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Shelf Life

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Outdoorxj, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Outdoorxj

    Outdoorxj Wilsonville Active Member

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    So i was trying to find a site or post on what the shelf life of items are. If anyone knows or can point me in the right direction, that would be great.

    I am looking for shelf life on:
    chewing tobacco
    Crystal lite

    If you have other items that you would like to know, feel free to post and ask.
  2. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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  3. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Generally speaking, all of those things have an "indefinite shelf life" when not exposed to heat or moisture. I've smoked cigarettes that came from C-rations that were made before I was born, yea, didn't taste all that great, but gave me my fix. Crystal Light is essentially a mix of sugar, flavor, and sweeteners, it's 100% chemicals, keep it cool and dry, it'll last. Chewing tobacco goes bad when it dries out, but it comes in a container intended to prevent that from happening, should last for decades on the shelf.
  4. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    One thing is for sure you never did any chewing tobacco. It does dry out especially snuff. Less than a year for that.
  5. HansC

    HansC Portland Member

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    It all depends on storage conditions. My dad got the survivalist bug and put away a bunch of food in 1976 and 1977. When I go out to visit, I usually eat some of what he put away then to see if it can still be eaten. Back then, newspaper lined, plastic five gallon buckets, with the Original lids, were accepted as state of the art storage. Over the years, the food has been stored in an insulated shed, garages, closets, and pantries. It is all fine. Canned products that expired in 1980 seem unchanged. White rice tastes funny, but stays down fine. Spices taste a little cardboardy, but still taste enough like they should to be usable.

    The only stuff that went bad were plastic buckets that got chewed through by rodents. There are some really basic precautions to take. Store in a cool, dry place. Don't let anything you buy in a metal can rust or get dented. Avoid storing acidic foods too long in tin cans. Stuff keeps a lot longer than most people think. I'm sure it tastes better when it is eaten by a reasonable expiration date, but things like millet aren't all that tasty by themselves in the first place, so how you prepare consumables is important.

    Some stuff, like salt and sugar, just doesn't go bad if stored free of contamination. Also, take a realistic look at your kitchen cupboards. Some baking supplies only get used a few times a year, and are kept in their opened paper containers in the cupboards for a really long time.

    As Americans, sure, we eat too much sugar, fat, and salt. But we also have a great deal of variety in our average diets. Barring botulism, old food or other consumables won't make you keel over. It just might not be the taste extravaganza you were hoping for.

    I store food, too, but I don't hold on to it. If I have stuff that I can't use up by the expiration date, I donate it to my local food bank before that happens. I also suck as a gardener, but each year I have far more grapes and hazelnuts than I can use. I donate that surplus, too. There are always people that can use a little help, and putting away supplies for a rainy day, on an ongoing basis, is a good way to regularly contribute.

    Remember, in a crisis, you are stuck with the community around you. A majority of people, I believe, care only for themselves even in the best of times. Their behavior will not improve as things nosedive. Get to know people around you now, and go out of your way to be helpful to those on the bottom of the food chain. It is possible to be charitable without turning yourself into a target, and if some disaster does befall the area where you live, having people around that think you're a stand up guy is more valuable than a couple of cases of aging crystal light.

    For what it is worth, I bet Crystal Light is not capable of going bad if stored in its original packaging. Don't think there is anything organic inside to break down.

    As trade items, in war time, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and chocolate have all been prized. Alcohol may be easiest to store, and may actually increase in value as it ages.

    If you visit a tobacco shop or cigar store, those guys could probably give you great advice on storing tobacco.
  6. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If your storing the tobacco products for yourself, no advice. If for barter don't worry about it! Nicotine addicts will use anything that has nicotine in it, no matter how nasty.
    Outdoorxj and (deleted member) like this.
  7. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    Store tobacco in food saver packs forever.
  8. Outdoorxj

    Outdoorxj Wilsonville Active Member

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    Yeah i dont smoke but i figured it would be good to save. I just didnt want to save it than it goes to waste.

    I have some gold and silver also alcohol.

    I am trying to prep but also be "realistic" and not over spend on items i dont need.

    For example i buy tobacco well if S dont hit the fan, than im screwed with tobacco but with alcohol or gold i can always use it!!!
  9. Outdoorxj

    Outdoorxj Wilsonville Active Member

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    Found this on an other site.
    Shelf Life of Seeds

    Average number of years vegetable seeds will remain viable if properly stored.

    Keeping seeds dry during storage is most important. Moisture causes seeds to rot. See to it that moisture from the air or any other sources does not get into the seeds. A simple, inexpensive but efficient storage container can be made out of a canning glass jar with an airtight lid. Get a clean jar. Make sure it is dry. As a precaution against moisture, put a layer of powdered charcoal (dessicant) on the bottom of the jar. One-half inch thickness is sufficient. If silica gel or calcium chloride is available, these should be substituted for the charcoal. Place the seeds in an envelope so they do not get in contact with the charcoal; place in a jar and cover tightly. Low temperature prolongs the life of the seeds. With this method of storage, seeds can be kept without significant germination loss.

    Asparagus - 3 years
    Beans - 3 years
    Beets - 4 years
    Broccoli - 3 years
    Brussels Sprouts - 4 years
    Cabbage - 4 years
    Carrots - 3 years
    Cauliflower - 4 years
    Celeriac - 3 years
    Celery - 3 years
    Chard,Swiss chard - 4 years
    Chicory - 4 years
    Chinese Cabbage - 3 years
    Collards - 5 years
    Corn - 2 years
    Corn Salad-(mache) - 5 years
    Cress - 5 years
    Cucumbers - 5 years
    Eggplant - 4 years
    Endive - 5 years
    Kale - 4 years
    Kohlrabi - 3 years
    Leeks - 2 years
    Lettuce - 6 years
    Muskmelon - 5 years
    Okra - 2 years
    Onions - 1 year
    Parsnips - 1 year
    Peas - 3 years
    Peppers - 2 years
    Radishes - 5 years
    Rutabagas - 4 years
    Salsify - 1 year
    Scorzonera - 2 years
    Sorrel - 4 years
    Southern Peas - 3 years
    Spinach - 3 years
    Squash & Pumpkins - 4 years
    Tomatoes - 4 years
    Turnips - 4 years
    Watermelon - 4 years
  10. billcoe

    billcoe PDX Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Great thread. I'd point out that for me, #10 tins of Mountain House were high on the list. The original ones are good for 25 years, and MH suggests that they are packaging things even better, so that would be the min you would expect. You can also get more years on it if it's keep cool. So a corner of the basement goes the MH and it will outlive me. Then I'm done thinking about it.

    For bulk storage, Gamma buckets and beans can be had at Winco Foods. These folks suggest that 10 years for Pinto Beans if they are stored right. Dry Beans - Food Storage - extension.usu.edu. Also, I don't have a link, but the Mormons freely share their info and they've been storing fanatics forever and they would be a valuable resource worth checking out for solid info. If you happen to be lucky enough to live in a high Mormon area, even better. They tend to be preppers, and in a big way.

    Great advise here:
    I'd add, store extra to share with others who were too dumb to have done so themselves, and you'll take some of the pressure off in a true emergency. For myself, although I see others who believe that they will store enough for themselves and load a shotgun to deal with those who did not, I think that's a poor practice to plan for. I mean, have the shotgun loaded, but if you have a bit extra you can share, you won't have to just be blasting the "starving hoards" knocking on your door that many here talk about. Imagine if all your neighbors had also saved and stored an extra 15%.
  11. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Eating a can of something from 35 years ago is actually probably healthier for you.

    No GMOs.
    Outdoorxj and (deleted member) like this.
  12. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Tried it for a while when I kept getting stuck on long-haul flights, I'm not really sure it would be better fresh than old, whole experience was kinda nasty but gave me my fix. I have smoked 5+ year old rolling tobacco, also not very good, but I would not consider it "unsmokable".
    Outdoorxj and (deleted member) like this.