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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to stock up on some food and then be done with it... It seems like freeze dried food allows you that option with a 25+ year shelf life on the #10 canned items. I am wondering who has the best quality out there. I have seen some called Mountain House.... Are they good?
 

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Just livin'
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Mountain House is the big boy on the block when it comes to freeze dried food. Just be forwarned that it has massive amounts of sodium in most of it. The other problem with MH, or any other vender of that type, is that your stuck with only a dozen or so meal selections.

Rather than choosing one and buying a large quantity you may want to order just a little from different vendors and try it out first. There is a lot out there.
 

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Patient Zero of WWZ
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Another option is grains and beans, and honey.

Shelf life in the same range as freeze dried foods.
Much less expensive.

But a lot more preparation involved. Like grinding the wheat then making bread out of it etc.

And similar to the warning above with freeze dried, you need to prepare some meals from your preps to learn how and be sure you know can live off of such foods.
 

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Preparing for my Family
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While a do have a supply of Mountain House as part of my long-term preps, don't overlook dried beans and grains in mylar bags with O2 absorbers. Most will be good for the same 25-30 years at a greatly reduced price.

I've laid in a good supply of 16 bean soup mix for this purpose. High in proteins, and fiber. You can add anything to it, like ham, beef, squirrels, rabbits... you get the idea.
 

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Another option is grains and beans, and honey.

Shelf life in the same range as freeze dried foods.
Much less expensive.

But a lot more preparation involved. Like grinding the wheat then making bread out of it etc.

And similar to the warning above with freeze dried, you need to prepare some meals from your preps to learn how and be sure you know can live off of such foods.
Good advice.

Something else to keep in mind for LTS food is asking yourself the question "What will it take to make this into a good meal, and will I have it?"

Does it need to be cooked? How hot? How long? That takes fuel.
Does it need to be reconstituted in water? How much water? Will I have enough in an emergency situation.

For bugging in, these reasons are why canned food is great. Doesn't need water, can be eaten cold most of the time.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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There's no "best". Different options fit different people's needs. Poke around the site a bit and you'll see a lot of discussion about the various options such as foods you can pack away yourself, freeze dried, dehydrated, home canned, home dehydrated, store bought cans, etc.

It's better to figure a food storage strategy that fits your unique budget, storage space limitations, food preferences, etc. For example, not only is freeze dried extremely expensive, it's also very bulky.

The food storage mantra has long been "store what you eat, and eat what you store" for a number of very good reasons.
 

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Capability, not scenarios
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I think there's a place for such food in most preps--it's light, easy to take with, easy to cook, can offer some menu variety which other foods may not easily allow.

I'd be concerned about the sodium levels (it's why Wise foods is off my radar screen), and the actual calories per dollar spent that you actually get. Some of these foods are awfully expensive for the calories.
 

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FBHO
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Five gallon buckets, lined with mylar bags, filled with nitrogen and an oxygen absorber and dessicare pack filled with grains = 30 years.

There are your grains. Hundreds if not thousands of pounds on the cheap.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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Five gallon buckets, lined with mylar bags, filled with nitrogen and an oxygen absorber and dessicare pack filled with grains = 30 years.

There are your grains. Hundreds if not thousands of pounds on the cheap.
You don't need to add nitrogen. The O2 absorber pack takes care of the O2 and leaves mostly nitrogen behind. And if you do use a desiccant with an O2 absorber, it must be at the bottom of the bag and the O2 absorber at the top. If they're too close to each other, the desiccant will dry out the absorber before it has finished it's job.

This is just one of many reasons I constantly stress just storing food like the long term food storage companies do. They have lab testing to prove that they are doing it right so we can't really improve on that. I've seen a lot of things that "seem like they should work" but don't. It's easy to make a mistake without realizing it.
 

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I firmly believe that the best mainstay food for preppers is 5 gal nitrogen sealed buckets of Ezekial mix. It is a multiple grain combination that you can survive on as your only food ...with the addition of a good one a day vitamin and mineral tablet to ensure you don't develop deficiencies. You can make it into flat bread loaves and biscuits. You can use it as soup base...and you can use it as the base for stews and casseroles. It takes very little cooking time since you can pre soak it.

You will need to make an investment into a grinder mill... But these can be bought very cheaply or in multiple cheap ones... Or you can make the smarter investment and buy a good quality one. (the very best grinders often show up on Craigslist and eBay at good prices.

I buy multiple food preps... But Ezekial mix, rice, and TVP...along with a broad range of spices are the foundation of our food preps...to the point that when I evaluate our long term storage food I do not include the Ezekial mix in my "how long can you go" evaluation. Why? Because for me there are two levels of food storage preps. The first is "cafeteria dining." these are the preps that allow us to continue to eat just as we normally do. The Ezekial mix gets opened when the cafeteria dining runs out... And hopefully by that time our seeds will be providing a wide array of vegetables to add to the Ezekial stew... And hopefully snares will bring in some venison and our rabbit hutch will be providing rabbit meat... And the chicken coop will add eggs and the occasional chicken once they've passed their egg laying years.

I studied societies that prepared for years of famine. If you do this you will see a very interesting pattern going all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. They all almost exclusively did two things... They stored 1-3 basic grains... And seasoning that made the grain more palatable. (The Navajo to this day recommend that families keep a year or two of dried corn in storage. I don't many of the youngsters do it...but if you ever go deeply into the Navajo Nation... You will find many old timers who still live almost entirely off the land. Many don't even speak English. But they also know that their way of life has seen it's day and gone. It likely won't be followed by many of the newer generation who unfortunately being taught to live off government subsidy instead of being self sufficient... But should teotwawki come...those old timers are going to be solid gold. They know every edible plant on the Rez...some can nap arrows that are works of art... They can throw a sling stone better than I will ever be able to...and they are very very proud of their cultural heritage. They may live in a tin shack or leaky hogan... But they have a quality of life that most of the die hard preppers on this board would thrive on. I tshtf bigger and much worse than I can imagine... My new address will be somewhere near Pinion, Arizona. That's my BOL of very last resort...and believe me...if tshtf that bad...you will find the Navajo Nation a prepper's paradise. Just make sure you have an invitation to come and stay in advance. Most reservations still run on the clan system... So it can be smart planning to do a couple pay it forwards for the head of a clan or two.)
 

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FBHO
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You don't need to add nitrogen. The O2 absorber pack takes care of the O2 and leaves mostly nitrogen behind. And if you do use a desiccant with an O2 absorber, it must be at the bottom of the bag and the O2 absorber at the top. If they're too close to each other, the desiccant will dry out the absorber before it has finished it's job.

This is just one of many reasons I constantly stress just storing food like the long term food storage companies do. They have lab testing to prove that they are doing it right so we can't really improve on that. I've seen a lot of things that "seem like they should work" but don't. It's easy to make a mistake without realizing it.
correct, and the reason for the nitrogen is a failsafe. For a 10 dollar tank of nitrogen, it's worth it to pack your 30 year stash with it.

as for the long term companys? yeah sure great, if you like your food packed with enough salt for a starfish, packing materials, odd's and ends as well as being MRE style stuff you'll never use... great.

Alot easier and cheaper to store your own. Pushing for "mountain house" ect is silly. To each their own, but i've been socking away spares now for 20 years. Haven't had a bad one yet. I"ve had kerr lids go bad canning... but that's it.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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Alot easier and cheaper to store your own. Pushing for "mountain house" ect is silly. To each their own, but i've been socking away spares now for 20 years. Haven't had a bad one yet. I"ve had kerr lids go bad canning... but that's it.
I wasn't talking about buying the long term company's foods, only putting away our foods the same way they do. The info about placing O2 absorbers and desiccants away from each other, came directly from Sorbent Systems themselves.
 

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Check out Pleasant Hill Grain. I ponied up $900 and ordered the package that included hard wheat, red wheat, rice, beans, powdered milk, oats, etc. I'm very glad I did. My diet has been oats for breakfast anyway so there's that. Understand you'll want/need to invest in a grain mill if you go this route. The native americans probably didn't have one but unless you or your wife / sig other want to grind it up in a bowl using a stone, get a mill. I managed to come across one at a sale in an amish area I live near. Brand new Country Living Mills are pricey but from what I hear, well worth the money.

The peace of mind is the best part. Knowing I can provide for my family for appx 6-7 months if something happens is worth $900. Hell, I've probably spent that much in tobacco over the past several years.
 

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There's no such thing as "then be done with it" -- it's a process. You need a good supply of "normal" food that you really eat on a regular basis, and it needs to be rotated. You need to learn alternate ways of preservation, like canning and dehydrating. You need to learn to grow food or raise animals or whatever fits your own life. But you are never "done."
 

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Mountain House is the oldest one, they been in business for over 40 years. I can give you a list of the top vendors for freeze dried food, including powder milk that comes in a 6 gallon bucket and stores for at least 10 years, and for 2 after opening. Supposedly it tastes like real milk when cold. $168 a bucket and will give you a gallon of milk a week for about 2 years.

What I would do is buy a sampler pack from each vendor, since they all offer different stuff. Keep a log of what you like and then figure out how much from each you need and order like that. One thing about Mountain House is the food was cooked prior to being flash frozen at -50 which took 98 percent of the water out. They also already added spices to the meals, most do not do this. This means you only need to add water and you can eat it cold if you had too, or add hot water and your ready in a couple of minutes. If you are forced to add cold water give it ten minutes before stirring and eating.
 

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Opinionated old fart.
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You really need to sample different stuff, including everyone in your family trying it out. You never know when someone in your family is going to have issues with something you never tried. An emergency is NOT the time to be suffering from constipation, upset stomach, gas pains, etc. This is why my household has more pasta than beans. Beans in large amounts give us issues...
 
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