When you're preparing for a SHTF scenario, the first thing that comes to mind is stockpiling water and food. Getting yourself some food insurance is a basic reflex, acquired in millions of years of evolution.
Now, one must know what to stockpile, because there are so many options on the market, but not all of them are suited for long-term storage.
When talking about survival food, the best thing to store for long term is freeze dried stuff.
I know, it sounds a little bit intimidating and high-tech, but actually freeze-drying is an old method of food processing for long term storage.
There are basically two methods of processing the food for extending its shelf life or for long term storage : freeze drying and dehydration.
If you feel dizzy already, don't worry, because it's a common mis-perception : when people are talking about freeze dried food, it's often confused with dehydrated food; actually, the process of preserving the food is quite different between these two methods and they produce very distinctive results.
For example, everybody knows that you can dehydrate food at home, using your oven or a special dehydrator device, like in the jerking process. But, using this method, even if you will manage to prolong the shelf life of the respective food by partially removing the moisture inside of it, you will never be able to remove ALL of the moisture. And the humidity that remains trapped inside the food makes it spoil over time, because bacteria thrives only when water is available. This is the explanation for mold forming in those humid areas of your home and never somewhere else.
FreezeDiredFoodOn the other hand, the freeze-drying process removes absolutely all of the moisture inside of the food, preventing it from spoiling for extended periods of time (up to 25 years, if you can believe that!).
But the freeze drying process requires specialized equipment, hence it's not quite a DIY method, you can't freeze dry at home.
Basically, the quantity of moisture that remains inside the food after processing determines the sell by date of the respective food; even if you keep it in the freezer, it makes little difference in the long run.
Now, getting back to freeze dried food, in principle it's the same thing as dehydrated food, only the technological process of removing the moisture from the food was taken to perfection, meaning that it contains absolutely no water. Hence, when you're about to eat it, you will have to reconstitute its properties by adding water. But don't worry : if water is scarce, you can always eat the freeze dried food in its original state, for example I enjoy munching freeze dried orange slices without adding water, like chips of some sort!
One of the big advantages of freeze drying is that the food preserves most of its nutritional value over extended periods of time. Also, without the water, which constitutes the most part (70%) of our bodies for example, the freeze dried foods are getting very light and easier to transport and to store. Also, freeze dried food doesn't require refrigeration! All these properties make the freeze dried food the perfect choice for your bug-out bag or for hiking/camping trips and also for long term stockpiling.
Now, you may ask, what is the magical process behind freeze drying? Well, it's actually very simple and intuitive : the first step is to freeze the food, thus making the moisture particles trapped inside to become more manageable. After freezing , the moisture is transformed into ice particles, that are easier to remove from the food substance.
In the next step, the food is exposed to a vacuum, a process that makes the food particles to spread out and to equalize. In essence, it's the same as using a vacuum cleaner to draw the humidity from the frozen food.
In the final part of the freeze drying process, the food is packed using an impermeable container, that protects it from re-absorbing humidity from the atmosphere/environment and also works as a shield against a possible bacterial contamination.
FreezeDriedFood2Keep in mind that a high quality- freeze dried survival food will preserve the majority of its nutrients for a long time and it contains no preservatives or food additives .
The only thing that you'll have to think about is how much food you'll have to store and for how long. Oh, and I almost forgot : get started today and make sure that you and your family are prepared. Tomorrow never knows...