Friday, July 31, 2009

Food storage shelf life

There was a really interesting news story: Oatmeal From '70s Still Tastes OK. It reveals some facts that show food can be stored for a very long time it is done right. You can read the story here:

The article cites a study conducted by Brigham Young University, and quotes a professor from the Univ. of Minn. who conducted research.

Momons, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are counseled to store a year's worth of food and supplies to be prepared for possible emergencies. Prof. Oscar Pike at Brigham Young Univ. obtained samples of food from Mormons who had it in storage for almost 30 years.

The story said that 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. The study at BYU proved that a more processed grain, such as a rolled oat, would also stand the test of time when stored correctly.

Prof. Ted Labuza from the Univ. of Minn., said research has shown that seeds can last for thousands of years. Processing and improper storage practices that expose items to heat or oxygen are what cause deterioration.

Many survivalist have always told others that food stored in cool temperatures (55 to 65 degrees F) in containers that protect it from oxygen, light and moisture can be expected to last 7 to 10 years. According to the news story some foods will last even longer.

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