Extremely Durable Foods for Survival (Lasting 10+ Years)
When prepping, it's important to plan ahead: Stock up on these foods that will last forever. By doing so, you'll be prepared for any crisis situation.
From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.
👉 The key facts from this guide
- There are several foods that are extremely long-lasting, including rice, hard biscuits, salt, sugar, pepper, dried lentils, beans, peas, and various canned goods.
- Storing these foods should always be done in a dark and cool place. Under the right conditions, they can be safely stored for at least 10 to 20 years.
- It is important to regularly check the foods to ensure that they are still edible. Check the foods with your senses: How do they smell? What is their firmness and shape? Has mold developed? Have insects nested?
- Freeze-dried food, also known as MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat), is an excellent option for survival food, as it is extremely long-lasting and offers a wide range of flavors.
- Water should be bottled in glass or food-safe containers and stored in a dark and cool place. It is essential not to store it in plastic bottles, as the plasticizers in the plastic can gradually leach into the water.
Recently, I was lying awake at night.
I asked myself: Which food is almost non-perishable? Even after 20 years? Which foods are extremely long-lasting?
What do you think?
If you choose 1 and 2, I agree with you. Unfortunately, number 3 and 4 do not last forever, but still a very long time.
If a real emergency occurs (such as a blackout or EMP attack), I want to have food prepared.
Now, I will show you foods that REALLY last a long time.
Provided that you store and care for the food correctly.
Then they have a chance to never spoil.
Let's start with the basic foods.
Indefinitely Shelf-Stable Foods from the Pantry
- Water (in glass bottles)
- Salt, Sugar, Pepper
- Corn syrup, Honey, Maple syrup
- Dried lentils, beans, peas
- Canned goods (glass and can) with various contents
- Crackers, Toast or Canned bread, Hardtack
- Spirits, Wine
- Nonfat dry milk
- Freeze-dried coffee / Instant coffee
Now you already know which foods are extremely long-lasting. Let's look at the foods more closely because there are a few details to consider.
1. Basic Foods That Are Non-Perishable
Most importantly: Keep the food free of moisture and store it completely dry. Pack them in airtight containers, and they are incredibly long-lasting.
It's best to buy food that is already sealed.
Here are the two best foods for emergency preparedness:
- Rice: white rice, wild rice, Basmati, Jasmine rice, Arborio (brown rice is not indefinitely shelf-stable) (buy rice here, 20 kg)
- Hardtack / Crackers (buy here, High Energy Biscuits)
Uncooked rice is non-perishable. The expiration date doesn't matter.
2. Other Survival Foods That Are Non-Perishable
The foods listed below are theoretically non-perishable.
However, the texture of the food may change over time. Perhaps they become thicker and harder.
Occasionally, the taste also changes, which doesn't mean the food is bad.
- Maple syrup
- Corn syrup
- Sugar syrup
Especially, frozen maple and sugar syrup are infinitely durable.
There are also:
- Dried lentils (buy here, 20 x 500 grams)
- Dried beans (buy here, jumbo white beans (6 x 500 grams))
- Dried peas (buy here)
However, science is divided on the issue of consumption. And reports from the internet show that beans are no longer edible after 5 to 10 years.
Dried beans will sprout in 5 years, but they will not soften when cooked. This doesn't work even with a pressure cooker or if you cook them for 12 hours.
Even peas that you store for 10 years have this characteristic that they don't soften anymore - no matter how long you cook them.
With lentils, it's probably different. They are still edible and soft after 7 years.
The problem with this: In an emergency, you can't afford to burn a lot of fuel (wood, gasoline, electricity, etc.) for a bowl of beans. That doesn't make any cost-benefit sense.
I would be very interested to know if you have already prepared old legumes? Write it in the comments.
3. Survival foods that are not perishable when frozen
There are foods for emergency preparedness that have a long shelf life.
However, there is a trick to make them truly infinitely durable: freeze them.
Note on pasta: Don't choose whole wheat pasta. They have a short shelf life due to the higher fat content.
Note on dried fruits: Take what you can get, such as cranberries, raisins, plums, cherries, apricots, banana chips, mangoes, dates, blueberries, or figs. But be careful with dried fruits from the market, which often contain additives for moisture. So grab a food dehydrator. This way you make sure that all the moisture is removed.
4. Basic ingredients that are non-perishable
These basic ingredients are infinitely durable. Once purchased, they can easily survive for 20 years.
It is important to store the food dry and airtight.
- Baking soda
5. Spices that don't spoil
To add some flavor to your rice, you also store spices.
Spices are infinitely durable. However, the taste may diminish over the years.
The significant thing is to package everything airtight and store it dry.
- Salt (buy here, 25 kg)
- Sugar (buy here)
- Pepper (buy here, 1 kg, assorted colors)
- Other spices
- Dried herbs
- Worcestershire sauce
6. Drinks that don't spoil
First: Fill water in glass bottles or in food-grade containers and store them in a dark and cool place. The water keeps for a long time until it goes bad if you keep it closed.
But do not store it in plastic bottles (like the ones you get at the supermarket). Because the expiration date is not for the water itself, but for the plastic bottle in which the water is bottled. Plastic contains plasticizers that gradually seep into the water.
So, either transfer your water or take it straight from the tap.
Water is essential to life and is more important than food. Calculate your required emergency water supply per person.
What other drinks are infinitely durable:
- Nonfat dry milk (buy here, 1.2 kg)
- Freeze-dried coffee / instant coffee
When it comes to spirits, the following is essential: The alcohol content should be above 20%. There should be no eggs (eggnog), milk, or other dairy products (like Baileys).
Alcohol is great because it also has disinfectant properties (above 40% for wounds). It is medically usable.
About wine: Unopened, the shelf life varies widely depending on the grape variety and storage. It is significant to store wine in a wine cellar. It must be cold and dark. And store the bottle so that the cork stays moist (slight angle downwards). A wine without a cork is less than 3 years old.
Check your food
It is inevitable that some extremely durable foods will change their taste, color, and texture over the years.
However, this does not mean that the food is no longer edible. Eating most foods is safe.
But check the food with your senses. This is the only way to determine whether they are still edible.
- What does the food smell like?
- What is the texture and shape of the food?
- Has mold developed?
- Have insects invaded?
If in doubt, dispose of the food.
Prepping on a small budget? Have you made all the necessary preparations? - Will there be a power outage or other crisis? Crisis preparation doesn't have to be expensive. Prepping is about getting started before it's too late.
Tips for Storage
Food is extremely long-lasting if you respect these rules.
Your survival food must be stored properly to make it (theoretically) indefinitely durable.
The absolute best place to store a food supply is in a dark, cool, and dry place.
This place must be free of:
- direct sunlight, and
- extreme temperatures.
To achieve this, store your food in airtight containers. Or, better yet, in vacuum-sealed containers to extend the shelf life.
Here are two recommendations for a container and a vacuum sealer with excellent reviews:
Freeze-dried food as an alternative
Freeze-dried food, also known as MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat), is an excellent option for survival food because it is extremely long-lasting.
The technology involves freezing the food and then drying it under vacuum to remove all moisture. This preserves the nutrients and flavor while increasing the shelf life to up to 25 years.
The advantages of MREs as survival food are numerous. They are easy to transport, do not require refrigeration, and they last forever.
They also offer a wide range of flavors, so you won't get tired of them, even in a long survival scenario.
So freeze-dried food is an excellent choice for outdoor adventures, disaster situations, and anyone who needs long-lasting survival food.
My recommendation is the products from Tactical Foodpack. I have not found a manufacturer yet that produces such delicious MREs. With my coupon code "SURVIVAL10", you will receive a 10% discount in the online shop at Tactical Foodpack.
At first, it may seem unlikely that there is food that lasts forever.
However, if you store food properly, it can be stored for 10 to 20 years with ease.
And when the shelf life expires, just eat it. Then buy new food that is long-lasting again.
It's best to buy in bulk for storage. Take advantage of discounts when food items are on sale.
What are the best long-lasting foods for you?
Let's exchange and share your experiences and tips with us!
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