cooking oils, prepper nutrition, healthy prepper, homestead cooking

Shelf Life of Cooking Oils: Healthy Options for your Pantry

As soulful preppers, we want to know the shelf life of cooking oils and the healthiest options to stock up our pantry. Food is a spiritual experience, that provides us with energy and vitality. For this reason, so many cultures emphasize food for rituals and celebrations. We should be putting the healthiest foods in our bodies that provide us with proper nourishment. In the modern world, but especially in the US and Canada, food is seen as a way to maximize pleasure or rid oneself of hunger, so people often do not care what goes into their food as long as it satisfies them. This is the wrong approach because food and nutrition have a major effect on our energy levels, our body’s development, and our spirituality. Oils and fats are an essential part of cooking and using healthy options will yield visible benefits for your family.

In the event of a SHTF scenario, we should have extra cooking oils in our pantries to ensure you can cook and our family remains healthy. Additionally, if the situation becomes bad, healthy oils with a long shelf life can be used to barter for other goods. Since cooking oils are necessary for cooking meals, there will always be high demand for food oils.

The health consideration of food oils, but specifically seed oils is important to consider because certain food oils have proven to lead to heart disease, inflammation, cancer, toxin accumulation, and drain overall energy levels. Removing some oils from your pantry to include healthier options, can go a long way toward improving the health of your family.

Seed oils are also heavily processed. Ideally, we would like to consume the most natural type of oil which is unrefined or extra virgin oil. The more processed oil is, the more nutrients are removed from the oil during the processing process.

The list below assumes an unopened bottle of oil.

Healthy options:


Coconut OilShelf Life of 24 months (at least)

Coconut Oil is made from the meat of a Coconut and is known to have numerous benefits. If properly stored, refined coconut oil can have a shelf life of two years. Unrefined or Virgin Coconut Oil has a much longer shelf life of 5 years. Coconut oil has numerous health benefits, and research suggests it can burn fat, provide a short boost of energy, fight off degenerative diseases, and improve hair and skin. Although Coconut Oil is known to have high saturated fat content, it is easily processed by the body, making it a healthy source of fat.

  • Shelf Life: 2 years (refined) or up to 5 years (unrefined)
  • Smoke Point: Refined Coconut Oil is 350°F or 232°C. Unrefined Coconut Oil is 350°F or 177°C

Avocado Oil – Shelf life of 9-12 months

Avocados are a great source of healthy fats that are known to reduce cholesterol and improve heart health. Avocado oil is great for cooking and is seen as an alternative to olive oil because of its rich flavors and nutrients. In addition to taste, other benefits of cooking with avocado oil are that it helps with the absorption of important nutrients, supports eye health, improves skin, and may even reduce the risk of arthritis.

  • Shelf Life: 9 months (unrefined) or up to 12 months (refined)
  • Smoke Point: Refined Avocado oil is 520˚F or 271˚C. Unrefined Avocado oil is 375˚F or 190˚C

Olive Oil – Shelf Life 12 months (at least)

Olive Oil should be an essential part of every prepper’s pantry. This is healthy and versatile cooking oil, that is long-lasting and can provide your family with a source of essential nutrients. Olive Oil has been used for thousands of years by Mediterranean cultures for cooking, the people who traditionally have the longest lifespans on Earth. Using Olive Oil as an ingredient in foods is known to reduce the risk of all causes of mortality. This is a truly healthy oil that should be in every prepper’s pantry.

  • Shelf Life: 12 to 18 months (unrefined or extra virgin) or up to 24 months (refined or light)
  • Smoke Point: Extra Virgin Olive Oil 325˚-375˚F or 163˚-190˚C. Refined Olive Oil 465˚F or 240˚C

Avoid if possible:


Canola Oil – Shelf Life of 24 months

Canola Oil is a widely available and affordable cooking oil option. An unopened bottle of Canola Oil has a shelf life of 2 years. 95% of canola crops are genetically modified in the US, to improve the quality of the oil and make the plants resistant to herbicides. However, recent studies have demonstrated that increased consumption of Canola Oil could lead to inflammation and have negative effects on memory. The last thing you want in a disaster scenario is your family to suffer from health-related issues and memory challenges caused by poor diet choices. That being said, it is still one of the most affordable cooking oils on the market and should be stocked up if healthier options are unavailable.

  • Shelf Life: 24 months
  • Smoke Point: 400˚F or 204˚C

Corn Oil – Shelf Life of 24 months

Corn Oil is oil typically extracted from genetically modified corn. Corn Oil has a shelf life of 24 months. At Soulful Prepper we think this should be avoided as it is high in Omega-6 fats, which causes inflammation. It is not considered a healthy fat, and like Canola Oil should be avoided by preppers. The benefit of a Corn Oil is that it is widely available, affordable, and has a long shelf life.

  • Shelf Life: 24 months
  • Smoke Point: 450˚F or 232˚C

Vegetable Oil – Shelf Life of 24 months

Vegetable Oil is made from the mixing of various vegetables, seeds, and fruits. The shelf life of Vegetable Oil is 24 months if kept unopened. Vegetable Oils should be avoided as they contain often genetically modified ingredients and include harmful chemicals, which contain Omega 6 fats that cause inflammation. Vegetable Oil is another affordable and widely available cooking oil option.

  • Shelf Life: 24 months
  • Smoke Point: 400˚-450˚F or 204˚-232˚C


The best oils for soulful preppers are Coconut Oil (2 years at least) and Olive Oil (18-24 months). Not only do they have a long shelf life, but they are also two of the healthiest cooking oil options on the market. When providing for your family in a disaster scenario, you want to provide them with healthy and nutritional food options that additional energy. A good rule of thumb when picking the healthiest food option is to choose the least processed and most natural foods. This method will help you decide on the healthiest and most nutritional food option.

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