Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I eat very little in the way of bought canned food, but have been stocking up on it all the same. Particularly proteins such as tuna and beans.
There is really no rotation for me, I try to eat mainly fresh food. How long can I expect these cans to last?
Temperature is stable for much of it, but a small amount is stored in a metal storage container which both freezes and cooks depending on the weather. Temp storage till I have a house here.

Thanks.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,627 Posts
you have 2 things against you with the food that is being frooze and cooked in the cans, I would dump that food anyway or give it a good look and smell test before eating it. It's not worth storing if subjected to those changes, might be better off storing a pail of dry beans.
the rest should be OK for a couple yrs after the eat date if kept at a stable temp,below 68 at our house, althou ours is home canned and some is four yrs old.

can't you just dig a hole in the ground and put the cans in a tote and cover like a root celler.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,519 Posts
In good circumstances, those canned goods will last a long time. The date on the can is usually 2 years in the future. People eat them far past that date, but I would do it only as a last resort.

Ditto on the freezing/baking - that is not good for them at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,064 Posts
You should also pay heed to the old addage, store what you eat and eat what you store. There's lots of documented cases of severe digestive problems when suddenly switching over to a radically different diet, ranging from wheat allergies, to pyschological problems. You really aren't doing yourself much good stocking up foods that you don't like to eat.

You might want to go into a little more detail as to what you prepare for yourself on a daily basis. We might be able to give tips on specific storage items that might meet your needs. For example, if you don't like to eat canned foods, then maybe home canning might work for you. You can prepare the foods you like, home can them, then store your own personallized foods. Alternatively, if you must have fresh greens every single day, that someone with coldframe experience might be able to help out.
Michael
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips, and I hadn't noticed the use by date on cans, will check them out.
Michael, that makes sense too. I have to say that proteins generally require high energy output from capture to plate and further storage, while it is simple to hoard away case lots of the same. Everyone will need to adapt.
 

·
Pragmatist
Joined
·
2,092 Posts
Beans are not a complete protein by themselves. You need a grain like rice or corn to make up a complete protein.

All animal proteins are complete, including red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy. Vegetarians will be happy to know that complete proteins can also be obtained through certain plants, such as soy, spirulina, hemp seed, amaranth, buckwheat, and my fave quinoa.

Foods can be combined to make complete proteins like pairing beans with rice or corn. There are other combinations as well. Beans and seeds, beans and nuts, and beans and grains will form a complete protein. When you eat hummus and pita bread, nut butter on whole grain bread, pasta with beans, veggie burgers on bread, split pea soup with whole grain bread, and tortillas with refried beans, you are eating complete proteins.
You might do better storing dried beans and rice and/or grains.

I eat mostly fresh, but I store a LOT of different grains to sprout. I eat stuff like sprouted wheat made into salads with beans and peppers. Uber healthy raw foods.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,938 Posts
Ok, I can help with this, as a few years ago, I contacted a customer service rep with the canned food alliance. She told me canned food is felt to be edible and nutritious for 100 years, IF, big IF, the can is not compromised. However, she felt the nutrients would be lessend over time, but still edible.

Now, from my own experience, I've found cans in our storage that have bulged tops a bit, so I toss those out, as obviously they have a tiny pin hole somewhere that has let air in and they have lost their seal. Some are six or 8 years old. Other cans are just fine. Things like condensed soup get pretty solid after about five years, but can still be mixed and used.

I've known of a couple families that have survived on home canned food that has been in storage for 20 or more years. The food was dark, and sometimes they were unable to determine what was in the jars, but ate it anyway if the seals were intact. None of them got sick or died, amazingly! Not sure I'd be that brave, but I've used my own canned items that are more than five years old and all has been fine. Jan in Co
 

·
Southern Gent
Joined
·
435 Posts
three years on the outside. some foods turn bad sooner. the nutritional value will degrade quickly after 1.5 years. Canned foods should be consumed within the year but will last 3 using chemical to preserve-but taste and nutrition will degrade. go to a FDA website and you will find this info.

Kinda like wine. All wines are thought to last for decades or longer. But any wine maker will tell you their wine is grown and packaged to be consumed within a year; however many wines are still good after many years and yet still many more turn to various states of vinegar.

When i went through Bootcamp they fed us C rats from Vietnam time. Was it edible-yeah, was it tasty- yeah if you like the taste of tin. They told us to through any tins with rust in them. wonder we didnt all come down with ptomaine poisioning.

MREs have a 7 year lifespan but can be takin out to 10 years. Canned Cola's last 6 months but can be takin out to a year.

Most uncoated pills last about 6 months but can retain effectiveness for 1.5 years. sugar/wax coated last 3 years at most. Liquid meds last less than a year. Though my mom never had a problem shaking a 7 layered medicine bottle up and feeding us younguns. we'r all still alive, some have twitches but still mostly okay!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Thanks for the tips, and I hadn't noticed the use by date on cans, will check them out..
The use by dates are irrelevant IMHO. In your case, they will have a MUCH shorter lifespan because of the freeze/thaw cycles. Foods that haven't been exposed to temperature extremes will have a very long shelf life. However, things that are acidic, like tomato products in tin cars, get really, really nasty after a couple of years. Tomatoes in glass do much better.

When our local dinged food store had large quantities of tomatoes in jars, I really stocked up. They were $0.33 per pound jar. I'll bet I don't find that price again anytime soon.

Can you move the food, especially any new food you purchase, to a temperature controlled storage area? The food will last so much better there.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,677 Posts
No way would I trust the freeze/thaw on those cans of food. A personal experience I had a few months ago, a can of green peas blew its entire top exactly 4 years past its expiration date. It was a can I had overlooked in the rotations. Thankfully, it was inside a heavy wooden desk drawer when it blew. Otherwise, it could have been pretty destructive.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,644 Posts
I have been storing and using commercially canned food for over 40 years. I date each can when I store and try to use within 2-3 years. I am just now finishing up some canned food put away in 2004 with no apparent problems. I have a room used for a panty that maintains a fairly even mild temp year around with very low humidity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
The freezing and thawing makes your circumstances different, but just in general, here's something I've learned from the food industry: the expiration date on the package will reflect the longest amount of time for which such testing has been done. A jar of spaghetti sauce could be good for decades, but no company's going to hold up their product long enough to be able to say so. They figure out a time period within which they assume most people will use the product, do the testing for that time period, and stamp the appropriate date on the can or jar or box.

I researched this when I started helping out at a local food bank and saw how much food was wasted because of expiration dates. We were able to set up some guidelines for when it's important to throw stuff out: bulging or leaking cans always get thrown out, for instance.

Something like boxed cereal should remain good for a long time past the expiration date, but keep in mind that the tiniest hole in the packaging can result in it getting stale.

Some foods with a high oil content, like peanutbutter, will develop an off taste but won't be unsafe. Things are so bad at the food bank now that these items just get passed out anyway. When I'm working with volunteers who help sort incoming food donations, I tell them the rule it that if we'd eat it at my house it stays, and if we wouldn't, it gets tossed.

kate
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,333 Posts
I've been hungry before.

I have store bought canned food and home canned food.

My rule... if the store bought can is still intact (no rusting through), if it smells good when opens and doesn't bubble, I'll eat it, knowing it could very well have lost a lot of it's nutritional value. A full belly full of anything that won't kill you is better than a couple days of an empty belly gnawing on the ribs. On my home canned goods, if the seal is still good, and I hear the whoosh, it's good. Same rules about nutrition.

Go about three days without any food, and only muddy water, and then you can make rational decisions about why you will and won't eat.

Opened and ate a can of ten year old corn the other day... added a little sugar and butter, and enjoyed it... Wasn't as good as fresh corn, but I have some old stuff that's got out of the rotation, and can't see wasting it...

also: I'll eat things iffyish now, that I wouldn't eat after TEO, for fear of fallin' ill and not having potential medical help...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,492 Posts
I once ate 10 year old Campbell's chicken noodle soup when in dire, dire circumstances. It was perfectly edible, and in no way differed in taste from a freshly bought can. I have also eaten canned beans and peaches that were well over 8 years old, and my own home-canned apples, apple sauce, and tomato products that were 5+ years old, with no problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,013 Posts
Some of my own home-canned meats and fruits and veggies and preserves sit about 5 years before I get around to eating them. Aside from some discoloration and loss of flavor, they were fine.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top