Foods That Don’t Store Well For ‘Long Term’


There are lots of foods that store quite well for a very long time under the right conditions. However there are foods that do NOT store well for the long term.

Here’s a list of some of the foods that you should not store for ‘long term’…

Note: I’m generally referring to food storage of 1 year or more. Basically I’m calling out a few food types that you wouldn’t want to put in the deep pantry for many, many years (like you might for other types).

Also, it is a subjective thing – as to when you detect that a given food is going bad or rancid. Your results may vary.

Foods That You Shouldn’t Keep For Long Term Storage

The big culprit here is oil. Oil content. Oil will go rancid after awhile.

Oily grains and nuts: They go rancid quickly and lose their nutrition.

Nuts in general. Generally speaking, I have found the taste begins to bitter from 6 months to a year. Especially when getting beyond 1 year or thereabouts.

Any milled / ground grain. Grinding or milling exposes the insides of the grains to oxygen. It will result eventually going rancid. Even after just several months, depending. So store your grains whole (as in “wheat berries” for example).

Whole Wheat Flour will go rancid faster (or develop some bitter taste) than White Flour.

Brown rice has lots of oil compared to white rice. It’s all about the oil content…and storage conditions! I strictly store white rice for my very long term bucket-storage.

Dehydrated vegetables and fruits. It largely depends on how dry they are after processing (moisture content). If they’re so dry that they snap when bent, it will last longer than rubbery.

Dried meat jerky. Though lean jerky will last a lot longer than fatty jerky. Lots depends on amount of fat! Depends on storage conditions too. Plus, it usually gets eaten before “long term” anyway… :)

Jugs/Jars of Oil will eventually go rancid (1 year or several, depending). Best to store in your chest freezer! That will solve your problem.

 Anyone else have experiences with foods that Do NOT store well for the long term?

[ Read: How Much Wheat in a 5 Gallon Bucket – Pounds, Calories, #Loaves Bread ]


  1. Lemon juice. We bought some extra at Costco several years ago, and recently had to throw it out. Not sure if it would’ve been ok if we’d poured it out of the plastic bottles it came in to mason jars.

    1. My motto is , when you have an opportunity to replace it, do so. But keep it till its no longer safe..I keep canned goods for months and years past expiration.

  2. Dehydrated stuff concerns me,
    dehydrated onions, corn, peas? They seem ok, even way out, but almost anything else ive tried, like fruits, questionable at best.
    dehydrated jerky, since ive started using curing salt or tender quick in the recipes, it seems to keep better, i only have been using venison, very lean, no fat.

    😎 🤙🏻

  3. Slightly off topic but regarding medium term storage. Home canned peaches, pears and oranges don’t last more than 2 years for me. I try to use less white sugar in a light syrup but it cuts back on shelf life… Heavy syrup utilizing more white sugar can stretch these fruits to 4 years in my pantry .

    Almonds and other nuts will last 5 years here when vacuum sealed properly. Sometimes they need a “freshening up” in a low temperature oven and taste okay but definitely not fresh.

    Whole wheat flour starts to harden up and taste a little off after 3 years in my storage. Brown rice is definitely not long lasting in storage at all so we don’t waste our time storing it. My oils stored in a darkish basement shelf at about 65 degrees +/- do last about 5 years.

  4. What’s the best option for fats/oils for storage? I was thinking cooking spam first then using the fat that rendered out for cooking the rest of the meal. What about storing cristco on the freezer in the freezer maybe?

    1. Calif Adam,olive, grapeseed,sunflower oils all freeze well. will extend storage time by up to 2 years,, i have not needed to extend beyond that. butter as well, can be used and kept 5 years as ghee. is brought to boil to remove water,put hot in sterile jars w.sterilized and dry lids. lard can be donne same way and stored cool area in closet-over 6 yrs.

  5. Before I did a bit better job of rotating, I had some olive oil that went rancid. Instead of throwing it out, I used it to oil my spades and such at the end of the growing season. It saved me from that guilty feeling of throwing food out, and saved money not buying other oil to use on my garden tools.

    1. Olive oil can also be smoothed on after a shower, used as a ‘winter weight’ moisturizer.

  6. Put these types of food in the freezer, flour, grains, jerky, of course sealed properly, I like to shrink wrap them in bags or containers. It extends their shelf life.

      1. Petra S
        We do not have basement, wish we had one. Rules that I have heard great as long as it stays below 60 or 65 degrees ferinheight(15.56 Celsius/18.33), watch the moisture in the basement. It will take some work on your part to learn what will work for your area, time for you to do research.

    1. I also put my (white) flour in my deep freezer. Definitely adds to the shelf life!! And also prevents the itty bitty bug problems from happening.

  7. Correct about glass being much better than plastic. Ball has a new lid for the regular and wide mouth jars that is leak proof. Being leak proof one would assume it keeps air out fairly well too. I use for my tinctures and storage in the fridge for broth and such. When it comes to acids they eat into the container which might be plastic or the coatings in cans. I for one would not prefer to ingest plastic and coatings even if starving. Dangerous business for the body.

  8. The “Marmelade” -I am not sure about the right translation, Jam or Marmelade?- Suger cooked with berries and Fruits from the garden of my parents was even eatable after 20 years. I does not taste but I guess it still has calories. My Mom is a genious. And in the case of Elderberries you can use it to dye clothes. They did that after the war when green military outfit had been forbidden

    I am sure as sour as it tastes it must have some Vitamin C left.

  9. If you live in the south and have pecan trees. They will store in the shell, in your freezer, for over five years. They will also store shelled for well over a year in the fridge. I put them in canning jars..

  10. Wow, this has become just a good old prepper site once again. Trekker Out

    1. Mountain Trekker:
      When the Bartender is serving free drinks.
      Blah Blah Blah
      I’ll take anything he’s serving
      If ya get my drift…. 🥃🍺🍷🍸

      1. And if the bar is open only one day a year,
        ya drink until ya puke!

  11. When dehydrating vegetables(frozen)I premeasure a cup, then set is on the sheet separate from the other vegetables that are drying. When the process is completed I measure the 1 cup to see what the dry equals out to for rehydration.
    Since glass jars are limited I use baby food jars the largest that is available. Measure the dried equaling to wet vegetables into that jar, place the lid on. Two jars in each vacuum seal package 8″ bag and process. It uses up the baby food jars, also limits the amount to be opened at one time for processing in meals.

  12. Keeping a close watch on any gin stored in plastic bottles. It always disappears prior to the” best drink by”date or the expiration date. Hmmmm . Same with the olives they don’t seem to last very long either.
    Humor and attitude will help get us through this nutty world.

    1. Bluesman:
      Gin in plastic bottles????
      OMG thats like, well I can’t say that here… LOLOL

      1. NRP & Blue,
        I’ll say it…..sacrilege! But then again, it is probably only 40%ABV, not like that high test rocket fuel you brew up that needs to be stored in tantalum containers. Still like glass for long term storage of wine and spirits.

        1. Minerjim:
          140 proof is not really that “high test rocket fuel”
          Just something to keep yar blood thined out a bit.
          Just don’t smoke and drink at the same time 😳😳😳

        2. NRP & Blue,
          140 proof? Watering the liquor again eh? I get it though, at our age we need pickling solution more than fire in the throw ol Blue treat for us.

  13. I am always looking for rancid vegetable oil. Rancid vegetable oil if the best for tanning hides I have found. Forgot what it is happens to it when it gets rancid but it tans better than fresh.

    I grate about 4 tablespoons of feels naptha bar soap disolve on the stove in about a quart of water then whisk in about 3 cups of rancid vegetable oil. When it’s cool enough for your hand to go in go ahead and soak your fleshed and dehaired hide overnight.
    Then I wring it our well and keep working it as it dries. Once it’s dried I put it back into my soap/oil mix. I soak and “break” the hide 3 times total and I get a nice soft deer hide.

  14. I curious. A lot of you say you store things like oil , flour , nuts ECT in your freezer. How big of freezers do you have? My freezer is stocked with meat and a little extra room left for things like 10lb of butter and some frozen veggies

    1. poorman
      I only rotate those foods which require freezing to remove the larva/bugs. Then remove the food let come to room temperature. After that I process into Mylar bags with 02 absorbers for storage, on the out side of the bag I use blue tape with the product stored inside and a date of processing.
      Somethings I have switched over to glass jars, those jars being food you have purchased in a grocery store. If I plan on keeping it longer term, that jar with the lid slightly lose for air removal is placed inside of vacuum bag.

  15. I have found dry roasted peanuts last several years past their best by date.

  16. I have found that tinned (1 gallon metal can) of olive oil lastsbat least 2 years past its expiration date (approximately 4 years total after manufacturing). Haven’t tried longer. Others including the guy that wrote the food lab books has found the same. Not sure why it lasts so much longer than even glass bottles and especially plastic.

    Nutella lasts a long time also. Not sure why.

  17. Does anyone know how long a 50 lb bag of livestock cracked corn would last? It would be stored in a galvanized trash can most likely outside. Thanks.

    1. You will get more condensation in the can if stored in temps that vary throughout the day. I had one container of cracked corn stored in more regulated temp area that only made it a couple months before I felt it was off, I don’t know how long it was stored before I got it. Now I only use whole corn to make sure I get all the nutrients and know when it was cracked. My whole corn seems to last for many, many months….so far over 9 months. Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks for the reply DA. I’m going to go out tomorrow and see what’s available. I feed both chickens and sheep and corn can be fed to both in a pinch. I’ll look into buying some whole corn since it stores better.

  18. Coconut oil will last for a very long time, especially when stored in cool conditions. Like many, many years. It’s very stable. It’s THE best storage oil in my opinion.

    I buy it from Healthy Traditions on line in a 5 gal bucket. They have a steam deodorized version that is very neutral in smell/taste.

    1. Thanks for that info! Yes, I agree with you. We buy the small tubs of coconut oil since we don’t use it all that much, but I do like the taste. One thing I do with it is pan fried shrimp in a good quantity of coconut oil. Yum.

    2. Coconut oil is also great for dental health. I use it for oil pulling. It helps to get your teeth really clean and it’s naturally antibiotic.

    3. Duke Norfolk, Ken, Pecora. And all:

      I use almost only Coconut Oil.
      It’s a good high temp oil, taste a HELL of a lot better than that Canola Oil death trap.

      I even mix a batch of Coconut Oil and Baking Soda for Teeth Paste (why is it “tooth paste”I still have more than one).

      AND yes I use it on Blue’s teeth, DIFFERENT brush… LOLOL

  19. Stephanie
    Coconut oil on the shelf at least 3 years, if you put it in glass containers and freeze it longer. Same with the other better quality oils, jars then freeze for stretching the time you have to use them.
    This knowledge was passed on by TOJS=the original just sayin. If she has time she might give you more ideas on this storage. Hopefully she is not getting a canoe out where they reside from the influx of rain.

  20. Stephanie,

    Unrefined, or virgin, coconut oil will keep for a very long time if properly stored. You have to make sure it’s the unrefined, as the refined version does not have a long shelf life. On-line info I’ve seen suggests unrefined coconut oil keeps for at least 3-5 years, some say it keeps indefinitely. My personal experience is using 3 year old oil that is still good. I keep mine in a dark pantry, stays relatively cool – 70’s in summer with no AC – and seems to be holding up well.

  21. Stephanie, Lard or ghee will easily store 5 years. Have a friend who does her own hogs and her rendered fat she has kept for 6 years.Here is her method… To secure lard, sterilize jars and lids, can use reclaimed jars….if must (salsa pints and 24 oz in GLASS) have lard hot and ladle in sterilized hot jars.wash rim with hot water then vinegar dipped clean cloth. fill jar as full as possible to exclude most air. lid tightly with hot lid.
    .I use this method to secure the fat from chicken leg quarters.. 40 lbs will net about a quart of fat. i fully cook chicken to de bone and dice and pack in quarts. The instapot i turn on twice on chicken setting so it is falling off the bone tender.close to 9 lbs will go in mine… and i put about 2 cups water in to start a pot full. when ti cuts off, i allow it to cool and use ladle to dip all but small amt liquid..chill in glass jar and put in refrigerator to fully chill, then dip the fat off the top…when all fat is gathered i put in saucepan to heat fully…and pack in hot sterilized jars…It never lasts beyond a year…we use for making gravy, and fryng chicken,+ making any pork recipe…
    Olive oil, sunflower oil, and grapeseed oil can all be frozen for an extended freshness time..(I have no input on canola or corn oil they are GMO and i don’t use them.).. have used some had frozen for 2 years.. suggest putting freezer tape on top of oil with date put in…. beware of the very thin bottles that sunflower oil often comes in , they are easily punctured by moving around in freezer.
    .I have not tried avacado oil…I store coconut oil n cool dry place and do not freeze it..since DH does not tolerate it well have not added any and we go thru it extremely slowly…Hope this helps…

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