“One Year Food Supply!” A good deal or not?

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Just about every food storage company boasts several versions of a ready-made, pre-fab food supply.

“One-year Food Supply for four people, $5,795!”

I know you’ve seen the ads and have probably found it tempting to eliminate all your food storage issues with just one swipe of a credit card, but are these commercial food packages all they’re cracked up to be?

Here are some reasons to be wary of these products.

  • They likely do not contain the amount of calories needed per person.  If a crisis demands far more physical activity than you and your family members are used to, your calorie requirements could top 3,000.  This isn’t accounted for in pre-fab food supplies
  • They will likely include products you and your family will not enjoy or may even be allergic to.  When you put your own food storage together, you know what your family will eat and whether or not someone is allergic to gluten, peanuts, or the like.
  • Watch out for portion size.  If you have big eaters in your family, and a #10 can of spaghetti with meat sauce states that a serving is one cup, you’ll soon have a mutiny on your hands!  I’ve known guys who could polish off the entire #10 can and then ask, “What’s for dessert?”
  • When foods are dehydrated or freeze-dried, they lose most or all of their natural oils.  This could become an issue if you eat these foods over a long period of time.  Our bodies need oil for growth, healthy hair and skin, and energy.
  • The pre-fab food supply may not be as cost effective as purchasing the products one can at a time.
  • These kits usually include TVP as the main source of protein.  If you’re not a big fan of Texturized Vegetable Protein, this could be a problem.
  • The shelf life of these foods is not guaranteed.  Their actual shelf life will depend on how and where they are stored.  Keep in mind the enemies of food storage.

Having said all this, if I had the money, I’d probably buy one or two of these kits as a back-up.  When everything else in my pantry is gone, I might be thrilled to have 84 #10 cans of anything edible!

13 thoughts on ““One Year Food Supply!” A good deal or not?”

  1. I'd buy smaller amounts, maybe a one month supply, as part of my storage, but I agree – not for an entire year. On top of the reasons given, you simply can't get as much variety doing it that way as if you do it yourself. I don't know what all they have in there, but I'd be shocked if they have the Valentines, Halloween AND Christmas-specific box cake mixes we have vacuum sealed in our basement! And those will make the kids darn happy.

    1. I just got a vacuum sealer ~ how/why do you seal cake mixes? Does it lengthen shelf life? Do you remove the mixes from the bags inside the boxes? Thanks for any hints and any other suggestions. 🙂

  2. I do like the idea of having a three month back up supply. Remember most of these need oil stored with them. I do know that I made the mistake once camping of thinking a serving meant a serving. Seriously, my seven year old can eat a serving and still be hungry. Interesting statement that the oils in the foods are removed during the freeze drying process. This makes sense, most of those freeze dried meals are very healthy and if they had oils there shelf life would be reduced.

  3. Yanno. . ., I had just been thinking about this earlier today, and I kinda came to the same conclusion. For instance, I'm allergic to soy, so any year-long "supply" that included TVP would be a bit of a waste. And so much of the time, the packages are all freeze-dried meals, and not much in the way of ingredients.

    I would prefer ingredients, with some meals, because I can actually cook and would rather make something myself. Why would I want a whole freeze dried meal when a canned chicken breast, a small can of tomatoes, some dried herbs, and some freeze dried cheese will make something much more pleasing to the palate? Yes, I'm a bit of a gourmand, it runs in the family. But food quality is so related to morale. . .

  4. This is an issue I've been struggling with – if I am in a situation where I need to start using my survival foods I don't think I can count on having a working stove. I'd be lucky to have a propane camping stove to boil water and conserving propane would be critical. So I am very concerned about storing a lot of ingredients that I would have to bake or boil for a long time. Has anyone else reasoned this out? Are you assuming no breakdown in services? Any comments appreciated as I am in process of really getting going on food storage and this is the issue holding me back.

    1. there's a number of different "recipes", if you will, for individual home-made penny stoves. Some use a few spoons worth of alcohol, or lamp oil; or you can make/acquire one made out of a simple soup can with holes punched in it, that will burn on a handful of pencil sized twigs packed in it. Most of these are sufficient, once you get the knack of using them, to boil two cups of liquid in about ten minutes, and generally are capable of a residual "simmer" period of another ten minutes or so. You can also put two or three survival candles under a stand on which to set a small pot, or metal canteen cup, etc.. It aint pretty, and it aint as quick as one may be used to, but it will get the job done when nothing else is working. one should note, that these methods are usually done in batches of roughly two cups of liquid(H2O) at a time, with another burn required for more, but again if you're patient, this'll get you something hot to eat or drink, only weighs a couple ounces at most, is highly mobile if you need to run, and fuel is massively easy to find. most survival meals are not much more than a couple cups worth of anything, so the two go hand in hand…cheers:)

      1. Youtube is a great place to see how to make rocket stoves, hobo stoves, etc. I made a rocket stove, and it burns twigs, pine cones, & sticks, all materials I have in abundance…especially after a storm!

    2. I've thought about this too and believe that services may be halted but not permanently. I have stored instant oatmeal, rice, cereal with powdered milk, tang, mashed potatoes, canned vegetables/soups/meats that may not taste the greatest if eaten cold but would keep a person from starving. I also believe it's a good idea to have propane and a generator for short term use.

    3. I Imagine if your stoves run on electricity there could be issues have you considered a conversion to propane.. my family fills up the propane tank once a year.Also you should look in to purchasing a solar oven also called a sun cooker.. They work really well! http://solarovens.net/

  5. With just a few exceptions, vacuum-sealing your own bulk foods and/or dehydrating items yourself for long-term storage is immensely cheaper than buying everything from online stores. The only bulk items I'm buying rather than dehydrating myself are high-sugar fruits such as bananas or tomatoes (the high sugar content gets really gummy on the trays of my Nesco dehydrators–of which I have several). I'd recommend scheduling trips to Walmart, Sam's Club and Costco and comparing prices at each place, then compare those prices to what you can get stuff for through online food storage retailers. The more stuff you can buy locally for cash, the less you'll have to worry about your neighbors wondering why you get so many large packages in the mail.

  6. a years supply of anything is best tested in small doses first.
    whether that’s a years supply of pasta, or a years mix of whatever.
    rule one is: is they do not tell you EXACTLY whats in it, its not a safe buy. you have no way of knowing if you can eat it, are allergic to it, etc
    rule two is: compare what it would cost for you to put together a similar one year supply of stuff you CAN /WILL eat.

    personally i think having a a few months, or one year, back up of “instant” foods like MREs or freeze dried camp meals, would be a fine thing to have… as a back up… if you can afford it.
    otherwise ? no

    and if, like me, you are on a budget… you can actually build a one year supply of stuff that will keep you alive in a pinch for FAR FAR less, without having to go hungry now.

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