I'm not a pro on this, but for leftover in the frig, guideline is a week, for frozen foods, 3 months, for canned or dried foods. I think they do not go bad in the sense that spoilage occurs, they start to become something other than food. Wine turns to vinegar eventually, but can last for centuries and still be wine. I would suspect that a bag of beans would be good 20-30 years later, as food if not 100% nutrients as at first. Seeds can germinate after years and years, and the criteria there is a lot higher! We're talking about living cells!
Offered by Nancy.
My dad and grandfather sold canned goods. They have a 3 year shelf life where the food is guaranteed to be as good as day 1. The exception is tomatoes. The acid in tomatoes makes storing them in cans not great for long periods. The reality of canned foods is unless it is bulging, the food from a nutritional point of view is generally good for at least 10 years. That doesn't mean it tastes as good.
Offered by John.
My sister from Texas wrote:
The shelf life of canned goods depends on the environment. A cool dry climate will let cans stay good for years. Hot muggy weather makes them go bad quicker. A can is not good if the top or the bottom of the can is domed out. If you eat the contents , you may get sick from bacteria that has grown after the can lost pressure. The best way to get ready is to store dried foods - legumes, rice, fruit, veges, etc. Every time I go to the store I spend a dollar extra and buy something to dehydrate. I have a closet full of zip lock bags in big plastic boxes ready to go. Most of it will not need cooking as who knows if this will be possible for awhile. Once something is dehydrated it is good forever as long as it stays dry and in a dark place. You can dehydrate anything. Lemons even taste wonderful as a crisp treat full of vitamin C.
Dehydrators are all different. We have had two brands. American Harvest makes a good one. Don't buy Ronco. American Harvest has different heat settings and a dryer fan. The fan is essential for good circulation. The settings are 95F for herbs, 105F for seeds and nuts, 135F for fruit and vegetables, and 145F for meat and fish. You just put the stuff on and leave it for a day or two and it dries. You can dry stuff whole or cut up.
Offered by Mike.
This something to look into as it requires no power except the sun. OHP- None-Electric Dehydrator.
Offered by Lou.