Whether you are someone who is preparing for the apocalypse or a natural disaster or a college student strapped for cash, you have probably asked the question “does ramen expire?” Before you get the answer, you need to learn first a little background about this type of Asian noodle. Ramen noodle is made of wheat and just like most kinds of noodles, it has the four basic ingredients namely, wheat flour, water, salt, and a kind of alkaline mineral water. These days, you can buy instant ramen noodles in a plastic package that you can easily find in your local supermarket. This is the kind that most survivalists include in their list of survival food items.
To answer your question “does ramen expire?” yes it does, but nothing bad would happen to you if you eat expired ramen noodles. When you buy a small plastic pack of ramen noodles, check out the print that indicates the expiration or best before date. This information only tells you that the food is best consumed on or before this date.
So the expiration date of ramen noodles is not really related to safety reasons but to the taste and texture of the noodles. For example, the noodles may have a stale taste and instead of long strands of noodles, you will get several small broken pieces of ramen noodles. The flavoring will also taste a little different, but it does not mean that it is bad for your health.
While I’m not a health freak, I still like my own food (and yes, Ramen is a part of it!) to be a non-damaging to my body as possible. To that end, I strongly suggest organic ramen if you can fit it into your budget. Here’s a great starter pack from Amazon.
In case of a crisis or emergency when there is a big chance of starving, the stale taste of expired ramen noodles will not matter. Of course, some people’s taste buds are more sensitive than others so it is all up to you whether you want to eat a packet of expired ramen noodles or not.
Why Ramen has a Long Shelf Life
There are a number of things why ramen noodles last for a long time, some even go as far as to say that they last forever. For one, instant noodles undergo a dehydration process wherein moisture is removed from the food item to prevent the growth of microorganisms that can lead to spoilage, giving dehydrated food a longer shelf life.
Another factor that contributes to the ramen noodles’ long shelf life is the preservatives added. These are chemicals used to make any food item last for a long time. This is the reason why many people do not like to eat instant ramen noodles unless absolutely necessary, like in a natural disaster or emergency situation.
Nutritional Value of Ramen
Ramen noodles are high in sodium, which is why you should avoid adding salt when cooking ramen. What you can do to make the expired ramen noodles tastier and more nutritious is to add other ingredients like canned vegetables, beans, or meat. This will surely prevent your sensitive taste buds from recognizing the stale taste of the expired ramen.
Many people associate instant noodles with foods that are bad for health. This is true if you eat instant noodles every day, but if you do it a few times in one year, nothing bad would happen to you. Moreover, being in a dire situation often leaves you with no choice. In the event of a natural disaster or emergency, you should always choose to eat if you want to survive even if the food tastes bad and does not have any nutritional value.
Ramen noodles last for a very long time. It is a good survival food item but on a day to day basis, avoid eating instant ramen noodles as much as you can or just keep your instant ramen noodle consumption to a minimum.
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