Did you know that properly stored canned food may be fit for consumption for up to 5 years? How crazy is that! Regardless of what will happen over the next half a decade, that can of baked beans will still be as good as the day you bought it. Therefore, it may be worth taking note of which products have the longest shelf life in order to build a non-perishable food list that will see you stocked up and fed during any eventuality, including a growing concern for the world, the new disease: COVID-19.

1. Canned Vegetables

Canned vegetables are nutritious and versatile.

  • Variety: Include a mix of vegetables like corn, green beans, peas, and carrots.
  • Low-sodium options: Opt for low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties to control your salt intake.

2. Canned Fruits

Canned fruits can add sweetness and variety to your emergency food supply.

  • Types: Stock up on fruits like peaches, pears, pineapple, and mixed fruit.
  • Packaged in juice: Choose fruits canned in their juice rather than syrup for a healthier option.

3. Canned Proteins

Canned proteins are essential for balanced meals.

  • Tuna and salmon: These fish options are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Chicken and turkey: Opt for canned chicken or turkey for a lean protein source.
  • Beans and legumes: Include canned beans, lentils, and chickpeas for plant-based protein options.

4. Grains and Pasta

Grains and pasta are hearty staples that can be stored for a long time.

  • Rice: Stock up on white or brown rice for a versatile base for meals.
  • Pasta: Include various pasta shapes like spaghetti, penne, and rotini.
  • Oats: Rolled oats or instant oatmeal can be used for breakfast or baking.

5. Shelf-Stable Milk and Dairy Alternatives

Shelf-stable milk and dairy alternatives can provide calcium and essential nutrients.

  • Powdered milk: Keep powdered milk on hand for drinking or cooking.
  • Almond, soy, or oat milk: Choose shelf-stable versions of dairy alternatives.

8. Nuts, Seeds, and Dried Fruits

Nuts, seeds, and dried fruits provide energy and nutrients.

  • Nuts: Stock up on almonds, walnuts, and peanuts for healthy fats and protein.
  • Seeds: Include chia seeds, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds for added nutrition.
  • Dried fruits: Keep dried fruits like raisins, apricots, and cranberries for snacks or baking.

Freeze-Dried Food

Freeze-dried food is another great item to have on your non-perishable food list. If stored properly it can last up to a decade-defying 30 years. However, this is completely dependent on how it’s stored.

This is because the freeze-drying process doesn’t preserve the food: it actually just slows down the rotting process. In order to ensure it lasts for the longest possible time, if must be kept out of contact with all moisture. To do this, keep it in a completely sealed airtight container. You may also want to place a silica gel packet inside the container as well, to be sure to absorb any residual moisture in the air inside the container.


Having a well-stocked pantry of non-perishable foods can help you stay prepared for unexpected situations. Remember to rotate your stock regularly to ensure freshness and check expiration dates to maintain the quality of your emergency food supply. By stocking up on these non-perishable items, you’ll be better equipped to handle unforeseen challenges and ensure that you and your family have access to nutritious and satisfying meals during difficult times.