Are you looking for food that can withstand the test of time? Whether you’re a doomsday prepper or simply want to stock up on non-perishable items, knowing which foods can last for decades can be invaluable. In this article, we will explore 10 foods that have an impressive shelf life of 100 years or more, ensuring you’re prepared for any situation.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: There are several foods that can last 100 years or more, including honey, white rice, beans, sugar, salt, powdered milk, dried pasta, oats, and certain canned goods. Now, let’s dive deeper into each of these items and discover why they can stand the test of time.


When it comes to foods that can last for a long time, honey is definitely on the top of the list. In fact, honey has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs that are over 3,000 years old and still perfectly edible! How is this possible? Well, honey has several unique properties that allow it to last indefinitely.

How honey can last indefinitely

Honey has a remarkably low moisture content, typically around 18%. This low moisture content makes it difficult for bacteria and other microorganisms to survive and thrive in honey. Additionally, honey is highly acidic, with a pH level between 3.2 and 4.5, which further inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi. Moreover, honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase, which produces hydrogen peroxide when exposed to moisture. This hydrogen peroxide has antimicrobial properties and helps to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Furthermore, honey has a natural ability to crystallize over time. This process creates an environment in which bacteria cannot survive. The crystallized honey forms a barrier that prevents the growth of microorganisms, ensuring the long-term preservation of the honey.

Uses and benefits of honey

In addition to its impressive longevity, honey also offers a wide range of uses and health benefits. Honey can be used as a natural sweetener in various recipes, from desserts to beverages. It can also be used as a natural remedy for coughs, sore throats, and wounds, thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Honey is also packed with antioxidants, which help protect the body against damage from free radicals.

Studies have shown that consuming honey can have positive effects on gut health, improve digestion, and even boost athletic performance. It has also been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat various ailments and promote overall well-being.

Storing and preserving honey

To ensure the long-term preservation of honey, it is important to store it properly. Honey should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Exposure to heat and sunlight can cause honey to lose its quality and flavor. It is also important to keep honey in a sealed container to prevent moisture from entering and potentially spoiling the honey.

Contrary to popular belief, honey does not need to be refrigerated. In fact, refrigeration can cause honey to crystallize more quickly. If your honey does crystallize, simply place the jar in a bowl of warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve.

So, the next time you come across a jar of honey that has been sitting in your pantry for years, don’t hesitate to use it. Honey truly is a remarkable food that can last for centuries while providing numerous benefits for your health and culinary endeavors.

White Rice

When it comes to foods that can last for a long time, white rice is definitely a top contender. So, what makes white rice have such an impressive shelf life?

Why white rice has a long shelf life

The key to white rice’s long shelf life lies in its processing. During the milling process, the outer husk, bran, and germ are removed from the grain, leaving behind the starchy endosperm. This removal of the outer layers helps to prolong the shelf life of white rice as it eliminates the oils and fats that can turn rancid over time. Additionally, the absence of these outer layers also reduces the risk of insect infestation and microbial growth, further contributing to its long shelf life.

Cooking and storing white rice

When it comes to cooking and storing white rice, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to store white rice in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture absorption, which can lead to spoilage. Using airtight containers or resealable bags can help to maintain its freshness for an extended period.

When cooking white rice, it’s essential to follow the instructions on the packaging or recipe to ensure proper cooking time and water ratio. Cooking white rice thoroughly will not only enhance its taste and texture but also help to eliminate any potential bacteria or contaminants that may be present.

Other types of rice with extended shelf life

While white rice is known for its long shelf life, there are other types of rice that can also last for an extended period. Brown rice, for example, contains the bran and germ layers, which provide additional nutrients but also reduce its shelf life compared to white rice. However, if stored properly in a cool, dry place, brown rice can still last for several months.

Wild rice, a type of aquatic grass seed, is another variety that can have a long shelf life. Its high fiber content and unique flavor make it a popular choice for many. Like white and brown rice, storing wild rice in a cool, dry place is crucial for maintaining its quality and prolonging its shelf life.

It’s important to note that while these types of rice can last for a long time, their flavor and texture may deteriorate over time. Therefore, it’s recommended to rotate your rice supply regularly and consume it within a reasonable timeframe to ensure the best quality.


Beans are known for their incredible shelf life, making them an excellent choice for long-term food storage. When stored properly, beans can last up to 100 years! This is due to their low moisture content and ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Unlike many other foods that spoil quickly, beans have a protective outer coating that helps preserve their nutrients and prevent deterioration.

Varieties of beans that can last 100 years

Not all beans are created equal when it comes to long-term storage. Some varieties have a higher resistance to spoilage and are better suited for lasting 100 years. The top contenders in this category include:

  • Pinto beans
  • Black beans
  • Red kidney beans
  • Great Northern beans

These beans have a dense texture and thicker skin, which contributes to their longevity. It’s important to note that while these varieties can last for a century, proper storage conditions are still essential to maintain their quality.

Preparing and storing beans for long-term use

If you want to ensure your beans last for 100 years, there are a few key steps to follow. First, it’s crucial to properly clean and sort your beans to remove any debris or damaged beans. Then, you can choose to either can or dry your beans for storage.

If you opt for canning, make sure to use sterilized jars and add a preservative like salt or citric acid to maintain freshness. For drying, spread the beans out in a single layer on a clean surface in a well-ventilated area. Once completely dry, store them in airtight containers such as glass jars or Mylar bags.

Remember to label your containers with the date of storage and rotate your stock periodically to ensure you consume the oldest beans first. By following these steps, you can enjoy the benefits of long-lasting beans for years to come!


When it comes to long-lasting foods, sugar is definitely a top contender. In fact, sugar has an indefinite shelf life if stored properly. This means that if you have a bag of sugar that has been sitting in your pantry for years, it is still perfectly safe to consume. Unlike many other foods that can spoil or go bad over time, sugar is incredibly stable and can last for decades without any degradation in quality or taste.

Types of sugar that can last for a century

While all types of sugar have a long shelf life, some varieties are particularly known for their ability to last for a century or more. One such type is granulated white sugar, which is the most common form of sugar used in households. Another type is brown sugar, which is simply white sugar mixed with molasses. These two types of sugar are widely available and can be found in most grocery stores.

Other types of sugar that can last for a century include powdered sugar and cane sugar. Powdered sugar, also known as confectioners’ sugar, is a finely ground sugar that is commonly used in baking and for making icing. Cane sugar, on the other hand, is made from sugar cane and is often used as a sweetener in various beverages and recipes.

Proper storage techniques for sugar

To ensure that your sugar lasts for a long time, it is important to store it properly. The key is to keep it in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. Moisture is the enemy of sugar, as it can cause clumping and hardening. Therefore, it is best to avoid storing sugar in the refrigerator or freezer, as the fluctuating temperatures can lead to condensation.

It is also a good idea to keep your sugar away from strong odors, as it can absorb them and affect the taste. Additionally, make sure to use a clean and dry spoon or scooper when measuring out sugar to prevent any contamination.

By following these storage techniques, you can ensure that your sugar remains fresh and usable for years to come. Whether you’re a frequent baker or just enjoy a spoonful of sugar in your coffee, having a long-lasting supply of sugar can be a great convenience.


When it comes to long-lasting food items, salt is a true champion. Not only does it add flavor to our meals, but it also has incredible preservative properties. Salt has been used for centuries as a method of food preservation due to its ability to draw out moisture and create an inhospitable environment for bacteria and other microorganisms. In fact, salt can help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, making it an excellent choice for long-term food storage.

While table salt is the most common type of salt used in cooking, it may not be the best choice for long-term storage. Table salt often contains additives such as iodine and anti-caking agents, which can affect its shelf life. Instead, opt for unrefined sea salt or kosher salt. These types of salt are less processed and do not contain any additives, making them ideal for extended periods of storage. Himalayan pink salt is another great option, known for its rich mineral content and long shelf life.

To ensure that your salt lasts for a hundred years or more, proper storage is key. Here are some tips:

  • Keep salt in an airtight container to prevent moisture absorption.
  • Store salt in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Avoid exposing salt to excessive heat or humidity, as this can cause clumping and degradation.
  • Consider using desiccant packets or oxygen absorbers to further protect the salt from moisture.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your salt remains fresh and usable for many years to come.

Powdered Milk

When it comes to foods that can last 100 years, powdered milk is definitely a top contender. Its incredible longevity is due to the removal of moisture, which prevents the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. By removing the water content, powdered milk becomes a highly stable and long-lasting product.

The longevity of powdered milk

Powdered milk can last for several decades if stored properly. The key to preserving its longevity is to keep it in a cool, dry place, away from moisture and direct sunlight. This ensures that the milk powder remains fresh and free from contamination. Additionally, using airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags can further enhance its shelf life.

Uses and benefits of powdered milk

Powdered milk is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of ways. It can be reconstituted with water to create a substitute for fresh milk in recipes, beverages, and baked goods. Powdered milk is also a popular choice for emergency preparedness kits, camping trips, and situations where access to fresh milk may be limited. It is a convenient and nutritious option, as it contains essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and protein.

Storing powdered milk for long-term use

If you want to store powdered milk for long-term use, it’s important to follow a few guidelines. Firstly, choose a high-quality brand with a long shelf life. Look for products that are specifically labeled for long-term storage. Secondly, ensure that the packaging is intact and airtight. If the packaging is damaged, transfer the powdered milk to a new container with a secure seal. Lastly, store the powdered milk in a cool, dry place, away from moisture and heat sources.

For more information on the benefits and storage of powdered milk, you can visit FDA’s website.

Dried Pasta

When it comes to foods that can last for decades, dried pasta is definitely a top contender. This pantry staple has an impressive shelf life due to its low moisture content and the way it is processed.

How dried pasta can last for decades

Dried pasta is made by combining flour and water, which are mixed, kneaded, and then shaped into various forms like spaghetti, macaroni, or penne. The pasta is then dried at a low temperature for several hours until it reaches a moisture content of around 10%. This low moisture level inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms, allowing the pasta to remain edible for an extended period.

The drying process also removes any potential spoilage agents, such as yeast or bacteria, which could cause the pasta to spoil. This, combined with the fact that dried pasta is typically stored in airtight packaging, helps to preserve its quality and ensure its longevity.

Cooking and storing dried pasta

Preparing dried pasta is incredibly simple. All you need to do is boil it in salted water until it reaches your desired tenderness. It’s important to follow the cooking instructions on the packaging to achieve the best results.

When it comes to storing dried pasta, it’s crucial to keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. A pantry or kitchen cabinet is an ideal spot. Make sure to seal the packaging tightly after opening to prevent moisture absorption and exposure to air, which can lead to the pasta becoming stale.

Other types of pasta with extended shelf life

While dried pasta is the most well-known type of pasta with a long shelf life, there are other variations that can also last for a considerable amount of time. One example is egg pasta, which is made with eggs and flour. The addition of eggs helps to enhance the pasta’s ability to resist spoilage and extend its shelf life.

Another type is whole wheat pasta, which is made using whole wheat flour. This type of pasta contains all parts of the wheat grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm, making it more nutritious and less prone to spoilage. Whole wheat pasta tends to have a slightly shorter shelf life than regular dried pasta, but it can still last for several years if stored properly.


Oats are one of the most impressive long-lasting foods you can find. With the right storage techniques, oats can last up to 30 years or more. This is due to their low moisture content and high levels of natural antioxidants. Oats are also less prone to spoilage because they have a higher fat content compared to other grains.

Health benefits of oats

Not only do oats have an impressive shelf life, but they also offer a wide range of health benefits. They are packed with essential nutrients such as fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Oats are known to promote heart health by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease. They also aid in digestion, help control blood sugar levels, and promote weight loss.

Proper storage techniques for oats

To ensure that your oats last as long as possible, it is important to store them properly. Here are some tips:

  • Keep oats in a cool and dry place: Moisture and heat can accelerate the deterioration of oats. Store them in an airtight container in a cool and dry pantry or cupboard.
  • Avoid exposure to light: Exposure to light can cause the quality of oats to degrade faster. Keep them in a dark place or use opaque containers.
  • Check for signs of spoilage: Before consuming oats that have been stored for a long time, check for any signs of spoilage such as mold, unusual odor, or off taste. If any of these are present, it is best to discard them.
  • Consider vacuum-sealing: Vacuum-sealing oats can further extend their shelf life by removing excess air and preventing the growth of bacteria or insects.

Canned Goods

The durability of certain canned goods

Canned goods have long been a staple in pantries around the world. One of the reasons for their popularity is their impressive durability. When stored properly, certain canned goods can last for an astonishing 100 years or more. This is due to the canning process, which involves sealing the food in an airtight container and heating it to a high temperature to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. As a result, the food inside remains safe to eat for an extended period of time.

Types of canned foods that can last for a century

While not all canned foods have the same longevity, there are several types that can stand the test of time. One example is canned beans, which can retain their nutritional value and flavor for decades. Canned meats, such as tuna and chicken, are also known for their long shelf life. Other canned goods that can last for a century include soups, vegetables, and fruits. It’s important to note that the quality of the food may deteriorate over time, but it will still be safe to consume.

Best practices for storing canned goods

To ensure that your canned goods last as long as possible, it’s important to store them properly. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Choose high-quality cans: Opt for cans that are made of durable materials and have a sturdy seal.
  • Keep them in a cool, dry place: Heat and moisture can cause cans to deteriorate more quickly, so store them in a cool, dry area of your pantry.
  • Rotate your stock: When purchasing canned goods, make sure to check the expiration dates and use the oldest cans first.
  • Inspect cans before opening: Before consuming a canned product, check for any signs of damage or bulging, as this could indicate spoilage.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your canned goods remain safe and edible for many years to come. So, stock up on your favorite canned foods and enjoy the convenience and longevity they provide!


In conclusion, having a supply of long-lasting food items is essential for emergency preparedness or ensuring a stable food source in uncertain times. Honey, white rice, beans, sugar, salt, powdered milk, dried pasta, oats, and certain canned goods are among the top foods that can last for 100 years or more. By understanding the reasons behind their extended shelf life and proper storage techniques, you can build a well-stocked pantry that will provide sustenance for years to come.

So, stock up on these resilient food items and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are prepared for any situation. Remember to rotate your stock periodically to ensure freshness and quality. With these long-lasting foods, you can rest assured that you’ll have sustenance even in the most challenging of times.

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