Now that we all have as much chance of tucking into a unicorn T-bone as finding more than six fresh eggs in the supermarket, some major changes have had to be made to our shopping lists. Things that, though delicious, can't last more than two days crammed into a cupboard are off-limits. The age of perishables is over. The time of the can has come.
When prepping for a long stint away from the farmers market, it's natural to go-ahead and grab anything and everything that's been sealed in metal. Admittedly, there is a certain logic to this. However, beyond the realm of SPAM and baked beans, there are dozens of other ingredients that, if stored correctly, can be key components of any post-apocalyptic survival bunker. To help you make the most of your storage space, here are 10 foods with the ultimate shelf life.
Why anyone ever puts an expiration date on a pot of honey is something of a mystery. Because it is made almost entirely of sugar, it is very difficult for bacteria to corrupt the honey itself, giving it an almost impossibly long shelf life. In fact, some archaeologists have unearthed edible vats of honey believed to be around 5,000 years old.
Though the risks of reheating cooked rice have been well documented, there’s little doubt that the small white grains are an essential in any apocalypse bunker. According to the USDA and FDA, properly stored uncooked rice can last as long as 30 years in a sealed container.
While canned beans are also incredibly resistant to decay, it’s uncooked dried beans that you really want if you plan on rebuilding society. According to researchers at Utah State University, beans that have been stored correctly for more than 30 years are still almost always edible.
As a natural preservative, it makes sense that alcohol can last a long time. That there are bottles of wine more than a century old that people are still willing to pay thousands of pounds for tells you that booze is a must have in any bunker. Even if you're forbidden from opening your front door, you can at least get plastered.
5. Energy Bars
Almost all preppers and extreme sports enthusiasts agree that energy bars are the ultimate way to get a long-lasting, long-life boost in any situation. With most brands sporting a sell-by date around three years in the future, any energy bar is an essential ingredient in the post-apocalypse pantry.
One of the biggest challenges of any unconventional diet is protein. This is where foods such as beef jerky come in handy. Dried meats may not be as long-lasting as some ingredients on this list, but with shelf lives typically around the two-year mark, they are still a must-have.
7. Peanut Butter
Thanks to its high oil content, a properly sealed jar of peanut butter can last an extraordinarily long time. Typically, most jars will last anywhere between three and five years, though their lifespan can be dramatically reduced if improperly stored.
Obviously, squash is not going to stand up against the long-life heavy-hitters like honey and dried beans. But, compared to other fresh fruit and vegetables, the almighty gourd is like Elrond from The Lord of the Rings. If stored correctly, squash can last for up to four months, making it a great way to get some veg in your diet several weeks after your last trip to the shops.
Anyone who has watched their noble intentions slowly rot in a neglected fruit bowl knows that incorrectly stacked apples aren't going to win any immortality awards any time soon. That being said, there is a way to keep the fruit fresh for as long as six months. Simply store them in a cool, humid environment like a cellar, and you'll be amazed at just how long they last.
The source of countless supermarket stampedes, dried pasta is an understandable go-to for anyone anticipating protracted periods trapped in their kitchen. In fact, dried pasta is so resilient that some sources claim it can last for one or two years beyond the best before date provided on the packaging. This makes it a must pick for any lockdown larder.
Before we all spent far too much time perusing the dregs of Netflix, it was easy to take ready access to fresh produce for granted. If nothing else, our present situation has highlighted just how important mindful food consumption can be. At least with this collection of long-life foods, you know that you won't be going hungry any time soon.