I have a tendency to buy unfamiliar, intriguing nonperishables on a whim, with no immediate plans to cook them, and they end up hanging around for a long time until I finally find the leisure to experiment with them. Right now I have several bags of dried beans that I bought at various times, including a bag of whole, tiny dark-green lentils labeled "Moong Dal," a bag of Goya peeled favas, and some others. I was thinking about how I should get around to using these, and was perusing Joy of Cooking's bean section, where I found the advice that dried beans should be kept no longer than six months to a year. I'm afraid some of these beans are more like two or three years old. Do dried beans really go bad? What happens--do they lose their taste and texture, and/or nutritional benefits, or do they actually somehow spoil?
I promise I will reform and only buy things I really plan to eat in the near future.