What Non-perishable Foods Last The Longest?

What Non-perishable Foods Last The Longest?

Non-perishable food is the best type of food to stock up on before any natural calamities. During these emergencies, you want to have access to food that will not spoil easily.

What non-perishable foods last the longest? There are so many different foods that fit in this category. Canned foods are the first that come to mind.

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This article will discuss the definition of non-perishable food and which foods classify as non-perishable. You will also find some examples of these foods that you can probably buy in most grocery stores.

What Are Non-perishable Foods?

The term “non-perishable” refers to things that do not decay or deteriorate quickly. Non-perishable foods have long shelf lives. You also do not even need to refrigerate them. As long as they are kept in a controlled environment at room temperature, they will not spoil.

Long-lasting Non-perishable Foods

Most non-perishable foods are dried or have some preservatives. Unfortunately, fresh produce and meat do not belong in this category. It means that not every food on this list is very healthy, but there are a few exceptions.

The way you cook or prepare these foods also matters in how healthy they will be.

These are some examples of the non-perishable foods that last the longest:

Canned Foods

Canned foods include anything from luncheon meat, fish, chicken, soup, and vegetables. Usually, canned goods have very high sodium and sugar content. The salt and sugar help preserve the food and keep it from spoiling.

Also, the canning process itself helps preserve the food. In the canning process, extreme heat is used to kill bacteria that speed up rotting. The food is then sealed into airtight cans that block moisture. 

Nuts, Grains, And Seeds

Nuts are excellent sources of fiber, fat, and energy. Aside from that, they are filled with minerals and vitamins. This superfood can stay fresh for a long time in vacuum-sealed containers or jars.

Grains such as rice, oats, and barley can be your sources of carbohydrates for emergencies. You can store them for years without them spoiling. However, it is worth noting that some variations of whole grains, such as brown rice, have a shorter shelf life.

Seeds are very high in nutrients as well. They are ideal for boosting energy, especially if you have no time to cook or heat a full meal. While they do not last for years, many nut variations will be safe to eat for at least four months.

Meat Jerky

Meat jerky is not only delicious but extremely long-lasting as well. It is made by curing meats like beef or pork in salt. Salt-cured meat is dehydrated and processed afterward.

Store-bought meat jerky will most likely have other preservatives and flavorings added when it is processed.

Jerky is not the most health-conscious food choice. It is very fatty and concentrated in salt and sugar. An addictive food item lasts for up to a year or longer when stored at room temperature, though.

As long as you do not plan on eating large amounts every day, you should be fine.

Dried Fruits And Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables can go bad within just a couple of days. Dried fruits and veggies, on the other hand, are very shelf-stable. Drying or dehydration is another popular preservation method aside from canning and salt curing.

This method removes all of the moisture from the food, which deters bacteria and harmful microorganisms.

Dried fruits and vegetables can last anywhere from six months to a full year, depending on the storage conditions. Naturally, they will spoil quickly if you store them in extreme temperatures and leave them in open packaging.

Granola And Cereal

Granola bars are popular snacks among health nuts. They contain a lot of nutrients and they taste good at the same time. If you choose natural granola bars with real fruits and less sugar, they can be very nutritious. Granola lasts for one year on average.

Cereal, one of the most loved breakfast foods, also have long shelf lives. However, this is only true if you pack them in vacuum-sealed containers.

The minute you open a box of cereal, the rotting process begins. To keep cereal as fresh as possible, transfer it to a sealed glass jar after opening.

Powdered Milk

Fresh liquid milk is known to spoil very rapidly. Most milk does not last more than an entire week, even when refrigerated. Powdered milk will be safe to consume for a lot longer.

It should still be stored in a refrigerator or a cool place to ensure freshness. Heat or changes in temperature can mess things up.

Bottled Water

Water is not exactly a food per se, but it is essential for survival. If you do not have access to food for some reason, water is the next best thing. You can survive without food for as long as 40 days if you are still drinking water. We need water for hydration and energy.

Bottled water comes with a long shelf life, so long as you do not open it. Once a bottled of water has been opened, both taste and quality decrease significantly.

It can be bad for your health if the bottle is exposed to heat or direct sunlight. Plastic releases all kinds of harmful chemicals, and those will seep into the water.

To keep water safe to drink, it is best to store it in an insulated bottle. There are so many of these available in-store or online.

Salt And Sugar

Since salt and sugar are excellent preservatives, it is good to have them on hand. If you have any fresh food that you want to preserve, you can add salt or sugar. It may push back their expiration date further.


Most non-perishable food contains a ton of preservatives and additives. For this reason, they are not always the healthiest options. You do not want to be eating these foods daily. However, they are good enough for emergencies when you have no other choice.