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Freeze dried food

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by dream45, May 24, 2010.

  1. dream45

    dream45 SE Portland Member

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    I have a 3 month supply of our regular food supply and plan on visiting the LDS for long term items. What I am looking for is advise on how to use Freeze dried or dehydrated food in my plan. I like the idea of having a supply on hand to fill the gap between 3 months and a year. Also that it would be available for hunting, camping and BOB in car, etc.

    For those who have purchased these items in past what are the best sources. I found http://www.foodinsurance.com/food_insurance/foodkits.php
    and www.wisefoodstorage.com

    Before I spend them money I would like to hear from others on quality vs price and what you have been most pleased with and why.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Decidion

    Decidion Washington county, Oregon Member

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    In my opinion, freeze dried food is a bit of a luxury SHTF item. You can buy regular staples (wheat berries, beans, rice, etc.) for much cheaper. However freeze dried is by far the best way to go for some items, such as meat. There are other ways to store meat longer term (such as pressure canning or smoking/drying), but I don't think anything is as long term as freeze dried.

    Personally, I don't look at it from the standpoint of grocery store good for the short term, Freeze dried for intermediate and wheat/beans/rice for the long term kind of thing. I would mix them all up.

    In the short term, I would eat all three types. In the intermediate and long term I would be eating freeze dried and wheat/beans/rice....as well as anything else I could scavenge and grow. There are also a lot of "regular" food items you can buy at the store that will store long term or indefinitely (salt, sugar, etc.)

    Also, freeze dried and dehydrated food are really two different things (well the process is anyway). Freeze dried has an extremely low water content and can store way longer (like 25+ years), while dehydrated has a much higher water content and won't store nearly as long...maybe 5 to 10 years or so, depending on the item. I think you can only freeze dry with specialty, commercial equipment, whereas you can easily buy/make a dehydrator (some even use their ovens) to dehydrate food.

    In general, all the freeze dried food I have eaten has been very good quality. This has primarily been Mountain House brand, but again is pretty expensive compared the what you could buy in race/beans for the same amount of money.

    Ultimately, I think the best course of action should be centered more around determining what you like/prefer to eat and finding the best way to store that type of item and how long it will store, and go from there.
     
  3. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    Interesting idea on the backpack thing. Opinions on that purchase? Looks like you could strap a few things to the outside (small tent, sleepingbag etc) of it and be well set. I'm still a bit new to the survival/prep thing and not sure if that's a good idea or just continue to piece stuff together as I read up on more stuff.

    -d
     
  4. Decidion

    Decidion Washington county, Oregon Member

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    I was reading a post on a survival forum that really clarified what I had already been thinking about "pre-assembled" kits (like the backpack kit listed above).

    When companies make these premade bug out kits or generic first aid kits or "year supply of food" kits, you need to really look closely at what they put in them. For example, most first aid kits are just a bunch of band aids and travel packets of aspirin and antacids....probably not the best choice in a serious bug out situation. Some are better, but almost all need to be supplemented.

    The same is true for the food supply kits. Most say x-number of servings for x-number of people. What marketing doesn't tell you is that it's based on (for example) a 1000 calorie a day serving size....you need far more if you are bugging out and hauling gear. Even if they say 2000+ calories, you need to look at what kind of calories they are (fat? protein? carbs/sugar?)

    Like almost anything else in life, if you know what you are doing, it is generally far better to assemble it yourself instead of relying on a company (that is subject to a budget, cost cutting, etc.) to do it for you. Since all of us here are professional eaters, with a little research on diet, you should be able to come up with a good food plan...better than what some marketing guru says will work for you.
     
  5. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    Thanks Dec. I have put together some BOB's for my wife and I that are kept in the trunks of our vehicles and I am slowly getting the stuff at the house put together as I am able so I guess I was thinking something like those backpacks would be a good short term solution while I am building up the better long term solution.

    And, sadly, I too am a professional eater! LOL

    -d
     
  6. jdub75

    jdub75 PNW Well-Known Member

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    Have you seen www.theepicenter.com ?
    They are out of Eugene and carry a TON of stuff. But if you call them, the lady that answers the phone every time I've called knows her stuff. She has actually used most of the items they sell and can give you great input.
    Shipping is reasonable, too.
    If you've never tried freeze dried, get a few mountain house items from Bimart. They are amazingly good, IMO. And very lightweight.

    ETA:
    Mountain house has a new line in the bags that is vacuum sealed for even longer shelf life.
     
  7. drand

    drand Stayton Member

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    I second the Epicenter. I also like the fact that they are in Eugene, I have called in orders gone down a few hours later and picked them up.

    One place that I have not tried but looks really good is http://www.healthyharvest.com/foodstorage.aspx. They are located in Vancouver and once I am done with the basics that I want to get from the LDS cannery (I am 90 days short of having one year worth of the staples from them(I also can't say enough good things about being able to use their cannery) I want to make a few purchases to round out my food prep and be able to have a little more of a balanced and enjoyable diet.

    The problem with just using LDS is that there are very few vegetables, fruits, no meat or TVP or spices available so I plan on using Healthy Harvest to round things out. In addition to being local, Healthy Harvest has much better prices on things than I can find on many items and the possibility of picking up instead of paying shipping is nice.
     
  8. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Puyallup, WA Well-Known Member

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    Drand-

    the canned bacon they sell rocks!!!! The cheese is pretty good too. I bought multiple mini-cans of tvp products and freeze-dried meats. I am still 'testing' my samples before I past judgement.

    +1 of mixing LDS cannery and healthy harvest.

    SF-
     
  9. tardis

    tardis oregon New Member

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    you can freeze dry food at home all you need to do is completely freeze it in something you can create a vacuum in maybe a pressure cooker then use a vacuum pump to remove all the air the ice will sublimate and you will have freeze dried food
     
  10. Decidion

    Decidion Washington county, Oregon Member

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    You can't do it properly or safely without specialized equipment.

    Read this process description and if you still say you can do it in your refrigerator...well, lets just say you don't have a normal home fridge.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeze_drying
     
  11. The Cheese

    The Cheese somewhere special Member

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    I find freeze dried stuff more of a luxury than anything. The odds of bugging out are very low IMO so the priority for tons of light weight FD foods is not that high with me. That said, I LOVE honeyvillegrain.com. In fact right now they have a 10% off your order using the code GLOOM (no joking). Shipping is always cheap and their FD foods are pretty good. I use their dried whole eggs all the time in baking, even made some french toast with them that was actually quite good. Get some people together and buy by the case. You can save a lot of $$$ on it. Realistically I use FD stuff to kind of fill in around the edges so that if I have to make soups I can throw in some stuff to add flavor and to bulk it up a bit. I don't plan on it being the main bulk of my food storage.
     
  12. Decidion

    Decidion Washington county, Oregon Member

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    Yeah, you would have to be rather wealthy to be able to afford a decent long term food supply of freeze dried food. It's FAR cheaper to buy bulk grains, beans, rice, etc and pack it up yourself. Although it may not be as tasty, I would rather have a year of tasteless food than 3 months of freeze dried.
     
  13. tardis

    tardis oregon New Member

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    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  14. jimboshooter

    jimboshooter West Portland, Oregon Active Member

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    I would not buy from Food Insurance or Wise Food Storage. Skip them and go to their source and avoid the markup. These guys also tend to want to hide their prices or lock you into plans. Most get their foods from the same place and just repackage or market as their own. A lot of this stuff comes from Mountain House of Honeyville and is re-branded.

    I would check a couple of places when you want to order. Prices can vary across vendors and some will have sales that others do not have. Here are my favorites in order of where I order from the most. I would go to the following places and make your purchases:

    Honeyville Grain

    http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/

    They charge $4.95 shipping no matter what or how much you order. They have a 10% off sale thru 06/15/10 if you use GLOOM as coupon. Best price for FD strawberries and turkey. Great prices on lots of other stuff. Order from here, save on shipping, and make your Fedex guy work his bum off. Same or better pricing as LDS cannery. They have a sale at least once a month for 10% to 15% off, so sign up for thier e-mail newsletter.

    Emergency Essentials

    http://beprepared.com/Default.asp?bhcd2=1276496081

    They have a sale of some sort each month and carry a lot of food and non-food stuff. Mountain House is usually cheapest here. Cheaper than the Mountain House web site. Sign up for thier monthly catalog or view it online. They have a lot of variety, Ok shipping prices. Some of the survival stuff is inexpensive and of cheap quality, but some is very good quality.

    Shelf Reliance

    http://www.shelfreliance.com/

    They also have lot of good items, food and non-food. They make great front loading rotation shelves. Lot of great videos on YouTube on recipes, products and funny commercials. if you want thier shelves, I highly recommend them. Don't buy at normal prices. Costco sells online cheaper and sometimes in store. If not from Costco, put one in your basket and leave it. They might call and deal. They did that for me. Called me and asked what they could do to close my desire for a shelf.

    The Ready Store

    http://www.thereadystore.com/

    Lots of items here too, but some more expensive than the other places. I get some MRE's and survival rations here from time to time when on sale. Sometimes they have sales and certain items are cheaper.