15 Foods That Last Forever

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Editor’s note:  Today we have a post by my fellow blogger Linda who writes Food Storage Moms. Spoilage is a constant issue with food storage, but it’s good to know there are foods that last a lifetime.

15 Foods That Last Forever

Written by Linda Loosli

This articled first appeared in Food Storage Moms Food Storage Moms

When you are on your food storage journey you may want to add these 15 foods to your stash that last forever. There is something about having some foods in your pantry that you never have to worry about going bad. We spend our hard earned money to stock our home with food we can eat in the future, right?

I remember when Mark and I first started our food storage project many years ago. One of the biggest mistakes was storing beans, sugar, and powdered milk in 50-pound barrels. Yes, large green barrels not buckets. We had a large “fruit room” in the basement where it was cool and dry. That was the good part, the bad part was the large barrels. They were too large to maneuver.

We eventually converted to five-gallon buckets with those lids you couldn’t remove unless you had a “tool” to lift them off. Then came Gamma Lids, thank goodness for those airtight and easy to open lids. They were a life changer for me. I color code my entire food and fuel storage with those colored lids.

15 Foods That Last Forever

1. Honey

If you can buy raw honey, it will last forever. Please remember that storing honey in 5-gallon buckets is not the best idea. You may have to chisel the honey to use after a few years. It will crystalize, which is fine if it’s stored in quart mason jars. You can set your jars outside in the heat of the summer and it will eventually go back to its liquid state. If you microwave the jars you will lose some critical nutrients in the honey.

My favorite place to buy raw natural honey is Cox’s Honey from Shelley, Idaho. Cox’s Honey

2. Sugar

Sugar is very inexpensive and it will store indefinitely if it does not get moisture in it. If you find a bucket of sugar that is rock hard, it has gotten moisture in it. Please keep it dry and stored in a cool place. I store my sugar in 5-gallon buckets with Gamma Lids. Gamma Lids

Please DO NOT use oxygen absorbers in your sugar to store it. Some people use Mylar bags for storing their sugar, I do not. I use 5-gallon buckets with Gamma Lids. I open the bags of sugar and store it in in clean white 5-gallon buckets.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar lasts forever as long as the unopened bottles are stored in a cool dry place. You can use apple cider vinegar for so many things. Check this out: Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits

4. Pure Vanilla Extract

A pure vanilla extract will last indefinitely if stored in a cool dry place. This is the one I buy: Pure Vanilla Extract

5. Maple Syrup

If you can buy REAL Maple Syrup in a glass jar it will last about 50 years. That’s a very long time. I’m not talking about Pancake Syrup. There are different grades of Maple Syrup.

Information on Andersons’ Maple Syrup

6. Salt

I grew up with salt with added iodine, it does not last as long. Good old plain salt will last indefinitely if stored in a cool dry place. Himalayan salt will last forever as well. Just purchase salt without added ingredients and you’ll be good to go.

7. Corn Starch

You can store your cornstarch in its original container and as long as it stays dry it will last forever in a cool dark place.

8. Wheat

Thank goodness wheat lasts forever because I store a LOT of it. I’m very picky where I buy my hard white wheat because I don’t want to ruin my wheat grinder with rocks or debris from certain brands of wheat. I only buy my wheat from Lehi Mills here in Utah. I’m sure there are other brands that have similar quality, but I’ve researched this brand and Lehi Mills cleans their wheat about nine times. If you decide to buy hard white wheat make sure it is thoroughly cleaned.

9. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce can last indefinitely if stored unopened in a cool dry place. It has a lot of sodium. I tend to buy smaller bottles because I like a fresh bottle stored in my refrigerator that has been opened for six months or less.

10. White Rice

White rice will store indefinitely if you store it in a cool dry place in an airtight container. You may remember brown rice has a higher fat content so you can only store it for six months. White rice can be used in so many recipes and it fills the belly and is a very inexpensive food storage item. The longer you store white rice the less sticky it becomes. I LOVE sticky rice.

I learned something from a Chinese restaurant. The owner told me when he opens a new bag of white rice he mixes some of the old white rice into the storage container to make sure the old rice will still be “sticky.” Is it an old wives tale? I don’t know, but I mix some of my old rice with my new rice, just in case.

11. White Distilled Vinegar

Its acidic nature makes vinegar self-preserving. You can use it for salad dressings, canning, and so much more. Please store your bottles in a cool dark place. They will store forever if unopened.

12. Corn Syrup

I quote Karo Syrup, “Karo syrup is safe to eat for an indefinite period of time regardless of whether it has been opened. However, for best results, we recommend using before the “Best by” date stamped on the container. Bottles may be refrigerated after opening, however, the syrup may be thicker and slower to pour.”

13. Hard Liquor

I don’t drink alcohol, but I did go to the liquor store in town and asked how long the different bottles would last. (These would be great for bartering after a severe disaster.) I was told that vodka, rum, gin, whiskey, and tequila last forever. They mentioned I should store them upright in a cool dark location.

14. Dry Beans

Beans will last forever, and I mean forever. One thing to keep in mind, the older the bean, the more water and fuel will be needed to cook them. A pressure cooker is great for cooking old beans. You can also soak the beans overnight, drain and cover the beans again with fresh water and cook them until tender. You can pressure can the beans as well.

15. Instant Coffee

This is a really great food storage item because it lasts over 20 years, if not longer, if the containers are unopened. It’s basically dehydrated coffee. It makes for a great bartering item as well.

This is a short list, but at least you get the drift that there are 15 foods that last forever. Please be prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this country.

About the author

Linda Loosli writes the Food Storage Moms website. Her goal with is to share ideas about food storage and have fun while doing it. She also wants to help people to be self-sufficient, not to depend on the government to take care of them and well as be prepared for an unforeseen disaster or a major emergency. Linda’s book, Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation is available in Amazon.

Image by StockSnap on Pixabay

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  1. Just a comment about uniodized salt…there is a good reason iodine was added to salt…goiter!! In today’s society most eat so much processed food with iodized salt in it…it is a mute point…however in a shtf scenario, I suspect most will be back to basics..all unprocessed food..cooked from scratch..keep that in mind especially if most of your peeps are home dehydrated..or home canned..iodine is essential and some areas of the country do not have any naturally occurring in soil..

    1. Hi Marilyn, That is a great point. Iodine is essential for goiter prevention, therefore it’s a good idea to stock iodized salt in case shtf and we all have to rely on our storage supplies. Thanks for the comment!

  2. I forgot which email I associated this username to. Anyway, one food that lasts forever that nobody adds to their forever lists are graham crackers – if you open the brown packaging they’re in before storing them long-term. I stumbled on this when I bought about 40 boxes of graham crackers from 99 cent store about 5 years ago – and opened one of the three packages in one of the boxes to eat a couple crackers before storing them. Found them a few years later and all the unopened packages in all the boxes had to be thrown out because they were rancid and inedible – and the crackers in the package that I’d opened were still perfectly edible. Try it yourself and see. 😀

    1. Hi StuckInASoCalCondo,That is interesting the opened box of graham crackers lasted longer than the sealed ones. I stored pilot crackers in mylar bags back in 2010, opened one of them in 2018 and they were still very good, same as the day I bought them. I have not stored graham crackers; I will have to experiment. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. OOOOH, you lost me at corn syrup. Nasty, toxic, GMO HFCS.
    Also, Maple syrup WILL mold if not kept in the refrigerator. I have also had SEALED containers of instant coffee get mold and green stuff clumped together. This happened twice!
    And, last, while dry beans do last forever, there is a point at which, no matter how long you soak or cook them they will ALWAYS be hard.

    1. Hi Carol,I have found out the same thing about dry beans. I had some from 2010, they took forever to cook, but a recent commenter said adding a tsp of baking soda to the water when boiling the beans helps cut the cooking time. Thanks for the comment.

    While I have some of these items, I don’t think we have enough quite yet.
    You put in a lot of work into all of this — thank you!!

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