What Is Considered Non-Perishable Food? The Ultimate Guide for Stocking Up

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Last Updated on October 17, 2022 by admin_hunter

More than the taste and flavor that non-perishable foods have to offer, the fact that these products can possibly save a life is the most important consideration. During worst-case scenarios, all you need are healthy foods that will keep you and your loved ones full and energized for a few days. With this, it is valuable to know the best food options out there and what is considered non-perishable food to stock up in your pantry or emergency kits.

What Are Non-Perishable Foods?

Non-perishable foods are items that can be kept for some time without suffering from spoilage or decay. They have a long shelf life without even requiring any refrigeration. What they require instead is a cool, dry, and well-ventilated storage to prevent spoilage or decay.

These non-perishable foods are commonly used as supplies in disaster response or food drives for homeless shelters. A variety of these food items are also found in most emergency kit to ensure ample stocks during a disaster.

What Is Considered Non-Perishable Food?

Before any calamities and unwanted scenarios, it is best to hit the grocery and stock up your pantry and emergency kit with these non-perishable foods.

Canned Goods

Canned pork, beef, and chicken are protein-packed options that help sustain energy in the body. Tuna, salmon, and other canned fish are also good sources of lean protein, calcium, and Vitamin D, which is essential for stronger bones and teeth.

Nutritious vegetables, including carrots, peas, and green beans, are offered for healthier options. Be sure to choose low-sodium varieties to ensure better health and reduce the need for water for drinking, which is limited during emergencies.

Fruits which are normally preserved in their juice form make a good option, especially when they contain a lower amount of sugar. Some of the common non-perishable fruits include oranges, peaches, and pineapples.

Canned soups also make a good stand-alone meal, especially if they contain a good proportion of meat and vegetables.

Dry Goods

Most of the dry goods found in the grocery store are non-perishable; however, over time, they tend to lose their flavor and texture.

Rice, oatmeal, pasta, and other grain-derived products give the energy required by the body. They have a longer shelf life and create delicious and filling meals with only a little preparation required. For the best options, choose whole grains as they contain more proteins, fibers, vitamins, and minerals.

Boxed mixes of soups add flavor to the standard taste of other dry goods, making it more enjoyable and satisfying. Dried beans, including kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas, are excellent sources of protein and fiber, which can also add delicious flavor to meals.

Trail mixes and granola bars are the best snack options due to their shelf-stable and protein-packed benefits that can immediately energize the body.

For emergencies, dry foods that are ready-to-eat, such as cereals, should be available for easy grabs. Dried fruits such as prunes, raisins, bananas, and apricots also offer shelf stability while providing a good amount of nutrients and energy.

Dairy Products

Some non-perishable dairy products help build strong bones due to their Vitamin D and calcium content. Canned or dry milk and low-fat evaporated milk are some of the options that can be kept for a long time.

Additionally, low-sugar and low-fat pudding cups are the best to-go option to ensure a good supply of calcium in the body. These treats come in many flavors, which can last for years if kept properly and sealed.

Dehydrated Foods

MREs, which stands for “meals ready to eat,” are small pouches that contain fully-cooked meals. They are also called freeze-dried foods based on the process they undergo, making them last the longest, about 15 to 30 years on average.

These dehydrated foods, which were developed for military purposes, are easily prepared and rehydrated using warm or boiling water. Stocks of these MREs are also a good option in every emergency kit due to their compact size and long shelf life.


Bottled water is the most important non-perishable goods in any emergency kit. During extreme cases, a safe source of water may not be available; thus, keeping a bottle at hand ensure hydration.

Almond milk contained in shelf-stable cartons makes an excellent substitute to regular cow’s milk. This is rich with vitamins and minerals, which maintain good health. Almond milk can be taken as is or added to cereals and oats for added flavor and texture.

Energy or sports drinks contain electrolytes and carbohydrates that help replenish and rehydrate the lost fluid in the body. Be sure to choose enhanced drinks with lesser additives such as artificial sweeteners.


Condiments such as soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, and mustard sauce are considered non-perishable goods that can be kept even for longer years.

More Advice to Help You

  • Foods that are non-perishable also include those food items that do not need any refrigeration even after they have been opened, such as peanut butter.
  • Single-serving sizes also qualify as non-perishable goods if fully consumed before any refrigeration is required.
  • Invest in a vacuum sealing machine to help in food preparations. This is the best way to store anything, from small goods to bulk items.

Final Thoughts

Different foods spoil at various rates. The knowledge of what is considered non-perishable food will help you determine which should be kept for long and which should be consumed immediately. This is especially true when you are volunteering in food drives, engaging in disaster response, or even preparing for your family’s emergency needs.

Several food options are considered non-perishables as they can withstand through time without the need for refrigeration. These foods undergo certain processes such as canning, drying, or freezing to ensure the longest shelf-life without suffering from spoilage or decay. They, however, should be kept in a good storage condition to ensure optimum quality at all times.

Non-perishable foods tend to be healthy, but you should not be used to consuming them regularly. They are merely for emergency purposes only. Instead, eating and cooking fresh foods are still the best options for a healthier and happier well-being.