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11 Foods That Last Forever

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Although there are many foods that will last for decades when stored properly (wheat, beans, pasta, etc.), there are some foods that last forever without canning, freezing or dehydrating. If you’re new to food storage, these staples are a great way to start. They are the longest lasting foods in the world and are often referred to as “forever foods.”

Next time you’re at the store grab some of these foods, put them in the back of the pantry and forget about them. If you ever need them, they’ll be ready to be eaten.

1. Corn starch. As long as it’s kept dry, corn starch can last indefinitely, so stock up. It’s not only great for cooking, but can also be used for other things like removing oil from the face and hair, soothing sunburns, and diaper rashes. Be sure to reseal it after each use.

2. Corn syrup. The most common substitute for sugar in America. You can use it for brownies, cookies or candy. Again, reseal after each use and keep it in a cool, dry area.

3. Hard liquor. Distilled liquor never goes bad, even after it’s been opened. And it’s not just a temporary escape, it’s also important for disinfecting wounds and easing physical pain.

4. Hardtack. This is a mixture of flour and water forms a hard cracker that keeps for decades. Soldiers carried it with them in the civil war. It’s very hard and doesn’t taste great, but it will keep you going in an emergency. Here’s how to make it.

5. Honey. Archaeologists discovered ancient honey in the Egyptian pyramids and it was still edible! It crystallizes over time, but all you have to do is warm it up and stir it to get it back to the right consistency.

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6. Salt. This stuff lasts forever, whether it’s sea salt or ordinary table salt. It’s also very useful. Just make sure it’s not seasoned salt, which is only good for a year.

7. Soy sauce. As long as it’s never opened, soy sauce also lasts indefinitely. This is mainly due to the high sodium content.

8. Sugar. Brown, white and powdered sugar all lasts forever. The problem with sugar is it hardens over time, but you can break up the chunks by warming it up and stirring it, just like with honey.

9. Vanilla extract. Like fine wine, pure vanilla extract actually improves with time because it’s a form of liqueur. It’s more expensive than imitation vanilla, but well worth it. Just reseal it when you’re done.

10. White Rice. Every type of rice except for brown rice will keep forever if you store it properly. Brown rice, on the other hand, has a lot of oil so it goes bad after several months.

11. White vinegar – distilled. In addition to cooking white vinegar can be used for cleaning, polishing, deodorizing, and other things. When you’re done with it, put it in a cool, dark spot.

What to read next: Food Expiration Dates and Actual Shelf Life

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  • VegasPrepper

    Nice post! Thank you for keeping us informed. I have been wondering about the shelf life of honey and vinegar. With oil prices going through the roof food and everything else is getting much more expensive. We are putting away as much food as possible. Just last week we spent our entire tax refund on food storage. If your looking for long term food storage at reasonable prices check http://www.ShelfRelianceSanAntonio.com. We got the giant package for 4 people for a year. The food tastes great! Don’t wait another day!

  • Profoodaddict

    Awesome blog post on survival food! I’m going to reference your site and do some more research on it too. It has inspired me to find the best processed food goodies that will last “forever”.

  • Mike Hunt

    U guys r a bunch of geese.
    Do u really think that the worlds gonna go into chaos

  • alanz11

    It’s entirely possible. Much of this site is about preparing for natural disasters which happen every year. But if you understood the unsustainability of the U.S. economy and entitlement system, you’d be stocking up. too.

  • ihwg2002

    For some of the grain foods like rice and flour, you really need to store them properly and in a dry place.  White rice, for example, attracts many pests that eat them.  The most common ones are insects, but of course rats could be a problem too.  TBH it will be a challenge to keep your supplies completely pest free, especially if you have more than 3 months worth of supplies.  

  • Pohaire

    I also am starting a storage room of food and water as times are getting harder and prices are going wild and our world seems to be uncertain.

  • Mightey Whitey

    Ah…yes, at last the Voice of the Sheeple is heard.

  • Ginger Holm

    Well, Mike Hunt, if nothing happens we are no worse off for being prepared.
    If something does happen, you on-the-other-hand are in big trouble.


  • marc

    and you are a fool, I stocked up on food and when I lost my job I was able to feed the family with the very little money we had left. its not just for a disaster, its for when you might need it. but just go on with your life beliving that nothing will ever happen to you, and just wait for the government to take care of you……ignorant sheep

  • Charles Martel

    The zombie nigapocalypse broke out in Ferguson,& Baltimore.

  • Jon Holden

    11 “foods” that last forever?
    I see 3 FOODS and 8 ingredients.