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Old 10-26-2007, 04:27 PM
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Cryptophylaxis Cryptophylaxis is offline
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Default High shelf life food items



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I wanted to know what sort of things everyone has as far as long term food storage. I know MRE's are the kings of this area but other than that what sort of things are you stocking. Canned goods? Dehydrated foods? Myself I primarily stock canned goods and I do dehydrate some fruits and veggies for light weight camping/cycling trips. Some of my prefered items are canned roast beef hash (tasty and hight calories) and kraft easy cheese (its the cheese that comes out of a can like caulk and doesn't need refrigeration). I'm hoping to make a list of items with the highest shelf life to stock like sugar and such.
Old 10-26-2007, 04:37 PM
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Mountian House Freeze-dried foods beat MRE's all hollow when it comes to long term storage. Moutain House advertizes 30 year shelf life of their #10 canned items. MRE's are, at best, ten years, more like five if not kept in climate controlled storage.

Most of my preps are one-year-plus shelf stable regular pantry foods. I add a few other things as the budget permits, with plans to get freeze-dried/dehydrated dairy items for long term storage.
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Old 10-26-2007, 08:01 PM
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I am a very big fan of dried beans and rice. Together they are a complete protein, are cheap, and very easy to store. In addition, I like to throw in gallon containers of olive oil as oils are very high in calories and fats / oils are often in short supply when TSHTF for the long term.

BTW olive oil is also a good oil, as compared with vegetable shortening and the like.

Add to that things like oatmeal, dried milk, salt, chocolate, dried fruits and raisens,
Old 10-27-2007, 03:09 AM
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Mountain house is expensive, and misleading, as can be seen by looking at their website, their pouch food is rated for anywhere between 5-7 years, and in my opinion is worthless, other than the easy use factor. Buy new style MRE meals from a government contractor, for pouch food. In my opinion their canned goods would be more than good enough but the worst thing is price, and availability. Go to the grocery store and buy your canned goods, rotate them so you use them every few years, and you will always be assured of having useable food, nothing will suck more than keeping food for 10 years and opening it and it has gone bad, let alone 30 years. Rotate your stock of products at least once every year, and spread you product expiration dates out (in years) so that even if some has been allowed to spoil, it is not all spoiled at once.

I stock all my goods in the basement here, on shelves made of 2x4 and plywood, there are two units 8ft tall X 16ft wide x 30in deep. heavy on the bottom, lighter foods on the top.

I stock, bottled water in 10gal, 5gal, 1gal, etc. total about 2,000 gallons (3 locations)
I stock enough canned goods for 6 solid months in all locations (3 locations)
I stock enough MRE meals for about 1 month in only 1 location
I stock enough long life dry products (just check the date) for about 2 years at two locations
I stock all supplies etc. for "at least" 1 year, most are growing much more lately. Hope that helps a little, I know its long and scattered but I have a terrible cold, and the flu........ any more Q's let me know, and yes before anyone asks, I am taking the pictures when I go out there, so you will see when I come back, no I am not going this weekend.
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:49 AM
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Very helpful! I too go with the canned goods from the market for the same rotation/price reasons. When I have more free time/money I will check into the self canning route amongst other methods. The beans and rice are great too, hadn't really considered the olive oil (bit pricey) but will give it a second look. Thanks to all.
Old 10-27-2007, 10:56 AM
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Take a look at these links for more information on shelf life.

Here are some Online sources to aid in determinding when commercially produced canned foods were produced, the sell by dates, best used by dates, etc. Below these online sources I will list some sites which offer food storage specific information.

Please look at and read this Online information source first as it reveals the limitations on can food labeling, date information, FDA regulations, types of date information, and general facts about the shelf life of commercial canned foods [ http://www.amarogue.com/foodexpiration.html ]

Plesase note the following four very important quotes:

a) "Canned food has a shelf life of at least two years from the date of processing. Canned food retains its safety and nutritional value well beyond two years, but it may have some variation in quality, such as a change of color and texture."

b) "Each canned food manufacturer has a unique coding system. Some manufacturers list day, month and year of production, while other companies reference only the year. These codes are usually imprinted on the top or bottom of the can. Other numbers may appear and reference the specific plant manufacturing or product information and are not useful to consumers. Below is a sampling of how some manufacturers code their products so consumers know when the product was packaged. If you have specific questions about a company's product, contact a customer service representative at the phone number listed"

c) "There are several types of dates
"Sell-by" date - tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.
"Best if Used By (or Before)" - recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
"Use-By" - the last date recommended for the use of product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
"Closed or Coded Dates" - packing numbers for use by the manufacturer in tracking their products. This enables manufacturers to rotate their stock as well as locate their products in the event of a recall."

d) "Expired Dates
"As long as a product is wholesome, a retailer may legally sell fresh or processed meat and poultry products beyond the expiration date on the package"


I will begin with those sources which offer information on a variety of brand names then proceed to the brand specific sources.

1) From Walton Foods: http://waltonfeed.com/self/lid.html

2) This source offers information on a list of name brands.

http://www.amarogue.com/foodcode.html

3) Here are the contact phone numbers for many of the Con Agra food brands as well as other information on food dates of their brands.

http://www.conagrafoods.com/utilities/includes/faq.jsp

4) http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf

5) http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf



Here are some sites which offer food storage and storage life information.

1) http://waltonfeed.com/grain/faqs/index.html


2) http://waltonfeed.com/grain/life.html

3) http://www.survival-center.com/foodfaq/index.htm

4)http://www.homefoodsafety.org/index.jsp

5) http://millennium-ark.net/News_Files/Hollys.html : This site needs to be read in detail by examining the subtopics such as those listed under the heading of "Shelf Lives of Food". Read this site in its entirety, you will gain an encyclopedia of information on the subjects of food storage and shelf life.

6) http://www.a1usa.net/gary/expire.html

Here is a website with Closing Date Codes used by various manufacturers.

http://www.monkey-wrenching.com/public_html/pkgcode.htm


This offering is NOT Comprehensive. One should contact a food brand directly for any questions and more detailed information.

Try this link as well.

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/CONSUMER/CON00043.html
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