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Old 08-11-2009, 06:02 PM
LaDave LaDave is offline
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Default Can you live on Freeze Dried Food?



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I truly believe that the best way to have a food storage plan is to buy additional foods that you regularly eat and stock up over time. The problem is that my wife and I try to eat as much fresh food as possible. We eat very little to no canned foods and try to avoid sodium and preservatives as much as possible. Therefore, it really doesn't do any good for us to buy a lot of canned foods and rice and beans because we won't eat them on a regular basis. And the fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats that we buy will spoil in a short amount of time.

So I am considering buying a large amount of freeze dried food in #10 cans and storing them. The claim is that they will last 25-30 years. I have seen sites that have the "ultimate" one year supply of freeze dried food and am considering ordering a package. Obviously, if a situation occurs and we need to use the food, it will not be what we are accustomed to eating. However, we would not starve either and the few pouches that I purchased seemed to actually taste good.

Cost is not an issue. I am curious about opinions as to whether you could actually survive eating nothing but freeze dried food for such a long period of time. I have some MRE's that I can throw in and obviously we do have some canned foods and rice, etc. But what we do have would not last more than a few weeks. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaDave View Post
I truly believe that the best way to have a food storage plan is to buy additional foods that you regularly eat and stock up over time. The problem is that my wife and I try to eat as much fresh food as possible. We eat very little to no canned foods and try to avoid sodium and preservatives as much as possible. Therefore, it really doesn't do any good for us to buy a lot of canned foods and rice and beans because we won't eat them on a regular basis. And the fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats that we buy will spoil in a short amount of time.

So I am considering buying a large amount of freeze dried food in #10 cans and storing them. The claim is that they will last 25-30 years. I have seen sites that have the "ultimate" one year supply of freeze dried food and am considering ordering a package. Obviously, if a situation occurs and we need to use the food, it will not be what we are accustomed to eating. However, we would not starve either and the few pouches that I purchased seemed to actually taste good.

Cost is not an issue. I am curious about opinions as to whether you could actually survive eating nothing but freeze dried food for such a long period of time. I have some MRE's that I can throw in and obviously we do have some canned foods and rice, etc. But what we do have would not last more than a few weeks. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
The simple answer is that yes you can live on them.
BUT have you looked at the ingredients listing on them?
The salt content is what I am talking about.
Like over 1000mg
http://www.mountainhouse.com/nutr.cfm
They will store as claimed.
But your systems will be in an uproar about the change of diet.
You would want to consider what having that on top of whatever has caused you to dip into them going on.
I also like the taste of the Mountain House stuff I have tried.
The portions are a little on the smallish side.

You would be best off to store what you eat.
Home canning would work for you.
No added salt or preservatives.
Dried grains store really well.
The other stuff you can yourself.
Or dehydrate it yourself.

For me Freeze dried or MREs are trail food.
When I am too busy or tired to cook something worth while.
Not for full time living.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:40 PM
lanahi lanahi is offline
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If you have enough water or ways to purify water, you can survive nicely on freeze dried foods.
Some do have added salt, a lot of it doesn't. That is more true of canned foods from the grocery store, though, that invariably use too much salt.
For instance, I have a #10 can of freeze dried peas. Ingredients listed: Peas. That's all, just peas. It has been freeze dried at the peak of nutrition, and the freeze-dried methods costs very little in terms of nutrition...MOST of the vitamins are preserved in the process. This is not true of canned foods from the grocery which simply uses heat in the processing, a process that removes vitamin C especially.
The freeze dried foods, because of the process used, usually tastes fresh after reconstituting in water. It has the consistency of the original food in most cases, and you can't tell it is not the fresh product.
Many of the freeze-dried vendors list the ingredients in their individual cans. I would check them out. The best I have found so far is:
www.honeyvillegrain.com
They even have customer's reviews on some products they sell.

Another good one is www.beprepared.com. They are more expensive but have more variety.

Be aware that in all of the "servings sizes" that these are very small, even unrealistic servings unless they are simply side dishes. Take the "serving" size with a grain of salt. It will tell you on the cans what a serving size is. If it says 1/2 cup serving size on beef stew, for instance, I doubt if you would be satisfied with that if it is the only item in the meal. In a SHTF scenario, you are likely to be more physically active than normal, so you will need more food, not less.

Salt is more common in prepared foods, such as stews and pastry combos, etc. But salt is necessary for survival, so you shouldn't try to cut it all out.

If cost were really no object, I would look at smaller combos than those supposed to be one year supply of food. Get cases instead of that in the foods you would actually like to eat. You could get a fruit combo, for instance and a vegetable combo, or just one or two cans of different foods. You would have to look at the choices available and see how much of their combos actually appeal to you and then make a decision from there. Compare the different plans from different vendors and see which are best for you. Or, if you are buying for more than one person, buy one year's worth for one person from one company and another year's worth of food from another in order to have more variety. Their presorted one year combos are easier because you don't have to think about it.

Once you've decided on a plan, buy a few extra side orders of food that may be in short supply in the plan you get or a few cases of food that you really want more of. Add some foods from the grocery store too that you usually eat.

But yes, you can live very well off the freeze dried foods.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:54 PM
lanahi lanahi is offline
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I agree with Stormblown that your own canned goods are better than anything you can buy. With a pressure canner, you can can nearly anything you eat and can control the ingredients.
Don't forget the garden either and learn something about wild edible plants. I think a combination of all of the ways to store food is the best, combined with fresh produce whenever it is available. If you have a shortage of water, the freeze dried foods won't do much good but the ones you've canned yourself will. On the other hand, freeze-dried cans take up little room in comparison. There is something to recommend all of them.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:07 PM
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I would also suggest that you consider dehydrated foods as part of your prep. They are far less costly than freeze-dried and simply need to reconstituted with water. There is no added salt or other preservatives (typically). Their storage life may be shorter than freeze-dried but that is not necessarily an issue. You can do food dehydration at home, for example:

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...ntId=cat602009

Your preps should have several "layers"...fresh, canned (store bought and/or home-canned), dehydrated and freeze-dried...moving from those with the shortest shelf life to the longest. Of course, you can mix them up for variety.

In your planning you should be considering the use of a garden (traditional or bucket) with open-pollinated seeds to supplement your diet with fresh vegetables and fruits.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:41 PM
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You could, but I don't think I'd like to try it full time. I spent 2 weeks at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico back in 1975. We lived in dehydrated food the entire time. By the end of the first week things were starting to come out a little runny. I'm sure they have improved some since then.
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:19 AM
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I truly believe that the best way is to not rely on stored food at all.

That being said I do think it wise to store food. There may be times when you be glad you had it. Times such as power outages flooowing blizzards or hurricanes. Long term food supplies are going to have to be either hunted or farmed. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE FOR WHEN YOUR STORES RUN OUT!!!
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtBooker44 View Post
You could, but I don't think I'd like to try it full time. I spent 2 weeks at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico back in 1975. We lived in dehydrated food the entire time. By the end of the first week things were starting to come out a little runny. I'm sure they have improved some since then.
Ditto.....we learned in BSA that you CAN survive on freezedried, you system is not real fond of it long term........btw I was in Philmont in '77.
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:52 AM
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My plan is to use MRE's, Freeze Dried, Frozen, Canned, and my other stored goods to suppliment what I can grow, fish, snare, and shoot. Spread it out, use it for days the snares come up empty, you will need to transition out of it eventually. Canning is a wonderful way to store your vegetables - but you'll either want the old glass top jars with the rubber gasket, or lots and lots - YEARS worth - of lids stockpiled if you intennd to be canning long term after the balloon goes up.

You will also want to get your hands on an old wood burning oven - my grandmother cooked on one till the day she died.

http://www.antiquestoves.com/wood%20...images/hc1.jpg

They are excellent for cooking.
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bluetrain View Post
Ditto.....we learned in BSA that you CAN survive on freezedried, you system is not real fond of it long term........btw I was in Philmont in '77.
Bluetrain,

Did you climb The Tooth of Time?

We did it at night so we could be on top at sunrise. Awesome sight!!
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wifiwaves View Post
I would also suggest that you consider dehydrated foods as part of your prep. They are far less costly than freeze-dried and simply need to reconstituted with water. There is no added salt or other preservatives (typically). Their storage life may be shorter than freeze-dried but that is not necessarily an issue. You can do food dehydration at home, for example:

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...ntId=cat602009

Your preps should have several "layers"...fresh, canned (store bought and/or home-canned), dehydrated and freeze-dried...moving from those with the shortest shelf life to the longest. Of course, you can mix them up for variety.

In your planning you should be considering the use of a garden (traditional or bucket) with open-pollinated seeds to supplement your diet with fresh vegetables and fruits.
Agreed. They aren't full of all the sodium and they taste far better than canned food. I rarely buy canned food anymore. I just rotate through my dehydrated stuff. I buy a few freeze dried fruits, but the rest is dehydrated. If you sprout wheat, beans, etc., you'll get the live enzymes and a few vitamins that the dried foods are lacking. Freeze dried foods are also a LOT bulkier than dehydrated. This can get to be a concern if you store very much of it. What dehydrated foods would fit in a closet, would require an entire room if freeze dried.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:31 PM
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Default Stock up on vits and minerals

You should always eat your food with vits and minerals. The closer you can eat to raw meat the better off you are for vits and minerals in the meat as cooking deletes them from the meat.

Eat and force your loved ones to eat as much greens as you can. Always know or have a chart with you showing plants and the specific nutrutrint each provides.

Study the signs of vit defifficiency with each lack of a specific vit.

Remmeber this, once your body is down from a vit deficiency it will take time to get back on your feet.

Remember this also, you have to have a balance in your diet to utilize the vits in the food.

if you are short on one vit, then your body can not utilize some of the other vits in your diet.

I hope I am making sense here.

there is a lot to know for

LONG TERM SURVIVAL


later
wayne
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:45 PM
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Don't forget sprouts.

You can sprout an amazing array of seeds and beans.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:45 PM
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Freeze dried is ok and can help with variety and ease of use but I wouldn't rely on it very long.
As mentioned above it's full of not so wonderful bits.
I have a stock of freeze dried, dehydrated, canned, wet pack, bulk grains including dent corn, beans and local wild goods to rely on along with seeds.
I don't have any MREs anymore. Too expensive and bulky for my tastes.
Water as mentioned is key.
Most of all you must have clean water.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:49 PM
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I like the Mountain House meals for hiking. With sweating all day, the extra salt is a good thing. With that said, I would not want to live on them unless I was highly physical, and needed the salt.
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:48 PM
Littlemiss9419 Littlemiss9419 is offline
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Short answer yes but your stomach and taste buds might hate you for it.
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:09 PM
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I succumbed to the "buy it and forget about it" aspect of the FD foods. However, I would I recommend that you supplement the freeze dried with both rotatable everyday foods and the bulk wheat, rice, pintos, and oatmeal. The dry goods are readily available from the ldscatalog.com and store a comparable amount of time as the mountain house. With the addition of these you can stretch your food supplies, increase your fiber, and reduce overall sodium content by the addition of these food to your FD stores. Sprouting wheat berries and beans is very simple, too.

As mentioned watch both sodium AND calorie content in the FD. MH portions are small, you need roughly 2500 calories/adult/day
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:48 PM
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I have at least 1 1/2 years worth of #10 canned food for my family.
Costco.com has a four person 6 month supply of #10 canned food from Shelf Reliance Thrive. 27 cases of food, 9400+ servings. It's based on a 2,000 Calorie a day diet. The price you see is with Free shipping and no sales tax. 90% of the food lasts 20-30 years and the salt is lower then most other manufactures. The wheat in #10 cans is whole and it comes with a grinder so you grind it yourself.http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...lang=en-US&s=1

It's the cheapest long shelf life freeze dried and canned food I've found.


Heres the nutritional and shelf live for the thrive foods I'm mentioning above.
http://www.costco.com/Images/Content...PDF/426555.pdf


The Other Company is Honeyville Grain. http://honeyvillegrain.com/

You can order all kinds of Freeze dried stuff from them. Pricing is a little higher then Costco's but you have a good selection to custom make your own package. Shipping is $5 no matter how large your order is. If you call them before you place the order they usually give a 10% discount if your order is a good size. You can find 5% off coupons on the net.

As for mountainhouse foods they are way too salty.
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