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Hi everyone!

I'm in the process of reorganizing my pantry and finding things I didn't remember having. I just found a LARGE tub of plain, old fashioned oatmeal, probably around 5 or 6 pounds, maybe a little more. Anyway, I don't know when I bought it, although I think it's been a year or two. It doesn't smell bad and doesn't have any bugs. I'd hate to throw this out. Are there any thoughts on this? I'm hoping if it looks fresh and smells fresh it is fresh. Anyone? Anyone?

Christy
 

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It should have a sell by or use by date on it. If there aren't any bugs, make yourself a bowl of oatmeal and try it!

I found this when I googled "oatmeal shelf life:

Most oatmeal cereals are made from rolled oats. Rolled oats are cleaned, graded and pearled. This is a process that removes the husk from the oat grain, steam is then used to soften it, and then it is rolled flat between heavy metal rollers. While this process causes the oats to lose some of its protein and vitamins, they have a much longer shelf life than natural oatmeal due to the heat of steaming and rolling. Rolled oats are usually sold in cardboard or paper packaging, while unprocessed oatmeal is usually sold in air-tight, vacuum-packed containers.

Quick or old fashioned oats can be used in baking as a substitute for a portion of the flour called for in various recipes for muffins, biscuits, pancakes, and cookies.

And in case you are wondering about the shelf life of rolled oats, a 2005 study at Brigham Young University found that the quick cooking type rolled oats that had been stored for 28 years in sealed containers were rated "acceptable in an emergency" in taste and quality by 75 % of people involved in a taste test of the rolled oats.
 

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IMO, if there's no bugs in it, it's fine.
 
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Agree with CH. I've used oats past the expired date and couldn't tell a difference, but they was sealed well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It should have a sell by or use by date on it. If there aren't any bugs, make yourself a bowl of oatmeal and try it!

I found this when I googled "oatmeal shelf life:

Most oatmeal cereals are made from rolled oats. Rolled oats are cleaned, graded and pearled. This is a process that removes the husk from the oat grain, steam is then used to soften it, and then it is rolled flat between heavy metal rollers. While this process causes the oats to lose some of its protein and vitamins, they have a much longer shelf life than natural oatmeal due to the heat of steaming and rolling. Rolled oats are usually sold in cardboard or paper packaging, while unprocessed oatmeal is usually sold in air-tight, vacuum-packed containers.

Quick or old fashioned oats can be used in baking as a substitute for a portion of the flour called for in various recipes for muffins, biscuits, pancakes, and cookies.

And in case you are wondering about the shelf life of rolled oats, a 2005 study at Brigham Young University found that the quick cooking type rolled oats that had been stored for 28 years in sealed containers were rated "acceptable in an emergency" in taste and quality by 75 % of people involved in a taste test of the rolled oats.
I found the same site when I did an earlier search. Thanks for all the responses. It's nice to hear what people in the real world have experienced, also. Looks like we'll be eating oatmeal for a long time!

Christy
 

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I found a box in the back of the pantry that was past the date on the box by about a year and half. Hubby is notorious for using PART of sometime, then pushing it to the back of the fridge or pantry looking for something else.
I opened it, found no bugs, and used it in bread and muffins.
 

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Long storage in the original box or an air-tight container means the nutrition is completely degraded after all this time, and the oils have long since oxidated. Rancid oils don't have to smell rancid to BE rancid. The oatmeal is nothing more than empty calories - the nutrients have long since "died" and the oils in the oatmeal are free-radicles. I'd suggest feeding your old oatmeal to our feathered friends this winter.

This is why it's best to store things like oatmeal in vacuum-sealed bags/containers, or mylar bags and oxygen absorbers, for longer shelf-life. The three things that degrade ALL food is oxygen, heat, and light. Eliminate the oxygen, keep foods in a cool dark storage area, is necessary for optimal long-term food storage.

Better yet, store whole grains that keep longer because of the protective bran coating on the grains.
 

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I found a box that the sell by date is '06. I've been making a lot of oatmeal cookies, they taste great!
 
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