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Just wondering how long home made pickled eggs and normal dill pickles last for if they are kept in a cool basement? I'm a big fan of both of those food and they look like they would be fun to make. Might not be the best food to have around if the SHTF but it sure would make be feel better after eating rice and beans for however long.
The ag college answer is that they're best used within a year and shouldn't be used after 2 years (that's the standard line for all home canned foods).
My personal theory and practice, however, is that the foods are as safe as commercially canned products. I don't feel that all commercially canned foods need to be consumed within 2 years of canning and "best buy" dates often indicate a longer window of usefulness.
So I check each jar of home canned food prior to opening and if the food's appearance has not significantly altered and the seal is still tight I open the jar. Then if the scent remains normal and there is no visible problem I consider the food good to go. If there are visible or scent related differences from what the food was like when first canned I err on the side of caution.
I don't think I'd ever can up foods with the intention of having them sit on my shelves for an extended period of time, but I don't fret if we have some pickles around longer than 2 years, either.
Ya I feel the same way. If I can pickles and eggs i highly doubt that I'm going to be able to keep myself away from them for longer than 6 months. I was just making sure that they would keep at least that long. The only things my family ever canned were peppers(lots of good recipes) and spicy tomato juice. I've eaten two year old canned peppers and they tasted grate.
I was wondering how long my commercially canned foods will actually last...I try to rotate but sometimes I find a batch with expired dates. When would you throw old canned food away? How many years past the date is dangerous to eat????
Also, What can I do with my outdated rations? I bought a batch of emergency SOS bars over 5 years ago so their date is expired...they say they have a 5 year shelf life...What should I do? Are they still healthy or should I just throw them away at some point. Are they just an emergency food or should I be eating them when they get close to expiration?
Are there specific commercially canned foods that last longer or are more "vital" for nutrition? I have assorted vegetables, Spaghettios, ham, tuna, pickles, sauerkraut and beans but I would love advice on other important canned foods that I might need.
From what I have read as long as out as the cans, lids, seals, seams etc are NOT rusted, bulging, leaking or foaming at the seals AND the open contents are NOT foamy, slimy moldy or sick looking and the contents look and smell fine, the worst this is the nutrtional value has or is declining.....
When in doubt, Throw it out... If you hate the idea of tossing out good out of date canned veggies and fruits add it to the hog slop.
Excellent link explaining use by, sell by, best if used by dates......
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/foo ... /index.asp
I never have that problem. I rotate my stock from the reserves to the pantry regularly and restock. IF you use the FIFO system eating the good with in two years shouldn't be a problem.
MRE's and SOS bars can be a problem but I take them on hiking and camping trips so I do use them once in a blue moon. I also keep one in an emergency kit in the car. Handy if you get stranded in a bad snow storm but you normally have to throw that one out if you don't use it in a year. The wild temperature fluctuations in the car makes them go bad fast.
See this link that I posted in another thread:
Basically most food that is canned is sterilized before sealing. As long the seal and container is intact and no contamination entered during processing, it remains so. Food will after some time start to loose nutritional value, but that even takes awhile. My rule is no rust, no dents, no bulging, it's good until 5 years past the date on the can. Check when opening, the color, texture, and smell.
THANKS to you all! The USDA website and the stilltasty website are excellent resources to answer my other questions! Now I have a strange question...I feel the need to stock up on commercially canned jars of pickles and jars of sauerkraut and I want to know if they are super vital or I am just being weird. They were SO vital to prevent skurvy in the past, right? But they did not have cans of fruits and vegetables back then....Are canned oranges and mixed fruit and canned peas etc...just as good? I figure canned fruit has a lot of vitamins????? Is the pickling process of pickles and sauerkraut more or less healthy???? Please advise!!!
I have always heard that kraut was made as a method of preserving the cabage without refrigeration. If kept in the crock submerged under the board in the liquid it would keep for at least several months in a cool, dark place. I guess pickles were just preserved cucumbers, using the same method.
Your need to stock pickles and sauerkraut open a whole new world to learn a new skill in self reliance, Learning to ferment sauerkraut and pickles... My husband and I both enjoy making fermented pickles and sauerkraut.. It is a relatively simple process.
Here is a great link with detailed instructions...
http://www.wildfermentation.com/resourc ... sauerkraut
Thanks for the link! Looks like I'll be exploring that after supper tonight. I've tried making kimchi before, but I don't eat it or sauerkraut because I can't eat cabbage. However, my husband loves both. Apparently, my kimchi was not the best, but hey, the man used to date a Vietnamese woman before meeting me whose mother barely spoke English and had cooked the old ways her whole life, so the standard was set pretty high with him. LOL! And then he meets me -- a woman with numerous food intolerances and just a picky eater who was raised in a household that only ever used salt, pepper, and garlic salt and had a limited set menu of about 12 meals that were rotated. Hopefully this site help me learn more about the whole process.
There is a theory out there that fermented and pickled foods are more healthy. The probiotics created in the process promote gut health.
I like this site for explanation and recipes http://nourishedkitchen.com/recipe-index/ferments-cultured-food/
CANNED FOOD SHELF LIFE: EXTREME EXAMPLES
The steamboat Bertrand was heavily laden with provisions when it set out on the Missouri River in 1865, destined for the gold mining camps in Fort Benton, Mont. The boat snagged and swamped under the weight, sinking to the bottom of the river. It was found a century later, under 30 feet of silt a little north of Omaha, Neb.
Among the canned food items retrieved from the Bertrand in 1968 were brandied peaches, oysters, plum tomatoes, honey, and mixed vegetables. In 1974, chemists at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) analyzed the products for bacterial contamination and nutrient value. Although the food had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the NFPA chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they had been when canned more than 100 years earlier.
The nutrient values varied depending upon the product and nutrient. NFPA chemists Janet Dudek and Edgar Elkins report that significant amounts of vitamins C and A were lost. But protein levels remained high, and all calcium values "were comparable to today's products."
NFPA chemists also analyzed a 40-year-old can of corn found in the basement of a home in California. Again, the canning process had kept the corn safe from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition, Dudek says, the kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.
The canning process is a product of the Napoleonic wars. Malnutrition was rampant among the 18th century French armed forces. As Napoleon prepared for his Russian campaign, he searched for a new and better means of preserving food for his troops and offered a prize of 12,000 francs to anyone who could find one. Nicolas Appert, a Parisian candy maker, was awarded the prize in 1809.
Although the causes of food spoilage were unknown at the time, Appert was an astute experimenter and observer. For instance, after noting that storing wine in airtight bottles kept it from spoiling, he filled widemouth glass bottles with food, carefully corked them, and heated them in boiling water.
The durable tin can--and the use of pottery and other metals--followed shortly afterwards, a notion of Englishman Peter Durand. Soon, these "tinned" foods were used to feed the British army and navy.
The canned food principle that won Nicolas Appert his prize of 12,000 francs has endured over the years. What might surprise Appert, however, is how his discovery is making food shopping and storing easier for the 20th century consumer.
Those who order coffee at fast food restaurants now also are served canned half-and-half, which has been transported and stored without concern about refrigeration. Hikers can take flexible pouches of canned food on backpacking trips without having to worry about saving water to reconstitute freeze-dried meals. And, in this society of microwave owners, Americans who don't have time to prepare a well-balanced meal can pick up a plastic container filled with a canned, nutritious dinner.
From: The Canning Process: Old Preservation Technique Goes Modern
by Dale Blumentha in FDA Consumer magazine, Sept 1990
I just wanted to point out that pickles might be a good source of dietary fiber, but they have almost no calories. I don't consider pickles to be a good prepper food item... except maybe as comfort food. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE pickles, and they do have some reasonable vitamin content (particularly vitamin K), but sauerkraut has great vitamin C levels. Given the choice of the two, I'd personally stock more sauerkraut.
If you can your pickles with a good amount of garlic - you will also get the benefit of the garlic. We do alot of "dilly beans" in addition to pickles.
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