Sunday, July 01, 2007

REI is selling Mountain House freeze dried food at 20% off in conjunction with their Fourth of July sale. I haven't had any freeze dried food in many years and wanted to try it out as potential food for my emergency stash. I live about 5 minutes from the Conshohocken, PA REI, so today I went over and bought three of their single-serving Pro-Pak meals. The Pro-Paks are vacuum-packed so that they don't take up too much room in a pack. Between the freeze drying and vacuum packing, they should last years.

I bought one each of the beef stroganoff, spaghetti with meat sauce, and scrambled eggs with ham and green and red peppers. I tried the beef stroganoff for lunch. To prepare it, you add 1.5 cups of boiling water to the Pro-Pak pouch, stir well, seal it, let sit for for about 8 - 9 minutes. You can then open it up, stir again, and eat it right from the pouch.

It was quite good. Surprisingly good for food that just got reconstituted. I am impressed. The 16 oz. size was perfect for me, enough to be filling but I'm not overstuffed. This particular meal has a total of 520 calories, 190 of which are from fat. It also has 1920mg of sodium, so people on special diets need to take note.

I see a few advantages of freeze dried meals:

1. LONG shelf life. I've seen some advertised with a 30 year shelf life. The beef stroganoff's pouch is stamped "best used by December 2013." AFAIK it'll be safe beyond that but the taste may deteriorate.
2. Lighter in weight than food which hasn't been dehydrated, e.g., cans or MREs.
3. Easy to prepare. Just add boiling water to the pouch, and wait about 10 minutes.
4. The pouch that it's packed in can be used to reconstitute and serve the food, then discarded. No need to wash dishes.

There are some cons:

1. High sodium content.
2. You have to provide water to reconstitute them.
3. Said water needs to be hot, preferably boiling, for the food to reconstitute in a reasonable amount of time. This means you need something to boil the water in, and something to heat it.

I am planning to pick up some more while it's still on sale.

1 comment:

Todd said...

Try to take foods that do not take water to prepare, I see so many 72 hour
kits with things like, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate & soups. The water should be for
drinking & take vitamins & protein bars. I also take a bottle of fiber, not only is
fiber needed but it also swells for a full feeling. I came across what is called
Lifecaps. They are a capsule that has everything needed to survive without food with
the exception of water. It is full of vitamins & minerals plus Iodine. Anyway, you take
three of them a day & drink water. I can actually take enough food in one backpack to
las 6 months because of these little Lifecaps, protein bars, fiber & water. I will run
out of water in a week so I do carry a small filter & a couple of those straw water
filters that filter the water as you suck.
You do not always have the ability or time to heat water to make soup or oatmeal. Anyway,
after I bought 25 bottles I found a coupon code & bought 75 bottles more. The coupon code
is... healthcap It will get you 33% off. There are also sites that have those filter straws
that are cheaper than any of the stores around here. (SLC) I think they are a really good
idea along with some purification pills. I cannot remember the sites off the top of my head
but you can Google for aquamira filter straw. Aquamira is the manufacture but do not buy
off there site because I have found them for almost 1/2 what they want on their own site
on other sites. Good luck, Gods speed & get serious about your bug out bag!
Todd in SLC