Prepping basics: What are “forever foods” and why do you need them in your stockpile?

As their name suggests, “forever foods” are items that are meant for long-term survival. All preppers understand that having access to clean food and water is a priority during a crisis, but the question of how to store food for the long-term inevitably comes up. While many survival foods are made to be stored for a few months (or years), perhaps all of them do come with expiration dates.

Luckily there are many foods that never expire. We’ve listed 12 of them below. Take note that a lot of the foods we’ll be talking about will not be enough to prepare a complete meal, but they can add flavor and some calories to typical survival fare.

  1. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) — As long as you keep it sealed, ACV will last forever when stored in a cool, dry pantry. You can use ACV as a dressing for salad, as a marinade for meat, or even as a non-toxic cleaning product for your home. ACV also boasts a number of health benefits, from being a great natural hair cleanser to an ideal natural weight loss supplement.
  2. Salt — Just make sure to buy the pure kind. Seasoned salt does expire. Pure salt, however, can last indefinitely. You can use salt to also extend the shelf life of other foods like meat or even fruit.
  3. Soy sauce — Soy sauce is mostly made of salt, which explains its long shelf life. As long as you leave it unopened, soy sauce can last forever. The condiment is a great way to add some flavor to your meal.
  4. Pemmican — Created by Native Americans, pemmican is a concentrated blend of fat and protein from lean and dried meat. Traditionally, pemmican was made from bison, moose, deer, or elk.
  5. Raw honey — It is true that honey will crystallize over time, but it is still safe to eat after you heat it for a little bit to get it back to the right consistency. You can combine this with soy sauce to make a simple but delicious glaze to your meats.
  6. Corn starch — When kept dry, corn starch can stay good indefinitely. You can use it to thicken stews or gravies.
  7. Dried lentils — Lentils are some of the best survival foods because they are easy to cook, have a high nutritional value, and are excellent sources of protein. There is also evidence to suggest that legumes can help regulate blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.
  8. Alcohol — Distilled liquor serves two purposes. The first is to help uplift spirits when SHTF. While dangerous when taken in excess, alcohol can help people in crisis feel less stressed. During a SHTF scenario, alcohol can also be used as a barter item, or a disinfectant.
  9. White rice — Stored in the right conditions, white rice can last forever. Just be sure to store yours in an airtight container to keep bugs out.
  10. Powdered milk — This can serve as a good alternative source of calcium and vitamin D during emergencies.
  11. Hardtack — Hardtack was a favorite during the Great Depression. It is a mixture of water and flour that is formed into a hard cracker. While the taste may be bland for some, hardtack can provide long-lasting sustenance during an emergency.
  12. Ghee — Ghee is butter that has been boiled until all the moisture has evaporated. This helps lengthen its shelf life.

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These “forever foods” are important additions to any pantry, and any prepper worth his or her salt should have a least a few of them in their bug-out location.

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