There are plenty of preppers who put a great deal of faith, money and time into stockpiling cases upon cases of canned food. They shun other options like freeze-dried or dehydrated for various reasons. This is a dangerous practice. A good food storage will have a variety of foods in varying forms. Eating the same thing day in and day out isn’t only boring and repetitive, it can also make you sick.
There are some downsides to canned food that should be noted.
- Most canned foods are high in sodium and nitrates that can increase risk of dehydration
- Canned foods are heavy and require sturdy shelving
- You are limited to certain foods
- Once you open a can, you have to eat it all if there is no refrigeration
Now, to be fair, canned food is probably the most easily accessed and can be purchased anywhere and everywhere. It is also relatively inexpensive.
Freeze-dried food is a viable option that should be considered. Yes, it is more expensive, but it will last for decades or longer. You can buy freeze-dried food in full meals. Things like beef stroganoff, spaghetti and meatballs and chicken and rice are just a sampling of the meals available. You can also purchase a variety of freeze-dried products like sliced sliced potatoes or freeze-dried egg powder that can be used to create a delicious meal.
Freeze-dried food needs very little water to transform into a typical meal. In fact, you need less water to reconstitute freeze-dried food than you do dehydrated food. Freeze-dried food is a little harder to find and will often need to be ordered online. Many companies will offer free shipping if your order reaches a certain dollar amount.
Dehydrated foods are popular with preppers because they can be eaten as is if it isn’t possible to reconstitute the foods with water. Dehydrated foods are also much cheaper than freeze-dried, but are more expensive than canned. However, plenty of preppers have learned the art of drying their own food at home to save money.
Fruits, meats and vegetables can all be dehydrated. While you would typically buy dehydrated foods individually, you can put together soups and stews that are made up of a variety of dehydrated ingredients and store those on the shelves. Keep in mind, dehydrated foods take hours to reconstitute and do best with hot water. Dehydrated ingredients are best used in stews and soups where they can cook slowly and absorb the other flavors.
Don’t get caught in the trap of only stocking one type of food. Diversify your food storage and you will be happier for it when it comes time to rely on it after a disaster.