What is the Shelf Life of Grains and Legumes? Way Shorter Than I Thought!

The shelf life of grains

I buy some of our grains and legumes in bulk… without an expiration date on a label. So this weekend when I dug out some buried-in-the-pantry containers of all kinds of good stuff - quinoa, lentils, wheat berries, brown rice, and bulgur - I had no idea how long I'd had them or how long their shelf life was.

Clearly, I need a better labeling system, like maybe one with a date… but that's a whole other matter I will fix soon.

Also see: Layered Spicy Black Bean and Cheddar Dip

As for how long grains and legumes keep in your pantry, I did a little research. And I was surprised they don't last nearly as long as I had thought.

Dried beans: 1 year
Lentils: 1 year
Brown rice: 1 year
Wild rice: 1 year
Quinoa: 6 months
Bulgur wheat: 6 months
Pasta: 1 year

I know 6 months or 1 year may seem like a long time to keep grains and legumes, but I honestly thought it was much longer - like years. Seriously, I did.

So, I obviously I have some work to do. Besides the date labeling, I clearly need to buy smaller quantities so I use up all those amazing grains and legumes before a good five years or so have passed. Don't judge.

Also see:

What's In Your Food? Fake fruits and vegetables

Tosca Reno's Vegetarian Chili

Whole wheat versus whole grain - which is better?