If you want to stock up on long-lasting foods before disaster strikes, check out the list below. These foods will keep you going throughout a lockdown without going stale.
Without any oxygen or moisture, dry pasta will last for up to 30 years in your pantry. But you need to be careful when shopping for dry pasta since the packaging determines the time that it’s going to last.
Pasta in normal packaging of dry paste will only last for about two years. But if the packaging comes with oxygen absorbers, it will last much longer in your stockpile.
Food from trusted companies
Many companies are involved in food production and processing, but not all of them observe health regulations and produce nutritious and quality foods and products. This means you should be meticulous when shopping for groceries, particularly when buying supplies for your survival stockpile.
When looking for long-lasting foods, make sure you only buy from trusted companies. In case of emergencies or pandemics, you can rest easy knowing that the food in your pantry is nutritious and high-quality.
Hard grains have a longer shelf life because their hard outer shell protects the germ of the seed. When stored properly at 70 F, hard grains can last from 12 to more than 25 years in your food storage.
Hard grains include:
To make hard grains last for as long as possible, buy grains whose packages are capable of absorbing oxygen. You can also buy hard grains in bulk so you can stock up before SHTF.
Hardtack is sometimes called the bread that “lasts a long time.” Hardtack was very common with soldiers during the civil war in America. While reports suggest that soldiers didn’t like hardtack that much, it kept them full even though there was a food shortage during the war.
Hardtack can keep you going even during various emergencies and natural calamities.
Below is a simple recipe for hardtack that uses only three ingredients.
Basic hardtack recipe
- 5 cups flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Get two cups of flour and slowly add water. Make a consistent dough that you can roll out and cut. If the dough is too watery, add more flour. You don’t have to knead the dough because you’re not making bread.
- On a floured table, roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin until it is about 1/4 inch thick. You can cut the dough however you want, but stick to a shape that will fit in your containers. Make larger pieces if you want to use the hardtack as a “plate” for other food. Make sure all the pieces are the same shape and size so they cook at the same time. Use a clean ruler to cut a straight edge, or use cookie cutters, a jar or a glass to cut various shapes.
- Preheat the oven to 250 F.
- Dock the biscuits or poke holes in the dough so it dries properly and doesn’t rise. Use a fork, chopsticks, or a knife to poke evenly spaced holes all the way through the dough. Cut 16 holes in a 3×3-inch square.
- Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and keep each piece evenly spaced. Cook the biscuits for two hours, then flip them over to cook for two more hours.
- Remove the biscuits from the baking sheet and place them on a cooling rack until they are at room temperature.
- Repeat the baking process – cooking for another two hours on one side and two hours on the other side at 250 F.
- Place the hardtack back on the cooling rack until it reaches room temperature.
Store hardtack in an airtight container or bag and keep the containers in a cool, dry place to make the hardtack last as long as possible.
Oatmeal is a prepper pantry staple because when purchased from a reputable long-lasting food store and stored at the right temperature, it can last for up to two years. If you want the oatmeal to last longer, make sure you use air-tight containers.
Do not use oatmeal that has a rancid smell or flavor because it has already gone bad. (Related: Food supply tips: 11 Must-have items for your pantry.)
As the name implies, soft grains have a soft outer shell that doesn’t protect the inner seed. Soft grains have a storage life of about eight years at 70 F.
If you can keep your food storage cooler, you might be able to extend the storage time.
Soft grains include:
Buy soft grains from companies selling long-lasting foods since their sealing and packaging processes are designed to keep the grains fresh for as long as possible.
Once you stock up on these six long-lasting foods, you also have to stock up on other food supplies that you can use with them, such as dried fruits, nuts or pasta sauce. Combining these supplies means you will have enough food to feed your family after SHTF.
Make sure you also stock up on non-food survival supplies that you might need to help you get through an emergency.
When looking for long-lasting foods to add to your pantry, always check the packaging since it determines the pantry-life of your supplies. Check the different storage conditions required for each food to make your supplies last as long as possible, and rotate your supplies so nothing goes to waste.