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Terrasanct

Y2K Foods

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When I was visiting the Seattle area recently, I went to an estate sale where there were hundreds of food-supply type foods for sale. The garage was full of #10 cans of a multitude of freeze-dried foods, presumably bought in preparation for the end of the world that never quite materialized. There were other things, too, most of which I passed up, with the exception of some maple syrup, which I figured wasn't going to go bad. The estate sale company had thrown out tons of food they weren't sure about, including all the honey, which was unfortunate, since I don't think honey really goes bad, either.

So, just out of curiosity, I purchased about 15 assorted #10 cans--well, they were only a dollar each, so I wasn't out too much in case they don't work out.

I'm not planning to store them--I'm going to try to use them up in my regular cooking, provided they are still good. I'm using a lot of caution, but I have to consider that these foods were canned with the idea that they might be stored for a long time. It's quite possible that most of them are at least ten years old; I haven't been able to decipher the date codes yet.

There are some interesting things--tomato powder, buttermilk powder, egg powder, butter powder (there was margarine powder, but I couldn't imagine wanting that!), dried diced potatoes, fruit, soup mix, freeze-dried entrees, pancake mix, buttermilk, oh, lots of other things I can't remember.

So far I've opened three of the cans, with good results on all of them. The mixed fruit, after being rehydrated and cooked, tasted similar to apple pie filling, just a little more tart from the apricots; the pancake mix produced very good pancakes, which I had with some of the maple syrup, and the stew vegetables were fine. The stew didn't taste like homemade but would do in a pinch.

Now I'm kind of excited to try the peanut butter powder--I'm thinking granola bars, or cookies for sure, or even smoothies.

Does anyone here have experience with this sort of thing? And is there any reason to think these foods could have gone bad, being dried and sealed? Is there any way to read the codes so I know how old the food is?

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Good question.

I spent almost three intense minutes searching for an online account of canned haricot vert still unopened from Napoleon's Peninsular War of the early 1800's. Nothing.

MayoClinic.com says:

Commercially prepared canned food has a fairly long shelf life, as long as it's stored properly. How long you can safely keep canned food depends on the type of food. According to the Department of Agriculture:

    * High-acid foods — such as tomatoes, fruit and fruit juice — can be stored for up to 18 months

    * Low-acid foods — such as vegetables and meat — can be stored for two to five years


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

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That's good to know, but these are all dried foods, and some are powdered. Some are freeze-dried survival foods, and some are vacuum-packed with oxygen absorbers. I have to think that they'd last longer than wet foods, low or high acid.

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That's good to know, but these are all dried foods, and some are powdered.  Some are freeze-dried survival foods, and some are vacuum-packed with oxygen absorbers.  I have to think that they'd last longer than wet foods, low or high acid.

So you've made your way through all 15 cans with success?

Dried foods are a different matter. I've heard of people stranded in remote North America eating 50 year old pemmican and surviving.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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No, I've only opened up three cans so far. I figured I'd only open them when I had a reason to use them. It makes sense that the quality will start going downhill as soon as they are opened initially.

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I opened the peanut butter powder tonight. It's pretty cool--you can add just water to it or also put in salt, oil, and sugar if you want. It tastes fine. I'll tell you tomorrow if I'm still alive.

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I forgot that I'd opened a can of egg noodles, too. They were also just fine. Tonight I made biscuits using buttermilk powder, and soup using dehydrated cubed potatoes. Both worked well and tasted fine.

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I'd have snapped up more of the tomato powder. If it's like the stuff that the Spice House sells, it's expensive! (And it's perfect for when you need a little tomato paste and don't want to open a can, or can't get a can).

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I've never used tomato powder before, but it seems like a natural for a lot of applications. But at least I have a huge can of it! The foods were selling very quickly, and I was trying to get a variety so I could try them all. I'll post a list once I get them all out of the car...it's been snowy and very cold here since I got back from Seattle and I've not wanted to even go outside!

As far as price, I've noticed most of these things must have cost a lot when they were originally purchased. Probably the only inexpensive ones would be things like baking soda and cornstarch. I'll be interested to see if the baking soda still works!

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I love the freeze dried fruit in cans from Honeyville Farms. I've made pies and fruit desserts with them and loved it. We eat them out of hand like candy also.

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I've never used tomato powder before, but it seems like a natural for a lot of applications.  But at least I have a huge can of it!  The foods were selling very quickly, and I was trying to get a variety so I could try them all.  I'll post a list once I get them all out of the car...it's been snowy and very cold here since I got back from Seattle and I've not wanted to even go outside!

As far as price, I've noticed most of these things must have cost a lot when they were originally purchased.  Probably the only inexpensive ones would be things like baking soda and cornstarch.  I'll be interested to see if the baking soda still works!

I had tomato powder, beware it seizes up like concrete if open to even slightly humid air. I couldn't figure out how to store it. I live in Arizona and it turned into concrete in the jar I stored it in.

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I had tomato powder, beware it seizes up like concrete if open to even slightly humid air.  I couldn't figure out how to store it.  I live in Arizona and it turned into concrete in the jar I stored it in.

The Spice House says to keep it in the fridge in an airtight jar. I'd separate it into several small jars and if you have a jar-attachment for a vacuum sealer, that would probably come in handy.

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Tomato powder, peantut butter powder, heck, there are some folks who have paid small fortunes to eat that stuff, provided it was served in a snooty plating!

Have some tasting menus made up and send out flyers! :laugh:


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I could probably arrange a snooty plating. :biggrin: Too bad I don't have any canned, freeze-dried microgreens.

I brought in the last four cans tonight--it made it above zero today so I was daring and went out to the car. I gave away about six cans to my daughter, and here is what is left:

Tomato powder

Potato flakes

Turkey

Beef

Potato flakes

Potato cheddar soup

Nonfat milk powder

Pancake mix

Egg mix

Cornstarch

Mountain chili (whatever that is)

Potato granules

Potatoes diced

Strawberry flavored apple flakes

Butter powder

Cornmeal

Bear Creek Potato soup mix (like from Costco)

Buttermilk

I think I gave my daughter granola, egg noodles, soup mix, and I'm not sure what else was there. Some freeze-dried meals, I think. I had around 25 or so to begin with. I wanted to put some butter powder in my soup last night, but...you know...it was in the car, so I will try that in something else. I must have given her the baking soda too, come to think of it.

I'll keep that in mind about the tomato powder--it's very dry here, but it would be in Arizona, too. I don't have a jar attachment for my sealer, but I can use vac packed bags, at any rate.

Most of this stuff is pretty mundane, but I want to work it into my normal cooking. If anyone has cool ideas, I'd like to hear them.

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It sounds like I can put a little water to add tomato paste, or a lot to make sauce. I can't wait to see how it tastes. It would probably be good in salad dressings, or just sprinkled over a finished dish. Maybe in bread dough or pasta.

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The freeze dried tomato powder sounded very interesting, and apparently, there's always an apocalypse :blink: just around the corner, so there are still lots of places putting dried food in #10 cans - survival foods. The last of the three is the most interesting - lots of single-item dried foods, in various packages, including the tomato powder in 1lb bags. I'm always using just a tablespoon or so of tomato paste, and end up wasting the excess.

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