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Don’t Know What To Stock For Emergencies? 10 Foods That (Almost) Never Expire

Don’t Know What To Stock For Emergencies? 10 Foods That (Almost) Never Expire

People often make fun of me because I am what some may call a “mini-prepper” of sorts. By no means am I prepared for a long term food or water shortage, but my family is prepared to hold out for a few weeks. I simply do not have the space or financial resources to create the type of prepper setup that some folks have out there. Ours is limited to some MREs (meals ready to eat), water, and bare necessities in the event of a short term disaster, power outage or food shortage.

After seeing the way that things were during Hurricane Sandy, I knew that we needed to prepare. After only 3 or so days of shortages, people in NYC were becoming desperate and dangerous. My stash is not huge, but I suppose it is better to have something small, than nothing at all. For those of you who may be thinking about pillaging my home in the event of a disaster, I will also add that I have the means to defend my provisions. I’m just saying, don’t try and rob us!

All that being said, the following is a list of foods that you can acquire for long term storage, or simply if you don’t cook that often. These foods will stay edible for a very long time!

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White Rice

Not all rice is created equal. You would expect that brown rice and white rice would both last for a very long time. However, you would be wrong. Due to the oils found in the brown rice bran layer, it will last at best 6 months. However, white rice can last up to 30 years! Wow, that sounds like an easy decision to me! Although I would question how it can last so freaking long! That’s going inside of us! Woah! In order for this product to last the projected 30 years, you want to keep it in oxygen-free containers in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Honey

Allegedly the oldest jar of honey that has been discovered is 5,500 years old! Say what, who knew that honey could last this long? Well that is correct. The flowers and bees come together to produce this amazing concoction called honey. It is highly acidic and very low in moisture which creates an environment that is not very conducive to bacterial growth. Although honey can take in moisture from the air, when heated, strained and sealed properly, it can last indefinitely. This one is new to me, and I need to pick some of this stuff up! I can use it to sweeten up those dried MREs I mentioned before!

Salt

This one should be a given, I mean we use salt to preserve other foods after all! It is only logical that the salt itself could last for a long time. The commercial salts that we buy can only be expected to last about 5 years or so; this is due to adding iodine. Although who would go longer than 5 years using the same salt in an emergency type of scenario? 5 years should be more than enough time to sort things out, or get eaten by zombies.

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Soy Sauce

This is another item that should come as no surprise. Soy sauce’s shelf time is debatable depending on what is added to it, but even after being opened, it should keep for years in the fridge.

Sugar

The recurring theme here seems to be moisture. Sounds to me that if we can keep the moisture out, the food can last longer. That being said, how you store the sugar, and how much moisture it interacts with will determine how long the sugar will last. However, experts state that even old sugar is still edible once softened up. So hey, pour some sugar on me!

Dried beans

Now, I know from my own personal experience growing up in a poor household that these can last for a very long time. Whenever it was time for food, and we were in a bit of a financial pinch (which was often), we’d soak these in water for a few hours, and then cook them. Researchers state that even after 3 decades, though the quality of the beans may have decreased, they can still be edible! 3 decades, people! If any emergency lasts longer than 30 years, we have bigger problems than running out of food.

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Pure Maple Syrup

Words like “forever,” should not often be used. Our time on earth is so limited in the grand scheme of the universe, and forever is a mighty long time. However, that doesn’t stop Utah State University from stating that pure maple syrup could pretty much last forever. The makeup of this and other sugars ensures that it resists microbial growth better than many other food items.

Powdered Milk

Though not as yummy, this product will last much longer than fresh milk. We all have probably smelled ‘milk gone bad’. It happens relatively quickly, so it’s worth trading in some taste for duration. Such is life, and I doubt that you will be too worried about taste during a global emergency!

Hard Liquor

I learned this one through my own experiences as well. Don’t ask me why, but I often drank the flavored drinks as opposed to the pure hard stuff. However, I realized that the ‘fruity’ drinks would quickly become gross, while the real deal stuff would keep! It makes sense, adding fruits and the like would then put the liquor at the mercy of those items’ shelf lives. Keep the hard stuff, and so long as you are ready and willing to take a shot, the shot will be there for you!

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Pemmican

Now here is an item that I never heard of until recently. Sounds like beef jerky to me, but it’s called Pemmican. The Native American tribes invented Pemmican. Powdered dried meat, mixed with berries, and rendered fat produces a food that you could eat raw, stewed, or fried. Of course, given today’s health standards and so on, the recipes have been modified. Personally, I’d go for the dried meat by itself, but many swear by the staying power of this product.

If you’d like to try something other than MREs, these are some foods that you can add to your emergency stash. If you have any to add, please share them with me via Twitter! For further details on these products check out this article!

Featured photo credit: Phillip Stewart via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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