On your busy days, there are really inevitable instances when you open the fridge and realize it’s been ages since your last trip to the grocery store. If you have nothing but leftovers sitting on the refrigerator shelves triggering food safety warning signs, you have no other options but to give a call for food delivery. This could have been smartly avoided if your kitchen is well stocked on non-perishable foods. There are a variety of food items falling under this category but we narrowed them down to the best non-perishable foods to include the following: grains, pasta and noodles, canned foods, food powders and sauces, dried foods, nuts and seeds, crackers and biscuits, and aseptic dairy items and related products. Read along and know more why.
What Are Non-Perishable Foods?
Before dealing with each above-mentioned items, let us define non-perishable foods first. Items classified under this group are basically shelf-stable products which means they can endure long months without spoilage. Generally, they do not require elaborate storage conditions but rather stocking them in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated space is sufficient.
Why Are These Non-Perishable Foods A Must-Have?
In selecting the best non-perishable foods, we have categorized them according to the food items that are deemed a necessity for survival. Each day brings us innovation and thanks to technology and the brilliant food scientists behind these, we are one less worry away from starving tomorrow even if a disaster hits us. Check out these top picks for non-perishable food items:
Whole grains such as rice, barley and wheat – usually coming in the form of instant oats – are definitely a must-have. Instant noodles and pasta will come in handy too. They are perfect sources of carbohydrates that will help fuel your day with energy.
Meat, Fish, and Legumes
Fresh protein-dense items are one of the most perishable items because bacteria commonly thrive on them for survival. Luckily, there have been methods developed to prolong their shelf lives. Canning is a popular choice and we’ve seen a lot in grocery stores including corned beef, chicken, sardines, and beans. Of the dried section, fish and other seafood and beans are good for long-time storage.
Fruits and Vegetables
You need your daily doses of micronutrients even in times of turmoil and scarcity of food so you better have canned fruits and vegetables in hand. Dried versions are available which may last a year if stored properly. Don’t expect it to have the same amount of nutrients as the fresh variant because some have either been compromised during the processing.
What makes fresh milk lengthen its life span? The key is proper heating. Milk in can, carton, and sometimes in plastic can be kept at room temperature for a long time because they underwent a rigorous heating process and they are stored in sterile packaging. It is important to have this in your kitchen for your body calcium needs and cooking requirements.
Bottled water is definitely an essential, not a luxury. People can live for days without food but without water, they won’t for sure. On another note, commercially available beverages in bottle, can, or carton forms are usually non-perishable. Powdered versions are also available. It is not a bad idea to fill your cupboard with these too. For your morning rituals, tea bags and coffee powders are good to stock.
Nuts and Seeds
These lightweight and nutrient-dense food items are perfect snacks. It’s good to have dried nuts and seeds available so you won’t have to bother going out in the middle of the night when you’re craving for something to eat.
Crackers, Bars, and Biscuits
Similar to nuts and seeds, these make for an ideal solution for in-between-meal hunger. Depending on the filling and process of making, crackers, bars, and biscuits have varying shelf life. Be sure to check the label when storing.
Soups, Sauces, and Condiments
Let’s begin with the essentials like sugar, salt, and pepper. You need to keep these always in stock because otherwise, your dish will turn out bland. Instant soups that come in powdered form are saviours of meals that are lacking on the taste department. Sauces such as tomato-based, soy-based, and others are recommended too. If you can spare an extra, store dried herbs and seasonings too.
How Do I Store Non-Perishable Foods?
The most basic rule in keeping non-perishable foods is to check the label. They will tell you exactly where to place them and how long they will last. In general, dried foods should be kept in a dry place. Exposing them to moisture will allow moulds and pathogenic microorganisms to grow. In some powdered products like coffee and sugar, humidity can cause granules to aggregate so you need to keep an eye also this. It is also a general rule to treat non-perishable items as perishable once opened especially among non-dried matters. One good example is milk. They will last for months unopened but once you expose it to external factors, you need to consume it within days as indicated on the label.
Why Should I Buy Non-Perishable Foods?
The essence of having the best non-perishable foods on stock gives you the assurance of not having had to worry about hunger for the next days. Whether it’s a simple reason as being lazy to buy food outside or an even bigger cause as a pandemic that engulfed the world, you’re saved from starving because of these foods.
You also know by now that non-perishable foods survive a cool and dry place even for months. And since we’re on the topic of convenience, most non-perishable foods, if not ready-to-eat, don’t require extensive cooking.
Is It Safe To Eat Them Daily?
While the selling points of non-perishable food items look absolutely enticing, there are some points you need to be mindful of. There’s nothing more refreshing than eating vegetables in its purest glory, freshly harvested. Nutrients of some non-perishable foods are lost during the process. Texture and taste may even be compromised. Keep an eye on your consumption frequency of canned products especially fermented vegetables or sweetened fruits. Read the nutrition label carefully as these tend to have incredibly high amounts of salt and sugar.
Remember that non-perishable foods are not designed to replace fresh ones but rather they were made available for you to have options. The key is to have everything in balance.