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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 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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