B1 Intermediate US 32 Folder Collection
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The term staple foods is reserved for foods that have a long shelf life. Many food companies
are adamant about making foods that can last on shelves for a longer time because in the
long run it’s better for them. Better for storage, better for transport, longer shelf
life. How long can that shelf life actually be? Well let’s take a look at 10 foods that
never expire.
Sugar
Of course sugar never expires - the most evil food in the world will hang in there haunting
you from your cupboards for the rest of your life. Why doesn’t sugar expire? Well there’s
a super science-y explanation behind that one. It has everything to do with microorganisms
and how long they can last on their own. Sugar soaks up what little bit of moisture there
is contained in microorganisms, causing them to die, rather than making the sugar rot.
(However, if you keep sugar in a very humid or wet environment, this handy tactic goes
out the window, and then the sugar CAN go bad.) But with proper storage, this could
be why sugar is in everything - its just always around and readily available. Please know
that once you mix sugar into anything it can now expire but on it’s own it will last
a lifetime. Don’t mix this fact up with brown sugar, the way that brown sugar has
to be processed leaves it open for dryness and the opportunity to clump together. We
all know clumped together is the most annoying thing ever. This never happens with white
sugar and that is leaving us suspicious. We will admit that it’s pretty handy that sugar
never expires, at least we know something will always be there for us. Albeit a fattening
food item but, beggars can’t be choosers.
Instant Coffee
The smell of Instant Coffee is quite amazing. There are not many things that can instantly
perk you up after just one smell. Fresh ground coffee is always the best but instant coffee
is a good buffer when that isn’t available. Fresh ground coffee never keeps its freshness
after a while it doesn’t taste the same and it’s not as strong. According to Canitgobad.com,
coffee doesn’t expire in a typical way. “In most cases coffee doesn’t go bad in
a way that it’s spoiled and you can get sick after drinking a cup brewed with it.
It will, however, lose its taste over time and after a certain period of time the coffee
will start to taste stale or tasteless.”. When it comes to instant coffee, it can stick
around for a pretty long time. In some cases when it’s stored while still at its best,
it can last indefinitely. That being said, if you are worried that your coffee has gone
bad something to look out for are mold in the container it is sealed in. But, it takes
a lot for coffee to grow mold.
Powdered Milk
So let’s be clear - like everything else on this list powdered milk can go bad if not
stored properly. Powdered milk, also known as dried milk, is chalked full of preservatives
to keep it useable for years upon years. Manufacturers recommend that you use powdered milk within
18 months. But the USDA has confirmed that powdered milk can be stored indefinitely.
Some survival stores sell nonfat dry powdered milk labeled with a 25-year shelf life. Apparently,
the shelf life depends on the type of powdered milk; nonfat, whole, or buttermilk. Like everything
else, the storage life of this product depends on how it’s stored, what type of milk it
is and what it’ s stored in. Some people recommend using mason jars for a tight seal
that cannot break unless broken. Another way powdered milk can last even longer is by freezing
it. Usually things that are frozen are automatically in preservation mode and powdered milk is
no different. If you choose not to freeze it or preserve it correctly, start looking
out for signs of it going bad. Yellow discoloration, a bad odor, if it looks as though it’s clumpy
- this could all mean that moisture got in there somehow. It’s best to throw it out
at that point. You don’t want to risk a hurt stomach and anything that goes along
with drinking spoiled powdered milk.
Soy Sauce
How many people have a bottle of soy sauce in their cupboards that they refuse to toss
out? You know the one. Where the lid is a mess and the contents of the bottle have spilled
out onto the side of the lid leaving that disgusting ring of now sticky soy sauce on
the edges. The bottle itself looks old yet, the contents of the bottle are dang near perfect,
how is this possible? What kind of sorcery is this? The crazy part is, it tastes the
same as the day we got it. After some research, a lightbulb went off and it turns out that
soy sauce is yet another one of those staple items that will not expire. Like many seasonings
and sauces, soy has acid-hydrolyzed vegetable protein. This veggie protein also contributes
to long-lasting shelf life. Traditional soy sauce only has 4 ingredients; water, salt,
soybeans and wheat and normally only enough is made for whatever it is being used for.
Our question is; if it is only 4 ingredients why aren’t we all making it fresh instead
of ingesting the one with a lot of chemicals to expand its shelf life?
Popcorn Kernels
Popcorn kernels are one of those foods that can just sit on a shelf and wait patiently
for someone to feel like cooking them up. This is not only amazing it’s comforting.
Seeing as popcorn is actually a pretty healthy snack before being loaded up with butter and
all sorts of random stuff for flavor. It is 100% whole grain and you can eat like 6 cups
worth of it in one sitting. This makes me wonder if there is something called the popcorn
diet. Maybe we should be the ones to create it. Unpopped and properly stored kernels will
last indefinitely. Microwave popcorn coated in all that coagulated melted butter will
last a good 6-8 months. And popped popcorn will last a solid 3 weeks - if you can handle
how stale it gets. All of this sounds like a pretty good deal to us. Think about it,
if you popped some popcorn somewhere that thing will last 3 weeks on your person if
stored well. That being said, here are some signs that could indicate that your microwave
popcorn has gone bad. If when you remove the cellophane wrapping there is a weird smell,
that means the butter and oils coating the kernels have gone bad. If you pop kernels
and A LOT of them don’t pop, it is not at it’s best.
Red Wine
Yes, that’s right your beloved red wine can last for hundreds of years. As long as
it is of good quality and it’s stored correctly. What is a good quality wine? Look for information
about where the wine was made or how long the fruits aged for, and when you get as far
as opening the bottle, smell it. If you can smell particular flavors and you can taste
hints of those flavors you are good to go. But, of course, one of the best indicators
is the year the batch was made. If you look up the region it was made in and the weather
during that time, it’s usually a good indicator if this wine is quality. Even if you happen
to pick up a fairly cheap bottle or box of wine, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily
expire soon. Storing it in a cool and dark place is recommended. After opening it, remember
to seal it tightly - and even better, put it in the fridge! So, now that we have that
out of the way we should mention that some wines are actually made to go bad. How to
tell if it’s bad? It’s fairly simple. You need to examine its looks, smell and taste.
If it has changed its color, or it has developed off odor, it’s bad and you should throw
it out. If it doesn’t taste the same, or has a vinegar-y effect, toss it. Better to
be safe than sorry.
Canola Oil
At one time there was a huge controversy over canola oil - people were confused about how
bad it was for you. The oil is vegetable-based and from Canada. Yet, it’s hard to find
out exactly which vegetable is being used. This sounds like a product that would enjoy
a long shelf life. Don’t get it twisted though, not every oil has an indefinite shelf
life. But, now that canola oil has received a clean bill of health, many people are flocking
to it. Not only because of that healthy checkmark but because they can use it confidently 3
years down the road and then some. According to Eat This, Not That, “It can last up to
two years in a cool, dry place and for an indefinite amount of time if stored in the
fridge.” This apparently goes for the oils in spray cans as well. They are even more
preserved than the ones in the jug. Canola oil is found in so many things we eat on a
regular basis like meat. Once the teeny tiny seeds are pressed, the shells that are remaining
are mixed in with livestock feed. So even if you are actively trying to avoid this oil,
it may be harder than you thought to keep it out of your diet.
Spam
People just don’t believe that anything in a can be healthy. So let’s take a look
at why people believe Spam can go bad. We all know that once meat is processed, it needs
to be eaten in a certain amount of time. There is an assumption that because Spam is in a
can and looks like it has been minced to paste, that it is cooked. This is where we all get
it wrong. Spam has been preserved like a boss in that can. No, seriously, it sits in a salt
brine that keeps it as fresh as a salt brine can keep anything. So essentially it is ready
to eat from the can - no cooking or seasoning or anything else is really required. Unopened
cans of any kind of meat (chicken, fish, tuna etc) usually have a shelf life of 2-5 years
after the best before date. However, many people have admitted to eating their long
lost can of Spam well after that. According to survivalistboards.com Spam is fine to eat
after that 5-year mark, the only difference is the taste might be dull. Dull meat over
no meat? Guess we’re trying dull meat for the first time.
Dry Beans
Beans should be a staple in everyone’s diet - they are high in protein and filling. Most
people avoid beans because they don’t know how to cook them. Or, they think they take
too long to cook - and to be honest canned beans are way easier to deal with. Toss them
in a pot and stir for a few minutes. Then add them to just about anything. Dry beans
need to be boiled or soaked for a certain amount of time. Depending on the bean, it’s
best to start overnight. But the upside is they will last a very, very, very long time
in your cupboard until you have the time to cook them. This has everything to do with
the fact that they are dried. So, as long as you store them correctly and don’t allow
any moisture into their package than everything should be fine. If you’re really not a fan
of dried beans, than by all means get yourself some canned beans - they too can last a pretty
long time in your cupboard. Canned beans can safely last for a year in your cupboard and
even after they are still edible but tread lightly, every once in a while you come across
a can after a year and well, let’s just say the smell that comes out of it after you
open it is not the greatest. If you don't finish an opened can of beans, think about
putting them in the freezer. You can get another year out of canned beans that have been frozen.
White Vinegar
White Vinegar isn’t something that many people think of as a staple - what do you
need white vinegar for? A lot actually. It can be used to pickle fruits and vegetables
and clean meat before cooking. And it’s actually pretty popular when you are making
your own sauces and marinades. Think about it, if vinegar is good for all these things
it makes sense that it has a long shelf life. According to Eat This, Not That, vinegar is
self-preserving. There’s even a vinegar institute that provides information and research
on the latest that is going on with this food. There are a number of health benefits that
also go along with white vinegar. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that brown or
malt vinegar is the same. They too are somewhat self-preserving but there are way more ingredients
that go into it. Hence the color and the more potent taste. The acidic nature of this product
also means that it does not require refrigeration.
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10 Foods That Will Never Expire

32 Folder Collection
Courtney Shih published on March 19, 2020
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