A couple of months ago I got into an online argument with someone about dehydrated foods vs. freeze dried. This person became almost violent, and I think if she could have reached through that electronic forum and strangled me, she would have! I was defending dehydrated food as a perfectly viable source for long-term food storage. The process of dehydration may not preserve as many of the original nutrients as freeze-dried, but heck, once you cook the food, you lose nutrients anyway.
That conversation got me thinking about food storage snobbery. Oh, I’ve seen it rear its ugly head on other forums and in other discussions. People who stock up on buckets of wheat, MREs, and cases of freeze dried foods look down their noses at those of us who have stocked up on Campbell’s soups and Chef Boyardee. The whole point of stocking up on extra food and supplies is to be able to care for our families in a disaster or something worse, right? If we’re in agreement about that, then it doesn’t make any sense to tear down those who do things differently.
I recommend stocking up on regular grocery store food for about 25% or so of your total food storage. My reasoning is that these foods are the most accessible, most affordable (especially when using coupons), and are the most familiar. Heck, it’s taken me six months to get my kids to even try hummus. I can’t imagine having a year’s worth of unfamiliar foods and trying to explain to them that there is no more Kraft Macaroni ‘n Cheese! Ever! Yes, introducing new foods to our families, and ourselves, is a vital part of establishing a well-rounded long-term pantry, but let’s face it. It’s a whole lot easier to open a can of Progresso soup, and that’s yet another reason for not feeling guilty about stocking up on lowly grocery food. In a situation where Mom is incapacitated or out of the picture, most any kid can easily prepare meals of ravioli, canned soup, and tuna.
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What I love about the whole grocery-store-food-storage plan is that once the light dawns on someone that they really should think about preparedness, they can make a trip to the nearest Kroger’s or Food City, spend a bit of money, and leave knowing they’ve taken an important step. If they continue stocking up and become better educated about storing food, they will soon realize the wisdom of stocking up on food with a longer shelf life and continue on their journey, but that trip to the grocery store was a darn good start. That’s how I started.
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