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Lockdown : Foods with the longest shelf life

Published Apr 4, 2020

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DURBAN - As fear of what is yet to come from the Coronavirus outbreak led to consumers panic buying large quantities of food, the trend seems to be tailing off as most supermarkets remain stocked up by regularly replenishing stocks.

In the spirit of sensibility when it comes to essential goods like groceries we have compiled a list of the foods that will have staying power in your pantry, and are good idea to stock up on during the lockdown:

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Dried beans • Shelf life: Indefinite

Dried beans are pretty much indestructible if they're kept dry, though they begin to lose their moisture after a year or two. As they age, they will require longer pre-soaking and/or cooking times to become tender.

White rice • Shelf life: Indefinite

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If you keep it dry it will last forever. Store rice in thoroughly dried airtight containers.

Potatoes • Shelf life: 2 to 5 weeks If stored in a cool, dry, dark place.

Yukon Gold, red, and fingerling potatoes will last from two to three weeks. Larger white or russet potatoes can last for three to five weeks. Sweet potatoes have about the same shelf life.

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Dried pasta • Shelf life: 1 to 2 years past "best by" date

Dried pasta is fairly indestructible unlike its richer counterpart, fresh pasta, which is much more perishable and should always be kept refrigerated.

Powdered milk • Shelf life: 1 to 1½ years

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The color, texture, or flavor of powdered milk might change as it ages, but it will still be perfectly usable and safe for at least 18 months.

Canned fruits and vegetables • Shelf life: 1 to 2 years past "best by" date

Canning is an extremely efficient means of preserving food.

Onions • Shelf life: 1 to 2 months

As with potatoes, store these in a cool, dry, dark place for maximum longevity.

Apples • Shelf life: 5 days to 6 months

Apples kept in a fruit bowl at room temperature will generally last five to seven days. When stored in a humid place at a temperature of 30º to 40º F, however, they can stay crisp and fresh for as long as six months.

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