The noodles also have a little bit of oil in them (as part of the manufacturing process to bind the ingredients)... and I've had some that start to taste rancid. I've also had the seasoning packages turn hard and taste like crap. That being said... it could have been a bad batch... or stored incorrectly... or... they could have been zapped by stray radiation from space... just kidding... but who knows why they went bad? The point being... they will last for a while... and ... that may be long enough for your needs. You can always ask around and see if any friends have some old packages still sitting around in the back of their pantry and try them out. Or... start storing them and rotating them out as things stay normal. They should last a few years... and freshly rotated food is always a good idea. I doubt anyone is trying to store 30 years worth of Ramen... so a few years of edible (relatively speaking) ramen will probably do for you.