What is the shelf life of LeafSide’s meals? Do they have any preservatives?

Due to the low moisture content of our meals, and the use of 100% plant-based ingredients, each recipe will be shelf-stable and maintain the best taste and texture for about a 2-3 month timeframe from its creation date if stored in a cool, dry (non-refrigerated) place. Depending on a specific recipe’s ingredients, we do adjust that to be shorter or longer based on our ongoing tests of each recipe, and evolving packaging.

Typically, the limiting factor is any fresh ingredients used in the meal (nuts, seeds, dates, coconut, etc.). If you want to extend the storage duration, you can put your pack(s) in the fridge, just as storing these fresh ingredients in the fridge will help add several months of shelf life. You may consider storing the meals in the freezer as well, which is likely to add years of shelf life.

Our meals contain no preservatives or additives! Many of our ingredients are shelf-stable due to a special freeze-drying process that removes the moisture content from whole plant-based foods. This helps maximize the nutrient content and keep the ingredients safe to consume, without adding any unnatural preservatives or extra ingredients to our products.

Previously, we printed a “best by” date on the meal labels, with about a six-week time frame from the meal’s creation date, to be very conservative. But as many LeafSiders have discovered, some of our meals remain perfectly fresh even well past that date.

After extensive tests of all our meal packs, we’ve updated the time frame of each meal’s best freshness to be meal-specific.

Henceforth, all LeafSide meal packs will have a “Created On” date, and also a specific time frame of 2 or 3 months after that date on the back label, to ensure you enjoy the best taste and texture possible.

See below for an example:

Please note: We have NOT changed ingredients to increase the shelf-life. As always with LeafSide, ingredients remain unprocessed whole plant foods, with NO additives or preservatives.

Another quick reminder: The best-by time frame of dried foods is very different from an expiration date; the latter is needed for high moisture, perishable products. LeafSide meals are safe to consume weeks or months past the best-by time frame (yes, we’ve tested old meals on ourselves), though taste & texture may decline.

Finally, if you think you’ll need your LeafSide meals beyond their usual best-by time frame, remember that you can always store them in a fridge/freezer, to greatly extend their best-taste/texture lifetime. It’s yet another way to get more value & flexibility from LeafSide, while never wasting food!

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