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How old is too old?

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posted on May, 2 2010 @ 09:15 PM
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reply to post by CoherentlyConfused
 


Freeze your grain products for at least 24 hours. That will kill (explode) the eggs. You're quite right about the eggs being a by-product of production of these foods. Here in the Caribbean, they can hatch a month after shipment. I have grains/flour that is more than a year and a half old, no weevils, nothing. I freeze them all first in a ziplock bag, mark the purchase date, and rotate my stocks. Their primary intent is to provide foods during a transition period, however, we do eat this stuff. We don't stock foods we don't like. Don't forget to stock up cooking oil; I like spanish olive oil in cans, along with tinned butter, and of course, homemade coconut oil.

Regarding the OP........ grains that are contaminated with insects are still usable in a SHTF situation, at least until THEIR by-products (bug poop) ruin it. You will know. It looks bad, texture is degraded, smells off. Coupla bugs, pick 'em out or cook 'em in, no problem. If grains are frozen first, packed without air, say in a ziplock inside a 5-gallon lidded pail with dessicant, you might get 5 years out of them, but they won't be nearly as flavorful.

Pasta, beans, freeze them all first, and store with as little air as you can. I use a straw in the corner of a ziplock to suck out most of the air, and I think that helps a great deal, along with storing them at the coolest temperature I can.

If we're considering these issues, it's not a bad idea to learn how to preserve foods. I feel more secure about vegetables/fruits/meats I've canned myself than canned goods. Why? I know the level of sterility that I use, the close attention to temperatures and storage. The foods I start with are probably better than most canned goods, although I do keep 500 or so cans on hand at any given time.

Learn how to cure meats, fish and to dehydrate without electrical devices. Salt and pepper are decent preservatives, but far from the only ones. You know that odd taste on the coating of pastrami? You know what that is? Corriander. It's not just a flavoring, or wasn't originally.

There is an art to preserving food -- an art many of our distant kin lived with and knew, and many of us have forgotten how to do these things. Now is the time to learn, BEFORE you need it. Can you make soap? Does soap matter to you? It matters to me. I store open-pollinated seeds too, and these are also rotated as our garden progresses. Therein lies a real art -- the preservation of seeds. I've been doing this for about 18 years, and still have a high attrition on storing my own tomato seeds....... but I'm getting better; I've learned to strip the outer layer off tomato seeds, soak them, and then dry them fast before they can rot.

Good thread. I hope we all never stop learning how to feed ourselves. You can feed yourself, you can feed others, and that may well become a valuable trait in the days to come.

Sorry for always saying this........ sorta sorry...... well....... mostly just sorry for being a pain-inne-adz...... the worst thing that can happen if you stock up, store and rotate your foods is that.......... you save money!




posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:21 PM
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Originally posted by argentus
the worst thing that can happen if you stock up, store and rotate your foods is that.......... you save money!



Great saying! There have been times that I worried about having enough to eat because I had little money and big expenses. Now I have few worries but I still feel better with a full pantry.

I am not very good about rotating food. I need a better system to organize what I have.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:26 PM
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Originally posted by argentus
[
Freeze your grain products for at least 24 hours. That will kill (explode) the eggs. I freeze them all first in a ziplock bag, mark the purchase date, and rotate my stocks.

Regarding the OP........ grains that are contaminated with insects are still usable in a SHTF situation, at least until THEIR by-products (bug poop) ruin it. You will know. It looks bad, texture is degraded, smells off. Coupla bugs, pick 'em out or cook 'em in, no problem. If grains are frozen first, packed without air, say in a ziplock inside a 5-gallon lidded pail with dessicant, you might get 5 years out of them, but they won't be nearly as flavorful.

Pasta, beans, freeze them all first, and store with as little air as you can. I use a straw in the corner of a ziplock to suck out most of the air, and I think that helps a great deal, along with storing them at the coolest temperature I can.





I didn't know beans have bugs. I ate popcorn that was worrmy once. I was grossed out but it didn't seem to hurt me.

Thanks for the helpful information!



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by argentus
 


Sorry for posting this? No, no, don't apologize. I enjoyed every word of it.

In fact, I think I will go read it again.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by argentus
If we're considering these issues, it's not a bad idea to learn how to preserve foods.


I don't worry about this. I don't know why. I have put up tomatoes, and jelly, and pickles in the past but I don't own any canning jars or tools.

I seem to be more focused on enough food for a few months.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:34 PM
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Originally posted by argentus
I store open-pollinated seeds too, and these are also rotated as our garden progresses. Therein lies a real art -- the preservation of seeds. I've been doing this for about 18 years, and still have a high attrition on storing my own tomato seeds....... but I'm getting better; I've learned to strip the outer layer off tomato seeds, soak them, and then dry them fast before they can rot.



I bought some seed a few years ago. They are probably not very good anymore, either, because of their age.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:49 PM
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Here's a site that should answer all of your questions... www.stilltasty.com.... They have the shelf life of pretty much everything.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 11:09 PM
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As mentioned, when in doubt, throw it out. It really depends on the packaging, tempertaure, storage etc and the quality of food itself.

It's a good idea to keep tabs on your stock and replenish it regularly using the LIFO (last in first out method) so as you don't end up wasting food, possibly still waiting for the fan to go splat.

By restocking and continually digging into your older stock also gives you a good opportunity to taste test and sample the variety of your food. Sometimes you realise that you may be missing a few things and those few extra herbs and spices can make a world of difference to a bland dish. You may also not like certain foods after eating them days on end.

Having rain water tanks and growing your on veggies and fruit is well worth the effort, as well as investing in good storage devices. Also gettin to know what foods (and herbs) can be eaten safely in the wild is well worth the effort.

Good luck



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 11:58 PM
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I'm going to answer the question in the title and then go back and read the post.

Answer: When it starts growing mold, smelling bad, and liquifying.

Edit...ha i was spot on in my answer just from hte title


Seriously though...canned foods found in shipwreks that were over 100 years old were still safe to eat. I would say keep the canned foods at least. Keep them for survival readiness of nothing else. If TSHTF you'll be glad you kept them.

[edit on 3-5-2010 by Gibbon]



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 12:40 AM
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rancid you can tell by the smell.

Evolution favored eyes, noses & tongues in part to help us discriminate about what we eat.

White pure starches last a VERY long time. They are kind of low on nutritional value other than carbohydrate calories. But added with other things that do have other nutrients they can be a part of a quite healthy, tasty & satisfying meal.

Dried beans last a long time, but they take a long time to cook, especially to get them tender & tasty. They just take too long to cook for me. But i like canned beans.

With
canned goods if they are
bulging &/or under pressure when you open them you should
NOT eat them. It could be
botulism which is a deadly poison.

Most canned goods are at a slight vacuum because they are canned hot & when they cool they contract. So the top usually pops up a little when you open it.
Similarly with stuff in glass jars, there is now a pop up on the lid that indicates it is sealed & should be safe to eat.
Tomato products are pretty notorious for botulism. Maybe they don't cook them hot enough because they are treating them as a more delicate vegetable?

Rust i wouldn't actually worry about as much, as long as it is on the outside & the seal isn't broken, but if the seal is broken it is dodgy & you are advised against eating it.



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 12:49 AM
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anxiety disorder:

Elderly people tend to lose muscle mass and fat, so over 70 is off the menu.
Anything young, or into their 30s and 40s should be just fine if they're healthy.

Treat your neighbors well, you never know when you might need them.




Dead.

Dead is too old.

Digging up moldy corpses is really old.

Really old is too old.



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 12:52 AM
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I've found this fellows videos of great interest. He opens food that has been stored under poor conditions, without Mylar inserts or Oxy absorbers. Original storage dates 15 > 18 years old. Most of it still in perfectly consumable condition. Done properly, storage will last 30+ years. Rice, pasta, oats, beans etc. Actually I think this guys does an excellent job on short & long term storage. Worth a look.


www.youtube.com...



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 09:29 AM
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Originally posted by NotTooHappy
Here's a site that should answer all of your questions... www.stilltasty.com.... They have the shelf life of pretty much everything.


This site looks really good. Colorfull and easy to get around.
Thanks!



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by cams
It's a good idea to keep tabs on your stock and replenish it regularly using the LIFO (last in first out method) so as you don't end up wasting food,


I think I need one place to put food so I can see what I have. I put cases of vegetables (bought on sale) in one place, everyday stuff in the kitchen, and extra where ever it fits. I tend to forget stuff. I need to be more organized so I can rotate food easily. Thanks for the advice.



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by Gibbon

Seriously though...canned foods found in shipwreks that were over 100 years old were still safe to eat. I would say keep the canned foods at least. Keep them for survival readiness of nothing else. If TSHTF you'll be glad you kept them.



That's realy good to know. I wonder if the water preserved them somehow. I always thought rust was a sure sign not to eat something in a can. Very interesting!



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by slank
Dried beans last a long time, but they take a long time to cook, especially to get them tender & tasty.

Rust i wouldn't actually worry about as much, as long as it is on the outside & the seal isn't broken, but if the seal is broken it is dodgy & you are advised against eating it.


Old dried beans are really nasty. Pesa and lentels aren't too bad, but bigger beans like pinto and lima are hard to get soft when they are old. Maybe they would be OK if you could grind them first before cookin. I don't know.

The food bank will hand out a rusty can if it is only a little rust, but not when it covers the whole lid. So I guess you are right about rust.



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by slank


Dead.

Dead is too old.

Digging up moldy corpses is really old.

Really old is too old.


Dead might not be too old. People have been known to eat their dead. Remember the Donner Party who got stuck in the mountains in winter, or those people on the airplane that crashed in the Andes?

I an not going to eat dead people, but it has been done.



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 10:08 AM
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Originally posted by dazbog
I've found this fellows videos of great interest. He opens food that has been stored under poor conditions, without Mylar inserts or Oxy absorbers. Original storage dates 15 > 18 years old. Most of it still in perfectly consumable condition.www.youtube.com...


Wow! That was great! Some nasty looking stuff - don't know if I would want to eat it. Ha Ha. Some stuff like rice and oats he just poured in buckets and put a lid on it, and then stuck it it a metal shed in his backyard. It wasn't very complicated. 18 years later there were no bugs.

I m going to watch the rest of his videos! Great stuff!!



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 01:27 PM
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reply to post by NotTooHappy
 


Oh man! Thanks for posting that link! There is so much information there, and the first thing I looked up taught me something new... I had no idea you could store raw eggs in the freezer! It said they could be stored indefinitely there, but for best taste, up to a year. That's awesome to know. I can't wait to look at more stuff on that site.



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 07:50 PM
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Originally posted by Ellie Sagan
reply to post by NotTooHappy
 


Oh man! Thanks for posting that link! There is so much information there, and the first thing I looked up taught me something new... I can't wait to look at more stuff on that site.


I just spent 30 minutes there! I found out that most rice lasts forever. Brown rice goes bad quickly. Barley only lasts a year. And dried fruit doesn't last as long as I thought. Great site!




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