Really, no honest company can claim that their food will be good for 25 years. Here’s an example. Honeyville has a retail store about an hour from my house. I’ve been there many times. When they receive food from their main warehouse in Utah, it’s stored in a large area that is not air conditioned. This is in Phoenix. So, that food has been in hot conditions in the truck coming to Phoenix and in the warehouse for, who knows how long. Heat is a serious enemy of food because in a relatively short period of time it affects the food’s level of nutrition, flavor, appearance, and texture.
Bob from Kansas asked, “A question for you: what is your thought on buying X-Brand 25 year food storage? Is this the way to go to have extra food on hand?”
My answer to Bob’s email was so lengthy that I decided to make a blog post out of it! Here is what I told him:
I’m not picking on just Honeyville here! This is true for every company that produces, ships, and sells food for storage purposes. If that food isn’t continuously stored at 70 degrees or cooler, it has likely started to lose some of its nutritional value.
When a customer buys the food, if they store it in hot, humid conditions, the food will continue to deteriorate. So, in 25 years, who knows what condition the food will be in? No company can say their food will be in the best condition after 25 or even 5 or 10 years. There are too many factors that affect it.
Be picky about where you buy your food if your plan is to store it long term. Ready Reserve Foods, for example, in Idaho uses both an oxygen extraction system AND they flood their food containers with nitrogen, which is the best possible combination for food that will be stored for the long haul.
When I repackage food in PETE containers, mylar bags, and buckets, I use oxygen absorbers because they are so easy to use. Most food storage companies also use this system. It isn’t a bad method at all, but there are several factors that affect how many and what size of absorbers should be used, and if you check out the cans of food from most companies, the size and amount of absorbers are all the same!
Another tip: know if you’re getting TVP (textured vegetable protein) or freeze-dried meat. They are not the same! Personally, I like TVP and use it in recipes from time to time. I may use just a half-cup in a batch of soup, for example, and it contains a lot of protein. However, some people want to stay away from TVP because it’s a soy product. Whatever your preference, make sure you know what you’re getting when you buy packaged freeze dried meals.
I actually recommend that you stay away from the, “just add water” entrees, for the most part. First, you may not like a particular entree. If you don’t, you’re stuck with it anyway because you purchased x-number of those pouches in those buckets! Second, these entrees will contain all sorts of additives and preservatives that you may not want to consume, meal after meal.Some of these meals are great, some are so-so, and some need some serious doctoring up!
Freeze-dried entrees, such as, “lasagna with meat sauce” or “chicken teriyaki,” are good to have on hand in case of an evacuation or for a time when heating up water is all you’re able to do. I recommend having about 15% or so of your total food storage in these FD entrees. Please don’t spend an enormous amount of money on these packaged meals. They have a purpose, yes, but you are MUCH better off buying mostly ingredients — vegetables, grains, freeze-dried cheese and meats, etc.
Ingredients can be combined to make all kinds of meals, insuring that you won’t experience food fatigue. I recommend buying ingredients for soup meals: bouillon, freeeze-dried or dehydrated vegetables, rice, macaroni, freeze-dried chicken/beef (could also use TVP), beans, etc. With just a few ingredients, you could make at least a dozen different types of soup.
I’m a consultant with Shelf Reliance foods and like their Thrive brand a lot. We own quite a bit of it. However, they use only oxygen absorbers. On the other hand, they have a HUGE variety of products.
Freeze-dried and dehydrated food can be expensive, and as you add to your food storage pantry, it can represent quite a large investment. The best thing you can do is become very well informed, read package labels and nutritional information, and make a plan of what you want to buy for yourself and your loved ones. Don’t get in a panic and click the “Buy Now!” button for an expensive product you may not be happy with and may not deliver the quality you expect.
The following two tabs change content below.
I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 9 years.