Emergency preparedness (being a prepper, as it's called) is becoming more and more important. With unrest around the world, climate change, and catastrophic and natural disasters, having an emergency kit prepared with survival and emergency food is essential.
Disasters can come in many forms: tornadoes, forest fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and blizzards. Any of these may leave you without access to a food source, sometimes for a considerable amount of time.
A popular way of guarding against... this kind of catastrophe is storing food at home. This is called Long Term Food Storage, Emergency Essentials, or Emergency Survival Foods and there are dozens of companies selling food specifically for this purpose. The best, including those listed below, have great tasting products with a long storage life at a reasonable cost.
Choosing the Best Survival Food
Many of these foods are simple meals that require you to add water and heat (such as MRE's, or Meals Ready to Eat). However, if you buy individual bulk ingredients you can create more of a gourmet pantry which allows you a much greater range of meals to prepare—powdered eggs, spices, all sorts of flours, honey, etc. These foods are not only great for food storage but also for camping trips, especially if your camp kitchen is serving a large crowd.
There are two types of long-term stored foods: dehydrated foods and freeze-dried foods. Freeze-dried items typically have a longer shelf life than dehydrated and often a better flavor. Dehydrated has its place, though, and often have a better texture.
Look for foods that are stored in mylar bags, which protects better against oxygen and has a much longer shelf life than the old #10 cans used to store food. Prices seem high sometimes until you calculate the price of an individual meal. In reality, it is usually close to what you would spend on a conventional meal.
If you've never tried a brand, check the website for free samples. Several companies listed here offer free samples or individual meals at a low price, which is a great option before you commit to a large order.
01 of 08
The Ready Store has won numerous awards for the best food storage company, both for its great products and excellent customer service. Started by a Utah couple just after 9/11, The Ready Store has grown into one of the best food storage companies in the country.
They have a huge selection of dehydrated and freeze-dried foods from top brands such as Saratoga Farms, Mountain House, EasyPrep, OvaEasy, Yoders, Datrex, Mainstay, WonderMill, and more. They also have a complete selection of MRE... Military Meals. These include self-heating kits with meals like spaghetti, sweet and sour chicken, and garden vegetables in tomato sauce.
You will also find grain mills, cherry pitters, apple peelers, sprout growers, and many other top quality kitchen tools to supplement your survival kit.
02 of 08
Valley Food Storage offers high-quality products with all natural ingredients at a reasonable cost. It's hard to beat, especially with no shipping fees and a genuine 25-year shelf life on most products.
Their great selection includes many specialty diet foods including gluten free, no MSG, no fillers, dairy free products, and DIY kits. You can order freeze-dried meats or fruits and vegetables in small servings or buckets with a month's supply of various foods.
Many of their prepared... emergency food is interesting as well. Imagine sheltering with Irish pub cheddar potato soup or pasta primavera for dinner, knowing you have apple cinnamon pancakes to look forward to in the morning.
03 of 08
In business for over 40 years, Augason Farms is one of the top producers of long-term storage foods. They manufacture their own food products, including the popular Morning Moo brand of powdered milk, and are a supply many other food suppliers.
They have a great selection of food storage kits, from 72-hour emergency kits to the Deluxe 1 Year Kit. However, Augason's best offering is the incredible selection of individual ingredients. This includes dehydrated and freeze-dried vegetables and... fruits, rice and grains, baking ingredients, powdered milk and eggs, freeze-dried yogurt, beans, gluten-free products.
Augason's wide variety of entrees is equally impressive. For example, their 1 Week Pantry Pack includes tasty morsels like stroganoff, oatmeal with strawberries, enchilada soup, and pasta alfredo. All of it comes with a 15-year shelf life, so you're sure to be prepared.
04 of 08
Preparewise is another seller of Legacy brand foods. Legacy is considered some of the best tasting long-term storage food and it's also GMO-free. Foods are sealed in mylar packaging which is superior in keeping oxygen out and giving the food a true 25-plus year shelf life.
They have a wide variety of meal packages, as well as individual entrees, sides, and breakfast. There's something for every family as well. The Legacy combo bucket options include gluten-free meals while there's... also a bucket filled with a great variety of chicken and beef entrees. The smaller packs are also great for camping trips or traveling.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
My Food Storage has been in business for 10 years and is one of the most highly rated food storage companies. It is very similar to Wise Company with a lot of the same products. Yet, their prices are cheaper than most companies.
The company offers emergency meal kits in all sizes, from the two-week Essential Survival Kit to the 120 Serving Entree and Breakfast kits. Inside, you'll find delicious meals like lasagna, chili mac, and chicken à la king. It almost makes survival sound gourmet.
06 of 08
Emergency Essentials carries a huge inventory of long-term food storage items from MREs to Mountain House Freeze-Dried Entrees. Several different brands are available.
You'll find staples like powdered butter, freeze-dried meats, cereals, grains, pasta, fruits and vegetables, and baking ingredients. They also offer a great selection of entrees, including popular Mountain House meals like turkey tetrazzini, rice pilaf, and sweet and sour pork. Many of these are included in their emergency kits... that will keep you fed for days or months at a time.
07 of 08
Wise Company is one of the top-rated prepared food companies and one of the first to store their foods in mylar bags. Wise manufactures their own products here in the United States. They sell a variety of long-term food kits as well as short-term emergency kits.
Reviews on taste are mixed for Wise but they are generally less expensive than other companies. You'll also want to check this company out for smaller cases of camping food. They offer the basics like noodles with beef, chili mac, and... strawberry granola crunch that are easy to pack and should keep you going on your next adventure.
08 of 08
eFoods Direct has one of the best selections of long-term foods anywhere. They have a wide variety of emergency food kits from one week to 12 months.
One of the best features of eFoods Direct is all the individual meal choices available by the case. Some of the delicious offerings include black bean burgers, cheesy rice casserole, and tortilla soup, which is always a favorite.
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