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I'm thinking of buying a family bulk food plan (that requires minimal prep or recipes) so if/when TSHTF, I'm not just eating random canned/boxed foods I have collected because they were on sale. As first I thought there were only a couple options, but I now see there are lots to choose from.

Has anyone tried, and have any feedback on the following? Or, any other suggestions or considerations?

  • Food Insurance (Glenn Beck)
  • Chef's Banquet (Terry Bradshaw/The Ready Project)
  • Shelf Reliance, Thrive (Costco)
  • ZebGear
  • Mountain House
  • Nitro-Pak

FYI, I'll probably stick to MREs in the BOB, so I'm mainly interested in Stay-in-Place food options.
 

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Very very high in salt and preservatives. Oh! Pricey... Try out...

http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/

Buy food you will actually like to eat. Tried your way in the beginning. One trip to the ER and realized I can't eat any of that. Went to the basics. Wheat, Beans, Rice, Grains, Seeds, Milk, Eggs, Corn Meal, Olive Oil, Sugar, Spices, Pasta, and a whole lot of freeze dried veggies and fruit that is awfully yummy.

Processed food is the worse kind of thing you can feed yourself in a total disaster. You will need a doctor within a year eating that everyday. Convenient doesn't have to be bad for you. I'm not the type who has the time or the desire to can if I don't need too. This was the option I came up with.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I've bought from several suppliers over the years. But most of my food preps came from Walton Feed. Early on, Walton sold through independants who were free to set their own prices. This led to some really good deals. But lately there are few others selling their brand. It's still a good company to work with though.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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Most of my food storage is the cheap, boring, basic stuff.
1000 lbs of wheat, 600 lbs ea of rice, beans, lessor amounts of corn, barley, dry veggies, dry milk, salt, and sugar.
I also store lots of FD pouch meals that I use on camping trips and canned goods I eat every day.
I have a decent orchard now, a garden, and livestock.
 

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Just livin'
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I use Honeyville and Walton Feeds for most of my bulk purchases. Smaller amounts I get locally at the discount food store bulk bins. (WinCo) Any of the prepackaged stuff out there I check carefully for sodium content. MH and Nitropak has HUGE amounts of sodium. Some as high as 1800mg per serving.

The best way, IMHO, is to go with whole grains.
 

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Pass the beans, please
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Most of my food storage is the cheap, boring, basic stuff.
1000 lbs of wheat, 600 lbs ea of rice, beans, lessor amounts of corn, barley, dry veggies, dry milk, salt, and sugar.
I also store lots of FD pouch meals that I use on camping trips and canned goods I eat every day.
I have a decent orchard now, a garden, and livestock.
This is essential for those of you who have enough land/space and sufficient water. Food preps and storage are a must but for long term security nothing beats a garden, orchard, and livestock. I would also include wild berries if your land will support them. There are several types of berries, nuts, edible plants, and even crops that will grow wild and if you have the acreage you should try them out in different places. They also attract and support wild game and birds that are another potential foodsource. You can also supplement your own livestock and chickens with the crops.
 

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I'm thinking of buying a family bulk food plan (that requires minimal prep or recipes) so if/when TSHTF, I'm not just eating random canned/boxed foods I have collected because they were on sale. As first I thought there were only a couple options, but I now see there are lots to choose from.
In the last few days I received shipments of Food For Health (Costco) and Wise Foods (campingsurvival.com). This is my first shot at "survival food". I've already sampled some of the product and am thinking of writing up a formal review. For now, here are my first impressions:

  • If you are strictly going for "bang for the buck" (as much food as you can get per dollar), read no further and get the Costco product. For about $100, you get over 20 lbs. of long-term storage food. The Wise Foods item cost the same but you get only 8 lbs.
  • I had no issues placing my order online and everything arrived quickly
  • Both brands are very high in sodium. One serving is 40% of your RDA of sodium, and we all know how small the servings really are. Neither brand is particularly healthy. It's probably ok for short term SHTF, but if things go more than a week or two it will be important to have other, better food.
  • While I'm on the topic of serving size, I can already see that you will not realistically get as many servings as the manufacturer claims. Buy more than you think you will need, especially if you have bottomless pit teenagers.
  • Both brands taste good, not great, but good. It's not fine dining, but I did enjoy it a lot.
  • Here's a big thing to consider: The Costco food requires that you boil water, then pour the mix in and simmer for 25-30 minutes. For the Wise Foods grub, just boil water, stir in the mix, and let stand covered for a while and its done. Since fuel conservation will be essential, factor this into your decision: A few minutes to boil water vs. boiling then additional simmering for half an hour. This may partly explain the price difference. I'm sure with some experimenting this food can be prepared with a solar oven.
  • The consistency on all the menu items was basically the same: Like a heavy soup or stew. I noticed it thickened up a bit when refrigerated and then reheated. Even though the food itself is tasty, I can see where this trait would become monotonous over time. It's not "solid food".

My overall impression as a newbie is packaged/dehydrated survival food is worth having around but do not rely on it for all your needs. I will be ordering a few more buckets in the coming months to supplement my stock of standard groceries. If you can afford it, they are good as barter/giveaways. My end plan is to have extras for people I care about but cannot care for: Give them a bucket of survival food and a case of bottled water and send them on their way!

It's easy to get confused with all the options out there but the best way to decide is to take the leap and place an order.

I know what you're going through; I hope I've been helpful!

:)
 

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Prepared Gourmet
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Emergency Essentials (beprepared.com) has some 'pre-planned' supplies. I looked at those when I started prepping a while back and decided to buy individual ingredients because no month/3 month/year supply, determined by someone who doesn't eat what I do, 'fit' with our likes and lifestyle. EE carries a HUGE stock of Mountain House and Provident Living dehydrated and freeze-dried 'ingredients' and 'meals in a can'. I bought a LOT of their foods - including fruits, vegetables and meats (as well as bulk foods in pails). The quality is excellent.

Their service is good, they have goods often when no one else does, they are a supporter here and the shipping charges are reasonable as well I find. I highly recommend them. The only thing I didn't like about them is that when the cartons arrived they were labelled too obviously on the outside - I wish they would stop this practice (though I understand they want advertising, it is a problem for OPSEC in many neighbourhoods) - but apparently if you call them they will send in unmarked cartons.

If you don't want a lot of TVP (soy based meat replacement), be very careful to read all the ingredient lists on full 'meal' type cans before you order from some of those other sites. You get what you pay for is a good adage to remember.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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In the last few days I received shipments of Food For Health (Costco) and Wise Foods (campingsurvival.com). This is my first shot at "survival food". I've already sampled some of the product and am thinking of writing up a formal review. For now, here are my first impressions:
Both of those are poor values in storage foods. Especially considering Wise doesn't even use meat. They use TVP. And as you mentioned, they're thick soups. Which means that a significant portion of the calories come from the food starch used to thicken them.

Also, their "meal" and "serving" sizes are misleading. If you calculate actual calories needs per day, you'll find that they aren't going to feed you for nearly as many days as they say they will.

They might fit some particular need for some folks, and if so, I say go for it. But for overall food storage, there are a lot of better choices out there.
 

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Both of those are poor values in storage foods. Especially considering Wise doesn't even use meat. They use TVP.

They might fit some particular need for some folks, and if so, I say go for it. But for overall food storage, there are a lot of better choices out there.
I am a vegetarian and intend to remain so as long as possible after the S hits the F. As such, all my preps are built around this. I have a few meat-based selections in my pantry but they are not anything I would purposely stock; they're just incidentals I've picked up along the way.

I forgot to mention that both of the products mentioned in my last post are 100% vegetarian. For reasons which I'm not clear, TVP gets a bad rap in survival circles but it's been a standard in vegetarian food for decades and is a well-established, versatile, proven product that has roughly the same protein content as meat and can store for years. Of course, TVP is not the answer to everything but the presence of it in your food should not be considered an automatic red flag.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I am a vegetarian and intend to remain so as long as possible after the S hits the F. As such, all my preps are built around this. I have a few meat-based selections in my pantry but they are not anything I would purposely stock; they're just incidentals I've picked up along the way.

I forgot to mention that both of the products mentioned in my last post are 100% vegetarian. For reasons which I'm not clear, TVP gets a bad rap in survival circles but it's been a standard in vegetarian food for decades and is a well-established, versatile, proven product that has roughly the same protein content as meat and can store for years. Of course, TVP is not the answer to everything but the presence of it in your food should not be considered an automatic red flag.
Calories and food content versus cost is the main drawback of those systems. Also I simply didn't like the foods from Wise.

I was vegetarian for years, myself. Even then I didn't much like TVP. There are good brands out there. One of which I wish I could remember. It was like the finest cuts of tender beef and used to make amazing chili that even meat eaters couldn't tell was vegetarian.

Unfortunately the food storage companies don't tend to use the good stuff. It's not so noticeable in premade entrees, but those of us who have TVP stored, are for the most part, not impressed with it. The stuff they offer in the #10 cans is downright terrible. I have used enough of it in the last 15 years to know. I won't be ordering any more of it. I wouldn't have ordered this, but it came in some year supply kits.

Having a vegetarian background makes it easier to create nutritious balanced meals without meat. My main dehydrated storage is entirely vegetarian. Later on I began storing some store bought and home canned meats. But nutrient wise, I could get by without them plenty well.
 

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[*]If you are strictly going for "bang for the buck" (as much food as you can get per dollar), read no further and get the Costco product. For about $100, you get over 20 lbs. of long-term storage food. The Wise Foods item cost the same but you get only 8 lbs.
Just checked my inventory spreadsheet -- my supply averages $1.04/lb. That ranges from $0.23/lb for salt to $47.89/lb for Emergency Essentials Freeze Dried Strawberries (one can). In fact the most expensive thing I DIDN'T get from EE is Spam, which is $3.85/lb. The most expensive thing I made myself is canned pork chops at $3.49/lb.

Most of the supply is wheat at $0.56/lb, various rice and beans ($0.33-$0.94/lb), and home canned meat averaging $2.39/lb.

I couldn't imagine trying to put together a food supply of any size at $5/lb. If you figure consumption at a pound a day that's $150 for a month, $1,800 for a year, per person. For $1,800 I can buy, bag and bucket 2,500lb of wheat (including buying buckets, mylar and OAs), 1,614lb of lentils, or even 435lb of dry milk. For $1,800 a balance of these gets you more like a 5 year supply and you aren't going to OD on sodium.

Things are so much cheaper and easier than the big "30 day emergency food supply" marketers would have you believe. Their margins must be incredible!
 

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GrowingFromScratch.com
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Buying it all pre-assembled seems like cheating to me.... LOL, but to each his own.

I'd be interested to hear about cheap, food sources who sell bulk lentils, kidney beans or garbanzo for example. Sams club only has the large bags of pintos and rice.
 

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not a nut
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I avoided getting the 6 month or year packages, there's stuff in there I'm really not into eating.

Might try some smaller serving sizes first before ordering in bulk, better then finding out that you really dislike it........ TVP :xeye:

My motto is store what you eat and eat what you store.

There ya go Jerry!

Another thread that you might find some good links in.
http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=10753

I signed up for emails at a few of the places so I could catch the sales flyers.

I'd also like to say in the last few years the prices on freeze dried foods has increased drastically and shopping around can save ya $
 
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