Bulk food/“Meals in a tub”

Any experience with the ‘meals in a packet’/freeze dried foods for long term storage?  Legacy Food Products is an example of whatI’m looking at.  

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Men who carry rifles for a living do not seek reward outside the guild. The most cherished gift...is a nod from his peers.

Original Post

Good points and not so good.  Good- all in one, easy to buy ,store, transport and think about. Not so good- price, serving size, exactly how much cooking is needed. What is needed to cook and do you have too add anything ? Most important is what's in the food ?  Many will have lots of soups, drinks, carbs and not so much protein and calories.  Take a good look at descriptions of meals, ingredients and size of the meals/servings. Compare with similar products and then well known freeze dried backpacking foods. 

Not saying there's no place for this type of food storage, but just like MRE's, I wouldn't want  this and nothing else. #10 cans or 5 gallon buckets of rice, beans, pasta, TVP and staples will go a long way to augmenting the FD stuff and will keep the belly full.

For information Emergency Essential and Honeyville Grain are 2 good places. Aside from the info, their sales worth while. Another source , at least in Nevada is WallMart. Good prices, no shipping. They stock Augenson Farms and Wise Foods, not sure if you can order online thru them and have it shipped to your local WM.

Dave

"Keep that cheap, wail'n slut quiet!" A.J. Maggott

Closest I can get to the subject is Mountain  House products.  Good taste, light weight and rather expensive .

 

What is the intended use?  For "at home" preparation,  I believe a well stocked pantry of grocery store goods will last as long and cost a LOT less.

The Legacy Food Products 16 pack sampler costs $40 and provides 3 days of food  at 2,000 calories a day for a single person..  the amount of nonperishable and canned food that could be bought for $13.33 per person, per day at the grocery store is pretty decent.  The cost per person per day seems to not get much better on the larger packs.

The calculus changes if the food has to be man portable, but for general preparedness, it seems a rather expensive option.

 

No experience with Legacy Food, we went with Backpacker's Pantry, Alpine Aire, Wise Food, etc..  We use them as either the "grab and go" stuff, because of weight and ease of preparation;  Or/also, as the food for THE incident and right after, when time will be spent recovering and rebuilding and we wouldn't want to spend a bunch of time food prep/cooking/cleaning.  We currently have about a 60 day supply of freeze dried, split between "breakfast" (egg based and oatmeal) and lunch/dinner meals.

The freeze dried stuff, of course, is expensive.  We have over 2 years of food in storage, most of it dry good like rice, beans, pastas, grains, etc., we just couldn't do that with the freeze dried foods.   BUT, the freeze dried food offers something that shouldn't be overlooked......Variety/"Normalcy"/Comfort.  The idea of being about to eat Lasagna, or Mexican, or some other "favorite" would help with Morale, when Morale needs a boost the most.  

Having said all that.....What questions do you have?


If it's a Pain in the Ass....you're doing it WRONG

I don't make policy, only suggestions, take them as such.

 

Joined: 8/5/05    Location: 20 miles west of Gettysburg, PA

 

 

Agree with both previous suggestions. There's no free lunch since you're paying for convenience/space. Mountain House (MH) is the one brand I have the most experience with so far. Most of their products whether the individual/duo serving or the bulk containers rate their meals' shelf life of approx 20 years. If you're like me and rent, space is a concern plus I only have 1 mouth to worry about. If I owned a home I'd have a pantry/closet dedicated to this type of food as well as water filters/ purifiers and storage.

But since space is more of a premium I have to make do and have about 2 weeks worth of MH meals in a carry bag. That coupled with my BioLite stove and I'm good to go as far as having a fire source, boiling water and heating the MH food. There are multiple other brands out there and I would suggest going to either REI or shop online and select a couple different meals (hopefully ones you think you'd enjoy) from different brands and give them a try. Since our taste buds are all different I think it's better if you do the taste-testing yourself versus taking our word for it. Then again I think ANY brand other than a MRE would be good unless you're starving in which case it's a mute point.

When I worked for an REI rival store, Backpacker's Pantry was another competing brand to MH that we carried. Never tried any of their food, but I think I heard enough co-workers speak good about their eats. Going off of .22LR's point, if you're looking just for extra food and plan to be cooking from home, stocking up on extra canned goods or non-perishables is the way to go. If storage or taking it with you is more of a priority then freeze-dried food is the better choice.

Joined: 4 April 2005                Location: South Bay Armpit

As pointed out before, before you buy one of the tubs, check out what they are actually offering. Many of the *insert # of servings here* food tubs are filled with things like soups, drinks, and oatmeal. They might be filling, but usually aren't that high in calories and usually have high sodium too. For the price, if you are looking to store it away and rotate it as necessary, it can be less expensive to get 5 gallon buckets with gamma lids and oxygen absorbers and fill mylar bags with rice, beans and spices. Whatever you end up doing also remember that these items usually need a decent amount of water with them to prepare so don't forget to plan accordingly for that.

That always seems to be the end problem that no one talks about. How the hell am I supposed to prepare all of this dry food if water is at a premium?

Not necessarily dirty water needing to be cleaned up, but a lack of water, period.

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Doug

If I mention Corona, I ain't talking about beer.

 

"It's your turn to do until it's not."  TA

 

"Afterall.... if you get yourself into a fair fight.. you really haven't learned anything in all the time you have spent on Lightfighter, your tactics suck, and you don't deserve to breed."  David Reeves

 

JOINED:  9/20/09     LOCATION:  Outside of KSA Finally!

I'd suggest if you're going to stage freeze dried food, you're also stocking up on potable water too. Not sure if you rely on purified water through your fridge, but I have about 12 gallons of drinking water in 2 gallon containers. I rotate/use 1 container a week. I use tap water when cooking and drinking water for filling up my bottle for work.

I live in the sticks so if I'm unable to drive into town or to the city (where I work) I have 12 gallons of water. If you don't have a water store near you then I'd suggest going to Costco and getting either Alhambra type jugs or more portable solutions that are manageable if you have to throw them in your car.

Joined: 4 April 2005                Location: South Bay Armpit

Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency......PACE.  PACE plans are typically applied to communications in a "tactical" environment.  However, the SAME principals can be used for pretty much ANYTHING.  It follows the whole two makes one, one makes none thing.  

Here's where people don't understand PACE and use it incorrectly.  P= SATCOM Voice, A= VHF Voice, C=SATCOM Data, E= VHF Data.  The problem with that is, you're actually relying on only TWO different systems.  If SATCOM is down, it's down, doesn't matter if you're trying to do vox or data.  

A TRUE PACE plan looks more like P=SAT, A=VHF, C=Iridium, E=Cell phone.  Those are 4 completely different networks and/or methods of communication.  Food and Water should be looked at the same way.  P= City water (faucet, hose, pool, etc.), A= local Stream, C= Pond 2 miles away, E= spring 5 miles away.

Food can be looked at the same way.  With food, you also have to look at TIME.  2 weeks, 90 days, 6 months, 2 years.  What's possible/sustainable for 2 weeks is NOT for 2 years.  A good resource, for obviously a BUNCH of things, is the Boy Scout Field book.  Covers a lot of things, from first aid, to knots/lashings, to FIELD SANTITATION, to COOKING in the FIELD.  Supplement that with some old cook books, etc. to be able to cook food from SCRATCH.  Don't expect to be able to rely on the internet/smart phone, for your resources, get HARD copies.


If it's a Pain in the Ass....you're doing it WRONG

I don't make policy, only suggestions, take them as such.

 

Joined: 8/5/05    Location: 20 miles west of Gettysburg, PA

 

 

Cytez posted:

  Don't expect to be able to rely on the internet/smart phone, for your resources, get HARD copies.

THIS! To the Nth degree!

_____________________________________________

 

Doug

If I mention Corona, I ain't talking about beer.

 

"It's your turn to do until it's not."  TA

 

"Afterall.... if you get yourself into a fair fight.. you really haven't learned anything in all the time you have spent on Lightfighter, your tactics suck, and you don't deserve to breed."  David Reeves

 

JOINED:  9/20/09     LOCATION:  Outside of KSA Finally!

Would love to get hard copies of books from everything from sanitation to agriculture, herbal/cultured medicine, long term food prep and storage, animal husbandry, etc. 

Perusing the Angry American forums hasn't revealed much. 

---------------------------------- 'My lot in life is to serve, to the best of my ability. To know my life was not a waste, that in the end I can look back from the gates and know I did my best and that it was enough"

Truckie posted:

Would love to get hard copies of books from everything from sanitation to agriculture, herbal/cultured medicine, long term food prep and storage, animal husbandry, etc. 

Perusing the Angry American forums hasn't revealed much. 

Look up "Foxfire" books.  Appalachian lore on how to live/thrive put down on paper.

Tenui Nec Dimittam

 

"Ideals are peaceful.  History is violent"   -Wardaddy, Fury

 

Joined: 8/5/07         Location: Chester County, PA

Cytez, excellent points on PACE planning.

Fortunately, water isn't an issue for us (at least, so long as we remain reasonably close to home).  

Really, my goal is to start building a layered approach to food stores with time lines as noted (2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years).  2 days is easy, 2 weeks isn't hard.  2 months begins getting a little more complicated.

Maybe a good question at this point is to determine how to incorporate prepared meals (freeze dried or other) vs bulk foods for each time period?  How to store up protein (other than beans) in dried form?  Jerky?

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Men who carry rifles for a living do not seek reward outside the guild. The most cherished gift...is a nod from his peers.

You'll want to add rice or another grain with the beans to get complete amino acids. For long term survival, it is hard to beat rice and beans. They are economical, and properly stored have a very long shelf life. Throw in a multi vitamin and you can do just fine.  Oats are another to consider.

Garg 'nuair dhùisgear

Everyone's situation will vary. I started with a 72 hour kit with MRE's, FD and some compact food bars. Next was a deep pantry of what I normally eat, with an emphasis on canned soups, tuna, beans and veggies. These can be eaten with little or no prep and can be added to bulk long term storage rice, pasta, bean and TVP. Also no leftovers and easy clean up.  Along with the food and water, an overall plan that includes evacuation, commo, med, security, sanitation and a mutual support network needs to be developed. That's the basics. 

Next was long term bulk foods in #10 cans and 5 gallon buckets. First priority was rice, beans, pasta, TVP. Next was flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, milk, oats, baking basics and eggs. (TVP is cheap, eggs aren't) After that fats, veggies, cheese, PB and fruit. Don't forget the spices. Many normal foods have a very long shelf life. Soy sauce, hot sauce, olive oil when in a light and air proof container (metal can), bouillon cubes, baking soda, booze, honey, sugar, salt, vinegar. You can store and grind wheat as another source of protein, it's not overly expensive. 

Having a well thought out plan before spending a lot of money will mean you do it right the first time. Using common supermarket soup or meal mixes instead of expensive FD can save you money if rotating it out works for you. There are pouch meals (PACE salsa makes some) that run $1.00-2.00 that can be incorporated. SPAM & DAK ham won't last forever, but it's cheap protein and can be worked into rice, beans and pasta.

The bulk of my FD and MREs are in 72 hour kits and what I have stashed at a friends. Pantry takes care of 2 weeks, minimum. Bulk of long term storage is #10 cans & buckets with normal stuff that stores well and a little FD. Spices, stoves, fuel, cooking, cleaning and disposable plates, etc are included. Oh yeah, good manual can openers and P-38s.

For protein, I went with beans, TVP, eggs, oats, wheat and canned meats/fish.  There are Prep Expos, kinda like gun shows. I've been to the one in Salt Lake City, classes were good, I saw and learned a lot.

Dave

"Keep that cheap, wail'n slut quiet!" A.J. Maggott

I am a fan of mountain house. The Chili mac is good enough that my wife has wanted that as a meal before. If you are on Expert voice you can get something like 30% off FWIW.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

An alternative to buying the pre-packaged camping meal types and #10 cans is to buy your own freeze dryer.  Harvest Right is the main maker I have seen, but I'm sure there are others.  HR has several sizes, in several prices.  The least expensive I've seen is about $2500.  It involves a sealable vacuum chamber and external vacuum pump.  The pump and various machinery bits need regular maintenance.  Expensive with some time involved, but in a lot of reviews the owners are extremely happy.  Apparently HR has good customer service as well if you have issues.  The general consensus in what little research I've done is that the unit should go in your garage or basement when being used, because it is loud, and generates some heat.  

Preppers seem to like their own freeze dryer because they can use mylar bags and oxygen absorbers to store bulk foods they prepare at a fraction of the cost per unit size than buying Mountain House or whatever, with multi-year shelf life.  I read a lot of reviews where people actually lost weight after buying one because they snacked on healthier freeze dried fruits and stuff than  regular junk food.  YMMV.  I expect that you can pay off your investment fairly quickly if you go in on a unit with some friends or neighbors.  And apparently you can freeze dry just about anything that is remotely food like, so you can prep stuff that you and the family like without all the additives and artificials that are in the commercial meals (lots of sodium in most of them).  I can't personally justify getting one myself over just a dehydrator at this point, but it may be something for you to look at.    

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Assaulting enemy camps from 400 yards away since 1972.

"There is no nice way to arrest a potentially dangerous, combative suspect. The police are our bodyguards; our hired fists, batons and guns. We pay them to do the dirty work of protecting us. The work we're too afraid, too unskilled, or too civilized to do ourselves. We expect them to keep the bad guys out of our businesses, out of our cars, out of our houses, and out of our faces. We just don't want to see how its done."
-Charles H. Webb, Ph.D.

Joined Lightfighter 1.0: early 2001, Lightfighter 2.0 11/19/02

Location:  Fucking Connecticut.  Goddammit.

Hussar, thanks for the tip. Googleing now.

Don't forget dried nuts and barley. My local WinCo has bulk foods in 55 gallon drums. Barley was 0.52 cents per lb. If I wanted to buy in a 55 gallon drum it drops it down to 0.22 cents per lb. They do this with all their bulk dry goods. Seminola, Wheat, Flour, Nuts, other dried cereals, Coffee (Don't forget the coffee, vacuum sealed last a long time), anything one can think of really.

---------------------------------- 'My lot in life is to serve, to the best of my ability. To know my life was not a waste, that in the end I can look back from the gates and know I did my best and that it was enough"

"X-ray Dave posted:

"not sure if you can order online thru them and have it shipped to your local WM."

I'm pretty sure you can do exactly that.

Mojo/Mark
__________________________
Yo homey, is that my briefcase...?
Vincent from "Collateral"
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You want the good life, you break your back, you snap your fingers, you snap your neck... Prong/Demon Hunter
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Because...I Can. 


Joined: 9/30/09
Location: Northern Nevada (Reno/Sparks)

Truckie posted:

Hussar, thanks for the tip. Googleing now.

Don't forget dried nuts and barley. My local WinCo has bulk foods in 55 gallon drums. Barley was 0.52 cents per lb. If I wanted to buy in a 55 gallon drum it drops it down to 0.22 cents per lb. They do this with all their bulk dry goods. Seminola, Wheat, Flour, Nuts, other dried cereals, Coffee (Don't forget the coffee, vacuum sealed last a long time), anything one can think of really.

Barley gruel is a good base for a meal: add meat scaps, veggies or edible weeds.

Edit: If you are going to consider stocking grains (barley, buckwheat, parched corn, rye, milo, sorghum etc...you need to consider how you intend to crack it or mill it...flat rocks, a mallet don't cut it.

I understand there are good hand millers & possibly a coffee bean grinder might do dual service?

I just picked up an antique coffee mill for about $45 with shipping from an online estate sale.

It's about 75-100 years old, and it's been grinding my coffee all week in awesome fashion. Well worth it.

_____________________________________________

 

Doug

If I mention Corona, I ain't talking about beer.

 

"It's your turn to do until it's not."  TA

 

"Afterall.... if you get yourself into a fair fight.. you really haven't learned anything in all the time you have spent on Lightfighter, your tactics suck, and you don't deserve to breed."  David Reeves

 

JOINED:  9/20/09     LOCATION:  Outside of KSA Finally!

Ditto, I've got a 90 or so year old mill we use to crack grain when we brew beer. We could easily hook it up to a small engine or what not to do large batches.

---------------------------------- 'My lot in life is to serve, to the best of my ability. To know my life was not a waste, that in the end I can look back from the gates and know I did my best and that it was enough"

So I just added a video that I came across to the "Military Photo of the Day " thread of a guy who apparently taste-tests old ration units. The video I posted showed him eating a B unit from WWII. He has a whole bunch of these videos testing rations from different countries and different time frames.

This made me remember that Ebay had a shit ton of MRE's on there for sale. All different ages and prices. If WWII rations were still fresh, why wouldn't stuff from the 70's-90's still be fresh too?

Notice that I didn't use the term "good. "

_____________________________________________

 

Doug

If I mention Corona, I ain't talking about beer.

 

"It's your turn to do until it's not."  TA

 

"Afterall.... if you get yourself into a fair fight.. you really haven't learned anything in all the time you have spent on Lightfighter, your tactics suck, and you don't deserve to breed."  David Reeves

 

JOINED:  9/20/09     LOCATION:  Outside of KSA Finally!

I keep about two months of Mountain House stuff at my house. I have some of their #10 cans, a few buckets and a large tub full of the pouches. One thing I notice about Mountain House, and I'm sure it goes with all freeze dried food, that pouch might say 2 servings, but calorie wise it's not going to go very far. It would be starvation rations to think you could live on three servings per day. The weight savings is nice, but you need to factor in water. I rotate a lot of canned food, especially soups, tuna pouches, etc. You can make a super calorie dense meal with those Noor rice sides and a pouch of tuna. Those are my go to backpacking meals.

My next step for myself is to get a pressure canner, and learn how to can some stuff. The downside would be it's not very mobile, but it's already cooked in the canning process and requires no additional water. Long term I keep rice, beans, lentils in mylar and a little canned meat would go a long way for some filling meals in hard times.

"Never underestimate the predictibility of stupidity" RIP SSG Brad King. KIA April 2, 2007.

Truckie posted:

Ditto, I've got a 90 or so year old mill we use to crack grain when we brew beer. We could easily hook it up to a small engine or what not to do large batches.

https://www.lehmans.com/category/grain-mills

Here's a good source for grain mills.  The whole site isn't bad either for getting back to basics.

Although I wonder about a website that leans to Amish stuff...who's the audience?!?!?

Tenui Nec Dimittam

 

"Ideals are peaceful.  History is violent"   -Wardaddy, Fury

 

Joined: 8/5/07         Location: Chester County, PA

Hussar posted:
Truckie posted:

Ditto, I've got a 90 or so year old mill we use to crack grain when we brew beer. We could easily hook it up to a small engine or what not to do large batches.

https://www.lehmans.com/category/grain-mills

Here's a good source for grain mills.  The whole site isn't bad either for getting back to basics.

Although I wonder about a website that leans to Amish stuff...who's the audience?!?!?

Lehman's is about an hour south of me. 

Yes, they lean towards the Amish because they are located in the middle of Amish territory.

https://www.lehmans.com/aboutus

_____________________________________________

 

Doug

If I mention Corona, I ain't talking about beer.

 

"It's your turn to do until it's not."  TA

 

"Afterall.... if you get yourself into a fair fight.. you really haven't learned anything in all the time you have spent on Lightfighter, your tactics suck, and you don't deserve to breed."  David Reeves

 

JOINED:  9/20/09     LOCATION:  Outside of KSA Finally!

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