Is YOUR Food Storage Nutritious Enough?
Is YOUR Food Storage Nutritious Enough?
Create a 'nutritious food storage' with long-term, healthy meal-planning solutions
Last week my wife and I (inspired by a Netflix documentary called “Game Changers”...what else during quarantine, right?) decided to try a (mostly, haha) plant-based diet for a week. Apart from the fact that I am carnivorously-biased, most of the difficulties of adapting to this, albeit, short-term lifestyle change revolved around planning meals that conformed to the plan we set.
As I reflected on that experience, I drew mental parallels to food-prepping. Any veteran prepper will proudly tell you that the decision to prepare emergency food storage supply is a lifestyle change to some extent or another. Just like the little dietary experimentation my wife and I conducted...that lifestyle change requires rather extensive meal-planning, which I intend to map out here.
For new preppers, I want to first clear up some misconceptions about freeze-dried food really quick:
What is the texture of freeze-dried food?
Foods that have undergone lyophilization or freeze-drying (which tends to be easier to pronounce) lose their water content through sublimation, you can read more about this here. Freeze-dried food that is not yet reconstituted with water and heat is generally lighter, more brittle, and drier. Its texture in this state is not unlike Styrofoam.
After reconstitution, freeze-dried food is fresh, colorful, vibrant, and moist just as though it had never been freeze-dried in the first place. This means that you will never have to compromise your favorite textures for food that lasts up to 25 years. That’s right! That means (at the time of this publication) you could reconstitute something like freeze-dried chicken from the year 1995 (the year I was born coincidentally) and it would taste as though you bought it at your local deli yesterday.
A word of warning before you go on a journey to eat all types of freeze-dried delicacies in their dry form: the brittle texture (think astronaut ice-cream) of freeze-dried foods can certainly limit its palatability from food to food. This being said, the only freeze-dried substances we would recommend eating prior to the reconstitution process would be fruits, vegetables, and candies.
Does freeze-dried food taste good?
As previously mentioned, freeze-dried food retains its original molecular makeup at the cost of its water molecules. All of the elements that make your fresh blueberries taste sweet, rich, and maybe even earthy are preserved throughout every stage of the lyophilization life-cycle. So, really the real question here is not ‘does freeze-dried food taste good’ but ‘how well can you cook it?’
And now, last but not least...
Does freeze-dried food keep its nutritional value?
YES! If food is nutritionally-rich before freeze-drying it, it will be nutritious after reconstituting it. True to associative law, the reverse is also true: nutrient-deficient or “empty calorie” foods remain “empty” throughout freeze-drying. This means that it is 100% possible to cook creative, nutritious recipes using freeze-dried ingredients just as you would with fresh food from your local supermarket or farmers market.
Whether or not meal-planning from week to week is new to you, here are some helpful guidelines you can follow to ensure that yourself and your family are not only prepared for emergencies, but that you are providing yourselves adequate nutrition.
What does a nutrient-dense meal look like?
Whether you are young or old, whether you eat meat or you don’t, everyone on earth needs the following 6 nutrients on a daily basis to maintain a healthy body: proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. A nutrient-dense meal should include a balance of those 6 things.
Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are called macro-nutrients.
Protein: The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein is .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. I weigh 160 pounds so the daily protein DRI recommendation for me would be 57 grams of protein daily. This means that exactly three servings of ground beef (see Nutrition Facts) would satisfy my protein intake for a single day. All of the products at www.thereadystore.com come with detailed nutritional information under the "Nutrition & Ingredients" tab as you browse.
Carbohydrates: Carbs provide much-needed energy to your body throughout the day. Carbohydrate intake varies according to your caloric intake. It is recommended that the average adult woman consume around 2000 calories a day, and that the average man consumes upwards of 2500 calories per day. According to health.gov, between 45% to 65% of your calories should come from carbohydrates. This translates into roughly 1000-1200 calories from carbohydrates a day or between 200-300 grams of carbohydrates a day. Three servings of Saratoga Farms Lasagna makes up more than half of that recommendation.
Fats: the word "fat" has adopted a negative connotation over the last 100 years, but the fact remains that fats are a necessary macro-nutrient for the human body. According to the Mayo Clinic, an adult should consume roughly 75 grams of fat per day. Imagine that we made spaghetti and meat sauce for dinner using Saratoga Farms Lasagna with ground beef, 2 servings of each measures up to 41 grams of fat (58% of daily recommended intake) in addition to 86 grams of carbohydrates (32% DRI) and 58 grams of protein (101% DRI). To meet my daily combined macro-nutrient intake, I will need to plan for my breakfast and lunch to make up the difference. This could look something like granola and bacon for breakfast followed by macaroni and cheese with pilot bread crackers for lunch.
Vitamins and Minerals:
Here are the essential vitamins and minerals and where to find them organically in food:
Vitamin D: Fortified milk and fatty fish
Vitamin E: vegetables oils, leafy green vegetables, and nuts
How can I simplify the process of choosing healthy long-term food storage?
The good news is that we have saved you the trouble of having to fiddle with a calculator and a magnifying glass to find nutritious food for you and your family! We bundle a large variety of nutritious food options with a 25-year shelf-life such as the Ultimate All-meat bucket, EasyPrep Fruit Fest, Easy Prep Very Veggie, or variety packs such as the 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month supply kits.
Not feeling like cooking? It happens to the best of us! Luckily there are nutrient-dense breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that you can pair with your favorite freeze-dried fruits and veggies such as the EasyPrep Instant Favorites kit or their Meals & More storage kit. These kits were designed for efficiency; simply add hot water and you'll have an entire meal ready-to-eat in less than 20 minutes!
How have you planned your own food storage? What tips do you have for new food-preppers that are starting to build up a food storage supply? Let us know in the comments below!