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2023 Preparedness - Wednesday Wisdom: Week 9

March 1st

I answered this question in the comments section a few weeks ago but I think it’s an important question so I will answer it again, here, where more will see it.

Michelle asked: “I have followed you for a while and really want to get more prepared this coming year. I am curious why you don't recommend freeze-dried food? That seems to be all the rage, and while I don't currently have any stored at my house, I have thought about getting some. I'd like to hear more about your opinions on it!”

There are several reasons we do not advise storing freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. We know these have become the thing to do but are they really the best, most practical, and cheapest? No.

The best. If you do not know how to cook with freeze-dried and dehydrated foods is the middle of an emergency really the time to learn? Will your children eat them? If you are going to purchase these foods use them every week and create new favorite meals now. Food should not only provide nourishment but also comfort. Food storage should be built on a foundation of favorite foods. Foods that cannot be freeze-dried include butter, bones, honey, jam, mayonnaise, Nutella, oil-based salad dressings, pasta (dry), peanut butter, chocolate, and syrup.

Most practical. Many disasters arrive accompanied by power outages often resulting in water shortages. Water become polluted of facilities come damaged or flooded. Many freeze-dried and dehydrated foods require a great deal more water than you may imagine. One cup of products may require 2-3 cups of water to reconstitute. Failure to reconstitute before eating may result in dehydration. If you decide to store these foods, you will need to also store at least twice the amount of water. When storing canned foods they come with their own supply of liquid, water, or juice.

Cheapest. Freeze-dried foods can be more expensive. Once opened a can should be used within 6 months. If you will use it that quickly then you are obviously cooking with it on a regular basis and in that case, it can be slightly keeper than commercially canned foods. If you need to throw food away it obviously results in wasted money. Home canned foods will save money over freeze-dried and dehydrated.

If your reason for purchasing is wanting to save storage space and/or freezer space purchase freeze-dried ingredients such as peppers or onions or eggs. They can be reconstituted using little water.

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