The following is a guest post by KGC that originally appeared on The Survivalist Blog. (The sponsor has given us permission to also post it here....) With so many choices of food storage products, I decided to give (Wise Food Storage) a shot because a trusted friend liked and recommended their products and Wise Food Storage boasts a 25-year shelf-life without having to rotate the food. I was skeptical at first, but up to the challenge. I ordered one of their 56-serving buckets and prepared two of the packets once I received it. I immediately noticed that the packets in the buckets differed from the outdoor meal bags. I believe that this is because the buckets are intended for long-term storage, whereas the outdoor meal packs are designed to promote ultralight backpacking. Fair enough! I prepared the Stroganoff and Multi-Grain Cereal meals by boiling 4 cups of water for each packet, totaling 8 cups of water. When measuring the water into the pot, I measured in 8.25 cups to allow for evaporation loss.
After bringing the water for the Stroganoff to a boil, I stirred in the contents from the package.
I didn’t turn off the heat until I had mixed in the contents with the water.
I then turned off the heat, placed the lid on the pan, and set my timer for 15 minutes-my previous experience with outdoor meals has taught me to let the food sit a little longer to allow for optimum re-constitution of the freeze-dried/dehydrated food.
I occasionally stirred the Stroganoff. Once it was evenly textured, I poured it into a bowl and had the Mrs. taste it…and she liked!
After bringing the water to a boil for the Multi-Grain Cereal, I stirred in the contents of the package. I reduced the heat and stirred occasionally for 5 minutes, and this was the result:
I served the Mrs. some of the cereal and we both agreed to add our favorite 100% Maple Syrup just because that’s our preferred flavoring. I didn’t add any salt to the cereal as we cooked it because I wanted to taste the flavor before we added the syrup. It tasted great alone and had the perfect flavor once we added a little milk and 100% maple syrup. I could have eaten it without the syrup and milk, but it’s definitely a treat to eat it when all the comforts are available!
Wise Food Storage does a great job with the flavor and texture of the food. If they really do deliver on the 25-year shelf-life then it ranks right up there with other freeze-dried & dehydrated meals I’ve eaten over the years. The instructions were easy to follow and the flavor was really good, which indicates to me that I would definitely recommend their product as part of your short & long-term food storage supplies. Often-times, the flavors don’t turn out so well without having to “doctor-it-up” a bit. This was not the case. The meals stood alone without having to improve the flavor.
Another thing I like about this kind of food storage in general, is that it requires you to address two areas: emergency water & emergency food. It’s a latent benefit of getting your food storage in order. You cannot enjoy food storage with such a lengthy lifespan without it being dehydrated and/or freeze-dried. My food storage makes me take really good care of my water storage & purification solutions: primarily my Berkey Water Filters (www.goberkey.com).
The pricing was great as well: less than $1.97 per serving with a shelf-life of 25 years!
Another strong point with the Wise Food Storage is that the meals were in fact filling! I didn’t expect to be satisfied without having to eat the whole 4-meal content of each package, but I was satisfied and had a good “snack” amount left over.
This product-like every other “emergency food storage” solution out there is designed to be used in a scenario when energy and resources are to be conserved as much as possible. I don’t have a problem with using water to reconstitute food because that quantity of water which I add to cooking it will compose a percentage of my daily hydration maintenance level. I just don’t like having to use pots and pans which will need to be washed after preparing the food. I will have to use extra energy & water: two precious resources. As a remedy to my personal preference, I will invest in their outdoor meal packets because hot water can be easily added to the mylar packet and then the contents can be eaten directly in the pouch.
One other observation is that Wise Food Storage has chosen to not use real meat in the meals, but uses textured vegetable protein (TVP) instead. Now, I understand that meat is ideally eaten when it is fresh and lean, so this is not a big deal to me. I just wanted to point that out because to some people it makes all the difference in the world. Personally, I would just add some rabbit, deer, beef or chicken meat from a fresh hunt if I wanted to enjoy real meat during such a situation.