length of storage

Grains that have less than 10% moisture and are low in oil are best suited for longer-term storage. If your storage conditions are ideal (here is a link to a past post on ideal storage conditions), then some products can be stored for 30 years or more. This can give you a lot of time to rotate and replace your storage.

It's good to be educated about which grains store well and which don't so that your long-term storage doesn't spoil in just a few years. The following foods are NOT recommended for longer-term storage because of their moisture or oil content:

NOT Recommended:
(Source: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Provident Living)
Pearled Barley
Whole Wheat Flour
Milled Grains (other than rolled oats)
Brown Rice
(Some additional dry products that are NOT recommended for longer-term storage are brown sugar, nuts, dried eggs, and dried veggies and fruits)

Provident Living (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) has published this new list of longer-term storage products and their expected "life sustaining" shelf lives:

Recommended (Life Sustaining Shelf Life Estimate):
Wheat - 30+ years
White Rice - 30+
Corn - 30+
Rolled Oats - 30
Pasta - 30
(Some other dry products that store well long term are sugar - 30+, pinto beans - 30, potato flakes - 30, apple slices - 30, powdered milk - 20, and dehydrated carrots - 20. "Salt, baking soda and vitamin C" tablets also store well.)

This is a great article which discusses the research into shelf-life in depth:
Home food storage lasts 30 years or more.


The Prudent Homemaker said...

I posted on your allergy post about pearled barley before I read this thread. We have not had any problems with our pearled barley going rancid, even after 2 years of being open.

Kept cool, nuts and brown sugar do fine. I keep a terra-cotta disk in with my opened brown suagr and it stays moist and fine. You can also store molasses and white sugar to make your own brown sugar. I have had less problems with C&H Brown sugar from Sam's Club than with store-brand sugar (the terra cotta disk will make hard sugar soft, by the way). Sealed in the bag, the C&H sugar stays soft for us for 4-6 months. It is very dry here and I keep all of my food between 55-65 degrees.

You can keep nuts in your freezer; my experience has been that pine nuts go rancid really quickly (so I keep these in the freezer). Walnuts easily last 9 months and pecans have lasted more than a year. Keeping them cool really extends their shelf life.

My powdered eggs have been fine, and I have had them for over two years. Most companies say to expect a shelf-life of 2-3 years on powdered eggs.

Our granola went rancid really quickly. A better solution is to make your own granola in small batches from your food storage.

So, while these things may not last 30 years, many can last for more than a year and are worth having in your one year's food supply. Having been living on our food storage the last couple of years, I have learned that variety in your storage is extremely important in keeping your family happily fed.

Wendy said...

Good comments. I also include many short-term storage items like brown sugar, basmati rice, and flour as part of my storage. I know that these foods will not last 30 years, but instead think of them as more a part of my three-month supply (even though I might have more than that). I try to store just enough that I can rotate completely through before these items go bad. Of course, that length of time varies by product.

Thanks again for your comments.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

The church recommendations for white flour say it lasts about 1 year. Mine has lasted about 2 years. I have had some go rancid, but most has been fine.

We also keep basmati rice.

Corn meal is recommended on the list of items from the church. Corn meal has gone rancid very quickly.

I have a small amount of corn meal, and my popcorn can be ground if need be. Though we have been living on our food storage and graden for the last 2+ years, I have never ground corn, as my family is not real fond of cornbread or hushpuppies.

You can see what we've had in our pantry here: http://theprudenthomemaker.com/awellstockedpantry.aspx

Wendy said...

My experience with white flour is also about 1 year. I haven't found a good indication of the shelf-life of my basmatic rice yet. I have some that has been stored for almost a year.

I thought it was interesting that the new LDS church recommendations for longer-term storage included corn, but not cornmeal. Your experience is probably why that has been changed.

We also don't use cornmeal very much. We primarily use cornmeal for a pizza-crust coating. So, we store a little bit of dried corn (popcorn will work) and plan to grind it.

Thanks again for your comments! It's good to talk about these topics in real-life family situations.

Wendy said...

Fantastic pantry! Thanks for sharing that link.