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Old 11-13-2013, 06:04 PM
Hawt Sauc3 Hawt Sauc3 is offline
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Default Rice vs Instant Potatoes



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Working on rebuilding my BoB, but as i've started living on my own and cooking more I've spotted a dilemma. Which should I include, rice or instant potatoes. They both cost around the same, store about as well, and cook into pretty even rations. That said, instant potatoes require boiling water and a good stir. Rice requires a whole lot more energy to cook.
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:39 PM
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Cold instant mashed potatoes are edible - a little better if mixed with warm/hot water. Obviously that hot, boiling water is ideal.

Check out the nutritional values (potatoes vs brown rice vs white rice).

Consider weight ratios of each, and how much water each needs to that ratio.

One can experiment a lot with mixing different things with instant mashed potatoes - it makes an amazing base (ie: add diced pepperoni, cheese, teaspoon of dried tomato paste, mix well when hot = mashed potatoes that taste surprisingly like pizza).

What can you tolerate most?
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:41 PM
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try getting some potato pearls. Ive eaten them cold and they are delicious either way.
Old 11-13-2013, 06:47 PM
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Instant potatoes have more nutrition, more calories, more protein, and a better assortment of amino acids than rice.

Something to take into consideration.
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:49 PM
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Was thinking about this same thing yesterday. Go figure. Thanks for the info.
Old 11-13-2013, 09:21 PM
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I can't buy instant potatoes as cheap as rice .... white long grain is about 40 cents a pound on sale .... even thru a bulk buy at the local Bishop's Warehouse (LDS Church) instant potatoes aren't as cheap ...
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:42 PM
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Apples and oranges. You should be comparing instant versions of both.

Instant rice is 1500-1600 calories per dry pound. Most instant potatoes are about the same. Instant rice just requires hot water, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes. Not as fast as instant potatoes, but not far behind. Both are going to consume roughly the same amount of fuel to heat water.

Why not carry both for some variety? Or widen the menu...

Instant oatmeal, instant grits, instant barley, no bake pasta, and quick cooking lentils could also be in the consideration mix.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:34 PM
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While i use several instant/quick items from my pantry, i find instant potatoes more patatable than instant rice. As a diabetic the instant potatoes do not upset my blood sugar levels as much as rice does. Maybe being from the Southwest add's to my personal tastes, and I have more uses for potatoes in my cooking. Buy what you eat, eat what you buy, and rotate often.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:41 PM
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You can get rice in those sachels that are pre cooked.

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Old 11-14-2013, 10:22 AM
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In years past, I used to do a lot of week+ backpacking trips. We generally carried either instant rice or potatoes as a fat carrier to boost calories. In warm weather we carried olive oil and in winter we carried butter. Potatoes will hold more fats than rice. This was a good supplement to the typical freeze dried meals and dry meat/fruit/nut snacks. Since fat is so calorie dense, it let us carry less weight in food.

So, that's an angle to consider also.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:24 AM
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I am a huge believer in carrying fats like butter and olive oil to augment all rations. Olive oil is something like 4200 calories per pound (which just happens to be 16 fluid oz of the stuff). They can really pay off during cold weather.

Butter carries really well in all but the hottest weather. You can add it to just about anything you eat (or drink). Especially good for adding to things like rice, potatoes, freeze dried meals, and oatmeal.

Other sources of fat and protein that last pretty well are hard cheeses and cured sausages like hard salami, summer sausage, Landjaeger, and pepperoni.
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:26 PM
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I like rice somewhat better than instant mashed potatoes. Rice can be added to a lot of dishes and will help expand a meal to help fill you up. I have added rice to soups, fish and meat dishes. Instant mashed potatoes just thicken the dish. Dried soup mixes do very well with added rice.

I carry boullion cubes of different flavors. I can add these to rice and with some added meat make a good meal. Boullion makes a good hot drink in cold weather.

It is best to try different dishes at home cooking the same way you would in the field. You will make better decisions as to what suits you. Vary the added ingredients (think spices/seasonings) to rice and see what makes you happy.
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:34 PM
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Another option, which no-one's mentioned, is cous-cous. It has very similar nutritional properties to brown rice. Tastes good by itself, but also holds other flavours really well, so you can add in a bit of stock, soup powder, whatever.

1 cup of hot water to 1 cup of dried cous-cous, let it stand for 3 minutes, devour. Nom nom nom
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:39 PM
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I prefer rice over mashed potatoes but my kids really like mashed taters (with gravy). So I store both.

They both pretty much cook the same and offer a variety of flavors as well. Although I think rice is more versatile. I've been trying to grow potatoes with mild success so I will continue to buy more instant potatoes to fill in the gaps. Obviously this is for bugging in and not for a BOB.
Old 11-14-2013, 03:39 PM
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Cous-cous is dynamite stuff.

There are so many off of the shelf flavor choices out there. Or you can add your own seasonings to the mix. Very compact way to carry fine grained semolina wheat. It cooks as fast as instant rice and gives you ~1700 calories per dry pound carried. Even more than rice or potatoes.
Old 11-14-2013, 03:51 PM
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I would get both (and couscous as well). Even over a short period of time, you will get tired of one or the other. Its nice to have as much variety as possible to stave this off. I would make the majority rice (the cheapest), but have a few options to substitute occasionally. In my short term disaster survival kit, I have a large bag of rice, but I also have some packets of instant potatoes that I've put into homemade MRE's.
Old 11-14-2013, 05:19 PM
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I have both sealed in mylar. I can't imagine eating rice OR potatos every damn day for a month, so having both will be appreciated.

I also have pasta and instant oats stored. I figure the more variety, the better.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:40 PM
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Funny, we were just discussing this here at home a day or so ago. Back around '09, when I was in my big mylar kick, I'd put up a lot of white and Basnmatti rice, as well as several big bags of Idahoan instant taters from Sam's, but LOTS more rice than taters.
But it occured to me several months back, that these taters are surprisingly good, and take much less energy to cook, making me wish I'd done up more of them. So, I ordered a fresh load of mylar and O2's, and since I wanted to use up all the bags and O2's, but didn;t want to buy and keep that much,I contacted a freind, (the wife of a retired Army Ranger) that I had gradually learned was a prepper, and asked if she wanted a big load of instant potatoes, at my cost. She was thrilled, said yes, and I got on it.
I can't remember exactly how much I got, but I literally filled a steel cart at Sam's Club till the bags were falling off if I didn't hang on to a couple of them. I've bought some big loads there, but this one got me the most weird looks,ever. One of them was a wide-eyed,double-take that came from half way across the store,LOL!!
I think I kept about 70 lbs, and gave her around 40.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:48 PM
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Unfortunately I can not give any advice on this, but I would like to thank you for bringing it up. I have a ton of rice, but have never considered instant potatoes. I will check them out tomorrow. Thanks again.
Old 11-14-2013, 06:39 PM
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The sharing of information is what makes everything work for the group. Others knowledge shared with the us makes trying something new easier for the rest of us.

We have used a chicken and brown gravy dry mixes we bought at a large food store at home for chicken/turkey and meat dishes. It is light in weight and is easy to use. This mix makes bland dishes taste great. There are many chili/meat loaf and other mixes available in the grocery stores. "A Happy Eater is a Happy Family Member, Child or Wife".

Take some time and walk the aisles and look for items you may use in your BUG OUT/GET HOME BAGS or just as regular preps. There are many items on the shelves we may have over-looked before. The grocery stores have a lot of items much cheaper than those "Emergency Prep sites".
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