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Survival Food

Food is one of the critical items that you must have in both a short term and a long term crisis or disaster situation. Here are several tips on deciding what survival food you want to purchase and have on hand.

1.  There are two basic types of survival foods: emergency rations (also referred to as emergency food bars or survival bars) and Meals Ready To Eat (MREs).  Both types have their advantages!  Emergency rations are light weight, compact, nutritious, and no cooking or preparation is required.  MREs are light weight, nutritious, definitely more tasty, and require a small amount of food preparation.  When deciding on what survival food to choose, I recommend that you select a combination of both emergency rations and MREs.  Having some of each will provide you with a little more flexibility and variety in your survival meals!

2.  When selecting your survival food, be sure and look for the advertised shelf life of each product.  In addition, check customer reviews to see if the advertised shelf life of a product that you are considering purchasing has been proven out in actual use by other customers.

3.  When considering different survival foods, check to see how many servings come in each individual package.  If you are a single person, you will want to concentrate on packages that contain just one or two individual servings rather than packages that contain five servings.  If you are a family of four, then packages containing five servings are fine.

4.  Before buying a large amount of survival food, buy a small sample of the different brands that you might be interested in and perform your own “taste test”.  Then, pick the brand (or brands – – – for variety) that you liked the best.  Once you have selected your favorite brand (brands), next select a sample of the different MRE meals that are available for that brand (brands) and perform a second “taste test” to decide which of those meals that you prefer. Once, you know what you like and don’t like, then purchase your survival food supply accordingly.

5.  Select MREs that also taste good when just mixed with unheated water.  Time or circumstances may not allow you to start a fire and boil water or heat the MRE.

6.  Stay away from MREs that require you to “cook” the MRE after you mix it with water.  An extra step that you don’t want to have to fool with!

7.  Take the time to thoroughly mix the MRE contents with the water you have added.  In particular, concentrate on mixing the MRE contents that is located in the bottom corners of the bag/pouch.  Additionally, I have found that it is better to add too much water to the mix rather than too little as long as you don’t overdo it.

8.  Once you have completed mixing the water with the contents, set the MRE pouch aside for the recommended “set aside” time plus an extra 4-5 minutes.   I have found that waiting a few extra minutes makes the MRE more edible and tasty!

9.  If your MRE comes with an oxygen absorber packet enclosed in the pouch, be sure and remove the oxygen absorber packet from the pouch and discard it before you add the water.

10.  When purchasing your survival food, be sure and purchase a supply of the desserts (e.g., Mountain House’s freeze dried Neapolitan Ice Cream).  Desserts will bring a little enjoyment to a stressful situation.

11.  Lastly, I recommend that as a minimum you purchase at least a 7 day supply of survival food for each person in your family or group.  In deciding on whether or not to purchase a larger supply, consider whether you will be staying where you are to “ride out” the crisis/disaster or if you will need to take  your survival food with you to a different location.  Survival food is fairly light weight but it will take up some space.  If you are planning to stay where you are, having a one or two month supply of survival food on hand is not unreasonable.

I hope these tips prove helpful to you as you make your survival food buying decisions.  Click here for our recommendations on EMERGENCY RATIONS and our recommendations on MREs (Meals Ready To Eat).

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