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About that "Survival food" on sale

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DKR, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    Could be Wise (ick), Augason Farms, or any number of dried meals made from processed Chow. Normally, you will see this advertised as "One month" food package for X number of folks.

    A few folks have actually tried to live on this Chow - with a common outcome...

    Chef's Banquet ARK 330 Emergency Food Test - Survivalist Forum

    Augason Farms 30 day bucket trial. - Survivalist Forum

    Both of these folks tried to live on their 'food storage packages'. The biggest surprise to me was just how much water these 'meals' take to prepare. A couple of gallons a day fro one person....

    The posted links cover two completely different brands - with much the same outcome.

    Please read before you plunk down any $$$ for these package deals. You most certainly can do better buying bulk .and building your own....
  2. Tempstar

    Tempstar Praeclarum Site Supporter+

    Well said. Purchasing these with the intent of grabbing them and going will require a tanker truck of water in tow.
    Seepalaces likes this.
  3. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Yeah so many of those meals contain cheesy, milky gooey wheat-based stuff. My wife has two types of colitis, is lactose intolerant and has celiac. She doesn't need those symptoms as described on the survivalist forum and neither does anyone else, especially in a survival situation when other conditions are bound to be adverse as well.

    We had to exert some level of control and not just be forced to take a chance with what someone else put together.
    We've purchased a freeze dryer at no small expense and are doing our own. We'll see just how well that works out. At the very least, one could purchase the individual freeze-dried foods and assemble their own meals from those, based on specific needs.

    And yes, they all take water. And it must be free of pollutants and parasites such as giardia. You can't just dip it out of a stream that the cattle and wildlife have been using as a toilet even if it's clear and running. So that needs to be addressed.

    Thank you @DKR - that's really good information and I see from the other forum that at least one manufacturer of the prepared food buckets admits being supplied from China.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
    sec_monkey and Seepalaces like this.
  4. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    There is a syndrome in a wealthy part of the prepping community that requires those who prep to throw money at those items that will allow them to continue their present lifestyle with no changes. Most notable in the survival complexes with air strips, servants, food and fuel stocked for 20 years, etc. The freeze dried, add water steaks and meals serve them well, but on the other hand I don't relish a life of only beans, rice, and wheat flour. My wife and I can not eat most of the "survival meal" prepared food as it is to high is salt and to low in calories. I do stock comfort food that is freeze dried and more that is dehydrated, to supplement my basic food stocks and hope to use greenhouse and garden, rather than freeze dried. I do think that with water purification, life straw, etc, there is a definite place for lifeboat bars and freeze dry in my get home bags, get out of dodge bags, and survival caches . For a person who is trapped in Boston in an apartment, a few days food in a bucket that can be used to store water in and as a last resort a bucket toliet, may well be worth having. In survival there is no one size fits all.
  5. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I have no problem with freeze-dried food...let me change that statement. I have no problem with Mountain House freeze-dried food and consider it a quality product. It tastes pretty good (considering), easy to fix (Hell, sometimes I eat their Biscuits & Gravy on Sunday morning when wife is gone to church), stores a long time (20-30 years) and takes about 11/2 cup of water per pouch which I think is probably no more water than it would take to cook one's beans and rice. But, Mountain House is the only one that I find palatable and consider worth investing in, that's a personal choice, nothing more...I've tried Augason and it was disgusting (that's from an ex-soldier that can eat damn near anything but it's personal opinion) but admit never have tried Chef's Banquet but tried quite a few others in my time and research. I don't even bother with them and if I can't afford MH then I don't purchase it.

    However, anyone that considers to live off freeze-dried entirely has to have a few screws loose. It is a tool in the tool box. We can a lot of our garden produce every year as we grow much more than we can consume. We store bulk dried foods in Mylar bags and food grade buckets, have 3 freezers, and stock the pantry with cases of things like spam, tuna, soup... We have a dehydrator and are going to try to dry fruits and herbs this year, again, from the garden. I am not so keen on doing this as the wife has been using many of the berries/grapes she gets to make excellent homemade wines (June and Isabella berries, Oregon grapes...) and blackberry or raspberry vodka so hopefully we'll come to a compromise but we do have quite a few bottles stored now so... We haven't had much success with the dehydrator because the first thing were tried as an experiment was bananas and failed miserably, of course, and it sort of defused our interest.

    Freeze-dried is a tool and an excellent one but it is not the only one, it's one of many. Mountain House (MH) is more expensive but it's a damn good product for its purpose which is short-term and/or emergency survival. I keep about a month worth in #10 cans and 2 months in pouches. It's expensive and one can put up a lot more food doing it one's self but it does serve a purpose. As a climber, I have lived off MH for over a week, think the longest was about 8-10 days one time, and can say at the end of that, one wasn't dreaming of coming down to booze, sex and steaks but to big green salads. LOL!
    Seepalaces and sec_monkey like this.
  6. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    I like the thrive stuff. We get meats, veggies, dairy, grains etc. i like it becase they are not set meals. They are ingredients so we can make our own meals.
    T. Riley, Seepalaces, jukk0u and 3 others like this.
  7. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I have tried a few of these bucket deals, and skipped others because of one huge fault - "servings".
    I find that no matter what the food item, from these kits, canned food, dry packaged food, etc - it takes TWO servings to make a reasonable meal. So I automatically consider their listed serving count as half what is required. Especially if one is working in a post-disaster situation. Calories are needed.
    Another big problem is they roll ALL servings together in their estimation of how long it will keep one fed. I take the listed "meals" and break them into categories - main entree, sides, breakfast, snacks, drinks. And breakfast usually will include the milk equivalent they provide.
    So broken into true daily meals, the "number of days" the kit lasts is about half that it is advertised as.
    Also, there is rarely much variation. If that "one month" kit only has three meal flavors, it'll get old fast.
    So, I lay away a big variety of LTS food, including FD, canned, bulk "beans and rice", MREs, etc. I like variety.
    I look closely at sodium levels too. Most LTS food is sodium heavy.
    sec_monkey and Bandit99 like this.
  8. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @Seawolf1090 "...because of one huge fault - "servings"...TWO servings to make a reasonable meal."

    I got to agree with you 100%. I would like to see/hear the ruckus between two hungry climbers/trekkers after humping through snow all day then expected to split one of those pouches. LOL! What I do is say 1 pouch = 1 serving/meal per person, no matter what serving size it says which normally is btw 2-3 serving per pouch, and that works out well even if one is really hungry.

    But, your comment made me think...I wondered if the serving size of those pouches in Mountain House "4-Day for 1 Person" buckets are different than their normal pouches which usually contain 2-3 servings per pouch so I opened the bucket I just got. They are exactly the same serving size/pouch as if you purchased a case of pouches or individually, nothing different. Example, Chili Mac pouch = 2.5 servings, Rice and Chicken pouch = 3 servings...

    As far as, "how long it will keep one fed", like you, I usually don't even listen to that advertising tripe. How can they know how long it will keep me fed not to mention a growing boy with an appetite of a Tyrannosaurus Rex?
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
    sec_monkey likes this.
  9. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    Much of the low-cost, Utah based offering in LTS (WISE, Augason Farms (much from China) and other re-branded goop) is -- in looking at the menus - Soup. Stew (very runny stew) and oatmeal - all washed down with some kind of white drink made with 'coffee creamer' (also from China).
    Milk Subsitute:
    Sweet whey, creamer (coconut oil, corn syrup solids, sodium caseinate ][a milk derivative], dipotassium phosphate, sugar, mono and diglycerides, polysorbate 80, sodium silicoaluminate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, soy lecithin), [/B nonfat milk, sugar, guar gum, vitamin A, vitamin D Whey is a waste by-product of cheese making.

    The menu is described as a serving - this is not a meal. A meal is an entree, a side or two - like vegis, mashed potatoes and some kind of fruit. A drink can add to the meal, but water will work. A side of bread/crackers is a plus.

    But, of course, I'm preaching to the choir here....

    We store two kinds of rice, 3 kinds of beans, wheat, non-fat dry milk, salt, pepper, yeast, pasta, and canned items like SPAM, Chilli, and gumbo along with green beans, corn, diced tomatoes.
    sec_monkey likes this.
  10. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @DKR "...like SPAM, Chilli, and gumbo..."
    We do the Spam and Chili but Gumbo? What canned Gumbo are you buying that is worth eating? I asked because that would be a filling and tasty meal even if it is out of a can.
    sec_monkey and ghrit like this.
  11. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    sadly, Campbells. We supplement it with leftover bacon and rice. I miss my trip to Eglin AFB , at least there you could get good Gumbo....
    sec_monkey likes this.
  12. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I've never even seen the Campbell's Gumbo but will look for it next time we're in town. Thanks!
    sec_monkey likes this.
  13. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I read the link from the original post. I think it is quite fascinating because vendors do sell these buckets as something you can solely survive on. They do not specifically say it but heavily imply. Excellent experiment with the food storage buckets. I have some and reading his experience tells me this is not a grab and go bucket unless you have other solid foods to supplement.

    Very interesting. My son was horribly sick after eating a survival potato soup. His stomach was cramping for a while. I do wonder if it is expanding even more once in the stomach? The guy doing the experiment mentioned using a gallon of water but he was so bloated feeling.
    Bandit99 and sec_monkey like this.
  14. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    This is one big reason I try each item, each flavor, before adding it to my LTS preps. Some I find the flavor offensive, but have not been sickened by any. Those I don't like don't go into the cache.
    As the old saying goes, "Eat what you store, store what you eat."
    Motomom34 and sec_monkey like this.
  15. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    I actively posted in both threads.as I have argued against most of the LTS 'products' sold out of Utah, One of these products I noted:

    Have you looked at the ingredients of the 'food' you have been eating?
    Lets look at just the creamy (Cheesy Broccoli Soup Mix) soup...

    NET WT. 13 OZ (368 g)
    Creamer (maltodextrin, palm oil), - while this has fat, it is the worst kind of fat you can eat. Production of the oil is a leading cause of deforestation in SE Asia as well.

    cheese base (whey, buttermilk solids, cheeses [granular and cheddar {pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes}], whey protein concentrate, salt, sodium phosphate, citric acid, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Yellow #6, lactic acid, enzyme) ((Yes this is a single item list),

    modified food starch, (why the soup 'thickens') and may be why many have issues with this "food"

    broccoli, bit of it anyway.

    chicken soup base (corn syrup solids, salt, corn starch, hydrolyzed corn, soy protein, rendered chicken fat, sugar, onion powder, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, spices, turmeric, dehydrated parsley, silicon dioxide),

    chopped onion,
    yeast extract, (often used instead of MSG, with all the same issues)
    onion powder,
    parsley flakes,
    sweet whey.

    Primary ingredient lsing?
    Cheap coffee creamer. Dry soup base, cheese powder and bits of veggies. And some stuff I can't even pronounce. Oh and lots of sodium and potassium - too much, actually.

    It's no wonder so many get the the runs.

    That "milk" drink alone is mostly cheap (and I would bet made in China) coffee creamer. With some whey - a leftover from making cheese. ugh.
  16. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I am tempted to try a 2 or 4 week experiment eating nothing but Mountain House but don't think I would want to go that long without fresh vegetables, bad idea. I wonder if Mountain House would sponsor me :) LOL!

    After reading this thread, I am definitely never buying anything else even though MH costs more...
    Motomom34 likes this.
  17. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    Rather than buy freeze dried food at high cost, many folks overlook dried veggies in bulk.

    Enter Walton Feeds - who did business as Rainy Day Foods back in the day and has resurrected the brand.
    They offer a wide variety of dehydrated foods. Sizes vary from a #2.5 can up to 50 pounds bags of the same, with some products offered in 6 gallon buckets.

    They have expended, sadly to my thinking, to offering a lot of - add hot water - type items which while not all bad are high in sodium. They also offer 'packages' which, if you look at the 'contents', you will quickly see why I cannot recommend them..

    To their credit, the mashed potatoes and beef, for example, has real freeze-dried beef and not TVP. The cost difference to similar M/H products is noticeable.

    Full disclosure - I was a Rainy Day Food dealer in the late 70s while living in Spokane. Their offerings were considerable different then vice now. I sold mostly the dried veggis and locally sourced red wheat, Dariy-X milk and a small offering of wheat mills. I found the product to be first rate and cost effective.

    If you are considering the purchase of a food dehydrator, I would strongly suggest the purchase of a few #2.5 can of Walton's dried foods (mixed veggis might be best to start with) to see if these types of foods will be suitable for your style of cooking and, frankly, meet your taste requirements. I'd hate for you to invest a $ in a dehydrator only to be disappointed.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
    Motomom34 and Zimmy like this.
  18. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @DKR I think that is an excellent idea! Personally, I hate messing around with the dehydrator and this would allow me to build up some freeze-dried and/or dehydrated vegetables quickly as I don't have any at this time; however, we do have lots of canned and frozen vegetables...

    So, I assume this is totally an American made product and not some Chinese import and a different labeled slapped on it?
    After the discussion on this thread....definitely no Chinese.

    Hey! They have a Idaho phone number! Are they based here in Idaho? I'll call them tomorrow morning...I'll ask them if it's an American made product and what the shelf life is on their dehydrated foods. I will post any information that I find and if anyone wants me to ask something special just let me know. Wonder why I haven't heard of them before...?

    EDIT: I just noticed I have a can of that Augason Potato soup, a can of their eggs and a couple cans of their milk...thinking maybe I will get rid of them or at least get rid of the soup.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  19. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    Yes, US based and family owned sine they started. You will need to ask about COO for their products. The wheat and veggis are all US produced AFAIK.
  20. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @DKR "You will need to ask about COO for their products."

    What does COO stand for? I've no idea...
  1. DKR
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  3. apache235
  4. Ganado
  5. alaskachick
  6. Motomom34
  7. Bandit99
  8. Asia-Off-Grid
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