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The Ins and Outs of Freeze Dried Food Part 3 – Other Food Storage Options

Throughout the last few weeks we’ve discussed a few of our favourite long term food storage options. We touched on the importance of calories and protein in your meal planning, and reviewed Legacy, Wise, and Augason Farms pre-made meals. Today, we’ll look at a few other food storage options that are perfect for short term preparedness, or bulking up your other food supplies.

SOS Calorie Food Bars

SOS 3600 Calorie Food Bar with bars 2 These are the classic go-to food option for 99% of pre-built emergency kits. They’re compact, durable, temperature resistant, and have a standard 5 year shelf life. They come in 3600 and 2400 calorie packs, which are 3 and 2 days of food respectively if rationing to the bare minimum.

Of all the available brands for calorie food bars, we like SOS best for the taste and the way they’re packed. Each package contains a number of individually wrapped 400 calorie bars, each of which acts as a meal. This keeps things clean and simple, especially when compared to the bars that need to be cut apart.

People usually assume that these bars taste bad, and some do, but we actually like the taste of SOS bars and eat them for office snacks when we have extra. They’re sweet and are most commonly compared to coconut short bread.

Backpacker’s Pantry

delicious pad thai with 20g of protein As the name implies, these awesome little pouches were originally designed for hikers, campers, and backpackers. The features that make it great for outdoor pursuits are also why we love it for preparedness, it’s lightweight, cooks right in the pouch, and tastes pretty darn good!

Not having to lug a cooking pot with you is the biggest advantage to Backpacker’s Pantry meals. The other freeze dried food brands we’ve discussed (here’s our previous post) all need to be added to boiling water and mixed in. With cook-in-pouch meals however, you can use a kettle to boil the water, add it to the pouch, and skip the dishes completely!

These meals have gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian options, are high protein, and come with two servings per pouch, making them ideal for individuals and couples. What’s the catch? The cook-in-pouch packaging has a shorter shelf life than its long-lived predecessors. Backpacker’s Pantry meals vary from a 3 to a 10 year shelf life, depending on the menu.

(PS: If you’re having trouble choosing – I highly recommend the Pad Thai! Yum!)

MEAT A variety of Freeze Dried Meat cans - both in #10 and #401 sizes

That’s right folks, through the wonders of modern technology long shelf life meat is now a reality! You can keep tantalizing beef, melt-in-your-mouth chicken, and fragrant sausage with your freeze dried food stores for a whopping 25 years! The cans stack too, so you can easily store enough for all the meatatarians in your life.

Freeze dried meat does need rehydrating like any freeze dried food, but the beauty of it is that it can be rehydrated in your meal! Just toss a handful of beef into your Legacy or Wise Stroganoff for example and watch it reconstitute in the sauce. No extra water around? No problem! The meat is pre-cooked, so you can eat it straight from the can! (It will make you thirsty though – so it is ideal to have a drink on hand.)

Adding protein to your meals has never been so easy!

Fruits and Veggies

Raspberries, Bananas, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Peaches Freeze dried and dehydrated fruits and vegetables are crunchy little miracles! Keep them in the kitchen for out of season baking, in your kit for extra vitamins and minerals, or on your desk to enjoy while writing blog posts (or whatever it is you do.) While these items can be rehydrated, I prefer them as a snack straight from the bag. They’re crunchy, sweet (the fruits anyway) and good for you. What more could you ask for the mid-afternoon munchies?

On top of being delicious, there’s a reason our parents wanted us to eat our leafy greens. Vitamins and nutrients! Valuable micronutrients like iron, vitamin C, and Folate (a type of B vitamin) are great for reinforcing your immune system, keeping alert, and forming red blood cells. There are dozens of nutrients with a host of useful and important functions that our bodies need and crave. Adding some healthy greens to your food storage can be a perfect way of keeping healthy in an extended emergency.

Next Week

Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll join us next week for our last post in this Food Storage series. We’ll be taking an in-depth look at our most sought after food option: Meals Ready to Eat (MREs). Until then, have a great week!

Article written by Zenia Platten – Writer and emergency preparedness professional.

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