How to Choose the Right Food Storage Supply Kit

Written by The Ready Store

There are a lot of long-term food storage supplies in the industry. Many companies offer 3-, 6- and 12-month kits. However, how do you know which one to pick? Which would work best for your family?

While your needs may be different, here are a few points to consider when looking at a long-term supply kit:

Duration
Usually a food storage kit will tell you how long it is supposed to last. But don’t take the label’s word for it! Be sure to check out how many total calories you are going to get then divide that number by 365 to see what you’ll be consuming each day.

Calories

Caloric Intake Recommendations

Gender

Age (years)

Sedentary

Moderately Active

Active

Female

4-8

9-13

14-18

19-30

31-50

51+

1,200

1,600

1,800

2,000

1,800

1,600

1,400-1,600

1,600-2,000

2,000

2,000-2,200

2,000

1,800

1,400-1,800

1,800-2,200

2,400

2,400

2,200

2,000-2,200

Male

4-8

9-13

14-18

19-30

31-50

51+

1,400

1,800

2,200

2,400

2,200

2,000

1,400-1,600

1,800-2,200

2,400-2,800

2,600-2,800

2,400-2,600

2,200-2,400

1,600-2,000

2,000-2,600

2,800-3,200

3,000

2,800-3,000

2,400-2,800

Some companies food storage kits are marketed by number of servings instead of calories per day. The problem with this is that their servings usually average 250 calories. They base their duration claim on the idea that 3 servings is equal to 3 meals and most people don’t think twice about that.

The problem with that when you do the math, you would only consume 750 calories a day which is too low. In real life you would eat 8-9 servings per day to get the 2000 calories you need and the supply would run out 3 times faster than how the product was marketed to you!

Kits based on calories per day are the only way to shop food storage supply kits. The graph on the side shows what health.gov recommends for daily caloric intake.

If you aren’t consuming a minimum of 1,200 calories per day, your body will begin to show signs of under-nutrition – fatigue, unresponsiveness, irritability, loss of hair, inability to stay warm, etc.

Food LabelNutritional Value
Besides having enough calories, be sure that you’re eating nutritionally balanced servings. It’s important that you’re getting essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. This can be provided through a proper balance of dehydrated grains, freeze-dried vegetables, freeze-dried fruits, sugars, and other basic items.

We’ve tried to make this process easy for you by creating an “Average Day Nutritional Facts” label. On our site, look for the green tab labeled “Recipes and Nutritional”. You will see the average daily servings of Carbohydrates, Fats, Sugars, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and more!

Types of preservation
The most common preservation types are dehydration and freeze-drying. Be sure that you know what types of food storage items are in each kit.

For example, The Ready Store’s CLASSICprep kit line is mostly dehydrated (except fruits and veggies are freeze-dried) and dry goods, the FLEXprep is a mix of freeze-dried and dehydrated items, while the READYprep is mostly freeze-dried foods and just add water meals. Some companies omit the details of what types of food are in their kits so make sure to call and ask them so you can compare wisely.

Shelf-life
How long will your long-term kit stay on the shelf? Food in #10 cans have a better shelf-life than food in pouches.

Some companies will sell you food in Mylar pouches (often inside of a bucket) and claim 25 years when there isn’t a track record or data to prove that. Mountain House which has been in business for 49 years claims a 7 year shelf-life on their pouches. This is a much more realistic shelf-life from a pouched product.

Diversity
When looking at a kit, make sure that it’s not just a small handful of foods to eat from. You’ll want to make sure that there is a wide variety of items.

 

Updated March 2, 2012

3 Comments

  1. Lawrence wrote:

    I cannot find information to compare your classic prep to ready prep and flex prep. What is the difference between these packages?

    June 18th, 2012 at 11:54 pm
  2. The Ready Store wrote:

    Hey Lawrence,
    Good question. You can find more information about the differences at this link. http://goo.gl/LJzI4
    Basically, the CLASSICprep is made up of items that allow you the freedom to cook your own meals. READYprep is full of ready-to-eat meals that you just need to add water. FLEXprep is a combination of the two – containing ready-to-eat meals and food storage staples.

    June 19th, 2012 at 8:19 am
  3. shannon wrote:

    I am trying to find the right kit for myself and my family. I have two members that are gluten free.

    October 9th, 2012 at 9:14 pm

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