Updated: Jan 27
We’re going to break down the best survival foods with long shelf lives so that you can stock up and spend less, worry less, and waste less time over the next 25 years and beyond.
Honestly, in terms of seriously long shelf life foods, 10 years isn’t a lot. However, it’s a great place to start when looking for what to buy for survival food, and these five items should qualify as staples on your survival food list.
Powdered whole Eggs
Protein is a must-have when you’re fueling your body in an emergency. Meat can be difficult to store long-term (unless you snag some freeze-dried meats for your food storage), so powdered whole eggs are a great way to get some vital nutrients as well as the protein your body will crave. They’re incredibly easy to make—just add water and heat—and bonus, they’re light and easy to pack around in case you’re not hunkered down in one house for the next 10 years.
Many grains like oats, barley, and quinoa, are finicky for long-term storage and because of oil content can go rancid sooner than other grains. However, cornmeal, when properly prepared and stored, can last up to 10 years in dry, sealed containers. It’s also a great ingredient to have around for delicious cornmeal recipes like cornbread, corn mush, dumplings, and even cornmeal chocolate chip cookies.
It’s pretty well guaranteed that come disaster time, you’re going to need a little comfort. Properly packaged pancake mix is an awesome survival food with a long shelf life that offers more than just calories. Every little bit of “normalcy” you can muster in uncertain times—say, Saturday morning pancakes—can make a big difference for your family. You could also add Jell-O or pudding to your long-term food supply if packaged in airtight containers and stored in a cool, dry place.
Powdered drinks like milk, instant coffee, cocoa, and even certain teas are another great way to add some variety and even routine back into your life during an emergency. Powdered milk is an especially good survival “food” with a long shelf life because you can add it to things other than water to increase calcium intake like oatmeal, baked goods, and sauces for rice, pasta, or meat dishes—all of which can be made with a properly curated emergency food supply.
These 3 survival foods can last 25 years ( or more)
The best survival foods with a long shelf life are ones that you truly don’t need to worry about for decades at a time. Keep in mind that each of these foods requires proper preparation and storage for them to last up to 25 years or more, but luckily, we’ll make that easy on you, too.
White rice is one of the best foods for survival for many reasons. First off, it can last for over 25 years on the shelf without worry. Rice is also a great nutritional survival food (think easy carb energy, plenty of fiber, and B vitamins galore!), plus it’s cost-effective, versatile, easy to prepare, and easy to store. Just make sure you keep it in airtight containers with oxygen absorbers, preferably around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. But don’t worry, if you keep it under 70 degrees, it should be fine.
Hey, beans go hand in hand with rice for a reason, right? They’re another great survival food with a long shelf life. They can be stored easily in your pantry—again, packaged well and sealed to prevent any type of pests—but they do get drier with time so make sure to account for some extra water storage since you’ll need to rehydrate your beans to make them edible in an emergency.
Now, for all the flavor and variety fruits and vegetables bring to a meal, we strongly recommend storing some long-lasting condiments in your emergency food supply as well. When kept dry and pest-free, things like salt, whole spices, soy sauce, bouillon, vinegar, honey, table sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract can last beyond the 25-year benchmark. And they’ll do wonders for taking just a little more stress off the table during difficult times.