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Live Secret, Live Happy
17,773 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After moving all my old LTS food items out of storage, now I am going to consentrate on testing it. As most members know, dry grains like wheat and corn store for decates with significant degregation. Plus my wife and I had been grinding wheat and baking sour dough bread. Same thing is true of rice.

But I have a large amount of stuff that might age, and either loose flavor and texture, and perhaps loose vitamins. I have a couple hundred pounds of rolled oats, cracked grain cereal, and pasta in #10 metal cans. A similar amount of dried beans, and FD veggies.

Then there is the stuff I am really worried about. Dried milk, eggs, and cheese in #10 metal cans. So today I opened a can of dried non fat milk that I purchased before Y2K. This milk has been stored in unheated garage conditions, and it is at least 24 yrs old. The powder smells good, makes very tasty milk, and I poured some in my coffee, and on my breakfast cereal.

I do not know if this milk still has the normal amount of vitamins, or enough calcium for young kids. But I am 62 yrs old and it tastes just fine to me.

Geezer In Training
1,978 Posts
This reminds me of my dear mother... I'll tell you a little story about her experiences in "testing" old foods...
Dear old mom passed away in 2015 at the ripe old age of 86... but just a few years before that she came to Sunday lunch at my house , as she did quite often...
Over lunch, she started a conversation around the table about a phone call she had made that week to the people who make V8 juice...
She had called them to ask them why her V8 had a "funny taste", she said it tasted "like a tin can"...
The person on the other end of the line proceeded to apologize and wanted to help her and make things right...
He asked her if she still had the can and could give him the long number printed on the bottom...
She gave him the number and he cross referenced the data, and he said " Are you sure that's the number?", and she confirmed it...
He told her, "Ma'am, that number shows this V8 expired in 1998..."
She said, "Well, yes, that's probably right. That's about the time we bought it..."
He said, "Oh my goodness! Ma'am, did you drink that?", and she said that she had indeed drank it...
He told her that she really shouldn't be drinking these expired juices because they were WAY past expired and had gone bad.
My mother told him, "Oh No, they're fine. I know they are OK cause they aren't leaking and the cans aren't "pooched out"!"
He said, "Cans? Do you have another can of this?"
She told him she had 2 cases of them under her bed LOL
He got all frantic and told her she needed to throw those cans out cause they were no good any more and they definitely didn't recommend anyone consuming the contents...
She told him, "No, they're fine, I just wanted you to know that this particular batch tasted funny, kinda tasted like a tin can"...

I told my mom she really didn't need to be drinking any more of these as they were obviously eating away at the aluminum can and they probably weren't edible any more, but she insisted that they were fine... But, on a positive not, they didn't kill her or make her sick enough to wish she were dead LOL

I know somewhere in the V8 offices, there is a bulletin board with a copy of my mom's conversation with the customer service guy...
It may even be printed in a training manual for V8 customer service people...

1,151 Posts
I had canned ravioli that was 5 years past it's best use date. The only real difference between that can and a new one was the old can had darker sauce and pasta than the new can. Plus it had a slight metallic taste. I didn't die.

670 Posts
Hopefully folks can suggest ways to test food items beyound simply smelling and tasting.
Unfortunately for the majority of us there no alternatives to judge the quality of our food in LTS other than the the senses we where born with, sight, smell, taste, and worst case the symptoms of food poisoning. To add to that those senses are subjective to individual. So what is acceptable for one person is just nasty to another.

Also the ability to detect if something has gone “off” varies by individual. Rancidity is an good example, some people can smell & taste it others can’t.

Those senses also limited value in judging the QUALITY of processed / preserved foods. Our senses can tell us if fresh meat is rotten but is useless in judging if the vitamins and micro nutrients in our 20+ year old powered milk is still viable.

I wish I had a better answer, but…………I don’t.

The most practical solution is to rotate thru our stores and avoid pushing the realistic shelf life. I know, easier said than done, especially when considering all the added effort & expense to put up LTS food. As an example, I have several cases of canned butter going on 10 - 12 years old. I should rotate thru it, but the replacement price for canned butter has gone thru the roof. So I continue to use fresh butter day to day and reserve the canned for when times get tougher.
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