Pantry problems, do brown rice and lentils store well for years?

A:

All recommendations I am familiar with say to use brown rice in less than a year, 6 months if possible because of the likelihood of the oils in the germ becoming rancid. Air-tight packaging and storing it in the refrigerator or freezer extends the shelf-life some. The rancidity gives the rice a bitter, acrid taste. We do know that as oils become rancid, or react with oxygen, the nutritive value is destroyed and the taste becomes increasingly unpalatable. There is ongoing research into the effects of consuming rancid oils and fats in foods. There is not yet complete understanding of what health impacts they can have over time, so we suggest people be cautious. and try to limit the amount of rancid oils they consume. While there may not be immediate health concerns, they may have long-term impacts.

Milled rice (white rice) that has the germ removed can be stored for years if kept dry. So can the lentils. They may not absorb moisture quite as well when you cook them, and may not be quite as nutritious as they were originally, but they are safe.  

Was this page helpful?

Related Content from OSU Extension

Ask an Expert

Have a Question? Ask an Expert!

Ask an Expert is a way for you to get answers from the Oregon State University Extension Service. We have experts in family and health, community development, food and agriculture, coastal issues, forestry, programs for young people, and gardening.

Ask Us a Question