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5 Things to Consider when Buying Food Storage

#1 – Servings vs. Meals

A serving is not a meal. A meal is made up of multiple servings. Here are some examples of 1 serving of food:

Some food supply packages offer 3 servings per day. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to feed an average adult. Eating only 3 servings would be like eating 2 slices of plain bread and a cup of milk. Most people eat that many servings during breakfast alone.

It’s important that your 1 year food supply meets your daily nutritional needs. A more precise way to measure nutritional value is by looking at how many calories per day each product offers.

#2 – Calories

According to the FDA, the average adult eats around 2,000 calories/day. In order to satisfy your hunger at each meal, make sure your food storage can provide at least 2,000 calories/day.

If you want to save money, you can purchase a food storage package that offers fewer calories, but you may be left feeling a little hungry.

#3 – Cans vs. Pouches

#10 Cans and Mylar pouches are the two main choices when it comes to long-term food storage. Here are some of the features of each option:

#10 CansMylar Pouches
Air/Water Resistantyesyes
Puncture Resistantyespartially
Insect Resistantyeswhen stored in bucket
Rodent Resistantyeswhen stored in bucket
Crush-proofyeswhen stored in bucket
Stackableyeswhen stored in bucket
Cost per container42 cents31 cents

There is a common misconception about #10 cans. Some people believe that once you open a can you need to hurry and eat all the food in a short time. That’s not how it works. In reality, most canned foods are good for an entire year after they’ve been opened. That’s a longer shelf life than most of the food you eat every day. After you open a can, you can just put the plastic lid back on it.

#4 – Water

With so many options for food storage, it’s easy to forget water storage. Water is essential. Even with a year supply of food, you won’t survive without water.

There are two choices when it comes to water storage: 1) Filters, 2) Containers. If you live near a water source, filters provide an affordable way to get clean drinking water. If not, your best option is to purchase a large container, like a 55-gallon barrel.

When storing water in barrels you can sanitize the water with purification tablets. These are generally pretty affordable and keep the water clean for a matter of years. Also, in order to avoid unnecessary contamination, store your barrels a few inches from the ground. This prevents bacteria from leaching into the barrel—especially when the barrel is on cement.

#5 – Dehydrated vs. Freeze-Dried

There are a few differences between dehydrated and freeze-dried food. Here are some of the main points to consider:

Shelf Life – Shelf life varies greatly depending on the type of food that is packed. It also depends on the company that does the packing. Some dehydrated food lasts as little as 5-10 years, while other dehydrated foods last up to 30 years. Some freeze-dried foods last as little as 5-7 years, but most products last 20-25 years. You will need to check the individual products before purchasing because there is no universal shelf life for each packaging method.

Variety – Because of differences in the dehydration and freeze drying process, some foods are better dehydrated while others are better freeze-dried. Dehydrated foods usually include food for cooking, like pasta, grains, rice, butter, cheese, shortening, baking soda, etc. Freeze-dried foods are usually pre-made meals, like beef stew, lasagna, macaroni & cheese, etc. If you can prepare meals, dehydrated food is a good choice. If you are looking for convenience and luxury, freeze-dried food might be what you’re after.

Cost – Dehydrated foods are generally more affordable than freeze-dried foods—especially when buying a year supply. However, dehydrated food generally consists of basic ingredients, as opposed to no-cook freeze-dried meals.