You Won't Believe the Shelf Life of These 10 Food Products.

Published on June 8, 2024

Credit: Jason Tuistra

Everything has an expiration date—even the things that don’t really expire. The truth is, everything has an expiration date because the law says it has to, just to be on the safe side. As for the things that don’t expire, the list is not too long but it's probably longer than you expected it to be. For the sake of brevity, we narrowed it down to 10 items. Can you guess as to what you will find in it?



Credit: Timo Volz

This first one is quite obvious. A few years ago, a running joke on the internet had the picture of a Himalayan pink salt package with a label that proudly stated "Formed 250 million years ago" and, in the small print at the bottom, said "Expires in 1 month". The joke being that salt does not expire. This is because salt is a mineral and, as such, it is not subjected to the decaying nature of organic matter.



Credit: Arwin Neil Baichoo

This one is also quite legendary. Can you imagine smearing 3.000-year-old honey discovered in the tomb of Egyptian King Tut on your toast? Aside from the spectacular price tag such an item would go for, it would be perfectly safe for your health because, yes, you guessed it, honey lasts forever.

Bees create this elixir with almost no water, which is something microbes need to exist. And no microbes equals no decomposition. So, grab that honey jar at the bottom of the pantry and pour some on a cup of hot tea!


White Vinegar

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This one might not be as legendary as the previous too but it surely deserves a spot on our list. White****vinegar has an indefinite shelf life thanks to its high acidity (above 4%). Microbes don’t grow in acidic conditions. This is why you often see pickled products preserved in vinegar : because this liquid prevents spoiling due to its high acidity.


Worcestershire sauce

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A bottle that was bought ages ago for a barbecue or a Bloody Mary cocktail and then forgotten in the pantry or the refrigerator door is still perfectly safe to consume. Worcestershire sauce doesn't really go bad. This happens because it is mostly made of white vinegar, and we already know what’s the deal with white vinegar, right?

So, use it for your tomato juice and vodka drink, pour it on your steak, and then cast it aside for a year or two, the trusty fellow will be there waiting for you as if time hadn’t passed at all.


Hard Liquor

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Do you remember those old liquor cabinets, usually in grandparent homes, filled with ancient alcohol bottles that nobody ever really drank? There is a reason those dusty bottles never went bad and it is a single word: alcohol.

Bacteria do NOT like alcohol, and beverages with high alcohol content keep bacteria from growing, thus, decaying.


Powdered milk

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The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that powdered milk lasts between 2 and 10 years. We know that is nowhere near the shelf life of the other elements in this list but still, it's quite impressive for a dairy product. Some survival stores even sell non-fat dry powdered milk labeled with a 25-year shelf life.


Dry beans

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Every person who has ever bought dry beans knows that this product lasts a long time. How long, you might ask? Dry beans are usually given a shelf-life of 3 to 6 years under optimal storage conditions, in a low humidity environment. But there are recorded cases of dry beans lasting longer than 24 years without significant taste loss or hardening and even a case of a carbon-dated 1,500-year-old batch of white beans that could be planted and grown perfectly in normal conditions.



Credit: Myriam Zylles

In the same manner that we can count on salt forever, sugar is another thing that won’t go bad. Due to their resistance to microbial growth, commercial sugars have an indefinite shelf life.

While sugars are recommended to be used within 2 years, that is because of lumpiness or hardening in granulated sugars and crystallization of sugars in honey and syrup. It is still safe to use even when lumpy or crystals are present. The color and flavor of liquid sugars may change over time, but they can still be consumed.


Instant coffee

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For most people, coffee is a comforting beverage to have around and, as such, it is nice to know that it won’t go bad anytime soon. Instant coffee , while unopened, has a shelf life of up to 20 years, depending on the package and the processing methods. Coffee , while it can lose some of its flavor over time, consistently proves itself as a long-lasting contender.


Pure maple syrup

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Another comfort food, pure maple syrup can last a really long time, due to its high sugar content. According to various sources, the shelf life of pure maple syrup is pretty much eternal.

If stored properly, that is, in a dark and dry place, and, ideally, in a glass container, pure maple syrup will last indefinitely. If crystals form in the bottle, placing the vessel in boiling water will undo them and make the syrup as good as new.


10 Stops In The History Of Transportation

Published on June 8, 2024

Credit: Antoine Beauvillain

Devising ways to move beyond our feet is part of what makes us human. Without transportation, we wouldn’t have been able to explore and conquer every corner of planet Earth. From horses to supersonic jets, humans are always on the move.

And while we have gone a long way since the invention of the wheel, we still rely on most of these transportation methods to move about our world. Embark on a thrilling journey through time as we trace back the milestones that propelled us forward.


Bipedal Walking

Credit: Jad Limcaco

Bipedal walking, or walking on two feet, is a defining characteristic of humans that has shaped our evolutionary path . While other primates primarily move on all fours, our ability to walk upright freed our hands for tool use and helped us to cover long distances efficiently. This adaptation allowed early humans to explore new territories, hunt for food, and eventually settle in communities.


Horse Riding

Credit: Tim Mossholder

Horse riding has been an essential mode of transportation for millennia, dating back to the domestication of horses around 4000 BCE. From the Eurasian steppes to the Arabian deserts, horses enabled humans to cover vast distances , enabling both trade and warfare, and shaping the course of history as we know it. This revolutionary skill not only facilitated transportation but also fostered cultural exchange and communication between civilizations, bringing the ancient world a bit closer together.



Credit: Bruce Warrington

Where would we be without boats? Dominating the waterways was crucial to enable exploration and trade between faraway lands. Without boats, there would have been no maritime empires, and no cultural exchange between continents. Although simple rafts and canoes had existed for many thousands of years, the invention of the sail in ancient Mesopotamia around 5000 BCE is what truly revolutionized maritime travel, allowing boats to harness the power of wind for propulsion, reaching further than ever before.


The Wheel

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Around 3500 BCE, the invention of the wheel revolutionized transportation. Initially a device used only for pottery-making, the wheel soon found its way onto carts and chariots, significantly improving the efficiency of land travel. This innovation laid the groundwork for all future advancements in wheeled transportation, like horse-drawn chariots, bicycles, and eventually cars.


Paved Roads

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The earliest paved roads date back to ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, where stone-paved streets connected cities like Babylon and Ur. In ancient Rome, the construction of a vast network of roads , the famous Roman roads, facilitated the rapid expansion of the empire and enabled efficient military conquests. During the 19th century, advancements in road construction techniques, such as macadam and asphalt, revolutionized transportation, leading to the development of modern highways and urban infrastructure. Today, paved roads are the backbone of modern civilization, connecting cities and crisscrossing entire continents.


Steam Locomotive

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The advent of the steam locomotive in the early 19th century completely transformed land transportation. Steam-powered trains enabled faster and more efficient travel , facilitating the movement of goods and people on a scale previously unimaginable, and fueling the advance of the industrial revolution. In the United States only, the construction of the transcontinental railroad connected the vast territories of the West to the East Coast, allowing more settlers to move into these lands, and revolutionizing the entire country’s economy in the process.



Credit: Jacek Dylag

The humble bicycle is more than deserving of a place in the history of human transportation. After its invention in the early 19th century, it soon revolutionized personal transportation, offering an affordable and efficient means of travel for millions worldwide. The introduction of the safety bicycle with equal-sized wheels and pneumatic tires in the late 19th century further popularized cycling, making it accessible to people of all ages and genders.


The Automobile

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Although the concept existed since at least a century earlier, 1886 is considered the year modern cars were invented, when German engineer Carl Benz patented his Benz Patent-Motorwagen - a practical vehicle that completely transformed personal transportation. With the mass production of cars and the expansion of roads, individuals gained unprecedented freedom to travel , leading to the reshaping of cities and paving the way for suburbanization.



Credit: Lacie Slezak

The Wright brothers' first successful powered flight in 1903 marked the dawn of aviation. Airplanes changed long-distance travel forever, effectively shrinking the world and connecting distant continents in record times. Modern phenomena such as globalization and global tourism would not be possible without airplanes, and it is still one of the fastest and most popular modes of transportation.


Supersonic Flight

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In 1947, Chuck Yeager became the first pilot to break the sound barrier in the experimental Bell X-1 aircraft, ushering in a new era of high-speed aviation. The development of supersonic passenger jets like the Concorde in the 1960s promised faster-than-sound travel for commercial passengers, drastically reducing transatlantic flight times. While the Concorde was retired in 2003, supersonic flight technologies continue to evolve, with many companies working on next-generation supersonic aircraft.

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