Survival Meal Systems, Pros and Cons by Brendan Furnish

When purchasing bulk survival meals one must consider several factors. I believe the most important is how long are these meals going to sit on the shelf before you consume them. Remember refrigeration should not even be in your equation because any disaster will most likely knock the power out. If you plan is to not touch the supply for 25 years then Freeze-Dried is your only option, longevity is the sole benefit of freeze-dried food. The draw backs are many, you must have access to clean water and the ability to start a fire and boil that water in order to eat your freeze dried meals. In a disaster environment, finding water and starting a fire could be a challenge if not outright dangerous. Tornados, hurricanes and earth quakes can make clean water hard to find and broken natural gas lines make starting a fire problematic. Starting a fire in a social unrest situation again could be dangerous to you safety and that of your family, looters, pirates and criminals will be drawn to the smoke or light. We saw the ugly side of society during hurricane Katrina in New Orleans where looting and profiteering was common place, cook fires let everyone know where you are and that you are eating a hot meal, this might not be the best of ideas. Lastly, have you ever had a freeze dried meal, Really!? Lets pull all the moisture out of food and flash freeze it in a vacuum chamber, then in 10 years lets boil it in water and hope it tastes like real food again, NOT. It tastes like gruel, I consumed quite a bit of this stuff when I use to backpack in the Sierra’s it was an ordeal, never enjoyable. 

If however, you plan on rotating your supply and can do so in perhaps a two to four year rotation, you have many, more palatable alternatives. MRE’s are the first option that comes to mind, they are what we feed our armed forces so they should work for us poor surviving  pheasants, correct? Not so fast, MRE’s are designed for the twenty year old combat soldier toting an 80 pound pack over 30 miles a day. The soldier is fit, lean and burning calories like a Mac Truck burns diesel, and he needs large doses of salt because he is sweating buckets. I myself am older, I do not need the same calorie count of a olympic power lifter and salt is discouraged by my doctor. I am not, even during a disaster, burning calories at the same level as an Army Ranger. Lastly, MRE’s are not really that tasty, ask any vet how they feel about them and they will not start singing their praises. MRE’s do however have another distinct advantage over freeze-dried food, they heat themselves. They use a magnesium heating pad activated by pouring water (the water is NOT included in the meal pack) onto the pad and waiting for the meal to heat up. We now have eliminated the (build a fire and boil water) problem with Freeze-dried.

Response by Barry Sendel, CEO and founder of Chef Minute Meals, Inc.

Both these survival meal systems, freeze-dried and MRE’s have their advantages and disadvantages, what they share in common is they both have a taste and nutrition problem, Chef Minute Meals is the solution to many of these drawbacks. Our delicious meals are prepared from my personal recipes in an industrial kitchen, transferred into a 9 oz pouch and / or tub partially cooked and vacuumed sealed leaving the tub and / or pouch airless. Now no air exists in the tub and the filament used to seal it is patent pending by me. Next the tubs or pouches are placed on racks and loaded into an industrial pressure cooker oven for the final process eliminating any microorganisms, this allows for a long shelf life of up to 5 years. This redundant process assures you that your meal will be as fresh and delicious as the day it was cooked. These meals are low in salt and calories but high in protein and come with everything you need to (HEAT & EAT) them in the box or backpack, heating pad, water activator pouch, napkin, utensils and salt and pepper. The real advantage to our meal system is it tastes great, the meals come in 8 flavors, all are delicious and piping hot in 5 minutes. Please visit us at https://www.chef5minutemeals.com/ and feel safer just knowing your family will be eating hot delicious meals no matter what is happening in the world around you.

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