Special Report

Foods With the Longest Shelf Life

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1. Potatoes
> Shelf life: 2 to 5 weeks

If stored in a cool, dry, dark place. Yukon Gold, red, and fingerling potatoes will last from two to three weeks. Larger white or russet potatoes can last for three to five weeks. Sweet potatoes have about the same shelf life. Don’t store them next to onions, however: The two might go together well in cooking, but raw, each gives off gases and moisture that might cause the other to spoil faster.

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2. Onions
> Shelf life: 1 to 2 months

As with potatoes, store these in a cool, dry, dark place for maximum longevity. And, as above, don’t store them with potatoes; both will spoil faster.

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3. Peanuts
> Shelf life: 1 to 2 months

Peanuts in their shell, especially when kept cool and dry, are perfectly happy in the pantry for as long as two months.

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4. Winter squash
> Shelf life: 1 to 3 months

The various kinds of thick-skinned winter squash — including butternut, spaghetti, acorn, kabocha, and hubbard, among others — are among the most durable of fresh vegetables.

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5. Apples
> Shelf life: 5 days to 6 months

Apples kept in a fruit bowl at room temperature will generally last five to seven days. When stored in a humid place at a temperature of 30º to 40º F, however, they can stay crisp and fresh for as long as six months.

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