On the blog I’ve reviewed many long term food storage companies. Companies like Wise Foods and Mountain House provide excellent meals. These meals are great if you simply want a ready to eat meal in a pouch. But what if you have your own goodies on the side? What I like about Survival Cave is their bulk meats. No extra fluff. No sides. They simply have a ton of canned meats ready to pop open, heat, and combine with whatever veggies you got growing outside.
When prepping for SHTF or any disaster it’s crucial to have a stash of ready to eat meals. If the power blows it’s only a matter of time before everything perishes including your meats. If you don’t have a ready supply of long term food stored up there’s a good chance you and your family won’t make it, especially if the food trucks have stopped running and the grocery stores have been wiped out.
Survival Cave foods have a 25 year shelf life on all of their products. This includes the chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and ground beef cans. All the meat has been cooked in its own juices with no spices or additives added in to the cans. This allows you to spice the meat up as you please.
The meat is also the real deal. When you open up the cans you can see the chunks of beef along with the fat. It looks like something you would see in a homemade beef stew. The fat of course melts off and adds to the taste when fully cooked. This means you’re getting the best meat with zero processing. In fact, all the Survival Cave meats are USDA approved and humanely processed with absolutely zero mechanical separation. Each cut of meat is inspected for gristle and only the best of the best gets put in the can. You’ll know this is true when you put it to the taste test.
Opening up the chicken and turkey cans you can easily see the natural broth and juices getting soaked straight into the meat. This makes for very tasty survival food, especially food coming out of a can.
Now, it should be noted that the meat is ready to eat straight out of the can. You can eat it straight out of the can if you want although the meat tastes much better when heated. However, in a survival situation it might not be possible to cook so it’s good to have these types of ready to eat foods on hand.
The canning process is state of the art. Survival Cave starts with real cuts of meat and then air seals them inside the can. The can then goes through a heating process where all remaining bacteria is killed. This allows the meat to be stored indefinitely up to 25 years. That’s a long time and something most canned foods can’t compete with (well, maybe except for SPAM!)
Investing in survival food is one of the greatest investments you’ll ever make. Maybe you know what it’s like to go hungry. Maybe you have been without power AND food and know the feeling of doom that washes over you as you think about the future. Getting your food preps in order is one of the first things that needs to be done as a new prepper. Everything else takes a back seat until you have enough food and water stored to feed you and your family. Survival Cave foods produces a great product, and best of all, tasty as all get out! Don’t get suckered into buying a canned food that might as well be dog food. Go for the real deal and you won’t be disappointed.
In the event of a major food shortage do you have supplies to feed you and your family? The thing is, nobody knows when the whole system is going to collapse on itself. But if it does knowing you have the supplies to survive is crucial to your mental sanity. There are easy ways to stock food and there are hard ways. I’ve discussed products like the Magic Mill Pro and the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer before. These devices turn any type of food you have into long term food storage equivalents.
The problem is these are expensive and time consuming to use. You would really need to be committed to hardcore prepping and survival to justify the expense. My Patriot Supply is an easy way to make a one time purchase for your long term storage needs. They have a variety of freeze dried ready to eat meal options.
Let’s explore what they have to offer.
My Patriot Supply Food Products
My Patriot Supply offers long term food storage packages for the prepper. Their freeze dried products have a 25 year long shelf life. They have everything from your standard 2 week kits to full blown 1 year kits that feed up to 4 people. That’s a lot of damn food!
What I love about My Patriot Supply is their unique food options. Besides the breakfast and entree meals they also offer coffee and pizza certified up the same 25 year standard.
What’s in the kits?
You’re probably wondering what kind of foods come in the kits. You can take a look at the My Patriot Supply 3 month kit for a complete breakdown of the meal options. They have lots of variety and a diverse selection:
• Strawberry Fields Cream of Wheat (32 servings)
• Maple Grove Oatmeal (56 servings)
• Uncle Frank’s Italian Lasagna (8 servings)
• Granny’s Homestyle Potato Soup (24 servings)
• Traveler’s Stew (24 servings)
• Summer’s Best Corn Chowder (8 servings)
• Blue Ribbon Creamy Chicken Rice (24 servings)
• Liberty Bell Potato Cheddar Soup (20 servings)
• Traditional Fettuccine Alfredo (20 servings)
• Independence Hall Chicken Noodle Soup (8 servings)
• Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Soup (16 servings)
• Country Cottage Mac & Cheese (16 servings)
• Heartland’s Best Mashed Potatoes (32 servings)
• Creamy Stroganoff (16 servings)
• Instant White Rice (20 servings)
• Chocolate Pudding (30 servings)
• Honey Coated Banana Chips (16 servings)
• Orange Energy Drink Mix (32 servings)
• Settler’s Whey Powdered Milk (48 servings)
My Personal Review of My Patriot Supply
The one thing I want to know if I’m purchasing a lot of food is how good the food tastes. I found most of the food in the My Patriot Food Supply packages to be tasty. They certainly don’t taste like home made fresh dishes but many of them go down very easily. The mashed potatoes, potato soup, and the travelers stew is especially tasty. The packages come in heavy duty Rubbermaid style containers and each dish is wrapped in its own specially sealed packaging. Certainly high quality. I feel confident shoving these things in a dark corner of a garage for a rainy day. Overall, they are locked, cocked, and ready to be stored anywhere you want. Make sure they’re in a dry part of the house or garage and your golden.
I can also say the portion sizes are slightly larger than meals from other companies. Wise Foods and Mountain House brands in particular. However, overall I do prefer the taste of Mountain House foods more but I can’t deny that My Patriot Food Supply offers much more for the money. They are also the obvious choice if you want to buy long term packages. Mountain House at the most offers only a 2 week supply.
I would love to know how good these foods taste 10 years down the road. I’m saving a special supply of the stuff just for this purpose. They might not make you sick but who knows how long they can really last. My advice is to rotate your stock once a year. The food is good enough to be eaten even in non emergency situations. There’s been many times I’ve broken in to the stash just because I wanted something quick and easy.
If you’re a camper or hiker these are also great to stash in a backpack and take on the trail. They’re a great low cost alternative to many of the hiking foods you would buy at REI or other outdoor stores.
Peace of mind
Will you ever need an entire years worth of food? Who knows. I do know we live during increasingly shaking times. Having this food stashed away gives me peace of mind knowing I can survive if something happens. It could be something small like not finding work for a while or something larger like a full blown EMP blast knocking out the food trucks. Whatever the case I want to make sure I’m prepared. If that means making a one time purchase from My Patriot Food Supply then I’m okay spending the money.
If you’re on the fence about purchasing a long term food storage kit I recommend picking up a smaller 2 week kit. This will give you a taste of what will be in the larger kits. It’s also a good idea to taste test food packages from multiple long term food storage companies. You can take a look at my review from Wise Foods and also Augason Farms.
Want to dehydrate your own food but don’t want to blow all your cash on expensive machines? Food dehydrators like the Harvest Right freeze dryer cost upwards of $3000. That’s outside the price range for most people. The Magic Mill Pro in comparison is thousands of dollars cheaper and allows almost anybody to start dehydrating food immediately. In this review I break down the features and specifications of the Magic Mill Pro food dehydrator.
Product Name :
Magic Mill Pro Electric Food Dehydrator
Type of Dehydrator:
6 stainless steel shelves measuring 12X13"
Temp Range (°F):
95 to 158
19 x 15 x 13.5 inches
You can tell straight away this is a high quality machine. Everything from the external frame to the stainless steel food racks are premium grade. It’s a joy to work with and drys food a lot faster than other comparable food dryers. Food retains the full size rather than shrinking to 3/4 of the size as seen with other food dehydrators. The machine comes with a number of items. In the box you will find 6 stainless steel food racks, 6 plastic mesh racks, and 3 non-stick trays. And the thing is, you can fit a lot of food on the trays. Each of the 6 trays packs in a little over 1 sq foot of drying space leaving you with roughly 6.5 square feet of total space. That’s a lot of food you can pack in.
It drys basically anything you can throw at it. Fruits like pears, apples, and berries dehydrate with no problem and jerky is an all time favorite. In fact, people have been known to dehydrate full meals without a problem. For the price you get almost all the same features and perks you would get with more expensive products.
One thing I like about the Magic Mill Pro is the clear door. You can easily look in on your food to tell if it’s done or not. Opening the door would cause the machine to lose the heat causing increased power draw to bring the dryer back to the right temperature.
Speaking of temperature, the machine allows you to finely tune the heat depending on what kind of food you are drying. There is also a built in programmable timer to shut the machine off at a certain point. This a great feature to have if you’re about to go to bed but want some nice freeze dried goodies for the morning!
The machine is bigger than expected but it can easily be thrown in the garage or tuck away into an unused corner of the house. If you have the kitchen space that’s ideal. The machine is even quieter than a standard microwave. Another peeve I have with freeze drying machines is how loud they are. I don’t want to listen to something as loud as my laundry machine for hours at a time. The Magic Mill Pro happily hums along in the background and doesn’t grate on your ear drums.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does the Magic Mill Pro work?
The machine has a built in heating element used to draw moisture out of food. The moisture is then blown from the machine with the fan.
Q: What does it come with?
The machine comes with 6 stainless steel food trays, 6 plastic mesh trays, and 3 non stick trays.
Q: How do you clean the trays?
Remove the trays from the machine and clean them by hand with warm water and soap.
Q: What kinds of food can you dry?
Fruits, vegetables, and meats all dry up quite nicely. It’s very simple to make high quality jerky as well as dehydrate all your favorite fruits and vegetables.
Q: Is there a timer?
Yes. The timer can be programmed up to 19.5 hours. Magic Mill suggests to allow the machine to rest for a couple hours when using the machine continuously for 20 hours.
Q: Is it loud?
The machine is very quiet. The fan is not loud at all comparable to a small room fan.
Q: Does the Magic Mill have a warranty?
Your Magic Mill is under warranty for a year from the purchase date.
The Magic Mill Pro is a great mid level dehydrating machine. Other comparable machines will run you hundreds of dollars more than the Magic Mill Pro. This machine has all the features and functions as machines 2 – 3 times the cost. Be careful though – this thing can become very addicting! Once you learn how to use it you’ll want to experiment with dehydrating all kinds of foods. I recommend the Magic Mill Pro to anybody looking to start dehydrating foods for little up front cost. Check out the current price on Amazon.
As the world descends deeper and deeper into madness, More people are looking at long term food storage options as a method of survival. When the food trucks stop running you will have only yourself to rely upon.
There are many companies offering freeze dried long term food storage options. Two of the main competitors in this industry are Wise Company and Mountain House Foods. Both companies have a wide variety of prepackaged foods ready for you to stow away for a rainy day.
Are there a lot of differences between these companies? In this post I explore the pros and cons of both Wise Company and Mountain House Foods.
Wise Company Foods
Wise Foods is the original company to offer long term food storage products. They are the pioneers of the food storage industry and have a leg up on most of the competition. Wise Foods have food storage kits ranging from 72 hours to an entire year. Wise products are best for the long term prepper who needs high quality foods that can last on the shelf or in the garage for years. Wise has a guaranteed shelf life on all their products up to 25 years. Wise implements an advanced packaging system which efficiently seals the food from air and moisture.
But what about tastiness you say? Wise has some very tasty meals. For being freeze dried, the meals taste decent. Freeze dried meals will never taste fresh but the meals are good enough to be eaten especially in a survival situation.
Here is a list of some of the foods you can look forward to woofing down:
Chicken Noodle Soup
Hearty Tortilla Soup
Potato Pot Pie
Teriyaki and Rice
Baked Potato Casserole
Tomato Basil Soup
Southwest Beans and Rice
Strawberry Granola Crunch
Brown Sugar and Maple Multi-Grain Cereal
Apple Cinnamon Cereal
The foods listed above are available in 72 hour, week, month and 1 year food kits. I recommend picking up one of their 72 hour kits if you want to sample many of the dishes they have to offer.
Mountain House is the first name that comes to mind when you think of camping and hiking foods. They have long been the standard for hikers who want an easy to make, tasty meal out on the trail. Simply open the package and add water and you have a meal ready to eat. Recently though they have started creating long term food storage products. These “Just in case” buckets offer 2 – 14 day supplies worth of tasty foods.
Breakfast Skillet 5x— A satiating mix containing hash browns, scrambled eggs and pork sausage with onions and peppers. This one is a true Mountain House classic.
Biscuits & Gravy 3x— Buttermilk biscuits and pork sausage gravy. Biscuits and gravy are hard to get right in a freeze dried pouch but this one is very tasty.
Eggs & Bacon 2x— Enough said. 2 pouches of everyone’s all time favorite breakfast combo.
Eggs with Ham & Peppers 2x— Scrambled eggs with ham, green and red peppers.
Granola with Milk & Blueberries 2x— A hikers favorite breakfast. I’ve found this one makes for a tasty treat at all hours of the day.
Pasta Primavera 4x— Spiral macaroni with cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, red and yellow peppers, and green beans smothered in a Parmesan cheese sauce.
Rice & Chicken 3x— Rice, chicken and pimientos in a savory sauce. Each pouch yields three 1-cup servings.
Beef Stew 2x— A homemade classic. Tender, natural beef with potatoes, peas, and carrots. Each pouch yields 2.5 1-cup servings.
Beef Stroganoff 2x— A Mountain House favorite. Beef, noodles and mushrooms smothered in sour cream sauce. Each pouch makes 2.5 1-cup servings.
Chicken Fried Rice 2x— Long grain rice with chicken, scrambled eggs, onions, mushrooms, red peppers, peas and carrots. Each pouch yields 2.5 1-cup servings.
Chili Mac with Beef 2x— Spicy chili sauce with beef, macaroni noodles, beans and onions. Yields 2.5 1-cup servings per pouch.
Lasagna with Meat Sauce 2x— Pasta and cheese in a rich Italian style meat sauce. Each pouch yields 2.5 1 ¼-cup servings.
Macaroni & Cheese 2x— A family favorite. Macaroni noodles in a rich, cheesy sauce. Each pouch makes three 1 ¼-cup servings.
Mexican Rice & Chicken 2x— Rice, beans, and chicken with peppers, tomatoes and olives. A quick and easy dinner with a kick. Each pouch makes three 1-cup servings.
Noodles & Chicken 2x— Pasta noodles, red peppers and tender chicken in a yummy cream sauce. Each pouch yields 2.5 1-cup servings.
Italian Style Pepper Steak with Rice & Tomatoes 2x— Steak and colorful bell peppers complement onions, tomatoes and long grain rice. Each pouch makes 2.5 1-cup servings.
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce 2x— A meaty tomato sauce paired with tender pasta makes for a satisfying meal. Each pouch yields 2.5 1-cup servings.
Chicken Teriyaki 1x— Chicken, rice, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and other vegetables smothered in a tangy teriyaki sauce. Contains 2.5 1-cup servings.
Wise Company VS Mountain House
I’ve tasted and talked to many people who use Wise Foods and Mountain House for their freeze dried foods needs. I’ve found it comes down to a matter of personal taste. Some prefer the taste of Wise freeze dried foods while others prefer Mountain House. If you’re looking to make a large purchase from either company I recommend picking up a smaller kit to taste the goods. You don’t want to purchase a years supply worth of food only to find out you can’t stand the taste!
There are a number of kits you can purchase to get a full sample of the meals. For Wise, there is the 72 hour kit and for Mountain House there’s the 4 day emergency food supply kit. Both of these kits offer the full range of meals from both companies for you to test.
If you’re serious about long term food storage and want to stock up on a LOT of food, Wise is the clear winner here. They have 1 year supply kits for entire families. Mountain House simply does not have any long term products. However, if you’re only concerned with stocking up for a couple weeks at the most, Mountain House is a serious competitor and has very tasty foods.
The comparable entry level products for Wise Company and Mountain House Foods are the 72 hour kit from Wise and the 4 day kit from Mountain House. At the time of this writing, the Wise 72 hour kit comes in at around $50 bucks and the 4 day kit from Mountain House runs about $70.
Comparing other similar products like the Wise grab and go and the Mountain House Essentials bucket you can see that Wise is the better deal in all cases.
It’s clear that Wise Foods has the best deals and is the only option if you want a full years supply of freeze dried food. With that said, many people swear by the taste and quality of Mountain House. Is it worth the extra cost however? Like I mentioned, pick up a supply kit from both companies and test for yourself! It’s worth the extra money to buy food you love to eat over food you don’t.
Augason farms is another heavy hitter in the food supply business. Perhaps you’ve heard of Wise Foods and want to take a look at the competition. While both have comparable products, Augason Farms does seem to offer more variety than Wise Foods. They have a healthy selection of food supply kits, veggie packs, grains, and even dairy products and drinks. In this review I will give you a full breakdown of what Augason Farms has to offer and deliver a comprehensive analysis of their food quality.
Augason Farms Products
Augason Farms has a wide variety of products available. They have a total of 7 categories all including tasty and delectable dishes.
Food supply kits up to 1 year – These are the heavy hitting long term survival kits available from Augason Farms. They have 72 hour, 30 days, 3 months, and 1 year kits available depending on how much food you want to prep for. They have a ton of tasty meal options. Take a look at the 1 year kit for a complete breakdown of the many entrees and dishes available. Notable meals are the hearty veggie beef soup, the creamy potato soup, and the buttermilk biscuit mix.
Soups and entrees – Another round of tastiness. The soups come in a can and are mixed with water to create a truly hot and tasty feast. Great for those cold nights, even the non SHTF ones!
Fruits and vegetables – Don’t forget the veggies. These are dehydrated and freeze dried versions of all your favorite fruits and vegetables. You can see they have an impressive array of basically anything you can think of.
Dairies and meats – A rich selection of butters, powdered eggs, and other great tasting dairy and meat products. All backed with a 15 year shelf life for maximum storage.
Grains and beans – Your basic selection of tasty rice, beans, and cereals. The staple of any healthy diet.
Bakery items – Ready made mixes to make a variety of baked goods. What is life without bread?
Drinks – Thirst quenching apple and orange flavored drink mixes to replenish electrolytes and stay hydrated.
Long term food storage
Most of the Augason Farms products have a shelf life up to 15 years. This is achieved through either freeze drying or dehydrating the foods depending on the particular product. This is a process of removing the water content in the foods so they do not spoil. As moisture is foods number one spoiler, this is a very effective process to preserve food in the long term.
The foods are then sealed in specialized Mylar bags to make sure they do not come into contact with oxygen. Oxygen is another major spoiler for food. You can tell these bags are extremely high quality and Augason Farms takes pride in properly sealing every food pouch.
However, according to Augason Farms FAQ, the product won’t be sealed inside of a Mylar pouch if it’s a single item.
How’s the taste?
I’ve got to say, Augason Farms has nailed the long term food storage taste. One thing that’s difficult is preserving a foods taste once it’s been dehydrated or freeze dried. Especially with whole meals, it’s hard to get that home cooked taste once the foods have been rehydrated. While no freeze dried or dehydrated food will have that signature home cooked taste, the Augason Farms foods are very tasty and go down easy.
In fact, I’ve found myself eating them on a regular basis during times where I’m too lazy to make something fresh. I have no problem chowing down any of their products and most of the other online reviewers seem to agree.
Augason Farms foods taste delicious – even if they’ve been sitting in your moldy garage for years! That’s a testament to the technology that goes into the food preservation process.
Customer service over at Augason Farms is second to none. You can contact them via phone anytime between the hours of 8:30AM – 5:00PM MST (mountain standard time.) They’re based in Utah and very friendly and knowledgable. The sales staff have obviously been trained on all of their products and can offer you a wealth of expertise and guidance.
If you’re in the market for long term food storage Augason Farms should definitely be on your list of companies to check out. Similar to Wise Foods, they have a ton of high quality products and provide excellent customer support. I love these types of products because they’re an easy way to prep for food storage long term. Doing all this yourself is both costly and time consuming. Having the option to order a years supply worth of food is an excellent idea for those of you who want to simply set and forget!
You can purchase Augason Foods kits from their website or via Amazon.
Let me know what you think about this review in the comments below.
In this post I go in depth into WISE foods to inform consumers the straight 100% facts about this company. It is my intention to answer all of your burning questions about this company and their emergency food supply products. Questions such as value, taste, and longevity will be discussed and thoroughly analyzed. I hope you enjoy this review.
Who is WISE?
Wise Foods is a company specializing in long term emergency preparedness foods. Their wide selection of foods cater mostly to those prepping for an emergency where access to food is limited or non existent. There are plenty of reasons to invest into long term food storage solutions. Some of these reasons are serious, total system collapse for example. Other reasons include temporary situations where access to food is limited. Wise Foods have been around for years and have quickly risen in the survival food and storage industry.
WISE Foods preparation and quality
The hallmark nature of WISE foods is their use of freeze drying and dehydrating. Freeze dried foods can last for years and still retain their quality. In the case of WISE foods, they guarantee their foods up to 25 years in most cases. Freeze drying is a time tested method of food preservation. This process extracts the water out of the foods which are then dried. The dried foods are then air sealed into Mylar packets. These packets can be preserved for years. The food is then eaten dry or water is added to the food to rehydrate back to original state.
Advanced packaging system – WISE foods implements a ultra-high barrier film for all of its packaging. This hi-tech film is known as Mettalyte – a metalized oriented polypropylene (OPP). The film is formulated to provide complete protection for oxygen and moisture sensitive products with long shelf-life requirements. The material used and the methods used to seal the product provide a strong barrier to entry from oxygen – foods number one spoiler. This results in an extremely long shelf life for your food.
Tasty foods – Nobody wants to eat something everyday that tastes like it came out of a can of fancy feast. WISE foods has some of the best tasting foods out there and has really came a long way. Sure, they don’t taste like a gourmet, fresh, home made meal. But the thing is, nothing will once it has been freeze dried and then rehydrated. As far as taste goes, WISE foods has some super tasty dishes out there. What I would do is grab yourself something like this before you invest into an entire years supply.
Many food options
WISE foods has kits for both the short and long term. 72 hour, 1 week, 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month supplies are available. They have a range of tasty meals including dairy and gluten free options.
Here is a list of meal options available in their largest kit:
12 pouches of Cheesy Lasagna (48 total servings)
18 pouches of Creamy Pasta (72 total servings)
12 pouches of Pasta Alfredo (48 total servings)
12 pouches of Chili Mac (48 total servings)
18 pouches of Chicken Noodle Soup (72 total servings)
18 pouches of Savory Stroganoff (72 total servings)
12 pouches of Hearty Tortilla Soup (48 total servings)
12 pouches of Potato Pot Pie (48 total servings)
6 pouch of Teriyaki and Rice (24 total servings)
12 pouches of Baked Potato Casserole (48 total servings)
18 pouches of Tomato Basil Soup (72 total servings)
18 pouches of Southwest Beans and Rice (72 total servings)
12 pouches of Cheesy Macaroni (48 total servings)
15 pouches of Strawberry Granola Crunch (60 Servings)
30 pouches of Brown Sugar and Maple Multi-Grain Cereal (120 Servings)
15 pouches of Crunchy Granola (60 Servings)
30 pouches of Apple Cinnamon Cereal (120 Servings)
Complete product list
WISE has many available kits depending on your needs. Short term and long term kits are available. Here is a complete list of products from their selection of 72 hour – 12 month supplies.
72 hour kits
Wise Company Emergency Survival Freeze Dried Food Favorites Sample – A box of 16 servings made up of 4 of WISE’ customer favorite entrees – Cheesy Lasagna, Creamy Pasta, Savory Stroganoff, and Tomato Basil Soup.
72 hour food and drink supply – Another 72 hour kit similar to the first one I listed but includes drinks and breakfast items. Enjoy a nice combination of chicken noodle soup, creamy pasta, southwest beans and rice, brown sugar and maple multi-grain cereal, Apple cinnamon cereal, and why milk to wash it all down.
72 hour kit for 2 people – This one includes all the classic dishes listed above in addition to a water filtration water bottle and a pouch of fire starters. This is a 72 hour kit for 2 people.
72 hour family kit – All the contents listed above but includes servings for 4 people. Orange delight drink mix included for electrolytes and re hydration. A nice kit for the family.
1 Week Kits
Wise 52 servings freeze dried kit – four types of entrees and two types of breakfasts totaling a complete weeks worth of food.
Wise 7 day emergency food and drink supply – 36 servings of entrees, 16 servings of breakfasts, and 14 servings of milk. A complete weeks worth of goodies.
Wise 7 day food supply with meat – 50 servings of breakfasts, entrees, and drinks for one person. Each dish contains real meat and can be cooked directly in the pouch.
1 Month – 1 year kits
Wise Foods provides pretty much the same foods you see above in the 1 month to 1 year kits. These kits are massive versions of their basic products and contain up to an entire years worth food. Since freeze dried foods can last up to 25 years, you know what you’re getting is good for the long haul.
My personal review of Wise Foods
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when my first shipment of Wise Foods came in the mail. I ordered a one week kit to get a full spectrum of the breakfasts, entrees, and drinks they had to offer. They come inside of heavy duty buckets. Each food pouch is sealed inside of a Mylar bag to retain the freshness of the foods and to seal the foods from oxygen and moisture.
Everything feels extremely high quality. The bucket is very durable and the Mylar bags are thick and heavy duty.
I had the pleasure of taste testing most of the entrees available. For being freeze dried, they are surprisingly tasty. Don’t get me wrong, they do not have that fresh home cooked taste by any means, but, the food goes down easy. The proportions are also a decent size – not measly by any means. Each serving should go a long ways for filling you and keeping you satisfied until your next meal.
A Wise investment? (no pun intended)
I’ve got to give Wise a big thumbs up and I recommend their products to anybody looking to prepare for disaster. At the end of the day, it’s a MASSIVE time saver buying foods that have already been freeze dried for you. Your only other option is to purchase your own freeze dryer and do this all yourself. Freeze drying machines are very expensive and will set you back thousands of dollars.
Wise foods offer a convenient way to prepare yourself for whatever life throws your way.
Disaster can strike at anytime. Depending on the situation you might not have access to food. Roads could be blocked or maybe the stores have been looted by wild monkeys in the streets. Whatever the case, knowing you have a steady supply of food at hand will give you peace of mind in a state of total chaos. I’ve tested and reviewed many emergency survival food kits on the market.
Below is a list of the kits I’ve found to be fully loaded with great tasting food at a decent price point.
1.) Mountain House “Just in Case” Essential Bucket
For a drop dead basic survival kit, you can’t go wrong with this bucket from Mountain House Foods. They’ve been in the backpacking industry for years, providing high quality foods you can take with you camping. This kit is an extension of these great tasting meals. The bucket contains 32 Servings; 4 pouches each of Mountain House Rice & Chicken, Chili Mac with Beef, and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.
A single person could eat modestly for a month or 2 people could eat for 2 weeks. Grab a few of these bad boys and save them for a rainy day. They have a 30 year taste guarantee so don’t worry about them going bad anytime soon!
2.) Wise Company Large Serving Package Buckets
WISE company is another heavy hitter in the emergency food supply industry. They’ve been around the block and have many emergency food kits available. You can select either a 40 pound (2 buckets) or 62 pound (3 buckets) supply. They have the foods split up into breakfast and dinner items. Each sealed Mylar pouch in the 40lb option contains 4 servings of the following foods: Savory Stroganoff (12 Servings) – Three Cheese Macaroni (12 Servings) – Pasta Alfredo (12 Servings) – Creamy Pasta and Vegetable Rotini (12 Servings) – Teriyaki and Rice (12 Servings) – Cheesy Lasagna (12 Servings) – Creamy Ala King and Rice (12 Servings) – Chili Macaroni (12 Servings) – Tomato Basil Soup (12 Servings) – Hearty Tortilla Soup (12 Servings) – Apple Cinnamon Cereal (40 Servings) – Brown Sugar and Maple Multi-Grain Cereal (40 Servings) – Crunchy Granola (40 Servings)
Great tasting stuff. Perfect for emergencies.
3.) Patriot Pantry Emergency Food Supply
One thing you’ll notice about Patriot Pantry is all their foods taste home made. While the other foods on this list are definitely tasty, they don’t come close to Patriot Pantry quality. This particular kit is a 3 month survival package for a single adult. It’s a well thought kit too including desserts, snacks, and drinks. While it’s technically for a single person, you can do the math to figure out how many could survive and for how long.
4.) Augason Farms Freeze Dried Fruits and Veggies
I know preppers tend to be more “meat and potatos” types so I included a healthy option for the more health conscious among you. Augason farms is another reputable emergency food supply brand and well known in the industry. This kit contains 522 servings of a variety of tasty freeze dried fruits and veggies. You can eat them dry or rehydrate to bring back a fresh taste. This is also a great way to supplement the other kits on this list.
5.) Long Term Freeze Dried Supply (Large Entrees)
This is for the man who can eat. If most “serving sizes” don’t satisfy your large and growing appetite, the serving sizes in this one will. Each serving is massive and will keep your stomach nice and happy. All you need is hot water to have yourself a feast. Eat up! This stuff tastes great by the way.
Another solid survival food kit from Mountain house. Here we have a 14 day supply for a single person. The kit contains all the famous foods you’re used to seeing from the brand.
8.) 52 Serving WISE Prepper Pack
For the ultimate prepper who demands only the best in emergency food supplies. This kit contains a tasty assortment of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and even drinks! All of the best foods are here including Chili Mac, Stroganoff, the famous Creamy Pasta and Vegetable Rotini. Drinks include a high powered electrolyte mix (orange flavored) and whey milk. All meals are freeze dried or dehydrated. Tasty stuff indeed.
9.) WISE Grab and Go Entrees
This kit contains entree only versions of WISE’ famous and classic dishes. Each serving is packaged in its very own container and cooks right there in the bag. Simple add hot water and you’re good to go.
10.) WISE 4320 Serving Ultimate Package
I had to include this one as a totally insane option only for those SERIOUS about long term survival. This is the highest price option the list and for a good reason. There’s enough food to sustain 4 adults an entire year. Or if it’s just you, an entire 4 years! Buy this supply kit and you’ll never have to worry about food preps for a very long time.
When I first got into prepping I immediately dove deep into food preservation. In my mind, the name of the game was figuring out how to preserve food and store it away for times of need. In my process of discovering the best ways to do this I ran across three methods – canning, freezing, and freeze drying. I started out with canning and freezing because those were the two methods most available to me at the time. I had everything I needed to start canning plus I own a large storage freezer where I freeze all my meats.
I quickly discovered the pros and cons to each of these methods and now prefer freeze drying to all other methods – although I do still can and I do still have my freezer full of food.
Before I dive into the a full review of my Harvest Right Freeze dryer I would like to outline a few reasons why I don’t like canning and freezing as a long term food preservation method…
The cons of canning
Don’t get me wrong, canning is a great way to preserve your food. But, it’s one of the most time consuming and difficult processes around. The cans have to be sealed perfectly and there’s a large margin for error at many steps of the way. Canning requires you to cook your food before they are canned. The process of cooking the foods prior to canning them leaches nutrients, leaving you with a food almost empty of nutrition. Canned foods contain only 35% the amount of nutrients as their fresh food counterparts. There’s also a lot of equipment you need to purchase prior to canning and the canning process takes the whole day. It’s A LOT of work and you need to carve out a lot of time (and kitchen space) to make any headway.
The cons of freezing
Freezing is usually the first thing to come to mind for those getting into food preservation. For those that already have a deep freezer, it seems like an obvious choice. Freezing is a great short-term food preservation method as long as you have power. Here you can clearly see the first major con of freezing your food – what do you do when the power goes out? Lots of people are getting into food preservation, otherwise known as “prepping”, in order to prepare for periods where the systems we rely on are no longer available (electricity.) Even if you have a backup generator, how long can you run that before you run out of gas? Your food will eventually thaw out and you’ll be forced to consume it before it spoils.
If you want to go long term with your food preservation preps, freezing can only preserve your food for so long. Fresh meats will preserve up to a year while many foods only last a few months.
How The Harvest Right Freeze Dryer Works
Freeze drying is by far the most effective and the easiest way to preserve your food for the long term. And when I say long term I’m talking decades. Freeze drying protects your food against the main spoilers – water and oxygen. When you place your food into a device like the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer, it freezes your food and creates a vacuum. The food is then warmed and the frozen water evaporates, leaving your food dry as a bone and ready for serious long term storage.
Personal review of the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer
My first response to the dryer was “holy cow, that’s expensive.” At just around around $3,000 USD, I had sticker shock and I’m fairly certain I went slack jaw for a minute or so. I had to do the research to determine if the investment was worth it. I wanted to know everything. How much power did it consume? How much food can I freeze dry at one time? How long does it take? What about maintenance? (I’m going to answer all these questions in just a minute.) One thing was for certain – there were a lot of people ranting and raving about this thing. Entire Facebook groups had formed around the product and people had a lot of good things to say about it. I saw some reviews where people received defective units but the problem was quickly sorted by Harvest Right customer service, which also seems to be fantastic. They even have their own techs who come on site to fix problems.
A few months ago I bought it:
I have since been relentlessly freeze drying foods and rehydrating foods to get a sense of the full capabilities of the machine. I love this machine. Below I have put together a FAQ in an attempt to answer as many questions about the freeze dryer as possible. Let’s start with the basic specs.
Specs, parts, and dimensions
The Harvest Right website describes the machine perfectly – “It’s larger than a microwave but smaller than an oven.” It is happy to fit inside any kind of nook in your home. I had mine sitting right on top of my dining room table until the wife could not tolerate it anymore. The dimensions are modest:
Height – 30″
Width – 20″
Depth – 25″
Weight – 100 lbs
Power Requirements – 110 Volts
If you decide to order the dryer, you will find it comes well packaged. Both sides of the unit are protected by thick fitted slabs of foam and the top and bottom of the package are generously stuffed with expanding foam as well. The cardboard box it ships in is industrial strength thick. Not that the unit needs protecting – the frame of the unit is constructed out of stainless steel, looks slick, and feels solid. At 100 lbs you might need a second person to move this thing around but you can manage it into most places with any decent dolly. (Be sure to give the FedEx guy a hand with this one!)
Opening the door of the unit reveals the inner chamber, sealed by a thick rubber ring and chocked full of more protective packaging. Inside was the tray assembly and all four trays. The tray frame was easily installed and could only slide in one way.
Also in the box is the “brain” of the unit – the vacuum pump. The vacuum pump comes disassembled from the main unit and encased in its own packing material. Alongside the pump is a quart of oil and instructions on prepping the pump and connecting it to the unit.
I was happy to see the assembly and operations manual in the box, although you really don’t need them. Assembly is drop dead simple. Connect the vacuum pump into the unit with the supplied vacuum hose, plug the electrical plug from the vacuum into the unit, and then plug the unit into the wall.
After that you can fire her up and begin the pre-cooling process. The unit has a touchscreen LCD panel where you start the machine and control various functions of the dryer.
How much food can you freeze dry at a time?
The machine has 4 generous trays you can place food on. These trays can fit anywhere from 6 – 10 pounds of food. As long as you spread the food evenly on the tray there isn’t a problem. If you stack too much food on the trays not all of it will properly freeze dry. Here’s a recent batch of green bell peppers, berries, and apples totaling roughly 7 pounds:
Most of this weight is water weight. When they come out of the freeze dryer they are light as a feather and ready for long term storage.
What about noise?
I would say it’s slightly louder than your dish washer. It’s certainly audible but not intrusively audible. After a few times the sound becomes background noise. The nice thing is that it’s compact enough to fit anywhere in your house. You could easily stuff it away into a dark corner of your garage or a place where you can’t hear it.
Most of the maintenance is directed towards the Vacuum pump. The Vacuum pump requires 3 cups of oil to operate and needs to be changed periodically. Each time you use the freeze dryer you must remove a tablespoon of oil. After 5 – 7 times the oil needs to be changed completely. It’s an easy process but something you’ll be doing on a regular basis if you use the machine a lot.
It’s also recommended to perform a “power flush” every 10 – 12 cycles. This cleans the vacuum pump and aggressively flushes out any build up of heavy particles. The process is well documented both in the supplied documentation and on the Harvest Right website.
Power consumption is modest. I wouldn’t have bought the machine if it was an energy hog. Doing the research I found many owners only saw a marginal increase in their electric bill with continued use of the machine. Harvest Right has crunched the numbers if you’re looking for an exact estimate of power consumed by the freeze dryer:
What kinds of food can you freeze dry?
Any food can be freeze dried. Everything from meat, dairy, fruits, and vegetables can be turned in to dehydrated versions while retaining the same amount of nutrition. You can even freeze dry whole meals like spaghetti. Foods with a higher water content will take longer to freeze dry than foods with little water content. Here are some freeze dried ice cream sandwiches. Yes, you heard that right!
How does freeze dried food taste?
Without any water content, most food tastes and has the same consistency as chips. Some foods like vegetables can become great snacks while other foods like meats and dairies are better once they rehydrate. Basically, anything you would eat as a”chip” becomes very tasty once it has been freeze dried. Every food I’ve freeze dried has rehydrated back to its normal state and you can hardly tell the difference.
What I love about the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer
The freeze dryer makes preserving and storing food extremely simple. I no longer spend all day canning and I can spend my time doing things that produce food, like gardening and farming. I simply load up the trays and wait. From a long term storage standpoint it doesn’t get much better than freeze drying. My food goes into Mylar bags where they can be stored for decades at a time. The food retains all of its nutritional value and food tastes as fresh as the day you got it.
It has simplified the way I store and preserve my food.
Things I don’t like
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows. For starters, the freeze dryer is very expensive. It’s an investment which requires you to evaluate your food storage needs. The price tag will put this machine far out of reach for many people and that’s too bad.
Secondly, the maintenance can get annoying. While the process is simple, changing out the oil and remembering to cycle the vacuum through a power flush takes time. I don’t mind the maintenance but certainly wouldn’t mind a more hands off approach. Perhaps in later models this will become a reality.
The size of the machine is another consideration. You will need a place to store it. If you’re particularly sensitive to the noise, you’ll need to find a place that’s out of the way. Mine is in the garage and that’s a great place for it in my opinion.
Are you the type of person who wants to prepare for a fully blown catastrophe? Do you want an easy method to preserve and store food for the long term? Do you have the money to invest in the proper equipment? If so, the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer is a great investment for your home. Talk to anybody who has one and they will tell you – this is a great machine and makes the process of preserving and storing food an absolute snap.
If you haven’t already, check out the Harvest Right website and cruise around. There are also surprisingly active Facebook groups you can join if you have any questions. Feel free to drop a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Good luck!