Shelf LifeReady Reserve Foods products have been real-time tested for up to 30 years. Under ideal conditions, the shelf life of our products is 15-20+ years. Some companies claim to get 25-30 years of shelf life—frankly, that’s not possible. Unless in otherwise perfect conditions the natural breakdown of vitamins and nutrients can’t be stopped no matter what process the food goes through. Adding major chemicals and large amounts of preservatives can push the food to the 25+ year mark, but where does that leave us? Food that tastes terrible and is just as damaging as it is “filling.” Since Ready Reserve Foods uses the highest quality food on the market and tries to stay away from preservatives and added chemicals, we get highly nutritious food that still comes with an extended shelf life. Here are some tips to getting the longest shelf life for your food.
Keep your food in a cooler environment. The colder the better. Temperature cooler than 70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Any warmer than 80 degrees starts to work against the food and break down the nutritional structure. Try keeping your food storage out of the garage unless it is climate controlled. Garages tend to hold in heat because they are not as well insulated as the rest of the house. Basements or supply closets in the middle of the house are ideal. They are the most insulated and tend to stay the coolest. The closer to the ground the better. Since heat rises, storing your food under the bed or at the base of a closet works well also.
Keep the food dry. Moisture works against dehydrated food, breaking it down faster and creating stress on the can. Moisture can also damage the labels on the outside which may cause some confusion in the future.
Keep away from direct sunlight. Think of the sun beating against the car in the summer. Because of the “oven” effect, you’re basically cooking whatever is inside. The same goes for the can. Since it is a sealed steel can, direct sunlight can damage the food and drastically decrease shelf life.
If storing on concrete, raise the food. Concrete tends to hold in moisture, so putting a few wood slats on the ground or shelving will keep the air circulating around the cans and away from direct contact with moisture. Treat your food storage like you do your fresh food in the pantry. Every food group has a different shelf life. Dairy products go first, then fruits and vegetables, then proteins and grains. The same goes for your food storage. Consider rotating out these items in a logical order.
Not only does this keep your food storage fresh, but also helps you and your family get used to the products. (And the kids get to see that it’s not “cardboard”). Use the items in your everyday cooking, learning as you go and substituting these items with grocery items, saving money in the long run. We here at Ready Reserve Foods are never caught without 4 things in our pantry on a regular basis:
- Dehydrated Onions
- Potato Slices
- Apple Slices/Banana Slices/Cinnamon Apple Slices
- Butter Powder
Always store some extra items from the grocery store with your food storage in glass containers. We recommend keeping cooking oil, vanilla extract, and peanut oil in glass containers only with your food. This way, you’re never without the basics and you’ll always have what you need. Try to stay away from plastic containers from the grocery store if it’s an item that will be kept with your food storage. Bugs and bacteria can easily get through plastic and destroy what’s inside. Plus, some products can eat right through plastic and then next thing you know…. there’s a mess spilling all over your food storage. Glass solves this problem. Metal store bought cans work well, but only for a short time. Since the cans are not enameled, the natural breakdown of the food also breaks down the cans and can leak through.
If there are any other questions you may have about shelf life or storage, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-800-453-2202.