Rice is a great food to include in a prepper’s store. It lasts a long time, and is cheap to buy in bulk. In fact, if stored in the correct way, rice can last for up to 30 years!
White rice, also known as polished rice, has a longer shelf life than brown rice. White rice is therefore the better one to buy if you want to store rice for a long time.
What Makes Rice Go Bad?
The main cause of rice going bad is mould due to moisture being present. Mould occurs when there is moisture and oxygen present, so can be prevented by careful storage of dry rice.
Rice can also go bad due to the oils in it going rancid. Brown rice includes far more oils than white rice, and so is more likely to go rancid.
Ways To Store Rice
There are many ways to store rice, some of which will extend its shelf life considerably.
Store Rice In Its Original Packaging At Room Temperature
Rice often comes in plastic bags or paper sacks. Paper sacks allow the rice to absorb moisture, so if you keep the rice in these they must be in a dry room. White rice will last at least 1 year, and brown rice 3-6 months in the original packaging.
Store Rice In Airtight Containers At Room Temperature
Keeping rice in an airtight container limits the amount of oxygen and moisture, thus reducing the chances of mould. These is still some oxygen and moisture in the air inside the container when you seal it though, so it’s still not perfect. Stored in airtight containers at room temperature, white rice will last 1-2 years, and longer if kept in a cool, dark, dry place.
Vacuum Seal Rice For Storage
Vacuum sealing removes the remaining oxygen when storing rice, so it greatly increases the shelf life. Vacuum sealed rice will last several years without going bad.
Freeze Rice For Long Term Storage
Freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of rice. Freeze rice in airtight containers. Frozen, uncooked white rice will last up to 30 years. The main disadvantage of freezing rice for storage is that you need power. If the rice defrosts during a power cut, you can not re-freeze it.
Store Rice In Mylar Bags With Oxygen Absorbers
Mylar bags are great for storing many different kinds of food. They are made from mylar foil, which blocks light, oxygen and moisture. Add an oxygen absorber to the bag to remove any oxygen trapped inside and you can store white rice for up to 30 years. Store the mylar bags in food grade buckets to ensure that the bags aren’t damaged. Keep the buckets in a cool, dark, dry room to maximise the rice’s shelf life.
Check out our other articles about storing food and water!