Next time when you go to the grocery store, you might notice something curious about how the products are arranged: at the entrance to the store we usually find expensive food, which expires in a week or less, but as you head to the center of the store, expiration dates are advancing more and more. In fact, for many foods is used a different type of classification. Instead of telling us when it expires, manufacturers offer an estimated date, called: ”best served preferably before:”. It doesn’t mean that the product expires if you exceed that date, but only that the flavor and quality of the product may change.
White rice is edible for 4 to 5 years(unless stored in an oxygen-free environment) and dry pasta for several years. So what are the foods that never expire?
Honey is one of the few foods that never expires. From a technical point of view, sugar follows the same pattern, although its quality starts to decrease after 2 years. It’s not the case of honey: after 20, 50 or 100 years, it will still have the same taste as when it was bottled.
Don’t believe me? National Geographic reports that archaeologists have found 3,000-year-old containers of perfectly edible honey, when they dug up Egyptian tombs. And yes, even crystallized honey is safe in terms of consumption.
What is the difference between honey and any other food on this list? First, it has a low water content. Microbial growth requires water, and for that reason, fruits and vegetables expire so quickly. Associate it with a low pH of honey and get an environment where it’s almost impossible for bacteria to grow.
Finally, add the antibacterial properties of honey and the presence of hydrogen peroxide and you have a product with an eternal lifespan.
Salt never expires (if is not iodized).
There is a reason why we’ve been using salt as a preservative for hundreds of years. Like honey, salt does not contain water, preventing the conditions that cause food to expire.
And because the salt is not herbal (it is a mineral extracted from sea water), it will not lose its flavor over time. If you store it correctly, the salt will always have the same taste, regardless of its age.
Virgin coconut oil does not really expire
There are different types of cooking oil and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. However, when it comes to shelf life, coconut oil should be among our preferences.
After 2-3 years from the date of opening the container, the olive oil will become rancid, and the vegetable oil is only valid for 1 year.
The secret is to make sure you choose an unrefined coconut oil if you want it to never expire. This is because the refining process weakens the ability of saturated fats to prevent oxidation and makes the product susceptible to rancidity, especially if the oil has not been cold pressed, because the heat accelerates oxidation.
Whole grains will not expire until 12 years.
Surprisingly, the flour has a relatively short shelf life. The universal, white flour has only 10 to 15 months to become rancid, and wheat flour for 6 to 8 months (although both can be stored endlessly in the freezer).
Hard grains such as wheat, buckwheat, oats, millet and spelled are good for 10 to 12 years, when stored in an oxygen-free environment.
There are many tricks for certain foods to last longer, but the list above highlights those foods that, by themselves, do not expire or change their properties after many years.