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Food Storage for Dummies

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The first thing you need to know about food storage is that it really is basic. It’s not a difficult thing to understand, and getting prepared should not be something that keeps you up at night. But that doesn’t mean you can be complacent. We recommend you resolve right now to get prepared and then take these three easy steps to get your food storage preparation in order.

Water, Food, and a Heat Source

Step 1: Decide how much food you want.

If you have a family or loved ones who depend on you, then please take that into consideration. We recommend buying enough food to last you and your loved ones at least three months. That may sound like a lot to some people, but why take the chance? Plus, when you consider freeze-dried food lasts 25+ years, then the cost of a three-month supply is very minimal.

Step 2: Get a good water filter

Humans can survive without food for up to two weeks but only a few days without water. However, most people barely even think about water when they buy food storage. The other mistake they make is thinking they can store enough clean water to last any significant amount of time. Although it’s a good idea to have a few water containers for short-term emergencies, you really need a water source and a purifier to survive. We recommend buying a top-notch water filter and scouting around your area for a water source such as a lake, river, or well.

Step 3: Get a good heat source

You can eat dehydrated or freeze-dried food with cold water, but it tastes much, much better when reconstituted with boiling water. Plus, a good heat source can provide warmth and comfort when it’s cold. The best product by a mile is the emergency fuel by InstaFire. It will burn in any environment and doesn’t have the problems traditional petroleum-based products present.

Calories vs. Servings

Don’t be fooled by servings. Yep, we’ll say it again because it’s that important. Don’t be fooled by servings. Too many food storage companies will tell you how many servings you need to survive for a certain number of days. But when you look closer, you find out their average serving size is only 200-300 calories. Try surving on 600-900 calories a day. What we recommend, and what we highlight in our food storage reviews, is to make sure you know how many total calories a certain package has. Again, don’t be fooled! Freeze-dried Food vs. Dehydrated Food.

People have gone crazy trying to figure out the difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated food. The only thing that’s really important to know is that animal products have to be freeze-dried in order to last 25+ years. Animal products include meat, cheeses, and cream—basically, all the things that make food taste good. Dehydrated food can also last 25+ years (think of those sealed cans of wheat that have been around for decades). But if a company tells you they are selling freeze-dried food and you don’t see any real animal products in their entrees, they probably aren’t telling you the truth.

Freeze Dried vs. Dehydrated Food

Freeze Drying

Freeze drying is the process of freezing water out of food and then quickly turning it into a gas—completely bypassing the liquid stage. Most fruit and vegetables are made up of 90% water, making freeze drying the best method to drastically shrink the volume of the food. Once the freeze drying process is completed, the water, (up to 90% of a product like strawberries), is effectively removed thus making the product much lighter but maintaining most of its original shape, color, flavor, and nutrients. Freeze-drying is also the best process for maximizing shelf life. It only takes 5-10 minutes to rehydrate freeze-dried food. You can do it with cold water but boiling water better unlocks the flavor and texture of the food.


Dehydration is a method used to preserve fruit, vegetables and animal proteins. It is usually accomplished through the use of a food dehydrator. A food dehydrator uses a heat source and air flow to reduce the water content of foods. The water content of food is usually very high, typically 80% to 95% for various fruits and vegetables and 50% to 75% for meats.

Removing moisture from food restrains various bacteria from growing and spoiling food. Further, removing moisture from food dramatically reduces the weight of the food.

Which is Better?

Honestly, the only reason freeze drying food is better than dehydration is that freeze drying can preserve animal products for 25+ years, whereas dehydration only preserves animal products for 5-10. So just make sure when you buy food storage you are getting real animal products that have been freeze dried. Too many companies try to say their dehydrated food last 25+ years when in fact, it doesn’t.

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