When it comes to outdoor foods, there are two things I consider: how long the food lasts and if it can help me stack up on energy. One of my favorite outdoor foods is ramen noodles. They’re lightweight, easy to cook, and they can last a really long time. I don’t even bother leaving uneaten ramen noodle packets in my bag since I know they can be good to eat for my next hike.
One time I found this old pack of ramen noodles in my bag. It was very old but I was still thinking of eating it. Because of so, I found myself asking, do ramen noodles expire? With a little research, I’ve found surprising facts about these ramen noodles that I never knew before. Take a look at my findings below and learn about all the things you need to know about this great outdoor food.
What Are Ramen Noodles?
For those of you who have no idea what ramen noodles are, they’re basically noodles that originated from Japan. Plenty of Asian countries have their own versions of Ramen. My favorite happens to be Korean Ramen because of the spiciness that often comes with it. Though different countries have their own take at Ramen, every version doesn’t really stray from the norm.
Ramen is usually made from wheat and flour and is served with a soup base with seafood, pork, beef, or vegetable flavors. It may also come with whole pieces of meat and vegetables depending on the type.
Today, ramen has become a commercialized meal in a way that it is mass produced in the form of instant noodles. Just like fresh ramen noodles, instant ramen noodles are made with flour, salt, starch, and water. Perhaps the main difference is that instant ramen noodles usually come with artificial flavorings, dehydrated ingredients, and preservatives.
Instant ramen noodles tend to be very cheap, which is why it has become a favorite of typical college students. But there’s more to this food than it’s highly affordable price. It’s also favored by plenty of outdoor and survival enthusiasts since it is known to be able to last for a very long time.
On the downside, plenty of people have negative opinions about this snack. Since instant noodles usually come with high amounts of sodium, it is deemed to be an unhealthy snack that shouldn’t be eaten frequently.
Nonetheless, I still think that instant ramen is a great choice for outdoor trips because of its simplicity and affordability. Will it give you lots of nutrition? Maybe not, but it will certainly keep you from starving out in the wilderness.
Why Ramen has a Long Shelf Life
So what makes ramen have its long shelf life? One thing that is usually present in long-lasting foods is preservatives. Now preservatives don’t really have a good rap in the food industry, but it does have great effects that may enable you to safely eat food during times of food shortage.
Aside from preservative, another thing that helps instant ramen noodles get a long shelf life is its lack of moisture. Bacteria thrives in wet and moist locations. The absence of moisture allows for little to no bacteria growth, which means no spoilage when applied to foods.
With its lack of moisture along with a couple of preservatives, instant ramen noodles can withstand the test of time. Do take note that not all instant ramens are made the same. Some ramen noodles come with extra ingredients that can lead to early spoilage.
How Long Do Ramen Noodles Last?
As I have said, not all ramen noodles are made the same. Other ramen noodles come with sauces and meat ingredients that possess certain levels of moisture that are sufficient to trigger bacterial growth.
On average though, ramen noodles are known to last for up to a whole year. Considering that it is completely sealed within its packaging.
What Causes Ramen Noodles To Go Bad?
Though ramen noodles are packed with preservatives and are completely dried beyond triggering bacterial growth, certain circumstances can still cause your ramen noodles to go bad before it’s labeled expiry date.
Ramen noodles that come in certain flavors and ingredients that can absorb moisture, which can then become a cesspool for molds and bacteria. There’s also the obvious fact that if your ramen noodles’ packaging is damaged, it may get contaminated with dirt and moisture.
What Happens When You Eat Expired Ramen Noodles?
I have personally tried eating expired ramen noodles and I honestly felt nothing. However, this doesn’t mean that you should try eating expired ramen noodles just for curiosity’s sake. Eating any kind if expired food can cause you to get an upset stomach or diarrhea.
However, some people say that eating ramen noodles that are just a couple weeks expired won’t really do you any harm. At most, it will feel very brittle in the mouth and it will have a very stale taste.
If you find yourself in an emergency situation, you may try eating expired ramen noodles just to avoid starvation. You may not get all the essential nutrients from it, but at least it will give you an extra boost to last longer during an emergency situation.
Can You Eat Uncooked Ramen Noodles?
In most emergency situations, water is a very scarce commodity. If you find yourself in such a situation with only a pack of ramen noodles for food, you can rest easy knowing that it is completely safe to eat uncooked ramen noodles.
Instant ramen noodles already come pre-cooked. You can eat it as it is out of its package and save water for more important situations. Besides, you wouldn’t want to mix your water with ramen noodle flavoring if you’re currently in a distressing situation.
Tips For Buying Ramen Noodles
The next time you go on a trip outdoors, you may want to consider getting a couple packs of ramen noodles for emergency situations.
When buying ramen noodles, make sure that the ones you are getting are far from being expired. Also try choosing plain ramen noodles that don’t come with meats, vegetables, or other ingredients that can absorb moisture over time.
Lastly, make sure that the ramen noodles’ packaging is completely intact. Check for small holes and tears that can cause moisture to get inside the packaging.
How To Properly Store Ramen Noodles
Ramen noodles are very simple foods that you can place in your bag without a thought. When storing ramen noodles, just make sure to keep it away from pointy objects to avoid ruining the packaging.
Also keep it away from heat and direct sunlight since most ramen noodles come in plastic and styrofoam packaging that can leach chemicals to the noodles when exposed to extreme heat.
A Quick Recap
Well, there you go! All you need to know about ramen noodles. Remember, though ramen noodles are known to have a very long shelf life, they do get expired over time. Just remember that the key to keeping this outdoor food safe to eat is by keeping it sealed and away from direct sunlight.
During emergency situations, keep in mind that even an expired pack of ramen noodles may do you good. So if faced with the dangers of starvation, do not hesitate to eat your ramen noodles. Also, know that you can eat it without water, so don’t go boiling it with you fresh water during emergencies where there is no water source.
I hope you learned a lot from this article and I definitely wish it gave you essential information that can benefit you and your friends. If you want to know about more outdoor food or other outdoor tips, feel free to look around. There’s plenty more where this came from. Thank you and happy eating outdoors!