Stockpiling food for the long term is a crucial step in survival preparation or a food supplies shortage. But figuring out what to store and how long these items last can take much research.
Fret not! We’re here to make the process a whole lot easier for you.
In this guide, we list foods that last for 25 years or more. We also outline tips and tricks to store these food items to maximize their shelf life.
Let’s get to it!
1. Powdered Milk
Powdered milk is an excellent substitute for fresh milk and has about the same nutritional quality. It is a suitable, long-lasting protein source, and you can use it in plenty of recipes.
Collect powdered milk packets and put them in foil pouches along with some oxygen absorbers. This will retain their product quality and help them last 25 years or more.
You can also switch the pouches for nitrogen-packed cans to extend the shelf life by a couple of decades!
2. Dried Beans
Dried beans are rich sources of protein and micronutrients, and they keep their nutritional quality for up to two years. While they do lose their nutrient value after this point, they are safe to eat even after decades.
Store your beans completely dry inside tightly-sealed storage containers in a cool, dark location. Put different varieties in separate containers to minimize the risk of contamination and to include it in your collection of foods that last for 25 years.
Note that dry beans will require longer pre-soaking and cooking times to become tender enough to consume.
3. White Rice
White rice is one of the most utilitarian foods that lasts for 25 years or more. In fact, it has an indefinite shelf life when stored in oxygen-free containers. It is also a food item that pairs with pretty much any ingredient you can think of. You can also eat it on its own as a last resort.
Remember that this long shelf-life only applies to white rice. Brown rice does not last nearly as long.
If you find that your white rice has weevils in it, you must discard the whole lot.
While sugar doesn’t go bad in the long run, it attracts pests and loses its structure, taste, and other features.
Fortunately, avoiding these problems is easy. Find an airtight, moisture-proof, odor-proof, opaque food-grade container. Sugar storage changes slightly based on what type you’re storing, but most do not require oxygen absorbers to become foods that last for 25 years.
Sugar can make 50% of other food items edible, which is why a healthy stash is crucial during supply shortages.
A common breakfast staple, oats are one of the healthiest gluten-free grains on earth. Whether you’re buying the steel-cut type or oat flour variant, you can store oats for the long term.
Food-borne insects, moisture, oxidation—there are plenty of elements that work against oats. But freezing them and storing them in an airtight container will help them last 25 years or more.
Throwing in oxygen absorbers and putting them in a mylar bag also works.
6. Dark Chocolate
Its high-cacao content and little to no milk make dark chocolate a suitable candidate for long-term food storage. It does not contain any moisture, so there’s a reduced risk of contamination.
There’s little need to convince you to add dark chocolate to your list of foods that last for 25 years or more. But you must know the right way to do it or risk losing a good chocolate bar.
Put your dark chocolate inside an airtight container. Place in a dry location and maintain a consistent temperature between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remember that while the chocolate will remain edible and nutritious for many years, the taste and appearance may change drastically.
While salt isn’t a food item, it is one of the best ingredients to have in your emergency kit. You can use it in all of your meals, and it helps bring some flavor even in the midst of an emergency or survival food storage. It’s an important resource for your pantry of foods that last for 25 years.
Many varieties of salt are available today, but its simplest forms are the best ones to stock for long-term storage. You can also go for Himalayan, pickling, canning, or kosher salt that last for decades without going bad.
Do not bother with iodized salt because it doesn’t last more than five years.
The best way to store salt is to lock it in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. It will surely last 25 years or more.
8. Maple Syrup
When stored in a glass jar in the freezer, real maple syrup can last five decades. This is due to its high sugar content, which slows down spoilage significantly.
It’s a fantastic ingredient to have on hand for long-term survival—it is incredibly versatile, and a little goes a long way. It also has a low glycemic index, so it is safe for long-term, consistent consumption, making it one of the most fantastic foods that last for 25 years.
For maple syrup to last longer and retain its best qualities, store it unopened in the freezer. After opening the container, use the syrup within the year.
One of the top foods that last for 25 years, wheat is high in protein, fiber, and essential minerals. When stored correctly, its shelf life may even extend to 30 years.
Wheat is one of the best food items to have in your pantry due to its versatile applications. You just need an airtight storage container that protects it from moisture and air. The ideal temperature for storing the container is between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure the wheat doesn’t have insect eggs. You can use an oxygen absorber packet to prevent infestation.
10. Instant Coffee
While the survival lifestyle might mean giving up on many modern amenities, you don’t need to leave behind your daily cup of joe.
Instant coffee is one of the foods that last for 25 years or more with barely any work. You simply have to leave the coffee unopened in its original container and put it in the freezer.
You can also prolong its shelf life by putting all your instant coffee into a mylar bag with oxygen absorbers. For coffee that’s opened, you can expect a shelf life of five to 10 years.
There’s nothing like the smell of freshly-popped popcorn on a favorite evening. And with the host of benefits it provides, popcorn is one of the best snacks to keep around.
Cooking popcorn is easy and quick—all you need is a pot with a lid.
The best way to store kernels is in their unopened form in a #10 can in a cool, dry place. This will help them become foods that last for 25 years. When opened, it will do fine if stored in an airtight container in a cool room.
You can also put popcorn kernels in the freezer to make them last even longer, but you must seal them first. Otherwise, the kernels will get dehydrated and will not pop.
12. Dehydrated Fruits And Vegetables
Squeezing the moisture content out of food items prevents contamination and is one of the best ways to store fruits and vegetables for long-term storage.
Simply dehydrate them in an oven or dehydrator and put them in an airtight container with oxygen absorbers. This ensures foods that last for 25 years.
When dehydrating, make sure the pieces are of the same size. Dehydrate vegetables and fruits separately.
13. Potato Flakes
Potato flakes are a versatile comfort food to have in your food pantry. It is tremendously useful in dishes like mashed potatoes, gravies, soups, and fried delicacies.
But the best thing about potato flakes is their shelf life. Potato flakes can last for more than 25 years in a #10 can in a cool storage space and a dry location. Once the container is opened, you can use the remaining potato flakes within the year.
This sweet artwork of bees is a delicious food pantry item to have when disaster strikes. Honey is one of the most versatile foods that last for 25 years when stored correctly.
While commercially available honey is fine, the undiluted 100% pure kind is best.
Honey does get contaminated and can smell off, which is an indication that it is not fit for consumption. If your honey crystallizes, just put it in a bath of warm water to melt it.
15. Dried Pasta
Due to its lack of moisture content, dried pasta made with semolina flour and water has very few vulnerabilities and is thus one of the favorite foods that last for 25 years or more. Just store the pasta in an airtight container with oxygen absorbers and place it in a cool and dry location.
Wrapping Up 15 Foods That Last for 25 Years or More
This concludes the list of foods that last for 25 years. We hope this guide will help you fill your food pantry to maximize your options during food shortages. For more information on long-term survival food and its storage, check out our food page.