top food with the longest shelf lives

Top Foods with the Longest Shelf Lives

top food with the longest shelf lives Photo: Pixabay

Fresh food is the go-to choice for many grocery shoppers. Canned goods, dried foods, and other pantry products are often overlooked because they don't seem as exciting as fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy options, but foodies should always have them on hand. Not only are there lots of delicious recipes you can make with pantry staples, but they also have longer shelf lives than fresh fare. 

What foods have the longest storage life?

In general, foods with the longest shelf life, sometimes called storage life, have preservatives or are stored in containers that prevent them from spoiling. Some foods have a shelf life of as long as 30 years, depending on the brand you buy and how you store it. When searching for long-lasting products, look for items that are:
  • canned or jarred
  • pickled
  • dehydrated
  • cured
  • freeze-dried
What foods have an indefinite shelf life, and what foods never expire?

There are pantry staples that will be safe to eat forever. Their freshness, flavors, and consistencies may change, but if stored properly, they never expire. While not all of these items are tasty treats on their own, they can help make supermarket foods with the longest shelf lives taste like gourmet masterpieces.

Apple cider vinegar Gelatin Pure vanilla extract Sugar
Dried herbs and spices Honey Salt White vinegar

Top Foods with the Longest Shelf Lives

These picks are renowned by a variety of foodie-approved sources as being the top foods with the longest shelf lives. Each of these foods has a shelf life of at least 2 years, but be sure to check the label for each product you buy to know exactly how long you can expect it to be safe to eat. Remember, once you open the package or prepare the food, the shelf life becomes shorter. Product labels will also provide this information. Lastly, be sure to keep your products stored in a cool, dry area. Your pantry is a great spot, but if you're short on space, a temperature-controlled closet or basement works well.

Almonds Chocolate (at least 70% cacao) Dried pasta Pecans
Canned beans Cocoa powder Dried tea Pickled meat
Canned fish Dehydrated fruit / Dried fruit Dried white rice Pickled vegetables
Canned fruit Dehydrated vegetables Freeze-dried cheese Potato flakes
Canned meat Dried beans Macadamia nuts Powdered eggs
Canned soup Dried lentils Maple syrup Powdered milk
Canned vegetables Dried meat / Jerky Meals ready to eat (MREs) Walnuts
Cashews Dried oatmeal Peanuts Wheat berries