Long term Storage of Honey and Veggies
#10 Can of Honey
Your Chart says indefinitely for shelf life of honey. Is that honey in, say, a Honey Bear at the supermarket?
And the veggies are they freeze dried or dehydrated?
Sorry for the dumb questions but I am just starting out with this. Thank you.
First of all, there are no dumb questions - not on my website. I'm sure there are others who have the same questions but just didn't ask. So, thanks for asking.
In storing honey, the answer is, yes, it will store indefinitely, no matter what kind of container it is in. That said, I would not personally store honey long term in a Honey Bear because honey will harden after a while and become crystallized. It would be difficult to get it out of a Honey Bear unless you heated the entire bottle.
But just because honey hardens and crystallizes doesn't make it bad, just more difficult to use. I'm not looking forward to chopping out chunks from the 5-gallon bucket of honey in our storage.
Storing honey long term only requires that it be sealed well to keep out the possibility of bugs getting into the container.
As for veggies, they can be freeze dried (shelf life 25-30 years), dehydrated (shelf life 25-30 years), canned from the store (shelf life - "use by" date or a year or two), home bottled (shelf life 1-2 years).
Just remember that shelf life is shortened by heat, moisture, oxygen, and improper packaging/sealing. If all food is stored in a cool area of your home with the proper packaging that eliminates moisture and oxygen, the above time frames for shelf life apply. As soon as food products are exposed to heat or a seal is broken, the longer shelf life does not apply.
For instance, a study was performed at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. The quality of dehydrated non-fat milk was tested at different storage conditions. Here are some of the results:
- Nonfat dry milk stored at 90 degrees F began to develop "off flavors" by 6 months and considered unacceptable (oxidized and stale) after 2 years.
- Nonfat dry milk stored at 70 degrees F was considered unacceptable (oxidation and stale) after 4 years.
- Nonfat dry milk stored at 50 degrees F resulted in minimal flavor changes after 52 months (4 1/3 years).
This study is just one example of the effects that heat has on food storage items. Every food is different and the shelf life can vary depending on storage conditions.
(Just for the record, the shelf life of nonfat dry milk will never be 25-30 years like freeze dried veggies.)
I'm happy for you that you are starting to store food. You will not regret the time and money spent - especially if you need to use it. Just be sure to keep an accurate inventory and mark the purchase or packaged date on everything. That way you can keep track of what needs rotating and when.