items you can depend on for a rainy day that can be stored for long periods without fear of expiration.

Honey can last a very long time. In 2015, archaeologists discovered 3,000-year-old honey in Egypt that is still edible. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

1. Honey

Honey is also called a superfood. It is rich in antioxidants, which can help suppress coughs and even heal wounds. In 2015, archaeologists discovered 3,000-year-old honey in Egypt that is still edible. This is because of the unique preservative power of honey. It has low water and high sugar content, so bacteria can’t grow in it. Dissolving the honey in warm water yields a similar taste. The sealed honey bottle blocks moisture, which extends the preservation time.

2. Dried beans

Containing 21-23 percent protein, 0.3 percent fat, and 65 percent carbohydrates, red beans are considered a mild food with a sweet and slightly acidic taste. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Beans are a good source of protein. Dried beans that have undergone dehumidification processing and are sealed tightly will prevent bacteria and mold from growing. They can be stored for a long time.

3. White vinegar

Traditionally, the acidity of the vinegar, obtained from the fermentation of acetic acid bacteria, helps maintain the vinegar for a long time. White vinegar is used in many households for cooking food, cleaning, and disinfecting items and the environment. It plays lots of roles and will not perish easily.

4. Rice

Rice, the go-to food of choice for much of humanity. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Rice also has no expiration date. It is safe to eat even after many years. Why does some rice become moldy within a half year? That’s because it isn’t stored properly. Rice needs to be stored dry and at low temperatures. Once it gets wet, it will become rancid. Brown rice is unique: it has a high oil content and easily deteriorates. If the rice is stored in the refrigerator, it can last a long time.

5. Corn starch

Corn starch is the same as rice. As long as you keep it dry and sealed properly, you don’t need to worry about it going off.

6. Liquor

Liquor doesn’t have any added chemicals and has a wide range of uses for food preservation. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Liquor with more than 10 percent alcohol has disinfecting properties. Liquor doesn’t have any added chemicals and has a wide range of uses: cooking, seasoning, and emergency disinfection for injuries.

7. Pasta

As long as the pasta is kept in a cool and dry place, it can be stored for at least 20 years without spoiling.

8. Jerky

Fully dehydrated meat can last for 50 years. (Image: flickr / “beef jerky” by stu_spivack / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Dried meat cannot only be preserved in the traditional sun-dried way as the Chinese do, but also through drying, aging, and applying salt as is customary for the American Indians. Fully dehydrated meat can last for 50 years.

9. Ghee

Ghee is purified butter. Produced mostly in Tibet and India, it has a mellow taste and is suitable as a doomsday food. It is the best choice to replace butter.

10. Hardtack

The ingredients of hardtack are very simple: flour, water, and salt. Hardtack can be stored dry for a long time.

 11. Wax sealed cheese

Dry cheese can be sealed with wax and used as a milk replacement. This is also an excellent food that will last for a long time.

12. Milk powder

Milk powder can also be stored for extended periods and is also a good source of nutrition. Skimmed milk powder can last up to 25 years.

Skimmed milk powder can be stored for up to 25 years. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Other faithful stand-by food items

Other ingredients and food items such as tomato sauce can be stored for 18-24 months. Instant coffee can be stored at room temperature for 2-20 years. Sugar cubes can be stored for about two years or longer with proper de-humidification. Pu’er tea is a fermented tea, which can also be dried and preserved. It has a special fragrance, and the longer it is stored, the more valuable it becomes. The wood ear fungus and tangerine peels can also be stored for a long time after sun exposure.

Translated by Patty Zhang and edited by Helen

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Emma Lu
Emma Lu is an author who specializes in Cultural and Historical myths and stories.

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