Are you considering stocking up on freeze-dried food for a long-term survival situation? It may seem like a great idea, but it's important to understand the freeze-drying process and its associated costs. When products advertise a “long shelf life”, it can mean one of two things. First, the term “best if used before shelf life” indicates the time during which foods retain most of their original flavor and nutrition. This is the date that appears on most products in the supermarket and usually lasts between a few weeks and a few years, depending on the product.
If you're planning to use freeze-dried food for camping, hiking, or other outdoor activities, consider buying a long-handled spoon or fork made to eat in freeze-dried food bags, MREs, and deep cook pots. If you freeze dry food at home, such as with a Harvest Right freeze dryer, you'll know exactly what's in your food. Freeze-dried foods stored in hermetically sealed containers and kept in a cool, dry place have a shelf life of more than 30 years. Once the package is opened, food will last approximately 6 months to a year if kept sealed.
Many Americans are stocking up on survival packs to supplement the high cost of food. In addition, many companies offer many freeze-dried foods as part of survival packages for families preparing for a national emergency. You can eat freeze-dried foods and survive with them indefinitely, as long as you have enough drinking water to reconstitute your meals. But what are some things to consider if you use freeze-dried food as part of your pantry or as the start of an emergency preparedness closet? When using freeze-dried food for long-term storage, it's important to check the expiration date on the package and rotate your stock regularly.
Make sure to store your food in airtight containers in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It's also important to check for signs of spoilage before eating any freeze-dried food. If you notice any discoloration or off odors, discard the food immediately.It's also important to consider how much water you'll need to reconstitute your meals. Freeze-dried foods require more water than dehydrated foods because they are more concentrated.
Make sure you have enough water on hand to rehydrate your meals before eating them.Finally, it's important to remember that freeze-dried foods are not nutritionally complete meals. You'll need to supplement your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables and other sources of protein and vitamins.