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Nov 5, 2012 03:39 PM

Looking for a definitive source on shelf life of pantry staples

I sometimes find myself Googling the shelf life of some pantry staple when trying to decide how much to buy, when to throw out, etc. (Recent example: rolled and steel-cut oats...anyone got any info on these?) But what would really help is a definitive source (ideally a website) that lists the shelf life (and maybe also "emergency shelf life") of various staples that I could turn to when I have these random questions. I haven't been able to find such a source. Does anyone have any leads? Thanks in advance!

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  1. This website looks to be pretty useful http://stilltasty.com/ You just enter the food into the search box and some options come up that you can click on. I did one for oatmeal and it resulted in this http://stilltasty.com/fooditems/index...

    1 Reply
    1. re: juliejulez

      Julie, this website is great! This is exactly what I was looking for. For some reason I didn't get a notification in my email that there was a reply to my question, so forgive the late response. Anyway, thanks!

    2. I would take the '1 year' on that website for most grains and beans as 'indefinite'. I would also give it a look and smell test. Bugs? toss. Musty smelling? toss, etc. I might even cook a small amount and give it a taste test.

      There's a difference between things going bad or spoiling, and things just getting old and loosing optimal taste. Going rancid falls somewhere in between.

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj

        Yeah, I agree actually. Most manufacturers aren't going to tell you the true expiration date because they wouldn't want you to experience the product at sub-par quality. Plus they want you to replace it sooner. But I actually do think that 1 year figure is relevant. That's the time by which I plan to use something up, unless it's in long-term "in case of zombie apocalypse" storage.