Whether you’re sick of throwing out food that’s long past its expiry date, or whether you’re working on preparing a food stockpile in case of an emergency, consumables that practically never spoil can be a huge asset to your household. This article lists non-perishable food items that not only have long shelf lives, but if taken care of properly, these foods stand a chance of never going bad within your lifetime.
These ideal survival foods will of course need to be stored the right way in order to retain their practically never-ending shelf life. The absolute best place to keep a food stockpile is in a dark, cool, and dry spot, free of humidity, moisture, direct sunlight, and extreme temperatures. Keeping consumables in an air-tight container, or better yet, vacuum packed, is also very important to increasing shelf life.
Although many non-perishable survival foods may change flavour and/or texture over the years, they remain edible and perfectly safe for consumption over indefinite periods of time. Use your senses to judge whether or not food with long shelf life has expired. If it smells off, has become too soft, or has developed mold, it’s better not to eat the item.
1. Staple survival foods that are non-perishable
You’ll need to be really careful about keeping these completely dry and free from moisture, but if you can manage to store these in air-tight containers, they will keep for an incredibly long period of time.
- Rice: white, wild, jasmine, arborio and basmati (brown rice does not keep forever)
- Hardtack crackers/biscuits
- Dried cranberries
2. Other survival foods that are non-perishable
Although some of these food items will change texture, thickening or hardening over time, they will only change in terms of taste. These survival foods never spoil, and will still remain edible long after their flavour has changed.
3. Survival foods that if frozen are non-perishable
Though these non-perishable foods last a long time if they’re left out in the open, if they’re frozen, their shelf life extends to indefinite amounts of time.
- Dried pasta
- Dried fruits (such as rasins, dried cranberries, crasins, dried cherries, dried apricots, dried mangoes, dates, dried blueberries, dried plums, banana chips, figs)
- Instant/freeze-dried coffee
4. Base ingredients that are non-perishable
Apparently, these base ingredients can be the perfect survival food. According to some sources, if you simply keep them unused, in an air-tight container and completely free of humidity and moisture, and you’re likely to never have to buy them again.
- Corn starch
- Baking soda
- Corn syrup
5. Seasonings that are non-perishable
Seasonings are also excellent survival foods, as they’re food that lasts forever, and only get weaker in strength of taste over long periods of time. Like with the base ingredients, keep these in an air-tight container, free of moisture and humidity, and they’re likely to never expire.
- Dried herbs
- Pure flavour extracts (pure vanilla extract, etc.)
6. Condiments that are non-perishable
While these foods will likely change in taste after some time, they remain safe to eat indefinitely. The best way to keep these non-perishable foods is in an airtight container, free of moisture, and in a dark, cool spot, away from sunlight. This type of storage will keep your non-perishable food condiments tasting better for longer.
- Vinegar (white, apple, balsamic, raspberry, rice wine, and red wine vinegar)
- Worcestershire sauce (unopened)
7. Survival drinks that are non-perishable
Non-perishable drinks are another asset you can add to your survival food stockpile. Any alcohol over 10% that does not contain eggs, milk, and other dairy derivatives (ex. not Baileys, Tia Maria, etc.) should typically last forever in a stockpile. Alcohol also has disinfectant and medicinal properties, so keeping it stocked, especially when it never goes bad, is definitely a good idea for any prepper.
About Elise Xavier
Spyderco diehard and shutterbug. Into prepping and self-sufficiency.
Coauthor and photographer of survival blog More Than Just Surviving.