cooking oil - additional items for longer-term storage

It's interesting that during World War II, one of the most desired, but difficult to find cooking items was cooking oil.1 It makes sense when you realize that many foods need a little bit of fat in them. There are times that you can substitute beans or applesauce, but this doesn't always work well. Other oil substitutions include different varieties of cooking oil, shortening, mayonnaise, peanut butter, miracle whip, and high oil/fat content salad dressings (oil based vinaigrette, ranch etc.).

All of these oil-based products have very short shelf lives – anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. When they get too old, they are usually inedible. Because of this you HAVE to rotate these products regularly. One way that you can keep these products regularly rotated is to donate any items that are close to date expiration (but not over) to a local food kitchen. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is supposed to store longer than other oils, but is also the most expensive. By storing and using a variety of oil products (see above), you are more likely to be able to rotate within appropriate time frames.

The thing that I've noticed about using older oil from my storage is that it tastes/smells just fine when I first open the container. But if the oil is very old, it becomes rancid very quickly. Because of this, I like to store my oil in very small containers. It makes it more likely that I'll be able to completely use (and not waste) a container of oil before it goes bad. It also helps to keep oil products in a completely dark area. I double pack my oil bottles into boxes so that light exposure is limited.

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World War II Food Rationing


Marie said...

Great post--love the small container idea. That's something I have to look into for my storage.

Preparedness Pro said...

Recently I got a big jar of extra virgin olive oil from Sunflower Market in Orem for like $5! Since it's usually over $10, I thought that was a steal!

Anonymous said...

I store generic store brand vegetable oil in their original 1-gal plastic bottles in my E TN basement and am currently using oil bought in 1996.

Wendy said...

Wow - 1996! Any signs of rancidity?

I have noticed that some people are more sensitive to the smell/taste of rancid oil than others. My husband picks up the smell of rancid oil before I do.

Krista said...

I use coconut oil as it will store for years. Plus, I use it as a moisturizer on my face.