National Preparedness Month – Get Your Kids Prepared

Tomorrow is September 1st, the beginning of National Preparedness Month. How prepared are you? This month we will be running series of posts that will help you prepare for potential emergencies and disasters.

We’ll discuss creating a disaster plan for your family, what to do in the case of natural disasters, putting together an emergency kit and more. You’ll even learn how to make sure your pets are ready for an emergency situation. Continue reading

What Every Food Storage Plan Needs

With so many food choices, it is sometimes hard to come up with a basic list of must-haves. That list is also going to vary from family to family. Today I’m going to give you two lists. One will be a basic list of staples you should keep on hand. The other will be a list of the essential freeze-dried foods you should order for your pantry storage.

Basic Staples

There are a few basics that, as long as you have them on hand, can always be used to create a meal. Continue reading

Food Storage – Where Do I Start?

So you know you want to create a stock pile of foods to make sure your family is provided for in an emergency. Good for you! But now you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. Where do you start?

To start you need 2 things: a budget and a food list. Let’s start with a budget.

Budgeting 101

If you’re like most of us, money is tight. But there are probably area where you can shave off a bit of money here and there to create a food storage budget. Start by looking at your current spending. Make a comprehensive list of where every penny goes for a couple of months. Continue reading

How Many Servings Should I Have?

It’s always good to plan ahead and when it comes to planning your food storage, you should plan to have enough food for at least 3 months. It certainly won’t hurt to have more food than that, but 3 months is a good goal to start with.

Average vs. Reality

But how do you know how much food you need? How much food will feed your family for 3 months? A simple way to calculate is to figure 90 servings per person, per month. That allows for three meals a day. For an average family of 4, that would come out to 1080 serving for 3 months. This would be a minimum that you should plan for. Continue reading

How Much Is One Serving?

To better help you figure out how much food to need to have on hand, it helps to know what a serving actually is.

Once prepared, a serving of freeze-dried food is typically one cup of food, though some may only be a half cup. Now, in all honesty, one cup isn’t very much. But, you need to keep in mind that a meal should consist of more than just an entree. Continue reading

Deciding What to Buy

 

Decisions, decisions! I hate having to make decisions, but unfortunately, it is part of being an adult. So I try to make sure I have plenty of information before I make a decision so I can feel confident I am making the best choices.

The decision of what to buy for your food storage should be approached in the same way. You should gather information first so you can make the most informed decision.

Know Your Needs

Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself before you decide what to purchase. Continue reading

How Do You Store Food?

This is one of those questions that some people are afraid to ask because they might feel that they should know it already. But there really is a method to storing food.

I have been known to stockpile food and supplies all over my house, including my bathroom. But I can tell you that the bathroom is not an ideal place to store cans or freeze-dried foods because bathrooms tend to be humid. I learned this from experience because no one was around to tell me. So I will give you some tips to help you avoid my mistakes.

Location, Location, Location

Selecting the best location for your supplies is important, but sometimes you may be limited in your choices. Ideally, food should be stored in an area that is cool, dry and dark. That is because heat, humidity and sunlight will shorten the shelf-life of your foods. However, this doesn’t mean you need a climate controlled bunker to keep your emergency pantry (Cool as that would be!). Continue reading

Sodium Content in Freeze-Dried Foods

Any health-conscious person is wise to be aware of the amount of sodium the consume each day. High sodium diets are linked to high blood pressure and other health risks. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines, adults should get no more than 2300 mg per day of sodium, even less (1500 mg) for people over 51 or those with high blood pressure or diabetes.

Sodium and Your Stored Foods

So how does this figure in to your food storage plan? Well, some freeze-dried foods have a fairly high sodium content. many of these foods were originally designed for a very active lifestyle. Hikers, bikers and the like lose quite a bit of sodium during their activities. Sodium is necessary for our bodies to function properly, so foods that replace some of this sodium are important for very active people.

But, not everyone needs to replace sodium at the same levels. because of this, many manufacturers now produce lower sodium variations of their recipes.

Balance Is the Key

If you are concerned about sodium content in your food storage items, keep in mind that you can balance out the higher sodium foods you consume in a day with lower sodium foods. For example, many freeze-dried vegetables contain low or no sodium. There are also many breakfast items, like granola or oatmeal, that have very little sodium, if any.

Just like with a fresh food diet, the key is balance. If the only thing you ate every day was chicken, you’d quickly find that your diet is not providing what your body needs. But when you add lots of fruits and vegetables to that chicken and you will begin to achieve a more balanced diet.

Plan your food storage according to your own dietary requirements and you will find it much easier to create balanced meals. To help you plan, Lindon Foods and Backpacker’s Pantry both provide nutrition information for their products, but each brand offers lower sodium choices of their own. You can easily find sodium content on many of our product descriptions to help you decide which foods will best fit your food storage needs. Continue reading

What’s the Difference Between Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Foods?

canned beefIf you’re new to food storage, or even if you’ve been building your supply for a little while, you may wonder what the difference is between freeze-dried food and dehydrated food. So here is a quick breakdown of each one to help you.

About Freeze-Dried Food

A simple definition of the freeze drying process is explained by Mountain House, one of the quality brands we carry here at Extreme Food Storage. First, food, either cooked or fresh, is flash-frozen. Next, it goes into a vacuum chamber where 98% of the moisture is evaporated at temperatures as low as -50 degrees.

This freeze-dried food is stored in packages that are moisture- and oxygen-poof. This packaging keep the food fresh until you are ready to use it. When you add water, the food is rehydrated, which brings it back to its original flavor, texture and appearance. Continue reading

What Should I Buy?

emergency food supplyThere are so many choices in freeze-dried foods that it can be difficult to know where to start if you are new to food storage. A good place to begin is by making a list of things your family likes to eat. Knowing what everyone enjoys, as well as what everyone hates, will go a long way toward putting together a useable list of foods.

For example, at my house I have a child who hates rice. Knowing this, I am not likely to have a large stockpile of Chicken Teriyaki with Rice. I, on the other hand, love Chicken Teriyaki, so I might keep a single can on hand so I can enjoy it for lunch by myself. Or I may just get a Pro-Pak or two and get something else the kids will enjoy for their lunch.

Throw a Party

If you’ve never eaten freeze-dried food, a smart option is to order a few pouches to try out before ordering larger quantities of each food. Consider going in with a friend or two to place an order and then have a tasting party. Take notes on your thoughts on each meal and also note what your family thinks of each one as well.

After the party, sit down together and decide which foods you just love as well as which foods are not great, but not too bad. This will give you a starting point on deciding what foods you should keep in your food storage. You’ll want more of the loved foods and not as much of the so-so foods.

You can plan a tasting session every couple of months so you have the opportunity to try everything and decide what you really want to keep on hand. Continue reading