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  • Mountain House Meals: Freeze-Dried Security

    Try this experiment, right now; Look around you and determine how far away you are from something to eat. Anything. In other words, how long would you have to last before you could find a cracker, a candy bar, or a T-bone steak from where you sit right now. Odds are, you are within minutes, maybe even seconds, from popping some nourishment into your mouth.

    For many in first-world societies, the prospect of a next meal is rarely in question. But all that could change in an instant. Earthquake, storm, social unrest, cyber attack or large-scale power-grid failure could make your lunch more challenging and put dinner right out of the picture. Then what?

    Along with water and shelter, food is a universal human necessity. The human body can survive anywhere from 1-3 months without food. Most people, however, need at least one good meal a day or they don’t do well. And while the physical effects of undernourishment are most concerning, there are profound psychological effects that can be just as dire. The Minnesota Starvation Experiment, a study conducted during World War II, found that even in semi-starvation conditions of consuming 1,560 kilocalories a day, depression, hysteria and even hypochondriasis manifested in many of the participants. The reports found that in a semi-starved situation, participant’s thoughts and conversations were consumed with ideas of food and eating. Going without food can have dangerous effects on your mental state, and can lead to poor decisions in critical times.

    Finn_ski_troops could have used some Mountain House meals A Finnish ski patrol during the Winter War, 1940

    One brutal example of poor decision making from lack of food comes from a battle fought during the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland. Dubbed the "Sausage War", Russian troops overran the left flank of Colonel Paavo Talvela the night of December 10th, 1939. There were few troops there other than cooks, other field kitchen staff and medical units. The Finns had no way to repulse the attack and fled with sausage soup still simmering in cook pots. The Russians, who were poorly equipped and even more poorly fed, should have continued their attack, but the entire battalion stopped upon smelling the still cooking sausages in the kitchens and began to gorge themselves. Finnish Colonel Aaro Pajari, who was still in the area, quickly assembled a 100-man force and counter-attacked, destroying nearly the entire Soviet battalion, who was now lethargic and completely focused on eating. Many men were said to have died with sausage still in their mouth. The Finns who were well fed and fighting for their homeland, had not only a physical and situational advantage but a critical psychological advantage as well. They could focus on the task at hand and weren’t distracted by their grumbling bellies.

    Empty ShelvesWhile we probably won’t ever be in that kind of survival situation, it’s not hard to find recent examples where food scarcity can be a real issue. Just look at the snow storm that hit the East Coast recently. There were numerous news reports of bare store shelves in the days leading up to the storm. The people buying those foods were those that hadn’t mentally or physically prepared in advance for the possibility of an entirely foreseeable natural disaster. Everyone who was already prepared with food on-hand had peace of mind whereas others had anxiety. They were able to avoid the crush of the crowds and focus on other preparations they might have had to make.

    So what kinds of foods should you have on hand for an emergency? In short, have a variety of foods you like to eat. Ranging from canned foods to freeze dried meals, make sure that you would like eating those foods, even in normal situations. Freeze dried food is especially useful due to long shelf life and ease of prep.

    Of all the freeze dried meal makers out there, none are better than Mountain House. A few of the things that set Mountain House apart are:

    • Mountain House has the longest PROVEN shelf life in the industry. Lots of companies claim long shelf life based on extrapolations from accelerated lab testing, but only Mountain House has been around long enough to test actual 25-year-old product.
    • Mountain House meals are unique in that they are fully cooked, and use real meat and vegetables.
    • Because Mountain House is also the most popular brand of backpacking and camping meals in North America, they cook their meals intending consumers to eat them. Compare this significantly different approach to companies who make meals hoping you’ll never have to eat them.
    • Mountain House meals have the shortest and easiest prep time in the market. After adding hot water directly to the contents in the pouch, you’ll have a hot meal in under 10 minutes.
    • soldiers eating Mountain House mealsMountain House is born out of meals they’ve been making for the United States Special Forces since the Vietnam Conflict. They’ve taken their decades of expertise and applied it to make meals for the civilian market. If you need meals that cannot fail, no matter what environment they are eaten in, you want to make sure you have Mountain House.
    • Finally, Mountain House meals are widely regarded as the best tasting freeze dried meals available. Look around for product reviews and see for yourself!


    Thankfully, Emergency Essentials carries the entire line of Mountain House meals. To make it even easier, Emergency Essentials has created exclusive long-term food kits with time frames from 3 months to 1 year. Imagine that, a whole year’s worth of food that you don’t have to rotate and track for at least 25 years!

    When you take all of this information together, it makes sense to make Mountain House the cornerstone of your more comprehensive emergency preparedness plan.

  • 3 Substitutes for Corned Beef and Cabbage Slaw

    Corned Beef and Cabbage Slaw is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal. This year, we decided to pay homage to the beef and cabbage combo, but try it out in some different recipes. Give one of these a try on St. Patty’s Day or any time—believe me, you’ll want to make them more than once a year.

    Cabbage Coleslaw

     This delicious cabbage coleslaw is great alone or as part of a meal using food storage ingredients!

    Beef Brisket Lo Mein

    Beef Brisket Lo Mein gives you the flavorful taste of beef and cabbage in a delicious Oriental-style dish

    Beef Brisket Taco

    The Beef Brisket Taco adds a colorful display of flavor to the table any time of the year.

    Personal BBQ Brisket Pizzas

     Personal BBQ Brisket Pizzas from food storage

    What’s your favorite beef and cabbage meal?

  • Spice Up Your Celebrations: Cajun Chicken and Pasta

    Cajun Chicken and Pasta

    Trying to impress your friends and family with your extraordinary cooking skills? Well, we have a recipe that will blow them away—and the best thing is you can make it anytime, even in an emergency, just using your food storage supplies. (And you don’t have to be a great cook!)

    A few of us here at the office decided to see if we could impress our co-workers with our cooking skills using this Cajun Chicken and Pasta recipe—because really, sometimes yummy food is just the best way to celebrate on an uneventful Tuesday.

    Cajun Chicken and Pasta (4 servings)

    2 cups Provident Pantry Freeze Dried White Chicken, reconstituted

    1 cup Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Red Bell Pepper, reconstituted

    ½ cup Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Celery, reconstituted

    2 TBS MyChoice Freeze Dried Green Onions, reconstituted

    ½ cup MyChoice Freeze Dried Mushroom Slices, reconstituted

    1 cup reconstituted MyChoice Instant Nonfat Dry Milk

    1 TBS Provident Pantry White Flour

    1 tsp Cajun seasoning, divided* (or add more to taste)

    2 TBS Clarified Butter or Red Feather Canned Butter

    ½ tsp MyChoice Basil

    ½ tsp Provident Pantry Iodized Salt

    3 cups cooked Provident Pantry Egg Noodle Pasta

    Parmesan cheese (optional)

    *You can make your own Cajun seasoning by blending ¼ tsp MyChoice Onion Powder, ¼ tsp MyChoice Garlic Powder, ¼ tsp paprika, ½ tsp Provident Pantry Iodized Salt, and ½ tsp cayenne pepper.

    1. Reconstitute first six ingredients. Drain and reserve excess water
    2. Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.
    3. In skillet, sauté vegetables in butter and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Cajun seasoning.
    4. In a separate bowl, sprinkle chicken with a little of the Cajun seasoning as well. Add chicken into skillet with vegetables and toss to coat with butter and seasonings.
    5. Mix in basil.
    6. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir.
    7. Add milk and stir well until thickened. If there is any Cajun seasoning left, add it to the chicken mixture. Taste for seasoning; if it’s not spicy enough for you, add more Cajun seasoning to taste.
    8. If the sauce in the chicken mixture becomes too thick, thin it with a little of the reserved water.
    9. Fold chicken mixture into the cooked noodles.
    10. Add about ½ tsp of salt and mix well.
    11. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve hot.


    Here’s What the Emergency Essential’s Team Had to Say

    We tried to impress our co-workers with this savory meal and…it worked! After everyone had a taste, check out what they had to say:

    “This has just the right amount of spice. I never would’ve guessed in a million years that this was from food storage!”    --Scotty

    “Extremely flavorful with a slight kick. I would definitely eat this…”    --David

    “This is a great meal that’s easy and fast to make! It gives you an exotic food storage meal that’s different from the traditional food storage meals.”    --Angela

    “Delicious! It had just a little bit of a kick, but not too spicy. It was just enough to say ‘Mmmm!’ I never thought this would’ve come from food storage.”    --Becca

    “It was good—a little spicy for me—but good.”    --Sairey

    “I love the flavor and the spicy factor wasn’t too high so even though I’m a wuss, I could still handle it—Delicious!”    --Sarah

    Try out this delicious recipe with your food storage to make an impression at any celebration, or just for a flavorful meal at home. Come back and let us know what you think!

    Also check out these other delicious recipes that will have people coming back for more:

    Oriental Chicken Salad
    Food Storage Super Bowl Recipe Roundup
    Spicy Chicken
    Chicken A La King
    Linguini Chicken with Vegetables

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