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Oatmeal From '70s Still Tastes OK
Next time you feel compelled to clean out the pantry, don't feel bad about putting it off.
A lot of the old food that's gone beyond the manufacturer's expiration date could still be edible for years or decades longer.
Such are the findings of food science researchers who recently subjected a panel of human tasters to samples of really old food. They discovered that artifacts like 20-year-old dried milk and 28-year-old rolled oats were still perfectly edible and sometimes even tasted OK.
"You'd think that shelf life would be much shorter," said Oscar Pike, one of the professors of food science at Brigham Young University who conducted the study. "But that's not the case."
Food scientists have long maintained that certain foodstuffs, like salt, granulated crystal sugar and wheat kernels, can be stored indefinitely at room temperature or below. But Pike said he was uncertain whether a more processed grain, such as a rolled oat, would also stand the test of time.
To find out, researchers prepared oatmeal from 16 samples of regular and quick-cooking rolled oats that had been stored up to 28 years in sealed containers. A panel of tasters rated the oats on aroma, texture, flavor, aftertaste and overall acceptability. Scientists also analyzed the samples' nutritional quality.
The conclusion? Tasters rated the quality of the old oats from 4.8 to 6.7 on an ascending scale from 1 to 9. Three-fourths considered them acceptable in an emergency.
Makers of long-lasting food products aren't surprised that people weren't keen on the taste of 1970s oatmeal.
"Palatability will decline before edibility vanishes," said Gary Hansen, owner of Pleasant Hill Grain, which sells food packages for emergency stockpiling.
Properly stored food, Hansen noted, can be edible longer than one might infer from manufacturers' expiration dates, which typically indicate when a product starts to taste worse or lose some nutritional value.
Originally posted by Relentless
Might I recommend to anyone wanting to stock up on oats McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal. It's the real deal, organic, (non-GMO), much more nutritious and really tastier.
It would be my choice for stocking up on staples especially if supplies were ever tight, to get the most nutritional value, plus it actually comes in cans so it would keep even better without having to worry about pest infestation.
As I grew up on that one, I can't even tolerate any other type (over processed rolled oats are garbage in comparison) and it's available in most grocery stores.