How long will rice/beans and other dry goods last? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I am sure this has probably been discussed before, but for us relative newbys-- how long will an unopened bag (25#) of rice last? What about a large bag of dry beans? Assuming that you keep them cool and dry of course. Our experience in the past has been if you keep the critters out, at least a year. Is it safe to buy now without nitrogen packing for the year 2000? Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you, Charlie P.

-- Charlie P. (, March 04, 1999


This has been discussed before, and you can find the threads at the bottom of the page. To answer your question, though, remember that any critters that show up are already in the rice and beans. They come from the inside out, not the outside in. Gotta freezer? Store your beans and rice in the freezer and they'll keep on into next year. If you don't have a freezer, or the space in the freezer, keeping them cool and dry will extend the "shelf life."

-- Vic (, March 04, 1999.

See Walton Feeds. They have a good section on food shelf lives.

-- Watchful (, March 04, 1999.

If your beans and rice fit in a freezer, you have only 1/50th of the amount of food that you really need for a ten year DEPRESSION!! Get serious and start buying BIG TIME! No more of those 25 pounds of rice! Get at least 50 pound bags and get serious with stocking up, before you have to join the stampede this summer!!!

-- Freddie the Freeloader (, March 04, 1999.

This is probably in the archives below (way below, keep scrolling) but let's answer it here, too. The bugs are in the stuff when you buy it, usually. Additional infestation can come in your home. The critters chew IN as well as OUT. You need to 1) destroy the eggs and 2) prevent additional infestation. Freezing small packages for two days or so or heating to about 140 degrees in the oven will take care of the eggs. Miocrowaving does not work, as it brings out the moisture in the product and then you have a worse mess. Get the white paper bags along with the sacks of beans and rice. We used heat. Then immediately package, label and store. With more vulnerable things like oatmeal, corn, wheat, soy beans, soy grits, we packaged them into clean dry wine jugs (the wineries sell them). We then flushed out the oxygen with nitrogen (rent a tank at a welding supply house, fit it with valves and a long coppr tube), and sealed with additional wax in the lids and then duct tape. I know this may seem like a lot of labor, but it is not expensive, and what if you really need it, and its not there?

...Or you could just package and store, take your chances and sift out the critters...Then never eat it all...eventually they just die right there in the package....extra protein....

Got a sifter?.

Mary P.

-- Mary P. (, March 04, 1999.


here's what i've been doing:

drop a couple of marble sized chunks of dry ice in the bottem of a 2 liter pop bottle that you've washed out and allowed to dry..........fill with rice, beans, wheat, pasta, etc (anything cept the real powdery stuff like flour)

put the cap back on ALMOST all the way......allow the sublimating C02 to purge the oxygen out thru the top.....maybe 5 minutes or so.........tighten on the cap, write date on it and store in a cool dark place

C02 is supposed to kill off more critters than even diatamaceous earth, and the pop bottles were designed to hold C02

not an ultra long method.......if you're storing for more than a couple of years, you should probably use a more dense food grade plastic bucket

hope this helps


-- andrea (, March 05, 1999.

Charlie P;

You will find the answers to your questions here.

Lots of good info on several things Y2k including food storage times.

Another good site for food shelf life.

Godd luck.


-- sweetolebob (, March 05, 1999.

Be sure you use *food grade* nitrogen because of the need for purity. Welding/gas supply houses can supply it but not without it being specified. Its more expensive. Food grade is also available from medical supply houses.

Its probably easier and cheaper to use dry ice. Just takes more coordination in the buying and using departments.

Don't forget *Diatimateous Earth* must also be food grade. Get it at garden nurserys. The type you buy for pool filters also includes stuff you don't want inside you.


-- Floyd Baker (, March 05, 1999.

Using dry ice may cause condensation in your container, which may cause your grains, etc. to mold. Worse to have moisture in there than oxygen, probably. Grains mold above 10% or so moisture content. Be aware that the oil content of brown rice causes it to go rancid in 6 mos or a year. (I've experienced this many times.) Depending on temperature. The cooler the better, for all grains and beans. The difference between 70 and 60 degrees could double shelf life. Dry and cool, grains keep for years. Grains from the pyramids still sprouted. I don't know why, but one should not use oxygen removers and dessicants together in same container. Grains, beans and other live foods may need oxygen to stay alive. Anybody know about this?

-- Shivani (, March 05, 1999.

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