Adventures in food shelf-life

When it comes to storage-type food, you very often trade flavor for shelf life. You can have a product that tastes really good, but only lasts a minimum amount of time…or you can have a product with a great shelf life but its flavor is such that you would only eat it after the fallout settles and the Kroger’s is a smoking ruin.

Years ago (eight years, actually) I bought a bunch of the Idahoan instant potatoes in pouches. I recommend these highly, and find them to be very good. So good, in fact, that when I’m feeling too lazy to peel, boil, and mash ‘real’ spuds I reach for these. For the price of two of these pouches I can buy a 5# bag of potatoes at my local supermarket, so economically it may not make a lot of sense to have them all the time, but for storage food….very highly recommend.

One concern I had was the durability of the paper pouches. Its heavy duty paper, to be sure…but how will it hold up over time? Funny you should ask….

13890According to Idahoans website FAQ, this particualr pouch o’ spuds was born almost eight years ago. I’d bought a bunch of these when they were on sale and stuffed ’em into a plastic tub, sealed it up, and sat it on the shelf with all the other mid-term food storage in the classic ‘cool,dry place’. But…after a few years, I was pretty certain theyd have gone stale or bad or whatever happens to dehydrated potatoes. In fact, while I wasnt sure enough to pull them off the shelf and discard them, I was sure enough to pull them off my inventory spreadsheet.

Well, to make a long story short, it appears that even in the simple heavy paper pouch, stored under good conditions, they actually held up quite well for eight years. No discernible loss of flavor or texture. In fact, they seemed just fine. So, despite theyre not being packaged in a long-term manner from the factory, if you just stuff the pouches into a hard container, seal it up, and store it under the usual conditions…it lasts just fine.

So…if you’re looking to ads something to the ol’ pantry that tastes good enough to eat on a regular basis, but has a shelf life that goes on for quite a while…..these come highly recommended.


6 thoughts on “Adventures in food shelf-life

  1. Try the new Idahoen Steakhouse potatoes. Hell Ya!! Four differrent meals, each packaged in a plastic pouch sized for two. Not sure if you could add water to the pouch and eat it that way, would be handy though. Tried to add them to our storage but they are just to good, my wife uses them up as fast as I buy them.

  2. I trust most packaged food for longevity from my experience. I am currently working my way through a case of (24) boxes of (10 ea) packages of Quaker Fruit flavored Oats. Found them first week of Nov 2015. during inventory and thought they would be rancid by now. My buy marked on the box of 8/2008. Not real fan of Oats but it is scientific in a sort.

    Unbelievably, they still taste like a recent box of 8 packages which I bought for comparison, which were both wrapped in the same paper packages which are internally wrapped with plastic. These were stored in the original cardboard boxes they came in so no super storage for them, as I was new to prepping then.

    I cannot tell the difference between the now new and old. While I do have a bunch of regular rolled Oats, I would wholly reco these for very long term storage. I think rolled Oatmeal is boring and bought a number of these when they were $1.1o per box. They now come on occasional special for $2.50 but $3.25 off special. I still have all the reciepts. lol

    Just sayin…

  3. good to know. i have some 5 years old now and plan on adding to them. i pay no attention to expiration dates, having seen 100 year old cans from the 49ers opened revealing fine food inside.

  4. Hey, I am still headed out that way next weekend. Should be in your city about time for Brunch on Monday the 11th. Don’t know the town so you pick and I buy. If you have a suitable phone (burner or whatever) please email me the number so I can touch bases 24 out and adjust as needed that morning.

    Looking forward to it. -R

  5. This is great news as for us the challenge isnt just cost but also space as we live in an apartment. The wife just tossed a box of these that had been sitting on our shelf for 3 or 4 years…good to know we can stock up on them again.


  6. Slightly OT, I tried some 17-year-old MREs. Some ok, some not. The itty-bitty Tabasco bottles were fine but the green Chiclets (I presume that was the original color) disintegrated upon contact with reconstituted 17-year-old instant coffee- the combination was disgusting.

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