Properly packaged, low-moisture foods stored at room temperature or cooler (75°F/24°C or lower) remain
nutritious and edible much longer than previously thought according to findings of recent scientific studies. Estimated shelf
life for many products has increased to 30 years or more (see chart for new estimates of shelf life). Previous estimates of
longevity were based on "best-if-used-by" recommendations and experience. Though not studied, sugar, salt, baking soda (essential
for soaking beans), and vitamin C in tablet form also store well long-term. Some basic foods do need more frequent rotation,
such as vegetable oil every 1 to 2 years.
While there is a decline in nutritional quality and taste over time, depending
on the original quality of food and how it was processed, packaged, and stored, the studies show that even after being stored
long-term, the food will help sustain life in an emergency.