Canned Food And Soda

Food packed in aluminum cans, if not punctured or spoiled externally, can be edible after their expiration dates in case of fruits, veggies, or meats, though you have to be cautious and check for moldiness, bad odors or cloudiness. Food packed in metal lasts longer than what is packed in a glass jar, while plastic-packed food spoils the fastest.

Soda cans stay fizzy for years, glass ones for a year, while plastic soda bottles lose their fizz in a few months.

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The Food Expiration Dates You Should Actually Follow

nytimes.com

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Baby Food

Baby food, due to its sensitivity, carries a federally mandated use-by date. You may not feed it to babies after the expiration date, but you still can eat it yourself for some nutritional benefit, if needed.

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  • Vinegar, honey, vanilla and many other extracts, along with sugar, salt, corn syrup and molasses will last years after they are showing expired on the package.
  • Oats: Rolled and steel-cut oats will last for a year, while par-cooked (instant) ones can last even more than that.

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The Expiration Date

The Lockdown has forced us to keep our Supermarket trips to a minimum, and finally check what’s been lying in our fridge/pantry for months, or even years.

Most of the stuff we have would expire soon, we would assume. But the truth is a bit more complicated. Expiration dates aren’t set in stone and are in fact the manufacturer’s calculated ‘guess’ as to when its product will not be of optimal quality. The good news is some of the expired stuff you may have with you is still edible.

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Flour And Nuts
  • White Flour lasts quite long but whole-wheat and whole-grain flour start going bad after a few months. Anything refined and ‘white’ lasts longer than anything unpolished and brown. This is due to the presence of fats in anything which is unrefined.
  • Tree nuts can go bad in a few months if not stored in a freezer.

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Beans And Spices
  • Dried beans and lentils can last for years but can be tough to cook if they are kept too long, especially with acidic ingredients like molasses or tomatoes.
  • Spices don’t go stale, and at most lose some of their flavor and potency while still being edible.

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Processed bread (with preservatives and oils) stays soft and fresh for a week, but real bread made in a real bakery will be stale in one or two days. It’s a good idea to keep your bread in the freezer.

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Oils And Ketchup
  • Oils remain usable for years, but one has to check for fishy, soapy or metallic smells. Touching a spoiled oil feels tacky, too.
  • Salad dressings last for months in a fridge, while mayonnaise and mustards can last even longer.
  • Ketchup can change color but still be usable for about a year. Pickles kept in their oil preservation last long even without refrigeration, while soy sauce is also usable for a good period of time.

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  • Eggs can last up to 30 days more than the 30 days stamp on most of the cartons, and give off a distinctive rotten smell to warn you in case they turn bad.
  • Milk is trickier, but the ‘UHT’ labeled one lasts longer.

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“Pantry” is an antique word with an eternal logic: Cooking is simpler and faster when you already have the ingredients.

Our definition of pantry encompasses refrigerator, freezer and cupboard, so you can make entire meals with “pantry” items.

It is ok not to have everything- there are three levels of pantries- essential, expanded and expert. No two people will agree on a list of staples — but there are fundamentals ingredients to keep on hand that last.

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How to Stock a Modern Pantry

nytimes.com

Food stockpiling for emergency use

Disasters often strike without warning or with little warning. Stocking up the right non-perishable food items can help you weather the storm.

Fuelling your body during an emergency is different from your everyday diet. Your body will use more energy, so you should eat high-energy, high protein foods. In addition, nutritious foods will help to maintain good health.

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Best Non-Perishable Foods to Stockpile for an Emergency

realsimple.com

Understanding how long food lasts

Should humanity face a nuclear apocalypse of worldwide war, we need to understand which foods might be safe for survivors to eat, and how long the foods will last.

To understand this, we need to ask what makes food spoil.

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The food that could last 2,000 years

bbc.com