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How long food keeps

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).
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Re: How long food keeps

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:11 pm

WD wrote "Being a purist on my backpack trips just limits the variety too much
for my tastes. Unless you are honestly allergic to preservatives, a little bit in
moderation is not going to be that big a deal."

There a lot of things you can come up with a little ingenuity, but I, really do not
eat to much for taste, but for sustenance, so EVO, Parm Cheese, and some spice
can liven up most anything.
It is true that a little bit in moderation is acceptable, but to many folks I see do
not eat these foods in moderation, but are part of there every day diets, that's why
obesity is such an issue, as are heart attacks, high blood pressure, and strokes.
With kids in our school having more and more food allergies I get to read ingredient
labels even more often than I used to when purchasing from my food suppliers.
I have adopted protocols in which we offer cold cuts, soups, dressings that are
made in house, no processed, additive, sodium laden food here, so to control what
these teenagers put into there bodies.

"and a hundred other things that can potentially put traces of chemicals in your body."

True, but again, control some of things that you put in your body some of the time.
If your salt intake is under 2000 mg a day, than indulging in some high sodium
freeze dried dinners for several nights is not going to hurt, but if your intake of
sodium is all ready way past the FDA recommended levels on a daily basis, which it
is for most americans (approx 1000 mg over or more), than adding even more is not
the greatest idea.
All these processed foods really add up the sodium/fat/sugar counts, and I understand
that a lot of folks do not have the time or the experience to cook, and these
supermarket, and fast foods are convenient, and fast, but at what costs to our
personal health in the long run?
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Re: How long food keeps

Postby rlown » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:15 pm

justjim wrote:Salami: Love the stuff chopped up in potatoes or on cous-cous and also a bit for lunch. I don't know enough about the stuff so I'm pretty leery of salami past 3 days or so. For longer terms, I use the real bacon bits, tuna in a pouch or tuna/salmon steaks in a pouch. Haven't tried pepperoni sticks.
JJ


I switched away from Gallo? dry salami years ago. The fat content makes it rot faster on a hot trip. Switched to hickory farms summer sausage, and they last well for at least 8 days. The pouch stuff seems to be the way to go these days.

Pepperoni sticks in single wrap form are one of my faves. Can't carry enough of them.

Mav, as for teens, um, that's up to the parents, and most aren't doing a really great job at teaching them to cook or eat healthy. Seems if a parent just took a kid to a store, bought good stuff to make a meal and then helped show their kid how to cook it and serve it and see it eaten by the family, that'd go a long way to better health and an interest in cooking..
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Re: How long food keeps

Postby sirlight » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:39 am

justjim wrote:I have also made up "moose goo" with PB + Raisins + finely grated jerky all chopped up in a blender and formed into bars.
I would be careful about doing this, it might be a botulism risk. I am no expert in food safety, but my experience with home canning suggests that this might not be safe. One of the things you never want to do is have low acid things (like beef) in an oxygen free environment. Peanut butter surrounding shredded jerky might create that environment. Then again all the salt in jerky might prevent it. Just some "food" for thought.

When I bring cheese such as cheddar, it is usually in vacuum packed single serving size sticks. I have gone 4 days with these stuffed in the middle of my backpack. Recently, I found some Hormel brand salami and pepperoni in shelf stable 3 ounce packages. It is thinly sliced and goes good on tortillas with mustard. Here in San Diego, I have found it at Wal-Mart and some of the local dollar stores.
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Re: How long food keeps

Postby justjim » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:24 am

Individually, I think each of the ingredients of the basic "moose goo" recipe are commonly thought of as stable enough w/out refrig. However the combo as I used it might in fact not be a great idea. I used the "pem-goo" variant (PB+Jerky+Raisins+Soy Milk powder+honey) of moose goo a few times but eventually bailed on it. The fact that I got away with it is by no means a recommendation that it is safe.

I like the suggestions on summer sausage and salami/pepperoni variants and will try some out in short term situations. I have yet to see packaged salami on a store shelf outside of the cold case but admit that I haven't really looked. Heck it may have been there for the taking all along. I suspect however that the last five-six days or so of a twelve day trip would still depend largely upon foil packed tuna/salmon, bacon bits and dried grated cheese.

And of course nice fissshes.

JJ
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Re: How long food keeps

Postby sirlight » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:28 am

This is the stuff salami I am talking about:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hormel-San-Re ... z/10290932

I have seen this just sitting out on the shelf for sale, not in the deli case.

Funny, Gallo salami I have only seen in the deli case. Still, it says right on the package refrigerate AFTER opening. I actually called Gallo and they told me even if unopened, after it has been cold you should keep it that way. That was unexpected, and I suspect they were just playing it safe. If it is still sealed, how could it go bad just by cooling and then returning to room temperature?
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Re: How long food keeps

Postby rlown » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:35 am

sirlight wrote:Funny, Gallo salami I have only seen in the deli case. Still, it says right on the package refrigerate AFTER opening. I actually called Gallo and they told me even if unopened, after it has been cold you should keep it that way. That was unexpected, and I suspect they were just playing it safe. If it is still sealed, how could it go bad just by cooling and then returning to room temperature?


Yeah, I'm guessing it's the fat content. I shied away from it as it's already covered in mold, and I didn't like having that in my can. Once you cut that, and even the summer sausage, you have to keep it cool. I just prefer summer sausage. Instead of taking one big 1 lb'er on extended trips, I take two or three smaller summer sausages that are sealed. That way Its not exposed for so long.
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Re: How long food keeps

Postby fishmonger » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:57 am

twinkies keep forever :D
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Re: How long food keeps

Postby ERIC » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:52 pm

fishmonger wrote:twinkies keep forever :D


Funny! :D Maybe not forever, but I did truly believe the lore that they lasted a really long time - until a friend sent me this link to prove me wrong: http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/twinkies.asp
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Re: How long food keeps

Postby quentinc » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:10 pm

Yeah, but it's kind of tough to keep Twinkies from being squished. :)

Peanut butter and almond butter last forever (I've read about aflatoxins in PB, so I switched to almond butter), and bread almost does (I always insist on bringing real bread -- I have a special side pouch in which to carry it). I find most food lasts longer than any guidelines will tell you, particularly if you go to some effort to keep it cool, like WD has described. My litmus test is how long I can keep Trader Joe's eggplant hummus alive. I used to think 2 days max, but I've found it will last up to 5 days if treated nicely. Of course, I'm not preparing food for anyone else, so I'm not putting anyone else at risk.

In terms of processed food and preservatives -- you can't possibly eat at healthily backpacking as you do at home, unless you're willing to carry a large cooler loaded with fresh vegetables. Making some compromises for a few days/weeks seems OK.
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Re: How long food keeps

Postby rlown » Mon May 02, 2011 10:02 pm

These are my favorite "sausage bullets" now:
stuff 5-2011 001.JPG


They are 7 oz. They are sealed, so they don't rot on long trips. I can bring as many or few as I need. A little spray cheese or fresh if I have it, a sourdough roll (yeah, kind of old school, but we still do it), and a lunch fit for a king.
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Re: How long food keeps

Postby Oubliet » Tue May 03, 2011 6:18 am

I've started carrying a few eggs on long bp trips. I'll wrap them in a paper towel and pack them into a Rubbermaid container and pack it carefully into my bearcan with a mind to insulation around it. Once in camp, I keep my bearcan in a shady spot. I also try to take them on high-altitude trips, so they'll stay relatively cool in the evenings when the temperature drops. Every time i unpack the bearcan, I try to not rattle them around too much. If I use an egg for a meal, I'll try to pack some more paper or package wrapping from another food item I've used into the space in the plastic container for padding.

Before, eggs at the grocery store didn't used to be refrigerated. They can keep okay for a week.

Not sure when that convention started. At home, I keep he eggs in the 'fridge, but I like to bring an egg, or three along on a week-long trip for an extra protein boost to a meal. Typically, I'll add it to an egg-drop vegetable soup and maybe some noodles.
Last edited by Oubliet on Tue May 03, 2011 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How long food keeps

Postby oldranger » Tue May 03, 2011 7:12 am

By the way the higher elevation not only provides cooler temps but less oxygen so things oxidize a little slower. You would be surprised at the fresh stuff bc rangers keep for long periods.

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