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The food that could last 2,000 years

Apocalypse foods

  • Unless a nuclear or chemical incident has contaminated the food, all foods that are not in the fresh aisle can be eaten with confidence. That is tinned or dried foods and even frozen foods. Vacuum packed would also be useful.
  • Slow-dried food could still harbor microbes. Spray-dried or freeze-dried foods, like instant coffee grounds and fine powders, will last longer.
  • Food designed for space travel could be right. Space food is dehydrated and vacuum-sealed.
  • General-purpose army rations are good for three years at 80F (27C).
  • Other food replacements to consider are Huel. Huel is a company that offers a complete diet in powder form, uses freeze-drying and milling to create powders with no moisture in them.

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The food that could last 2,000 years

The food that could last 2,000 years

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200330-which-foods-are-best-to-eat-after-the-apocalypse

bbc.com

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Key Ideas

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.

Why foods go bad

Most foods spoil because of the growth of microbes. Preserving food is an attempt to limit microbial growth. Food can be preserved by drying, salting, chilling, or storing in air-tight containers.

  • Drying is the most effective because microbial growth is inhibited.
  • Salting is effective because it removes moisture, creating an environment where microbes cannot survive.
  • Sugar coating can prevent bacterial cells from functioning correctly.
  • Storing in air-tight containers is less effective because there are probably a lot of microbes on the food before you put it in the container. Some microbes are anaerobic, meaning they don't need oxygen.

Food preservatives

Preservatives are used in foods to extend their shelf lives. One of McDonald's Big Mac in Iceland is an example of a long-lasting processed food. It has been on display since 2009, in a glass box. Preservatives that has been discontinued by McDonald's are:

  • calcium propionate that prevents mold growth on bread.
  • sorbic acid that also inhibits mold from cheese
  • sodium benzoate, which inhibits the growth of bacteria in the Big Mac special sauce.

Potential foods

  • Twinkies will last no longer than similar treats. One Twinkie has been kept in a time capsule for up to 44 years.
  • Honey is almost impossible to spoil because it is high in sugar and low in water. Some honey samples are 3,000 years old.
  • Very fat-rich foods like butter and cheese, tallow or oils can last for a long time. Bog butter, a highly fermented butter, is up to 4,000 years old.
  • The world's oldest champagnes, 200-year-old bottles of Clicquot, was perfectly palatable.
  • Ancient frozen flesh may look perfectly edible but quickly becomes putrid after defrosting.
  • Fish is even worse at surviving the freezing process. Meat tends to have all kinds of microorganisms, which makes it unsuitable for long periods of storage.

Apocalypse foods

  • Unless a nuclear or chemical incident has contaminated the food, all foods that are not in the fresh aisle can be eaten with confidence. That is tinned or dried foods and even frozen foods. Vacuum packed would also be useful.
  • Slow-dried food could still harbor microbes. Spray-dried or freeze-dried foods, like instant coffee grounds and fine powders, will last longer.
  • Food designed for space travel could be right. Space food is dehydrated and vacuum-sealed.
  • General-purpose army rations are good for three years at 80F (27C).
  • Other food replacements to consider are Huel. Huel is a company that offers a complete diet in powder form, uses freeze-drying and milling to create powders with no moisture in them.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Processed Food in History

The need for food preservation has historically led the Ancient humans to develop techniques to process food.

From learning to control fire to grinding grains, our ancestors have been able to...

Evolution: Shaping Up Humans

Processed food has aided the evolution of Homo Sapiens: As food became easy to eat and digest, our jaws and teeth became less powerful and smaller.

The shape of our brains and even the development of language resulted partially from our eating habits in our evolutionary path.

Changes in DNA
Processed food has changed our DNA and the way we look. 

The current crop of super processed foods is altering our insulin resistance, teeth, metabolism, brain chemistry, and internal organs.

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Stay Hydrated

Do:

  • Keep in mind that the usual recommendation is eight glasses per day of fluid.
  • Set regular reminders to ensure we are hydrating our bodies.
  • You ...
GO Foods

GO foods give us the energy to be active, work, and fight diseases.
From this category: rice, pasta, bread, and root crops. They release energy more slowly, fuelling you for longer and helping to maintain your weight.

GROW Foods

Grow foods help our body with physical growth and help the body rebuild after diseases and infections.
From this category: meat, fish, eggs, milk and other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. They are often required in small amounts but are essential to be consumed daily.

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Meat from labs

Meat might have finally met its match. Some meat is now being cultured and grown into slabs that mimic meat.

It currently goes by names such as in-vitro meat, cultured meat, lab-grown mea...

Labeling lab-grown meat
  • In 1869, margarine was invented as a butter replacement. The dairy farmers raised the alarm in the United States; They convinced the U.S. Government to tax margarine and lobbied against the use of yellow dyes to make the butter replacement look more buttery.
  • Dairy farmers objected to soymilk and almond milk being called milk, but the FDA hasn't done anything to stop brands from using the word.

Unlike margarine or soymilk, cultured meat is biochemically identical to the substance it's competing with.

Making the rules

The USDA (responsible for overseeing agriculture) and the FDA (regulating drugs and dietary supplements) both could have some say in how lab-grown meat is labeled.

  • From a production standpoint, cultured meat is more in line with the way drugs and additives are made in a lab.
  • From a final product, if lab-grown meat is going to end up next to the traditionally slaughtered meat, the USDA should take charge.

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'Clean eating' is the most widely followed diet
'Clean eating' is the most widely followed diet

Clean eating can best be described as a holistic approach to finding foods that are fresher, less processed, and a higher quality. The broader idea comes from the belief that your ...

Clean eating mindset

Clean eating is about choosing whole foods and ingredients, products that are minimally processed, and as additive-free as possible. It is not a punishing mindset, but a prioritising one:

  • Whole foods and ingredients first.
  • Minimally processed foods made with whole and familiar ingredients.
  • Where possible, avoid synthetic chemicals, pesticides, and preservatives, as well as artificial sweeteners, flavours, and colours.

The practice also promotes home-cooking and developing a culture of food that leads to meals that taste great and are better for you.

What clean eating is not
  • It's not a hard science. It is a conceptual framework to help navigate the vast food choices available.
  • Exclusive and judgmental. It's not an all-or-nothing approach, nor a tool by which to measure someone's value.
  • Versus "dirty." Clean eating can only be contrasted with "messy," where western diets are complicated and confusing.
  • Inflexible. It is an inclusionary approach that you can adapt, whether you are vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, or simply choose not to eat certain foods.
  • Only about avoiding processed foods or chemicals. It is about moving toward quality and making the healthiest choice.

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Ultra-Processed Foods

Ultra-processed foods like white bread, cereal, chips, and wafers are remarkably common, convenient, affordable, extremely profitable for the makers, come in strong flavors and are aggressively ma...

Our Everyday Foods

We consume ultra-processed foods every day without even realizing it.

  • The morning cereal and flavored yogurt.
  • The savory snacks and sweet baked goods.
  • The vegan hotdog and the chicken nuggets available on the street.
  • The doughnut or the premium protein bar we buy as a snack.
  • The carton-packed almond milk put in our coffee or the diet coke we have.
Apart from obesity, ultra-processed foods are responsible for depression, asthma, heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and even cancer.
More Light On Ultra-Processed Foods

Most cooked foods can be termed as 'processed foods', but ultra-processed foods are in a different domain, with few people having the clarity to differentiate.

A cooked carrot is processed food, but a bag of industrially-produced, carrot-flavored veggie puffs are ultra-processed and are still aimed at toddlers as a portion of natural food. Other examples include frozen peas or pasteurized milk.

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The Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet

The basic concept of the paleo diet is to eat whole foods and avoid processed foods.

Studies suggest that this diet can lead to significant weight loss and major improveme...

A general guideline

There is no one "right" way to eat for everyone.

Some eat a low-carb diet high in animal foods, while others follow a high-carb diet with lots of plants.

Avoid these foods and ingredients:

  • Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
  • All Grains.
  • Legumes like beans and lentils.
  • Most Dairy, especially low-fat dairy.
  • Some vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, cottonseed, corn, grapeseed, safflower and other oils.
  • Trans fats: "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils found in margarine and various processed foods.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame potassium. 
  • Highly processed foods: Everything labeled "diet" or "low-fat" or that has many additives.

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Vegan fast food

Vegan fast food alternatives may often be worse for your health than the meat equivalent. It is good that people start to think about plant-based foods, but the danger lies in thinking t...

Plant-based protein menus

Plant-based protein sources are not the same as animal protein sources. Proteins are made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of every cell and hormone in our body. Meat protein contains all nine essential amino acids, whereas plant-based protein usually lacks at least one of the nine essential amino acids our body needs.

Unripe jackfruit makes a convincing choice for pulled pork alternatives, curries and burgers. But it is almost valueless if you needed protein since jackfruit consists of carbohydrates. Vegan burgers are made up of beans, but this is not a complete protein source.

Iron content

One study found that 25% of vegans (mainly women) had very low blood iron levels, compared to 0% of omnivores.

Plants like whole grains, legumes and spinach are high in iron but is not always the best type. Animal sources contain haem iron. Non-haem iron, found in plants, is not as well absorbed by the body.

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Best foods don’t have labels
Best foods don’t have labels

Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or without dairy; with or without eggs; with or without some meat; high or low in total fat.

The "Age" of vegetables
The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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The Expiration Date
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 ex...

Vinegar, Honey And Oats
  • 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.
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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Fresh food nutrients
Fresh food nutrients

Food is most nutritious at the point of harvest. After that, fresh produce starts degrading.

Once picked, that fruit or veg is using its own nutrients to keep its cells alive. Vitamin C fou...

Refrigerating produce

Refrigeration slows down the process of nutrition degradation. The nutritional loss varies from product to product.

Spinach loses 100% of its vitamin C content in seven days at room temperature and 75% if refrigerated. Carrots lose 27% of their vitamin C content when stored at room temperature for a week.

However, when vegetables are frozen, including spinach, they lose significantly less vitamin C, because freezing pauses the process of oxidization.

Frozen foods nutrients

As soon as produce is harvested, it's a nutritional race against time.

Frozen produce has one problem: before it's frozen, it's blanched - heating food up for a few minutes at high temperatures to inactivate enzymes that degrade texture and color. Blanching also reduces nutrient content.

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