With all of the coronavirus news and the reports about people stockpiling food, you’re probably wondering what foods are best to buy during the time of self-quarantine. And while grocery stores are restocking fresh ingredients like meat and produce, we don’t blame you for stocking up on shelf-stable foods, too. These foods with long shelf lives are great to have on hand anytime, but they’ll also help put your mind at ease if you’re worried about potential food shortages. And considering the fact that about one-third of the food produced in the world never makes it to people’s plates, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, keeping long-lasting foods in your pantry is never a bad idea. Here, we’ve outlined a host of good-for-you kitchen staples that last for years—yes, we said years —despite what it says on the label. There are loads of reasons to give three cheers for chia seeds. Not only do they contain all nine essential amino acids, but they’re also a potent source of fiber and ALAs, a type of omega-3s that can decrease the risk of heart disease. And when stored in an airtight container in the fridge, they remain tasty and safe to eat for up to a year.
The honey actually dehydrates bacteria, so it is essentially its own preservative! If your honey does crystallize, just run your sealed container under hot water for a few minutes. The honey will soften, while maintaining its sweet flavor. I store mine in a mason jar with this cool dipper lid! Both white and brown sugar can be used indefinitely if they are stored in an airtight container away from light and heat. However, if moisture is allowed to mix with the sugar, it can become hard and clumpy, and even become a food source for bacteria. For long-term storage, try storing your sugar in a vacuum-sealable container. I mention white rice specifically, because brown rice will eventually go bad due to its higher oil content. But white rice, if stored properly in an airtight container, will stay good forever! It is extremely effective at dehydrating things, including bacteria, so properly stored salt will remain usable for years.
If the alcohol content drops below 25 percent alcohol, it can also become a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria. Groceries Does Honey Expire? Unopened or in a sealed container or pouch, beef jerky can last between one and two years, thanks to the dried nature of jerky there’s no moisture for bacteria to grow. Make sure to store the rice in an airtight container to keep out any bugs which is the only reason that might come up to make it inedible. Despite the common misconception that Spam lasts forever, Hormel recommends eating it by the “best by” date stamped on the can to enjoy it at its best quality. The honey will soften, while maintaining its sweet flavor. Despite their flatulence-inducing properties, dried beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, making them a great product to stock up on.