When I started this blog, and I know it’s been sporadic at best, I said I was going to write about whatever random thoughts came to mind. That is still true but I’d like to focus more on getting ready for an emergency or disaster, “prepping” if you will. I want to start from the beginning, which is essentially where I am right now. I’ll be sharing what I’ve found, where I’ve found it, techniques I’ve discovered and organization tips. That is my goal anyway.
What I have collected at this point amounts to a random supply of freeze-dried foods some of which I picked up at Wal-Mart in the Augason Farms section, and some of which I have gotten from Thrive Foods over the internet, through the mail. I know other companies out there like Wise Food Storage and Mountain House exist, but I haven’t gotten to them yet. We’ve also purchased large bags of beans and rice from Cash & Carry that we’ve sealed in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and placed in food grade 5-gallon buckets.
Let’s talk about the ones I have gotten to. Both Augason Farms and Thrive life have good flavor and texture as far as freeze-dried food goes but I’ve found that, once opened, Thrive Life food doesn’t last as long as they say it will. You will need to use it up within a month or so to keep the freshness. I ended up having to throw a couple of cans out after about 2.5 months. Augason Farms has a great vegetable stew blend that can be modified to create other meals by adding bouillon, meat, pasta, etc. We like to use it on a normal day because it’s quick and easy.
I found this handy food calculator on line and I’ve used it in the past as a guide. http://www.thefoodguys.com/foodcalc.html. Here is another one that looks similar but includes a bit more information. https://foodassets.com/info/food-calculator.html. Punch in the number of people in your family and hit calculate, simple. The Food Guys break it down more, the amount of vegetables and fruits. I will probably use both calculators in combination. The packaging of your foods should tell you how much a serving size is and go from there.
Storing food in Mylar bags is easier than you think and you can make your packages in a variety of sizes. I’ll include a couple of links to sites that sell them and the oxygen absorbers at the end. All you have to do is dump your dried beans, rice, pasta, etc. into the bags, toss in the oxygen absorbers, suck out the air and seal. We used a small shop vac that we purchased for this purpose. The size of your bag will decide the number and/or size of oxygen absorber(s) you use. To seal, we used a straightening iron and DONE. Here are the links to the Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers. We actually got ours at Crazy Mikes, a little hole in the wall emergency supply store across the border. Check around, you might have something similar near you. https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/emergency-supplies/food-storage-equipment/mylar-bags-for-food-storage. Or on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Dry-Packs-5010X14OABUND-Oxygen-Absorbers-Storage/dp/B003WSUPDY.
Keep tuned, more to come! FYI: Featured picture is of my pantry in 2011 when we very first started collecting food. 😉