Welcome to Emergency Essentials!

Catalog Request

Emergency Essentials Blog

  • 5 Differences Between Dehydrated and Freeze-Dried Food

    When it comes to storing food long term, the age-old question keeps coming up: freeze-dried or dehydrated?

    Both can work as part of your emergency food storage, but there are key differences between the two that could make one better than the other for your particular circumstances. Check out these differences and then choose the option that’s best for you.

     

    Shelf Life

    IMG_4120 - Dehydrated and Freeze-driedMoisture content plays a huge impact on shelf life. The more moisture, the less amount of time it will last. With that in mind, it’s time to compare the moisture content of dehydrated and freeze-dried food.

    Dehydrated food can lose quite a bit of moisture–up to 95 percent! However, do-it-yourself home dehydrators may only remove 70% or a food’s water, leaving it with a shelf life of only one year on average. However, most top end dehydrated food will still maintain a shelf life of even longer, up to 15 years or more.

    Freeze-dried food, on the other hand, is much more suitable for long-term storage. Getting rid of 98-99 percent of moisture gives freeze-dried food a much lengthier shelf life. Our freeze-dried food has a shelf life of 25 years or more.

    While both dehydrated and freeze-dried foods can have long shelf lives, freeze-dried food is definitely superior when it comes to long-term storage. In both cases, however, cooler temperatures will help lengthen their shelf life. We recommend storing your food in temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

     

    Preparation

    Water_poured_in_5 - Dehydrated and Freeze-driedFreeze-dried meals prepare easily. Since everything is pre-cooked, all you need to do is add water, wait a few minutes, and your food is ready for eating! Best of all, it tastes just like it did the day it was created (which might very well have been 25 years ago).

    Dehydrated food is a touch different in the way it’s prepared. Instead of letting your food soak for a few minutes, it needs to be cook—boiled, even—in order to rehydrate enough to become the food it used to be. This can take upwards to 20 minutes, depending on the food. While it’s not a huge issue, it can make a big difference if you’re in a hurry.

     

    Nutrition

    According to a food science professor at UC-Davis, freeze-dried food maintains most of its nutrients throughout the process, and once rehydrated, is very similar in nutritional value to its fresh counterpart. This is in contrast to dehydrated food which, although much of the nutrients remain, only around 50% - 60% of the original nutrients are left over. In freeze-dried food, there is about 97% of retained nutrients. In this area, freeze-dried food comes out on top.

     

    Taste

    Lasagna_image - Dehydrated and Freeze-dried Lasagna with Meat Sauce, previously freeze-dried

    Flavor is important in your food. If it doesn’t taste good, why would you even want to eat it? Fortunately, both freeze-dried and dehydrated foods taste great, but there is a difference in the way it’s prepared that makes one taste better than the other.

    According to the Wild Backpacker, the taste of freeze-dried food is essentially held in the food, as the process involves very little heat. This keeps in the flavor, retains original texture, and secures the natural scents. This is why many believe freeze-dried food tastes better than dehydrated food, which uses heat to lose moisture, thus forfeiting flavor, original texture, and smell.

     

    Weight

    If your food intends to stay in your pantry or with your emergency food storage until used, then weight won’t really be an issue. However, dehydrated and freeze-dried food are delicious treats and meals to take on camping trips, hikes, and even in your bug-out bag, which in turn makes weight play a crucial role.

    Dehydrated food is heavier than freeze-dried food, so if you are planning on taking one of these types of foods with you on a hike, freeze-dried food is your best option in terms of being lightweight. If you’re planning on getting a meal out of your food, you’ll want to make sure you either bring enough water or have access to it so you can rehydrate your meals. Many freeze-dried foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and even meats, can be snacked on without rehydrating them, making them a nice, lightweight option for snacking.

     

    There are pros and cons to both dehydrated and freeze-dried food, so in the end it all boils down to what you’re looking for in a food, and how you intend to use it. When it comes to long-term storage and nutrients, however, freeze-dried food reigns supreme. So when you’re looking to invest in an emergency food storage, freeze-dried may very well be the way to go.

    We have sales on lots of our freeze-dried food all June, so check them out here!

     

    Blog Image

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Tips to Beat the Summer Heat

    On June 2, this screen grab of a Gilbert, Ariz. forecast was posted on Facebook.

     

    Gilbert Forcast - summer heat

     

    Now that’s a heat wave.

    Even if this forecast isn’t accurate, much of the western U.S. is likely to see some high temperatures this month, according to the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Heat can be deadly. Fortunately, it killed only 45 people last summer – far fewer than the 10-year average of 110 people per year, according to the National Weather Service.

    Some people are more sensitive to prolonged heat than others. They include children under 4 years old adults over 65, overweight people, and people who are ill or on some types of medication, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Even healthy people can get a heat-related illness if they work or exercise outside for a longer period.

    A little preparation can prevent heat-related illness.

    It starts with having enough to drink. If you’re exercising, drink two to four glasses per hour. Even if you’re not doing much, drink more fluids when it’s hot, the CDC advises. That doesn’t include liquids with alcohol, caffeine, or sugar – those can cause more fluid loss.

    Young man sitting in the park and drinking water from the bottle. - summer heat Beat the summer heat.

    If possible, stay indoors and in air conditioning. If not, spend time in the shade. Electric fans are helpful until the temperature is in the high 90s. If your location doesn’t have air conditioning, find a place that does, like a library, and visit.

    “Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat,” a CDC bulletin said.

    Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. If you’re outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat and put on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. Sunburn makes you more susceptible to heat illness.

    Look out for others.  Check on at-risk adults at least twice a day and watch young children more frequently. Look out for signs of heat exhaustion.

    Humans get rid of heat by sweating, pumping blood closer to the skin and panting. When a body can’t get rid of enough heat, or has a chemical imbalance from sweating too much, it goes into heat exhaustion.

    The CDC lists signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion: heavy sweating, weakness, pale and clammy skin, rapid heartbeat, cramps, nausea, or fainting.

    To treat heat exhaustion, get the patient out of the heat, have them lie down and loosen their clothing, and try to cool them off with wet cloths and fans. Have them sip water. If they don’t stop vomiting, or if symptoms haven’t improved in 15 minutes, emergency medical help may be necessary because heat exhaustion can become heat stroke.

    Heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature rises above 103 degrees according to the CDC. Other symptoms include hot, red, dry, or moist skin, as well as having a rapid, strong pulse, fainting, nausea, seizures, and impaired mental state. Heat stroke can kill. Immediately call 911, move the person to a cooler place and try cooling strategies like wetting the patient or applying ice packs. Don’t give liquids to a person with heat stroke.

    Even if it won’t reach 412 degrees outside, summer heat can pack a punch. Be prepared with plenty of water, the right clothes and a cool place to go. Make this a fun, safe summer.

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner - summer heat

  • Getting Started With Your Year Supply of Food

    Why Have a Year Supply of Food?

    Having a year supply of food is more than just for hunkering down and waiting for the next apocalypse to blow over (although it certainly could be used for that, too). Having a year supply of food in your emergency storage can help see you through many a turbulent time.

    Empty ShelvesThink about it. Job loss can happen to anyone – anytime, anywhere. Without a steady income, providing food for your family can be downright difficult. But with a year supply of food storage, you and your family can still eat healthy and well until a new job can be found.

    Likewise, disasters can block truck routes, damage crops, and otherwise make getting food to the grocery store or to your pantry. Or have you ever seen store shelves be emptied right before a hurricane or blizzard? Having a year supply of food can help you remain relaxed and comfortable when the world around you is buzzing in chaos.

     

    What to Look for in a Year Supply of Food

    Your food storage should be based on calories per day rather than amounts of servings. One serving could range from far too small to provide the proper energy and nourishment. By making sure your year supply is focused on calories, you’re ensured to have enough of what you need to keep you going.

    Of course, you can get nearly the same amount of calories from a candy bar as you can from a full, home-cooked meal, but the meal will undoubtedly be more filling. So while you’re counting calories, make sure they will sustain you through to the next meal. Empty calories like those found in sweets may taste good, but they won’t be very useful in the long run.

    Young  father and his daughter having breakfast togetherAdults generally require between 2,000 and 2,800 calories per day. School-aged children typically need less, ranging from 1,600 to 2,500 calories per day. For children between the ages of 1 and 2, they will need approximately 1,000 to 1,400 calories per day. Of course, there may be certain situations that will require you to tweak these numbers to fit your needs, but on average, this is what you’ll need in terms of calories per day.

    You’ll also want to have a variety of foods to provide different health benefits. Some food, like pasta, provides lots of carbohydrates which are a necessary part of your daily diet. Likewise, foods with good amounts of vitamins and minerals will also help maintain your health. Fruit, vegetables, meat, and other foods are all viable options for your year supply.

    If you’re not sure where to start, that’s OK. A year’s worth of food is quite a bit. To make it easier for you, we’ve broken it all down into different categories and various other options. Keep reading to learn more about how you can easily get a year supply of food that fits your needs.

     

    Varieties of Year Supplies

    Homemade Plus Year Supply Homemade Plus Year Supply

    When creating your own year supply from scratch, doing the math and figuring out just exactly what – and how much – you need might get a bit confusing. To make things easier, we’ve created a variety of pre-constructed year supplies so you can get all the food you need and want without the extra effort. And, since your aptitude for cooking won’t change in an emergency, we’ve organized our year supplies by how the food is prepared.

    Love cooking and making homemade meals? If so, the basics are all you need to whip up delicious meals for you and your family, which makes the Homemade Year Supply or Homemade Year Supply Plus the options of choice. These year supplies give you all the cooking and baking essentials you need to create homemade meals from your tried and true recipe book.

    Not a fan of cooking and prefer boxed dinners and pre-cooked meals? If that’s the case, our Convenience Year Supply is the way to go. The meals in this year supply simply require you to add water and your food is ready to it in no time. It also comes with fruits, vegetables, and desserts, helping to round out your meals.

    Maybe you enjoy cooking from scratch but still enjoy a nice, quick meal as well. Featuring both just-add-water meals and ingredients for cooking and baking, the Variety Year Supply might very well be the option for you.

    Everyone has different tastes, which is why we have a variety of year supplies to choose from. Each of the year supplies mentioned above contain 2,000 calories per day, however there are also options for supplies with less calories should you like. There are other options for a year supply of food, including  buckets and even a year’s worth of grains and legumes, so be sure to check out all your options here so you know what’s best for your circumstances.

     

    Other Food Storage Options

    If purchasing an entire year supply of food all in one go isn’t financially feasible, take it in stride with monthly payment options. Known here as Prep As You Go, we send you a portion of your year supply each month for a year. This lets you pay in smaller installments, much like what you might do when buying a car – only without the interest rate. Then, after a year, you’ll have that year supply in its entirety. Prep As You Go is an affordable option in getting your emergency year supply together without a lot of hassle.

    However, sometimes a year supply of food isn’t necessarily the best option for you, such as when your finances won’t allow it, or your home or apartment is too small. In such instances, smaller might very well be better. Consider investing in a 6 month supply of food, or even a 3 month supply, which is still far superior to none at all.

     

    In the end, what it all boils down to is how much room you have, what your budget is, and your personal preferences in preparing food. No matter what those answers are, however, there is always room to prepare. Whether it’s a full year of food on hand or just three months, your preparations will help keep you safe and comfortable during the hard times.

    Click here to purchase your own Year Supply and be prepared for anything the future has in store!

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner

4-6 of 1082

Back to Top
Loading…