Non-perishable foods should already be familiar to the smart survivalist and prepper. In this article, we help you answer the questions: What are non-perishable foods? Why you need them? What are the best ones? This article will also help you figure out how to store non-perishable foods properly.
What Makes Food Non-Perishable?
Perishable foods are the types of food that quickly go bad if not stored in the right temperatures. Milk, bread, fresh fruits, and vegetables are foods you continuously need to keep your eye on, or else they will stink up your fridge or, worse, make you sick. Non-perishable foods, on the other hand, take a long time to expire. Some non-perishable foods can even last for years – as long as they’re stored correctly.
Foods that are canned, dried, or dehydrated are considered non-perishable food items. As long as it does not require freezing or refrigeration, that is what is considered a non-perishable food.
Some common examples are bottled water, canned food, dried beans, grains, nuts, dried fruits, and pasta noodles. Essentially, these are items you will find in your pantry. You probably don’t know it now, but the things in your pantry can end up saving your life in emergencies!
Why Do You Need Non-Perishable Foods?
Non-perishable foods are usually on the list of things to donate to food banks or to people who have suffered a disaster. This is because those food donations will go to people who do not have a freezer or refrigerator.
When putting together a bug-out bag or an emergency kit, you will find one of the things to include is non-perishable foods. In situations where you need those kits, you will also most likely not have access to a fridge. However, staying alive and staying healthy is still possible if you have non-perishable foods with you.
Also, if you like to go camping, non-perishable foods can save your life. Most of them don’t require cooking or heating, so if you can’t build a fire or lacking fuel, you can be sure you will still be able to ease your hunger with your cache of non-perishable foods.
The Best Non-Perishable Foods
Just because they come in cans does not mean all non-perishable foods are extremely processed and unhealthy. You can still get a lot of the daily nutrients you need from non-perishable foods. Here are some examples of what are good non-perishable foods.
Stock up on canned soups, beans, and vegetables. They’re quick and easy to heat up and can be used in several ways to make your meal more interesting. Canned tomatoes can be turned into pasta sauce, for example. Canned tuna is rich in fatty acids, which are great for reducing the risk of heart disease.
Just a note on canned goods: they last for a long time, but not forever. Canned fish, chicken, ham, and vegetables can last up to five years. However, always check the “best by” dates. This is not the expiration date, but the date when the quality of the food starts to decline.
You do not always need to be eating from a can in emergencies. If you are already a fan of pasta and rice, the good news is dried grains and dried pasta are excellent non-perishable food items. Cereals are also included in this category.
Dried beans are great sources of protein and can last up to 10 years if stored in airtight packaging. You can snack on dried fruit, which is something you can learn to make. In your pantry, they can last up to a year, and in a fridge, up to two years. You can also learn how to cure or make dried meat. Commercial jerky can last up to two years.
Nuts and nut butter are good sources of protein and healthy fats. They can last for a long time, depending on your storage situation. Peanut butter and almond butter are especially delicious and nutritious.
Sugar is one of the products that can last for an extremely long time (as long as ants don’t get to them). You can expect sugar to last about two years.
What about if you can’t live without milk? You can try UHT or ultra-heat-treated milk, which can last unrefrigerated for up to six months.
How to Store Non-Perishable Foods
Invest in a vacuum sealer if you are serious about making the most out of your non-perishable foods. You can use it on bags and jars. You want to protect your foods from the elements, like direct and prolonged exposure to dirt and humidity.
You already have your pantry, but consider other places. They should be secure, dry, and out of reach from insects and bugs. Under the bed is a good spot. (Don’t go reaching in there for a midnight snack. This is meant to be your emergency stash in case of a disaster!). You can also consider the space under your stairs as storage for your non-perishable foods.
Be smart about non-perishable foods. Just because something is dried or comes in a can, does not mean it’s suited for your needs for a disaster. You want to build a cache of non-perishable foods that can keep you strong and healthy for an extended period. Storage plays a vital role, as well. Know the best spots in your home to hide them. Now you know the answer to the question: What are non-perishable foods? Whether you’re planning on surviving a rainy couple of days or weeks of no access to the other food sources, it’s always good to stock up on them. Get more tips on emergency food.