Even if a disaster is human-made or natural, no single person can survive without eating food. Such a case explains why people who live in disaster-prone areas have spaces for storing foods with long shelf life. In this case, you will learn more regarding top long-life foods for emergencies.
Top Rated Long Shelf Life Foods for Emergencies
1) Hard grains
Hard grains, including millet, soft white wheat, hard red wheat, and buckwheat, can last between 10 and 12 years if you store them appropriately. To enjoy a maximum shelf life, you should ensure that a sealed package has an oxygen absorber.
2) Soft grains
Soft grains, including grits, rye, quinoa, and barley, can last up to eight years provide that their package is sealed with oxygen absorbers. It is recommended to buy the soft grains from a supplier who sells long-term foods because their sealing and packaging will be designed to preserve great whole grains long.
3) Dried pasta
All kinds of dried pasta have a shelf life of at least 30 years if you store them appropriately. Pasta contains carbohydrates for fibers and energy. It also has magnesium, iron, and some proteins.
To prepare pasta, you can add approximately five quarts of water for every pound of pasta and boil it for approximately 15 minutes until it becomes tender. After that, you can drain the water and add sauce or seasonings before eating it.
For more than three decades, several people have continued to use powdered eggs when camping instead of the original ones. These eggs are dehydrated in powder form and have a long shelf life ranging between 5 to 10 years, provided that you store them in an airtight container under cool and dry conditions.
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The powdered eggs can help you to get a source of calcium, potassium, protein, and essential vitamins during emergencies. To prepare the eggs, you will mix them with water and cook to establish scrambled eggs.
5) Rolled oats
Rolled oats are an ideal source of zinc, iron, potassium, fiber, and other critical ingredients you might need when faced with an emergency. Their shelf life is approximately two years if stored correctly in an airtight container.
6) Canned fish
Canned fish, including sardines, salmon, and tuna, are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. They can last approximately three years if you store them in a cool, dry place and do not open them.
The canning process helps to remove air, and food is placed in vacuum-sealed containers. In this case, microorganisms are destroyed, and bacteria are prevented from getting inside the container. You can eat canned fish immediately after removing it from the can or heat it before eating.
The vegetables are packed in a solution of salt, vinegar, and water. Vinegar has acids that combine with naturally forming acids in vegetables, resulting in a slowed decaying process. This makes pickled vegetables among the top foods with long shelf life that you should stock up on.
The pickled vegetables have a shelf life of approximately two years if left unopened. The pickling recipes depend on the vegetables used. Therefore, you should consult a cookbook before eating it.
8) Soy sauce
Fermentation is one of the best methods of preserving foods, and it is used to make soy sauce have a long shelf life. Also, soy sauce contains high sodium content that prevents the growth of bacteria.
An opened bottle of soy sauce can last approximately three years, provided that you store it at room temperature while the unopened one will last indefinitely.
9) Cocoa powder
Opened and properly stored cocoa powder can last for three years when stored at room temperature. You can prepare your beverage by mixing cocoa powder with sugar and hot water.
10) Bouillon cubes
A properly sored package of bouillon granules or cubes, even fish, turkey, vegetable, chicken, or beef, will last for two years. You can use the cubes to flavor beans, pasta, rice, or other dishes that you want to eat.
11) Powdered milk
Powdered milk is one of the foods that has existed since the 1830s. When you consume powdered milk, you can get amino acids, minerals, proteins, and calcium. If you leave it in its original airtight container, the milk can go for ten years when unopened and two years when opened.
To prepare it, you can add 1/3 cup of powdered milk to one cup of water. Apart from drinking, you can use the powdered milk to add nutrients or flavors to other dishes and make desserts, including rice pudding.
Dehydration is one of the oldest methods that is still used for food preservation. Dehydrated vegetables, including dried green beans and kale chips, have a shelf life of approximately eight years when stored in an airtight container. Dried corn can last approximately ten years, while carrots can last for 25 years.
In contrast, dried fruit can last for one year. Notably, you should store your dried fruits and vegetables in a small airtight container. That is because every time you open a container, your food gets exposed to moisture and air that reduces its shelf-life.
13) Dried legumes
Legumes such as lentils, peas, and beans are free from cholesterol and have low-fat contents. They are also on the list of top foods with long shelf life to have in case of SHTF situation. They can act as the source of high-quality fiber and protein, making you feel fuller for long hours during emergencies. All varieties of legumes can last indefinitely, provided that you store them correctly in an airtight container in a dry, cool place.
However, most legumes have a shelf life of approximately five years, and when they exceed such a period, they might take a long period for you to cook them, and they can be hard when you eat them. Although there are several varieties of dried legumes, most of them are prepared in the same way. You can make dried legumes edible by placing them in a large pot and adding water. Ensure you heat them to boil until they become tender.
Factors to consider when buying the best long shelf life foods
- Packaging: Most of the long-life foods for emergencies are stored in individual meal pouches and pails with heavy-duty handles, pest proof, stackable, airtight, and watertight.
- Shelf life: Choose food with a long shelf life that can cater to your needs.
- Preparation: The food that you choose should be easy to prepare and take approximately 15 minutes. However, most of the survivors will require you to only add water before eating it.
- Convenient: The food should be convenient for transport and storage
- Ingredients: The foods with a long shelf life that you choose should be a balanced diet with vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, and other essential ingredients.
The foods with long shelf life are the best for several uses, including occasional daily use, travel, hunting, fishing, camping, emergencies, and used during pandemics. The guide above presents some of the top-rated long-shelf-life foods that you can use during emergencies.