It is important to consider long term food storage shelf life when selecting items to store. The shelf life of foods is a huge concern to anyone who is serious about long term food storage.
Food Storage Chart - This chart includes a long list of foods and their shelf life that you may store in your pantry, refrigerator or freezer.
Food Shelf Life - This page gives you the shelf life of food items that you might store for up to three months in your pantry or cupboards. Long Term Food Shelf Life - This page contains a chart for the shelf life of long term foods, such as beans, wheat, flour, honey, oats - and many more, as well as how to store them.
The "use by" date on food at the grocery store is only a date for the store (required by law). If you look at the chart on my Long Term Food Storage page, you will notice that it says in the title of the right-hand column, "Life Sustaining Shelf Life Estimates".
The shelf life of an unopened box of cereal from the store is about 1 year (2-3 months if opened). Also, about the FoodSaver bags: If they are vacuum sealed, you won't need oxygen absorbers. I store my brownie mix in canning jars, vacuum packed with a FoodSaver using the attachment for jars. Effective immediately, the official shelf life of Mountain House pouches has been increased by over 40%, from 7 years to 10 years! We are confident that Mountain House provides consumers with the longest proven shelf life in the industry, as well as the longest proven storage time: our food remains not just barely edible, but delicious! Although the food had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they had been when canned more than 100 years earlier.
It varies depending on the specific food product and storage conditions (cool 40 F- 60 F and dark is best). Learn more about incorporating meat into your food storage and decide how much and what types you would want to store.
Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group! Make sure you have 2-3 recipes that use each legume in your food storage and store all the necessary ingredients to make them.
In case you haven’t been following along, this year Jodi and I have decided to do a complete Food Storage Do-Over and go step-by-step re-evaluating our entire food storage plan.

I increased the amount of powdered eggs I store because I know I use them a lot in pancakes in daily life, let alone an emergency, and it’s simply not enough. In BabyStep 4: Long Term Supply Planning we discuss the process of coming up with a plan for your long term storage.
Read our What Can You Do With YOUR Food Storage article for ideas of the kinds of foods you can make with traditional food storage (wheat, beans, rice, etc.). This type of food storage includes a bulk of grains and legumes and other life-sustaining foods but can also be supplemented with fruits and vegetables, meats, etc. HELPFUL PRODUCT: Our Food Storage Made Easy eBook Set can help immensely with the traditional food storage approach.
This type of food storage is similar to above, except you use a simple meal plan using simple foods with a long shelf life and calculate out exactly how much to store based on your recipes. Some people choose to just store extra of their regular foods rather than learn how to cook with traditional food storage.
HELPFUL PRODUCT: Our Meals-in-a-Jar eCookbook can give you some ideas of great shelf stable, kid-friendly, regular meals that could be incorporated into your plans.
If you are Use method 1 or 2, our food storage calculator will help you to determine how much of the basic foods you need to store depending on your families needs and goals for long term food storage.
To determine how much food you need for Method 4, we recommend you come up with a calorie goal per person per day and use that to determine how much to store. If you have food allergies in your family, you will need to modify your food storage plan to reflect your own needs. For those interested in a more healthy food storage you may want to make adjustments to a traditional food storage plan as well.
There are lots of sources to go for great information and recipes on using your long term food storage.
FOOD STORAGE MADE EASY EBOOK BUNDLEOur three-part ebook program teaches you how to build a food storage with checklists, an encyclopedia, and a recipe appendix.
CAN’T FAIL FOOD STORAGE PROGRAMJust follow this simple four-step plan and you’ll have a full year’s supply of food with enough variety to keep your family happy.
The picture below shows you how much food you’ll get to eat everyday if you follow this guideline.
Because we are storing so many types of food products, questions always come up about how long it will last on the shelf, if opened, if bought at the grocery store, or how to best package it.
Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods that have been packed by a reputable company in #10 cans have been tested and tested.

A study was done at Brigham Young University on shelf life of foods and they found that many foods will last years longer than previously thought by everyone (some as long as 50 years). That means that after the time listed, there is no guarantee the food will be nutritious; therefore, no longer life sustaining.
I would think putting it in Mylar bags with O2 absorbers would extend the shelf life into years. But you must use the FoodSaver specific attachment as shown HERE; OR put in an oxygen absorber and tighten the lid. Brigham Young University published some research recently where they tested freeze dried and dehydrated food that was over 30 years old. All canned food products "should" be used within about two years - at least that's the suggested shelf life. We also briefly touch on meats as an alternative to getting more protein into your food storage. Whether you plan to purchase just-add water meals, get traditional long term food storage, or a combination it’s important to have a plan. There are no hard and fast rules about shelf life and there are many variables to consider. Today I’m going to share with you how I determined what I still need to buy in my basic long term food storage.
Army where canned foods that were 100 years old were still edible (these were factory canned - not home canned foods). If anything this do-over week has taught me investing the time into learning about food storage foods and getting comfortable using them has been well worth it. The food had lost some of the nutrients (like vitamin A & C) but still had sufficient protein and calcium. My goal is to store a year supply of these foods and supplement with fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses.

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