Product review- Wise foodson September 25, 2011 at 18:03
In preparing for the coming Zombie Apocalypse, it is important to consider some form of food storage program. The reason for this is the possibility of being holed up in your zombie-hardened residence for some length of time, or having to “bug out” in the event of of widescale contamination and fleeing the resulting fires.
If simply holing up, it is a simple matter to double the amount of canned foods that you normally purchase, and then cycling them into normal usage at the one-year mark. This has the advantage of being relatively inexpensive, familiar, and easy to do; and gives you a “cushion” for during any type of emergency. The downside of this method is that canned foods are heavy and have a relatively limited shelf life (nutritive values start to break down after a year of storage).
The IZECC recommends that you include a number of freeze-dried foods in your emergency plans- these have the advantage of storing for much longer periods of time, and are light in weight; which makes them much easier to transport in the event of a bug-out emergency. The downside to freeze dried foods is a much higher unit price, and a high level of processing (many ingredients with very long names).
How best to address these concerns? Freeze-dried foods must be budgeted for, and MUST be placed into regular rotation so that your system can become acclimatized to their makeup. The last thing you want in an emergency situation is to be squatting over a slit trench because you did not allow time for your digestive system to become adjusted to the change in diet.
That being said, here is a quick review of one such freeze-dried food storage system:
The Wise Company produces a line of freeze-dried backpacking meals, but also offer a series of emergency food store meals packed into a grab-and-go plastic bucket:
Note the size of an entree packet from the “Emergency Food Supply” bucket, each of which contains 4 servings:
Also note how the size of the entree packet in the “Emergency Food Supply” bucket compares to the size of the same entree in the “Outdoor Meals” backpacker packet:
The “Emergency Food Supply” 9 ounce packet contains 4 “adult” servings, and the “Outdoor Meals” 4.5 ounce packet contains 2 “jumbo” servings. Both packets allow 2.5 ounce servings (unprepared), meaning that “jumbo” and “adult” are exactly the same thing. The primary difference is that the “Outdoor Meals’ can be prepared directly in the pouch, whereas the “Emergency Food Supply” version requires a covered pot of some kind. (This is why the 2-serving version looks larger, as its resealable pouch requires space for two cups of boiling water to be added.) Also, Wise advertises that the larger “Emergency Food Supply” packets have a twenty-five year shelf life, and the “Outdoor Meals” have a shelf life of seven years.
There are many varieties available in the “Outdoor Meals” packets, which is an excellent way to sample the product before committing to the purchase of the bucket. Here are just a few of them:
For our test, we decided to try the four serving “Emergency Food Supply” version of the “Savory Stroganoff”.
Here is what the contents of the packet looks like emptied into a bowl:
Noodles and powder. Contains soy. Yum!
Here it is, placed into a pot, with four cups of boiling water added to it, as per the printed instructions on the pouch:
Stir, cover, and let stand for 12-15 minutes (stirring occaisionally):
Steamy! (note- it is very important to STIR THOUROUGHLY, otherwise, you will not rehydrate all of the powder that may remain in clumps. This will give you a soupy meal, and leave little lumps of powdery grossness.)
And finally- here it is, fully cooked:
Final determination: long-storing and easy to prepare, the fully prepared meal compares favorably with other freeze-dried bacpacking food. Not too salty, but filling enough on its own. The serving sizes (as prepared) are realistic, especially when used as part of a more complete meal.
We highly recommend that if you choose to add a freeze-dried component to your emergency food stores, that you become familiar with their preparation and taste. Acclimatization is crucial to better survive an emergency such as the coming Zombie Apocalypse.
We also recommend that you purchase your freeze-dried food stores through a local dealer or distributor, as it is always better to support the livelihood of a neighbor, than to order from unknown people a long distance away.
We especially would like to thank Ken and Yvonne Mathis of “Getting Prepped.com” for providing this sample to review. If you are currently located in the Cascadia Quarantine Zone, you couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people to purchase from.