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Ask Kristin

Fossilized Food

Over the years I've hoarded a lot of dehydrated food. Does this stuff ever go bad?

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Question:

Over the years I’ve hoarded a lot of dehydrated food. Does this stuff ever go bad?

Answer:

Freeze-dried goes down a lot easier these days, but bite into a stale packet and you’ll know what it tastes like to clean a chalkboard with your tongue. Fortunately, packages are stamped with a “Best if used by” or a Julian date code (21203 means it was packaged on the 212th day of 2003). Store yours in a dark, dry place and eat it within 2 years of that date.