I was going through some of my food storage recently and pulled out some of the oldest to use. I am replacing this older food with new supplies.
The oldest I currently have is 15 years old. It is a small food unit composed of bulk items, freeze dried food, and dehydrated food. The food was packed in nitrogen in #10 cans. I took very good care of this food and was pleasantly surprised. Well, not really surprised. I’ve been working in long term food storage for nearly 20 years, so I knew it should be okay. Still, it was nice to have confirmation.
I sampled the powdered milk, whole wheat, beans, cheese powder, dehydrated vegetables, and freeze dried meals. Everything tasted great. The freeze dried meals were Mountain House and they tasted great. I am saving some of the Mountain House to put back in storage to keep it for another 10 years. It will then be 25 years old, so I will experience first hand if Mountain House stores for 25 years. I’m not really worried, it’s just fun to see for yourself.
All of the bulk items kept well too. I had several cans of different types of beans. Pinto beans, black beans, and kidney beans. All fine. The powdered milk was fine. The cheese powder was excellent. I was not a fan of the tomato powder when just mixed with water. However, when it was added as an ingredient to other food, it was fine.
The dehydrated peaches were fine when reconstituted. They tasted like canned peaches. The banana chips were fine, so were the raisins. I don’t remember if the raisins were dehydrated or freeze dried, but were found to be good in homemade bread and on breakfast cereal.
The one thing we didn’t like was the dehydrated cabbage. We tried lots of ways to fix it up, but it didn’t cut the mustard. I should be clear, I don’t think the cabbage suffered from being stored. I think it was more that it was dehydrated, and after reconstituting, it just couldn’t come back to life enough for us.
All in all, a good test of 15 year old food, and a reaffirmation that you can eat well and actually enjoy your food storage.