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Food Shortage? Here Are 10 Essentials You Should Always Keep In Your Pantry

Food Shortage: List of Foods with the longest shelf life

I’m sure you’ve heard that the world is experiencing a food shortage, but are you prepared? A food shortage is something that we all hope never happens, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared for an emergency. And if you think about it, an emergency could be anything from a power outage due to severe weather to a natural disaster like an earthquake or flood. If you have no power or access to fresh produce, having some basic pantry staples on hand can help you get through these types of disasters without going hungry.

That’s why I like to keep these 10 items stocked in my pantry at all times because they have a long shelf life and most of them are dehydrated or freeze-dried foods that can last a decade or longer. Remember: Always be prepared!



How long it lasts: 

1 month (refrigerator)
2 weeks (room temperature)

Eggs are a staple food in many households. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin A (when enriched), riboflavin (B2), B12 and selenium—not bad for such a tiny package! If you buy organic eggs or pasture-raised ones from small family farms that don’t use hormones or antibiotics on their animals then you’ll reap the most health benefits from these little guys too! 

They are used in cooking and baking, but also as breakfast food. Eggs are versatile, nutritious and inexpensive. When stored properly, eggs will keep for about two weeks at room temperature or about one month in the refrigerator. 

Dried Fruits

Dried fruits

How long it lasts: 4 months to 1 year

Dried fruits are a great source of vitamins and minerals, fibre, antioxidants, phytonutrients and protein.

Dried fruits may be one of the most powerful foods on earth as they’re packed with nutrients. They’re also easy to transport and last much longer than fresh fruit. Plus they come in just about every flavour you can think of!

The best part? Dried fruit is healthy too! It’s high in fibre which helps maintain a healthy digestive system by regulating blood sugar levels; antioxidants help boost your immune system; phytonutrients fend off free radicals (cancer-causing molecules); while protein helps maintain muscle mass while you burn fat during exercise.



How long it lasts: 

Indefinite (milled rice)
6 months (whole grain rice)

Rice is a staple in many countries around the world. It’s one of the most widely consumed foods on Earth, and it’s been that way for thousands of years. It’s an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as thiamine and niacin (vitamin B1). It also provides fiber, which helps prevent constipation by keeping waste moving through your digestive tract smoothly. These nutrients help maintain your nervous system and digestive tract so that you can function normally throughout the day.

Rice is also great for making rice pudding, fried rice or rice salads. Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice because it has less processing involved in its production, but both types of rice can last up to ten years if kept in an airtight container in cool and dry conditions.



How long it lasts: Indefinite

Legumes are great sources of protein, fiber, and iron that don’t take up much room in your pantry. They’re easy to cook, cheap as dirt (no pun intended), and readily available in most grocery stores. 

Legumes are versatile and can be used in many recipes. Beans, lentils, and split peas fall under the legume category (though they’re not all the same thing).

Black beans are among the richest sources of iron in vegetarian foods. Kidney beans contain more potassium than bananas do—and a whole lot less sugar! Chickpeas are packed with vitamin C and folate (which helps prevent birth defects).

Legumes last for several weeks once opened; if you don’t plan on using them up within that time period, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag before refrigerating or freezing them for later use—they’ll keep longer this way! 

Dried pasta sauce

Dried pasta sauce

How long it lasts: Indefinite

I know that canned pasta sauce is an easy, cheap meal, but you should always have a bottle of dried pasta sauce in your pantry. You can also use it to add flavor to leftovers like soup or even fried rice (which I’ll talk about later). It doesn’t cost much and lasts forever, so don’t forget this one!

Salt and seasoning

Salt and seasoning

How long it lasts: Indefinite

Salt is the ultimate convenience food. It helps preserve your food, making it last longer, and can also be used to season your meals. This handy little mineral is also good for you: it’s a natural anti-inflammatory, helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate, keeps muscles from cramping too much during exercise, and even helps prevent kidney stones from forming (though this may be less applicable if you’re not a fan of sweating).

Powdered garlic powder or granules are also handy for adding flavor to dishes like soups as well as stews; we recommend buying organic varieties whenever possible because they’re more flavorful than their conventionally grown counterparts.

Healthy Oils

Healthy oils

How long it lasts:

1 year (Olive Oil – unopened)
2 years (Coconut Oil – unopened)
3 years (Avocado Oil – unopened)

Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil – These healthy oils are great for cooking and can also be used as a substitute for butter or margarine when cooking things like pancakes or waffles. They’re good for your heart, skin and hair too!

Olive oil has a shelf life of about one year if unopened; coconut oil lasts two years and avocado oil three years. Once opened, store them in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight to preserve their properties as long as possible. You can use them directly out of the jar or put them into empty jars/bottles that you’ve cleaned with soap and water (no bleach).

Grains and dried goods

Grains and dried goods

How long it lasts: 1 year

Whole grains are better for you than refined grains.

Refined grains have been stripped of their bran and germ, which means they’re missing some important nutrients. Whole grains, on the other hand, retain all three parts of the grain—the bran (outer shell), endosperm (starchy middle) and germ (kernel). This is why whole grain foods are a good source of fiber as well as vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, zinc and B vitamins.

Most whole grain options will last at least one year if stored properly in an airtight container in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources like your stove or oven.

Grains and dried goods: 

  • Pasta: pasta is a great source of energy to help you feel full and satisfied after eating. Try whole grain varieties whenever possible.
  • Couscous: couscous is an alternative to rice or noodles that cooks in just 5 minutes! It makes a great side dish as well as being delicious on its own with some herbs mixed through it.
  • Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa): this gluten-free option is high in protein and can be cooked into many different dishes – think salads, soups or simply boiled with vegetables for an easy lunchtime meal at work!
  • Bulgur: bulgur wheat gets its name from being made from partially cooked durum wheat berries that are then dried before packaging – it’s very versatile, so we recommend keeping some in your pantry! You can use bulgur instead of rice or couscous when making pilafs too!

Canned fish, meats and vegetables

Canned fish, meats and vegetables

How long it lasts: 2-5 years

Canned foods are another good option for emergency pantries. They don’t take up much room in your pantry and they last for years without going bad. They can be an alternative to fresh produce during winter months when nothing is in season. Canned goods are also much cheaper than fresh produce, making it easier for you to stock up on more expensive items like meats and fish.

Canned tuna, salmon and chicken are all good sources of protein and canned vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that you need in an emergency situation.

Coffee, tea and sugar

Coffee, tea and sugar

How long it lasts: 


6-9 months (Unopened – vacuum sealed)
2 years (Freezer – opened)
6 months (Opened)
2-3 years (Freezer – unopened)


3-4 months (stored in a bag)
1 year (stored in a tin or other airtight container)



Coffee, tea and sugar are three essentials that you should always have in your pantry. They’re not only delicious but also good for you.

Coffee is great for your mental health as it can improve concentration and motivation, reduce stress levels and even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Tea is also an excellent beverage choice if you want to relax after a long day at work; studies have shown that drinking black or green teas on a regular basis may help lower cholesterol levels while increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol. As for sugar? It’s one of the most common ingredients in our kitchens because we all need it to bake cakes or make ice cream sundaes! But there’s more than just eating sweets that go into making this sweet treat: sugar actually keeps bacteria from growing on your teeth!




How long it lasts: 6 to 12 months

Nuts are great sources of energy, protein and fiber. They’re also high in fat, which means they can be stored for long periods of time without becoming rancid or rotting. Nuts are commonly used as snacks or additions to recipes because they’re so versatile—and they’re easy to store! You may have heard that nuts have a long shelf life; however, there are some factors you should keep in mind when storing them at home.

The best way to store nuts is in the shell, but you also have options if you prefer shelled nuts or just don’t want the hassle of cracking them open yourself: Airtight containers with lids can keep your nuts fresh longer than other storage methods, but they will still eventually go bad over time (usually around six months). Ziploc bags work well too! Just make sure that all air has been removed before sealing them up tight, so nothing gets stale or moldy inside there!



How long it lasts: Indefinite

When it comes to stocking up on essential items in case of a food shortage, liquor is often one of the last things on people’s minds. But having a supply of alcohol on hand can actually be quite useful in a number of ways.

For one, liquor can be used as a barter item. If you have an extra bottle or two of wine or liquor, you can trade it with your neighbors for other goods and services.

Additionally, liquor can be used to sterilize wounds and as a disinfectant. If you have a cut or scrape, applying some alcohol to the area can help to prevent infection.

And of course, liquor can also be used to make your own hand sanitizer. Just mix equal parts alcohol and aloe vera gel, and you’ll have a powerful sanitizer that can kill off bacteria and viruses.

So, while liquor may not be the first thing you think of when stocking up for a food shortage, it’s actually a pretty essential item to have on hand. Just be sure to use it responsibly!



How long it lasts: Indefinite

When most people think about honey, they think of something sweet to put in their tea or on their toast. However, honey is so much more than that! Honey is one of the most essential items that you can have in your home, especially in case of a food shortage.

Honey is a natural source of energy and contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can boost your immune system. It’s also a great natural sweetener for baking and cooking.

But what really makes honey an essential item in your home is its shelf life. Honey never goes bad! That’s right, honey will never spoil, making it the perfect item to have on hand in case of an emergency.



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Tips to Extend Shelf Life

1. Vacuum sealing

One of the best ways to extend the shelf life of your food is to vacuum seal it. Vacuum sealing removes all the air from around your food, which prevents oxidation and bacteria growth. Vacuum sealing also keeps your food fresh and prevents it from drying out.

2. Storage in airtight containers

Another great way to keep your food fresh and extend its shelf life is to store it in airtight containers. This prevents air and moisture from getting to your food, which can cause it to spoil. Airtight containers also keep your food from drying out.

3. Refrigeration

Refrigeration is another great way to keep your food fresh and extend its shelf life. It slows down the growth of bacteria, which can cause food to spoil. Refrigeration will also help to preserve the flavor and texture of your food.

4. Freezing

One of the best ways to extend the shelf life of your food is to freeze it. This is especially helpful for meat, fish, and poultry, which can start to spoil quickly if left at room temperature.

Most meats will stay fresh in the freezer for up to six months, and fish and poultry can last for up to a year. Just make sure to wrap them tightly in freezer-safe bags or containers before freezing.

5. Canning

Canning is a great way to preserve your food and extend its shelf life. The process involves sealing your food in airtight jars or cans, which prevents air and moisture from getting to your food. Canning also keeps your food from drying out.

You never know when you might be in need of some emergency food, so it’s best always to have a pantry stocked with the essentials. We hope this list has given you some ideas on what to keep on hand. There’s no need to panic, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared for an emergency food shortage. If you have a well-stocked pantry with some basic staples, you’ll be able to weather any storm. So stock up on these 10 items and be prepared for anything!

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