Stocking up on chow for a potential emergency? Canned tuna and dried fruit will last for quite a while in your pantry, but if you really want foods that will last for the long haul, reach for one of these endurance champs.
These foods have found the fountain of eternal youth.
1. Raw honey
Honey is often referred to as “God’s medicine,” and has tons of health benefits–and it’s great for your hair. “Honey has actually be used in wound care in some cultures and studies for its ability to naturally resist bacteria,” says Dr. Elizabeth Trattner A.P. DOM, doctor of Chinese and Integrative Medicine. The best part? It never expires! In fact, it’s not unusual for archaeologists to find thousand-year-old honeypots in ancient Egyptian tombs—these archaeologists found 3,000-year-old honey and it’s perfectly edible. So what’s the deal? According to Smithsonian, its sugar, low moisture levels, excessive acidity, natural gluconic acid, and natural hydrogen peroxide are the keys to its longevity—but only if you store it correctly.
Is there anything apple cider vinegar can’t do? Besides having an incredible amount of health benefits, like helping with weight loss, and being a natural stomachache remedy, it can also stay in your pantry forever. But it doesn’t stop there. According to Eat By Date, white vinegar, balsamic vinegar, raspberry vinegar, rice wine vinegar, and red wine vinegar also don’t have expiration dates. “Because of its acid nature, vinegar is self-preserving and does not need refrigeration,” according to The Vinegar Institute.
Depending on how cornstarch is stored, it definitely deserves a spot on our immortal foods list. As long as it doesn’t get wet—which causes the starch molecules to bond with hydrogen molecules—and is kept in a dry, cool place, you won’t need to pick up another container of cornstarch for a long, long time. Don’t miss these 20 genius ways cornstarch can clean your house and simplify your beauty routine.
Pure sodium chloride has been around for billions of years, so it’s no surprise that it lasts forever. Not to mention, salt is often used to protect foods from mold and bacteria so they’re preserved longer. This occurs as a result of osmosis—when water is drawn out of the food by the salt itself, thus creating too dry of an environment for mold and bacteria to thrive.”It is a mineral and stable,” says Dr. Trattner. “The worst thing that [can happen is] it can get wet.”
5. Dried legumes
Not to be confused with canned or fresh beans, dried beans also last forever—if they’re stored in sealed or airtight packaging. However, older beans may take longer to cook which results in a rather time-consuming process. Regardless, make sure you take note of these five health benefits and five surprising risks of eating beans.
Similar to salt, sugar can also last forever if kept away from moisture and sources of heat. And we’re not just talking about pure sugar, either. According to Eat By Date, granulated white sugar, white sugar cubes, raw sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, sugar substitute, Equal, and Sweet n Low all last indefinitely. Although their textures might change, sugar never completely expires. Feel like you’re eating too much sugar? Here’s how to kick your sugar habit.
7. Hard liquor
Hard liquor is only “immortal” when it’s stored in a cool place and left unopened. So no, you can’t open that bottle of Barcadi and drink it again years later. After it is first exposed to air, it might begin to lose its flavors and structure due to oxidation. The alcohol can also be affected if it’s exposed to extreme weather conditions, intense light, or heat. “In part that’s because the temperature can break down a type of organic molecule called a terpene,” according to Wired.