It has been my contention that properly packed products will last beyond what most people would consider their shelf life. Personally, I have limited my own purchases of long-term food storage to a few companies. In the last, few years I have seen a number of new companies enter the long-term food market. The majority of these companies seem to be just trying to take advantage of the demand for food and I would not trust their products to keep my family alive. Some companies I do trust and today a friend and I ate a Mountain House pouch of beef stew dated the ninety-sixth day of 1972.
Yes, that was 1972; 42 years ago and we are talking about a pouch not a can. At that time they were never expected to be kept for this period of time. But they were packed with the best technology available.
As many of you know, I try to get my hands on all the very old long-term food storage I can find. I have opened many cans and have refused to eat products from many companies. Long-term Food Storage, 30 year Old Cans I Opened Today
Friends are always giving me all cans and packages that they are concerned about. Anyway, I ended up getting several old pouches of Mountain House Beef Stew. The pouches were in good condition and the food looked good so we rehydrated it and ate it.
One thing that I have learned about older food freeze-dried and dehydrated foods is that you need to let them set in the boiling water a little longer than normal. Second, they seem to require a little more water than the recommended amount.
The 42-year-old beef stew tasted fine and I enjoyed it. Now I don’t know about how nutritious it was, but I know it filled me up and provided me with calories. Now I am not advocating that you keep your food this long, I believe in rotating it regularly. But if you run across some old Mountain House don’t be in a big hurry to throw it away. It might still be good.