Foods With the Longest Shelf Life

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16. Honey
> Shelf life: Indefinite

Though honey is often sold with a “best by” date (usually somewhere between two and five years from the time it’s packaged), that’s because over time it may darken and form sugar crystals — perfectly harmless, but off-putting to some consumers. Pure 100% undiluted honey in an unopened jar (stored away from heat) will still be edible years, decades, probably generations down the road.

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17. Liquor
> Shelf life: Indefinite

Everybody knows that wine can last a long time, sometimes greatly improving as it ages. But it can also go bad quickly through exposure to extreme heat or cold, oxidation through leaky corks, and just the natural evolution of its chemical constituents over time. Not so hard liquor. Unopened bottles of spirits are virtually unchanging. Their high alcohol content preserves them and they don’t age. The only exception is with some sweet liqueurs, from which, as the years pass, some of the sugar content will precipitate out, forming crystals and leaving the liqueur slightly less sweet.

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18. White rice
> Shelf life: Indefinite

Brown rice might be healthier, but it has a high oil content and so can go bad in a few months’ time, while white rice — if you keep it dry — will last forever. The only possible problem, other than moisture, is the sudden appearance of tiny black bugs among the rice grains. These are rice weevils or flour bugs, and they’ve either found their way into the package through microscopic openings or their eggs were harvested along with the rice itself. Storing rice in thoroughly dried airtight containers will stop them from getting in; if they’re already there, though, the rice should be discarded.