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Discussion Starter #1
We were given a bounty of dried bulk foods when a neighbor moved into assisted living. Included is a 55lb bag of organic whole wheat bread flour that is dated 1999. It was sealed, plastic wrapped and kept in a dry, dark, pest free storage all of this time. I opened it and have found no smell at all, and no rancid taste. The texture seems normal. It does not appear to have any significant bugs- I found a single tiny weevil in my sifting thus far. Apart from taste or pest issues, is there any danger to eating really old flour? I've sifted and frozen a sample; I'm happy to bake a loaf to test for flavor and rise problems, as long as there is no chance of causing illness. Any input?
 

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I doubt there's danger if you don't see anything like mold. Probably the worst is the nutritional value has disappeared, but who eats flour for nutrition? :) If it tastes OK, and the staleness isn't something you notice, I'd use it in a pinch if you bake a lot. Seems to me there has to be a stale taste to it, though? Worse comes to worst you toss the bread to the chickens if you don't like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Made a loaf, smells and tastes fine. I guess we'll use it up. I fully anticipated it to be rancid when I opened the bag, but it's not chicken feed yet.
 

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This is good to hear, as I just purchased a 50lb bag to have on hand for bread making.

Any tips (other than what was listed) as to how to preserve it longer? I already plan to break it down into smaller bags and seal them tight. Would desiccant be advisable? Should it go in the freezer or just cooler room temps?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
From everything that I've found, freezing in smaller quantities is the preferred method overall. Once the bag is opened you would definitely need to do that. I was shocked that this stuff was not rancid, but we've been using it since I posted and it tastes fine.
 

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I don't throw out stuff that is grossly outdated, but rather give it to the chickens and ducks...or save it for an emergency when their commercial food is no longer available. Of course, I will be thinking of things to grow specifically for them if normal distribution channels dry up. things like winter squash, sunflowers, wheat ???, oats???, and greens. I'll also start to do some manual haying in the summer to give to them to "harvest" the seed heads, if all else fails....and they can forage also if I get some fencing in place.
 
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