The Difference Between Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Foods
Dehydrated dried food is often confused with or compared to freeze dried food. Both are used for preparation emergency food storage as well as for hiking, hunting, and military purposes. The process of preserving the food is different in dehydrating and freeze-drying and certain foods are more suited for one or the other. The main differences between dehydrated and freeze dried foods are in the taste, texture, variety, and price. Dehydrated foods are usually unseasoned single foods, so you may have a pouch of dehydrated fruit, a pouch of rice, or a pouch of macaroni pasta. Seasonings or toppings must be added to create a whole meal. Freeze dried foods, on the other hand, are often fully seasoned meal courses (a complete entrée, for example) all in one pouch. Dehydrated foods are the least expensive – less expensive even than canned food, which is mostly water. While the cheapest emergency food option, it is also the most limited in terms of variety. Freeze dried foods are a bit more expensive but offer much greater variety (see Mountain House Foods). The dehydrated food shelf life is a little shorter than freeze-dried food. Freeze drying removes more moisture and oxygen than basic dehydrating, leaving the food even less susceptible to microorganisms that cause spoilage. With the above information now in hand, Survival-Warehouse.com has done away with most dehydrated foods and only uses Freeze Dried Foods for 98% of our customers long term needs. Below you will find a complete listing of our Freeze dried Foods. When we did our in-house testing in July 2012 the Mountain House brand won the taste test hands down. Mountain House also has the longest shelf life.
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Mountain House, a division of Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc, has been a backpacking, hiking, camping, and hunting favorite since the 1960's. The Mountain House product line consists of over 58 selections, including single-serve, double-serve and four-serve entree's in a light weight pouch. The most popular sellers are our double-serve entree's, which includes over 25 flavors to choose from. Keep your pack ultra light with camping meals specially made for the outdoor lifestyle. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks add up to just over a pound per person per day. Whether you’re hiking, biking, canoeing or mountain climbing, Mountain House is the smart way to go. CLICK
The 1-month Survival food supply is in stock and can ship within 48 hours. The survival food supply shown have a 10 year shelf life under any conditions and are packed in the fast & easy pouches for simple storage and use. Pouches typically last between 20 - 30 years if stored in a cool dark environment. Best of all, we have them in stock right now. You may want to order your survival food supply now while we have these in stock. CLICK
The 1-month Premium Survival food supply is in stock and can ship within 48 hours. This “Premium” food system provides Two (2) Meals per day for one person. This survival food kits can be used as standalone survival food kit for one person for 1-month. CLICK
Buy your Survival Food Supply NOW. This Mountain House two person survival kit is perfect for camping or emergency use! 2 person 1 Month Basic MH pouch kit Includes 30 pouches - each pouch includes two 10 ounce servings.CLICK
You asked for it and Mountian House delivered! Easy to store buckets filled with their top selling items! Each bucket is clear so you can easily see the contents inside.
Two types - the Classic Assortment and the Essential Assortment! These are perfect for emergency preparedness, camping, backpacking or at-home use! CLICK
Survival Cave Backpacking Food. These great single-serving packets are great for camping trips or to stock up in an emergency. Simple to prepare and easily stored. Just add water! A great value and an even better price point! CLICK
Mountain House 1 week Emergency Meal Kits include seven days of emergency food for one person. Mountain House freeze dried foods are award winning meals, which are most widely used for backpacking and camping. Our long term food storage meals are also a perfect addition to your emergency kits, put in the trunk of your car, or long term food storage. CLICK
Mountain House & Wise Foods72 Hour Emergency Meal Kits include three days of emergency food for one person. Mountain House & Wise freeze dried foods are award winning meals, which are most widely used for backpacking and camping. Our long term food storage meals are also a perfect addition to your emergency kits, put in the trunk of your car, or long term food storage. CLICK
Survival Cave Foods - Survivalcave Inc. is in the business of helping families prepare. We supply the highest quality, lowest priced Freeze Dried Foods. Freeze dried food that lasts for 20 years! Survival Cave Food satisfies all of these with an economical, delicious and cost effective freeze dried food and a way to prepare you for the unknown. CLICK
Emergencies can take many forms, from storms to power outages. Keeping emergency food on hand protects you in the same way as insurance on your home or auto - for the unexpected. With Mountain House freeze dried food in your emergency food reserve, you can be ready for just about any unexpected crisis. Imagine, for instance, what a lifesaver long term food storage can be when your electric power is knocked out for several days or weeks by a storm. With Mountain House freeze dried food on hand and a one-burner stove or candle to heat water (cold water can be used in a pinch), you can still enjoy a hot, satisfying meal in less than 10 minutes. Having a private emergency food reserve makes a lot of sense. Good sense for both financial and security reasons. Use the pouch freeze dried food for limited short-term emergencies. Use cans for potential extended emergencies, or an emergency situation affecting a lot of people.CLICK
Survival Cave canned meats are one of the best values around, and taste great! A single can provides 9 servings and have a shelf life up to 15 years! canned storage meats are all natural and DO NOT contain any MSG, additives , fillers or chemicals. They are low in sodium, low in fat and healthy for your family. USDA inspected Survival Cave Food canned meats are only made with 100% USDA inspected meats. CLICK
SOS Emergency Food Rations
Approved by U.S. Coastguard and International Maritime Organization, these are a compact, fortified, efficient, baked survival food ration specifically formulated to provide a balanced minimum daily diet with limited drinking water availability. It is specifically designed for personnel in life-threatening situations to sustain life until rescue or additional food is available. These come in 3 different caloric values for different needs,The World's Lighest, Most compact Survival Food Ration! CLICK HERE
Millennium Energy Bars
Millennium Food Bars have a 5-year shelf life and each bar contains 400 calories. These food bars maximize the physiological efficiency of water usage by including low sodium levels. They also include a sufficient amount of carbohydrates and calories to prevent dehydration. This lightweight emergency bar is perfect for traveling, camping, hiking, and disaster preparedness kits. CLICK HERE
If you are going to store food for long term use, make sure that the food you store is adequate for your families need. This may not be as easy as to achieve as many people think, because the facts are that most people make serious errors when storing food—errors that will come back to haunt them when the food they’ve stored is the only thing that stands between them and hunger. All of these emergency food problems can be avoided with freeze dried food for your long term food storage needs. Here are a few common mistakes people make when storing food for long term use and the ways they can be avoided
Food Variety: Most people don’t have enough variety in their long term food storage. We get tired of eating the same emergency foods over and over and many times prefer to not eat, then to eat that particular food again. This is called appetite fatigue and young children and older people are particularly susceptible to it. You can avoid this appetite fatigue by using our pre-selected one year freeze dried food packages. They have a great mixture of foods and supply all the basic needs. Variety is the key to a successful long term food storage program, or your emergency food needs. It is essential that you store freeze dried desserts, freeze dried vegetables, freeze dried breakfast entrees, freeze dried dinner entrees, and specialty items like cottage cheese, pilot crackers, and white rice. Never put all your eggs in one basket. Store freeze dried foods as well as home canned and “store bought” canned goods. Make sure you add cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, yeast, and powdered eggs. You can’t cook even the most basic recipes without these items. Vitamins are important, especially if you have children, since children do not store body reserves of nutrients as adults do. A good quality multi-vitamin and vitamin C are the most vital. Others might be added as your budget permits. Be sure to keep all emergency food & vitamins in a cool storage location.
Quick and easy foods help you through times when you are physically unable to prepare your basic canned storage items. “No cook” foods such as freeze dried are wonderful since they require just adding water. “Psychological foods” are the goodies like Jell-O, hard candy, etc.—you should add to your long term food storage. These may sound minor, but many people who have lived entirely on their long term food storage for extended periods of time. Nearly all of them say these were the most helpful items in their storage to “normalize” their situations and make it more bearable. These are especially important if you have children. You must have a balanced emergency food supply. The Mountain House freeze dried food supplies many items that provide the balance in your long term food storage diet. When shopping for long term food storage items, do not buy a lot of just one item. It’s important to keep well-balanced as you build your storage. Buy several items, rather than a large quantity of one item. If something happens and you have to live on your present storage, you’ll much better off with a three month supply of a variety of food items than a year’s supply of two or three food items.
Containers: Always store your bulk foods in 5 gal. food storage containers. Tons of emergency food is thrown away because they were left in sacks, where they became susceptible to moisture, insects, and rodents. If you are using plastic buckets make sure they are lined with a food grade plastic liner. Never use trash can plastic bags. These are treated with pesticides and can make you ill. Don’t stack them too high. In an earthquake they may topple, the lids pop open, or they may crack. A best container is the #10 tin can which most preparedness companies use when they package their foods. Mountain House freeze dried food packed into the #10 can has a shelf life of 30 years.
Using your Stored Emergency Food: One of the biggest problems is people with long term food storage and not knowing what to do with it. It’s vital that you and your family become familiar with the emergency food you are storing. You need to know how to prepare these freeze dried foods. This is not something you want to have to learn under stress. Your family needs to be used to eating the complete mixture of emergency foods. It’s better to find out the mistakes you’ll make now while there’s still time to make corrections. It’s easy to take long term food storage and add the essentials that make it tasty, most of these essentials and treats can now be found packed in #10 cans. By adding just a few things, it greatly increases your options, and the prospect of your family surviving on it.
Global Currencies have been dropping steadily and civil unrest as well as food shortages have plagued many nations around the planet. Will you be ready if and when these events come knocking at your door? Preparing for uncertain times can be a daunting task and without a long term food storage of freeze dried food or emergency food on hand with a good water filter system. With so many choices and no idea where to start, it is easy to get discouraged and end up taking no action at all.
Five important areas that one must consider when beginning the continuation preparedness process are:
Freeze dried food for long term food storage or emergency food. The Jetboil cooking system. Mace and pepper spray for your safety. Water filter systems by Katadyn water filters. Goal 0 solar power systems to provide light and power. Without a firm plan in place that addresses these 5 basic areas, any other efforts at survival preparedness will likely not get you far. The world is changing rapidly and uncertainty is growing by the day, making preparedness essential for your survival. Without a long term food storage plan of freeze dried foods you have little chance to survive. Preparedness does not have to be done all at once, but it does have to start today.
What Is Dehydrated Food?
Dehydrated food is food that has been dried out through a process of slow, low heat without cooking the food. The dehydration process removes the water from fresh foods, leaving microorganisms that spoil food no place to live. Some dried foods like fruits can be eaten in the dehydrated state. Other dehydrated foods like instant oatmeal or soups need only water to be rehydrated and eaten.
Dehydrated foods are generally produced without seasoning and most require cooking (or at least the addition of water) before consumption. Some familiar examples of dehydrated food are instant oatmeal, potato chips, mac & cheese, dried fruits, and gravy mixes. If the packaging says “just add water”, it’s most likely dehydrated food.
How Is Dehydrated Food Made?
Dehydrated food can be made commercially or at home. While the process of dehydrating food is pretty simple, properly storing dehydrated food for use in an emergency can be tricky at best. All dehydrated food is made through a process of drying without cooking. Generally, food is placed in a large kiln and subjected to very low heat for long periods of time to slowly remove the moisture. Food dehydrators for household use generally circulate warm air through a series of shelves to achieve the same results. Once the food is dehydrated an oxygen-absorbing packet of iron powder is placed inside the packaging. This packet reacts with any leftover oxygen in the package using it up as the iron rusts to keep the oxygen from contributing to spoilage. Some commercially dehydrated food packages are flushed with an inert gas to remove all of the oxygen from the package (think chip bags).
Dehydrated Food Storage
Dehydrated food storage is neither complicated nor space consuming. Most dehydrated foods are sealed in serving-size packaging and then packed into compact, stackable bins for long-term bulk food storage. Light, moisture, and heat are the things to avoid when storing dehydrated foods. Ideal dehydrated food storage is dark, cool, and dry. An upper shelf in a basement or cellar works well, under a bed, or in a closet on a lower floor.
Commercially dehydrated foods, like those sold here on our site, are produced to reduce moisture levels in the food to as low as 3-5% with a residual oxygen level of under 2%. The lower the moisture and oxygen levels, the longer the food will last without spoiling. A quick bendability test can give you a rough idea of how much moisture is in the food. If you bend the food and it snaps with a crispy noise it’s pretty dry. If it bends and flexes easily without breaking or cracking, it has a higher moisture level and won’t last quite as long.
Properly dehydrated foods have a shelf life of roughly 10 years. Once opened a package of dehydrated food can last anywhere from a moth to a year before spoiling (depending on what it is). Proper storage is key in preserving dehydrated foods. Always be sure to reseal packaging as best you can to ensure the longest life. Keeping your food storage area clean and organized goes a long way in ensuring your food last as long as possible.
Why Use Dehydrated Foods?
Bulk dehydrated foods have a wide variety of uses from dehydrated emergency food to backpacking food.
Long Shelf Life
The dehydrated food shelf life ranges from 5-10 years when properly stored. This long shelf life makes dehydrated food an excellent emergency food source for use in the case of a major disaster. Even partially used portions can be safely kept for up to 3 years (with careful re-storage). For maximum lifespan keep dehydrated foods sealed in their original containers in a cool, dark, dry environment. Properly reseal any partially used packages to ensure no moisture or excess oxygen enters the packaging.
Dehydrated foods are easy to prepare at home or in the field as long as you have a water source and a way to heat it. This can be a challenge in a disaster situation but can be avoided through proper planning (see water supplies). Most dehydrated foods are simply mixed with hot water to rehydrate and cook the food for consumption. In general the cooking time is between 10 and 15 minutes for each serving. Many dehydrated food options can be prepared right in the pouch they are packaged in. A re-sealable zip top allows you to open the pouch, pour in the hot water and re-seal for 12-15 minutes to allow the food to cook. Most dehydrated foods are unseasoned and offered as single food item per package so you may want to prepare seasonings or toppings to accompany your dehydrated foods.
Easy To Store
One of the most appealing features of dehydrated emergency foods is the easy with which they area stored. Bulk dehydrated foods are generally packaged in individual servings, which then may be offered in bulk buckets that are easy to store and access. An entire year’s worth of dehydrated food can be stored in a 2’ x 3’ x 5’ area! The compact packaging sizes also appeal to people who want to have a few easy, one-step meal options in the pantry for those extra busy nights. Or frequent hikers and campers who prefer to have some trail-friendly food on hand.
Due to their lightweight, dehydrated foods are extremely portable making them a favorite among hikers (see Wise Foods Dehydrated Backpacking Foods). The lightweight and relative lack of packaging make dehydrated food backpacking-friendly. Military personnel, hunters, and campers regularly use dehydrated foods because servings are easy to carry, quick to prepare, and result in very little waste.
Properly dehydrated foods retain most of their nutritional value through the dehydration and rehydration process. Some foods do lose some nutrients and taste and texture are generally not quite as good as fresh food. Vitamins C & A, thiamine and niacin are the most affected and any good food storage plan includes dehydrated emergency food along with these supplemental vitamins.