What Natural Foods Last The Longest?

What Natural Foods Last The Longest?

food storage

Whether you are a prepper or simply like being ready for emergencies, having sufficient food on hand is a critical part of such survival preparedness. At Meal Kit Supply, we are MRE retailers for customers in Canada and the United States. These Meals, Ready to Eat are a great choice as an emergency or survival food stock in case of unplanned for occurrences. Additionally, we realize that there are many different natural foods that last a long time that are also good for your pantry or other places you want to keep a food stash for long-term availability.

For home emergency food storage, we know it is wise to have a space apart from your regular kitchen shelves or pantry to store this food, so it doesn't end up being eaten accidentally over time. Whether you get snowed in for a week and forgot to go to the store before the storm hit or have a different emergency, the following food items should still be good and ready to eat whenever you need them.

Dried Beans
These have long been known as an ideal food for preppers because of their ridiculously long shelf life. When properly packaged and stored, dried beans can last up to 30 years, which means they'll be there whenever you need them. That they're also healthy due to being high in protein, fiber and rich in nutrients is a wonderful added plus. Pinto beans are a popular choice, and you can make a meal out of them by adding the next item on our list.


Rice has a similar storage life to dried beans, and they go together so well! This is an incredibly cheap food that is both easy to get and store. You can store white rice, brown rice or a combination of these and more.

Rolled Oats
Oats are known for being a healthy, cholesterol-friendly food. They contain an excellent soluble fiber and have about the same shelf life as dried beans and rice. We also love their versatility because they can be prepared in different ways and used in a wide variety of meals and recipes.


Whatever size, shape or variety of pasta noodle you prefer, it is a generally excellent contribution to any survival food stash. We love it for adding carbohydrates to any mix of stored foods. You definitely want to check the shelf life of any pasta you look at in the store because it can vary substantially. Properly stored pasta should last for one to three decades, and you can mix up the taste with a variety of sauces and spices.

Dehydrated Fruits
These add a tasty snack option to the somewhat bland foods mentioned so far. If you're a serious prepper, you may even want to get your own food dehydrator and make your own dried fruit. We realize that this will be a bit too ambitious for many. Packages of dried raisins, apple slices, dates, apricots and other similar fruits are plentiful at many stores. We simply recommend you check the expiration dates on any packages to see that whatever ones you go with have the shelf life you desire.


Because it's a dairy food, cheese may not come to mind as a food that would be good for long-term storage, and indeed, it probably won't keep as long as many other items on this list. There are some cheese options, such as freeze-dried cheeses, that are sold specifically as emergency or survival food with long-term storage potential.

Dehydrated Vegetables
We know you'll be clamoring for more vegetable variety than just a few types of beans. Two favorites in this category would be dried carrots and dried corn. Dehydrated carrots can last up to 25 years, and dried corn is cheap, yummy and will easily last at least 10 years.

Lentils and Peas
These legumes will last about 5 years. When storage longevity is your goal, we recommend you stock up on whole lentils rather than the split variety. Lentils and peas are known for being high in protein, and they are also a good source of fiber.


Honey, Sugar and Maple Syrup
Fortunately for our sweet tooth, we are happy to report that these delicious sweeteners last and last for the haul. Salt and soy sauce also last a good long time, so at least surviving a long emergency situation will not mean having to put up with bland, barely palatable food.


Coffee and Tea
If the thought of facing some long-term dreaded future survival scenario without your morning cup of coffee is too horrifying to contemplate, rest at ease. Not only do coffee and tea last 10 years or longer but so does cocoa powder. Many of us can face seemingly insurmountable challenges as long as we have our coffee or tea.

Powdered Milk
Milk is popular as both a beverage with certain foods and as an ingredient for untold numbers of recipes. In its powdered form, it should last over 20 years. It's a good source of protein.

Meals, Ready to Eat by Meal Kit Supply
Admittedly, these are prepackaged complete meals rather than individual natural foods like the others on the list. Hey, you didn't think we were going to end this without plugging our own ultimate contribution to your emergency food kit or prepper pantry, did you? At Meal Kit Supply, we are proud of the variety of tasty, long-lasting MREs we sell. They will last up to five years, which is more than sufficient for most emergency or survival situations.

Each three-course MRE has 1,200 calories and plenty of flavor, so you'll have the energy to power your way through any rough situation and have tasty, instant meals to help you enjoy it. Best of all, they incorporate a flameless heater, so you have the option of enjoying a hot meal. 

The Importance of Proper Storage

Much of the battle with keeping food edible for the long haul is taking care in its storage. This means the package or container the food itself is in as well as the environment of the storage area. Obviously, we'd recommend you store all food items in a cooler rather than a warmer area. Prepping is also quite a big hobby today, so there are sellers of all types of long-lasting foods that are sold in good, solid airtight containers for maximum storage life. If you go with the above foods as a good starting point and store them properly, you won't go hungry when life throws you a curve ball.


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