Which are the foods that keep the longest?

Kathleen Purvis / The Charlotte Observer /

Published Oct 22, 2013 at 05:00AM

Q: What kind of food can be kept for a long time and where should it be stored?

A: That’s a big question. Lots of foods will keep well. Pastas keep a long time as long as they are sealed well so they don’t get bugs. I always store the packages in a resealable freezer bag.

Ground grains, such as flour, meal and rice, will keep a long time. Seal them in plastic bags or store them in the freezer to keep them bug-free. Whole-grain flours such as whole wheat and rye should be frozen so they don’t get a rancid taste.

Most oils will keep for months in a dark place, although refrigeration will guard against rancidity.

Dried beans can keep a very long time. However, you can’t keep them indefinitely — they eventually get so dry that they won’t soften completely when you cook them.