Author Topic: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)  (Read 20171 times)

Offline Mr. Bill

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Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« on: January 05, 2010, 03:37:11 PM »
I thought it might be useful to have a thread for reviews of any long-term storage (say, 5 yrs or longer shelf life) foods you've personally tried.  I know this subject has come up elsewhere (e.g.: Mountain House meal questions???), but I was thinking of something a bit more organized, like in The Five Item Challenge thread.

So I'll start with some items from the Mountain House 72-Hour Kit, which we bought as a sampler before blowing $$$ on bigger quantities.



Mountain House Pasta Primavera

Description: Lots of vegetables and a relatively small amount of pasta, in a very thick, rather peppery, cheese sauce.  Reconstitute with boiling water.

Nutrition (per single-serving package): 290 calories (of which 80 from fat), 12 g protein.  Very high sodium (1210 mg).

Shelf life: 7 yrs from manufacture.

My opinion: The veggies reconstituted nicely, with an almost-fresh crunchiness, but overall it was so-so.  Okay as emergency food, but I would not want to include it in our regular diet.



Mountain House Scrambled Eggs with Bacon

Description: Scrambled eggs with lots of small bacon bits.  Reconstitute with boiling water.

Nutrition (per single-serving package): 330 calories (of which 180 from fat), 25 g protein.  Very high sodium (1050 mg).

Shelf life: 7 yrs from manufacture.

My opinion: The protein content is impressive, but this was pretty unpleasant to eat.  Egg texture was not much like scrambled, bacon tasted mostly like salt, and it's hard to drain all the excess water before serving.  Will not be buying again.



Mountain House Garden Green Beans

Description: Green beans and nothing else.  Reconstitute with boiling water.

Nutrition (per serving -- 2 servings per package): 25 calories (zero fat), 1 g protein.  Zero sodium.

Shelf life: 7 yrs from manufacture.

My opinion: Not a lot of nutrition here, but these were actually pretty tasty, and would be a tolerable substitute for fresh green beans, alone or in a recipe.  Might buy a small amount if I can find it cheap.

Offline phargolf

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2010, 06:59:46 PM »
Mountain house chicken teriyaki ( didn't know for sure what that means, ;D) was very tasty and i am not much of a veggie person. Most of the pouches i have tried are long on rice and short on meat. ;D

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2010, 07:23:11 PM »
I've been very happy with;
Yoder canned Bacon
Yoder canned meats
Werling canned meats(except grandma's beef with gravy and grandmas pork w/BBQ sauce)
Grabill Country ground cooked beef
Red Feather canned butter
Red Feather/Bega canned cheddar cheese
wheat snack breads

longlifefood.com did have MRE packs of hamburger buns that were very good, but now I can't seem to find them. Oh well.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 04:17:57 PM »
I've been very happy with; ...
Werling canned meats(except grandma's beef with gravy and grandmas pork w/BBQ sauce)

You didn't like the Beef & Gravy?  We just tried it a couple nights ago and loved it.  Tastes differ, I guess.

Grandma Werling's Beef & Gravy

Description: large chunks of lean beef in a very thick dark brown gravy.  If you heat it gently for 20 minutes it will become small chunks and shreds of beef.

Nutrition (per 1/2 can serving*): 110 calories (of which 18 from fat), 18 g protein.  High sodium (about 900 mg).  Contains some MSG.

*1 can = 14.5 oz.  Claims to be "about 7" servings, but this is ridiculous unless you're on starvation rations.

Shelf life: unknown.  (Manufacturer advertises "non-refrigerated shelf life" but doesn't say how long; cans are not marked with date of manufacture.)

My opinion: yummy.  Good tender lean beef, very rich-flavored gravy (okay, this may have been partly due to MSG, but it was tasty anyway).  I served it over buttered Kluski egg noodles.  Wouldn't mind having this for dinner a few times a year as part of our non-emergency diet.

Offline phargolf

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 07:22:01 PM »
I have bought all the meats made by Werling's (in quantity for my preps). I put the pencil to it, even though you have to replace it approximately ever 7 years versus freeze dried lasting 25 years, you still come out cheaper with Werling's meats versus freeze dried (i am sure i didn't say that exactly correct, but you get my drift. ;D). just 1 old coots .02 ;)

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 08:15:36 PM »
Mountain House Rice & Chicken

Description: Rice with a rather small amount of chicken and some bits of pimiento.  Reconstitute with boiling water.

Nutrition (per single-serving package): 380 calories (of which 110 from fat), 9 g protein.  Very high sodium (1320 mg).

Shelf life: 7 yrs from manufacture.

My opinion: it's salt-flavored rice with a few tiny rectangles of something that might have been chicken once.  My wife thought it was tolerable, but I really disliked it.



Mountain House Corn

Description: Freeze-dried corn and nothing else.  Reconstitute with boiling water.

Nutrition (per serving -- 2 servings per package): 90 calories (of which 15 from fat), 3 g protein.  Zero sodium.

Shelf life: 7 yrs from manufacture.

My opinion: really, really good!  Better than canned or frozen corn -- tastes a lot like fresh corn-on-the-cob, although somewhat more tough in texture.  I served it just with a little butter.  Will definitely buy again, and make it part of our regular meals, if I can find it at a good price.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2010, 11:33:20 AM »
Yoder's Hamburger

Description:  28 oz can of cooked ground beef.  Based on the nutrition label, it appears they start with raw 85/15 hamburger, seal it in the can, and bake it (probably under pressure so the cans don't blow up).  The result, when opened, is a big chunk of crumbly finely-ground hamburger meat, about 5 fl oz of thick broth, and about 2 tablespoons of fat (which is on top, and can be spooned out and discarded unless you need the extra calories).

Nutrition (per quarter-pound serving, 1/7 of a can):  160 calories (of which 68 from fat -- this, and the 100 mg cholesterol,  can be substantially reduced by discarding the cooked-out fat), 32 g protein, trace of sodium (100 mg).

Shelf life:  claims to be 10 years or more.  Neither the cans nor the case were marked with a date of manufacture.

My opinion:  quite satisfactory for incorporating into recipes that call for ground beef.  I used about 3/5 of a can with a box of Zatarain's Reduced Sodium Dirty Rice Mix -- that made 4 large servings that were pretty tasty.  I mixed the broth (boiled down to reduce volume) and the remaining beef with a jar of Classico Mushroom & Ripe Olives pasta sauce -- enough for 4 huge servings over pasta, and again very tasty.  The beef is ground more finely than what you usually get from the grocery store, and I didn't notice any bits of gristle and bone like I usually find in grocery store hamburger.

The only reason I wouldn't use this really frequently in our diet is that $9.50/lb for 85/15 ground beef is a bit steep compared with fresh meat.  But as a long-term storage food, I'll have no problem using a can every now and then.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2010, 03:08:05 PM »
Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles

Description:  Noodles and small bits of beef in a savory white sauce.  Reconstitute with boiling water.

Nutrition (per single-serving package):  320 calories (of which 110 from fat), 13 g protein.  High sodium (1040 mg).

Shelf life:  7 yrs from manufacture.

My opinion:  Not great but not bad.  The beef bits have good texture, neither chewy nor mushy.  Sauce is a bit salty but with an acceptable mild onion/mushroom flavor.  I'd eat it if I had it, but it's not something I'll be rushing to add to our pantry.

Offline fndrbndr

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2010, 03:26:43 PM »
Get Off My Fork!

I found this useful, yet somewhat amusing, review of some of the freeze-dried camping meals you can get from Wal-Mart and other places:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1525/is_n6_v79/ai_15929309/

At least I know which ones NOT to buy...

Offline JC Refuge

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2010, 04:54:41 PM »
The Mountain House eggs are the touchiest of all the varieties to reconstitute well. It takes some experimentation to get it right, but when you do--they are good.

Offline sclindah

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2010, 04:39:59 PM »
Here are a few interesting studies on long-term storage that show they are a lot longer than what is stated:

A canned food shelf life study conducted by the U.S. Army revealed that canned meats, vegetables, and jam were in an excellent state of preservation after 46 years.

The Washington State University summary article can be read at:

http://www.whatcom.wsu.edu/family/facts/shelflif.htm

Here's another one:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2007/0208-keeping_food_for_years.htm

and a third one:
http://beprepared.com/article.asp?ai=579&sid=INEM327&EID=ALL0608d&lm=emer&bhcd2=1264980947

BYU is now doing a study on shelf life of oils.

Offline phargolf

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2010, 07:44:50 PM »
The Mountain House eggs are the touchiest of all the varieties to reconstitute well. It takes some experimentation to get it right, but when you do--they are good.
It has been my observation after 20 years in the boy scouts, prepping and etc. that preparing dehydrated or freezedried eggs is an ART. They are the hardest thing to get right of all the storable foods IMHO. ;)

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2010, 09:05:48 PM »
Mountain House Sweet & Sour Pork with Rice

Description:  Rice with small bits of pork, pineapple, and veggies.  Reconstitute with boiling water.

Nutrition (per single-serving package):  260 calories (of which 50 from fat), 10 g protein.  Moderate sodium (720 mg).

Shelf life:  7 yrs from manufacture.

My opinion:  Edible.  Pineapple is the predominant taste.  I didn't really like it, but it would be okay as emergency food.



Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef

Description:  Macaroni, bits of ground beef, and kidney beans in a mild red chili sauce.  Reconstitute with boiling water.

Nutrition (per single-serving package):  300 calories (of which 80 from fat), 14 g protein.  Moderate sodium (830 mg).

Shelf life:  7 yrs from manufacture.

My opinion:  This was okay.  The beans were undercooked (mealy and chewy), but there weren't too many of them.  Other than that, the flavor was pretty good.  Just a bit spicy (suitable for everyone except Grandma with the esophageal reflux).

Offline Morgan96

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2010, 06:00:12 PM »
Olive oil generally lasts two years or more under general pantry storage conditions.   Three liter bottles from Sam's Club are generally a good deal, about 15 to 16 cents per oz.

Random link from google:   http://www.oliveoilsource.com/olive_oil_storage.htm

I like what's written in the linked page about injecting inert gas into the bottle, and extending shelf life.  I'll have to look into that.. one more entry on the to-do list. 

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2010, 08:52:04 PM »
Grandma Werling's Shredded Seasoned Pork with BBQ Sauce

Description: Despite the "shredded" name, this is ground pork plus chunks of pork in a mild barbecue sauce.

Nutrition (per 1/2 can serving*): 420 calories (of which 105 from fat), 21 g protein.  Modest sodium (about 630 mg), high sugar (56 g).

*1 can = 14.5 oz = officially "about 7" servings, but I'm using a more realistic half-can serving size.

Shelf life: unknown.  (Manufacturer advertises "non-refrigerated shelf life" but doesn't say how long; cans are not marked with date of manufacture.)

My opinion: pretty good, not my favorite.  The sauce is a pleasant (non-spicy) flavor, tomatoes and onions and hickory smoke and lots of sugar.  The meat seems to be good quality.

Offline Fat_Man

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2010, 07:12:19 PM »
A GREAT thread. Thanks Mr. Bill!

Any reviews of Honeyville grain products? I am especially interested in their TVP, puddings, whole eggs VS egg whites butter and cheese. If anyone knows of a better place to get these things, then please post it!

I have used their green onions. I reconstitute them and then throw 'em in soups, on baked potatoes, casseroles, and as a topping for anything that needs a little color but not a strong onion flavor.
Sooo...not a strong onion flavor, and it  does not reconstitute crunchy. I would give it a B+. I have it as part of my rotation for variety, not as a staple.

Offline Fat_Man

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2010, 08:34:39 PM »
Review of Bega Canned Cheese
I bought it at the Internet Grocer.net which did not have the best price but MRE wholesale's PayPal wasn't working so that's why I went with them.
I opened the can and the cheese looked white. It has the consistency of Velvetta, just in a can. It is definately a processed cheese. It has a much stronger flavor than Velvetta, more like a mild cheddar. It cuts a little better, more firm than Velvetta, but not much. My daughter loved it because it is stronger flavored than Velvetta but lighter in taste than regular cheddar cheese. I believe it would work great in casseroles and my wife will experiment with it later. 
I would put the taste of the cheese at a strong C+. Without really knowing by experience I would say storing is a good strong A average meaning that I bet it would last 5 years because of the can but not 20 years. It would probably have a degraded taste after 5 years IMHO.
Overall impression...if you have to have cheese in your food storage (and my wife insists that we do) then this will work. Just rotate every 5 years.

Review of Red Feather Brand Pure Creamery Butter
Bought it at the same place as above.
Now this stuff REALLY surprised me. It was really good. It looked like RICH CREAMY BUTTER. Tastes like real butter and according to the ingredients on the can (pasteurized cream, salt) it is REAL BUTTER. At $6.00 + shipping for 12 OZ it is expensive. But if it lasts 5 years it is worth it to have some in your preps for special occasions.

Honeyville Beef TVP
Bought it at Honeyville
Rehydrated it for 10 minutes before adding it to spagetti sauce. Doctored up the sauce with all sorts of rehydrated vegtables (thanks dehydtrate2store).
The smell of the rehydrated beef TVP is not so good...kinda hard to describe but not too offensive. Has almost no flavor by itself which is unusual to me. I looks just like cooked ground beef when rehydrated. Gives you the texture of beef in the spagetti sauce but not the flavor. That said I ate all the spagetti sauce when put over noodles. Things I am going to experiment with...rehydrating with beef bullion and mixing it with real ground beef as an extension. Both of these ideas will probably make it better.
Overall...think of it like an extender not a substitute for ground beef. It will be part of my families rotation because while it is not my favorite it isn't too bad. Better to get used to it now and learn how to doctor it up in our leasure than in SHTF situation.

Oh, yeah, I don't believe it will cause me to get man boobs, like my cousin says, besides I am so old now that if anything grows on me that is OEM I will cut it off.  :wtf:

Honeyville's Ham flavored TVP

Well, its not as good as the beef TVP, I can say that! We will use it up at my house just because I don't like to waste resources. Maybe I will learn to like it. Who knows and maybe the horse will learn to sing too!

Honeyville's Whole Eggs

Honesty, what do you expect? It is not good, it is edible and nutritious. It works in recipes just fine and doesn't have the shelf life of egg whites which are probably worse, but who knows... I will have to find out for sure. Again, it won't go to waste tut we are going to be cooking with it not eating as scrambled eggs. I tried it with the ham TVP and it was barely palatable. Put a lot of picante sauce on it and cover it in cheese then you can eat it without too much trouble. Hard to justify eating it like that in a non SHTF situation though.

Side note: Honeyville shipped faster than they said and their product is as advertised. I have bought green onions from them and LOVE THEM. In fact I have bought lots of dehydrated fruits and vegetables from them and love them too. But you know...TVP and dehydrated eggs...what do you expect? Miracles?
 

Yoder's Bacon next...just waiting on an excuse to open the can. hmmm...bacon  ;D

Offline Fat_Man

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2010, 01:48:56 AM »
Honeyville's Beef TVP update:
I just had day old left over spaghetti that I made with ground turkey (1 Pound), Beef TVP (rehydrated to about 1/2 pound), and Costco Real Bacon Pieces (they are sort of dehydrated but not quite, non-refrigerated when you buy it in a bag), and re hydrated mushrooms. And of course spaghetti sauce. On the second day I could not find anything that resembled TVP or that didn't taste like beef or bacon.  I have now decided to upgrade my review of this product. I think it would make an excellent meat extender. In an economic crisis this is a great way to stretch ground meat. I no longer have any reservations about this product and wholeheartedly recommend it. My next experiment will be with meatloaf.

Remember to rehydrate it first with boiling water by almost covering it and waiting 15 minutes and then add it to the meat while it is still cooking. I think it really absorbs all sorts of flavor and maybe even a little fat as well in the cooking process. You can still tell it not the same as the "real" meat you are cooking but not by the second day in a recipe. YMMV

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2010, 05:36:36 PM »
Mountain House Granola with Milk and Blueberries

Description:  Granola (mostly rolled oats, some coconut and sesame) with dry milk and lots of freeze-dried blueberries.  Add cold water and eat.

Nutrition (per single-serving package):  500 calories (of which 170 from fat), 16 g protein.  22% sugar by dry weight; lots of fiber.

Shelf life:  7 yrs from manufacture.

My opinion:  Pretty good for granola.  I happen to hate granola, and the oats don't agree with me, so I only ate a little.  But my wife really enjoyed it.  The blueberries are nice, like fresh berries rather than dried ones.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2010, 06:33:18 PM »
Yoder's Bacon

Description:  Cooked bacon (50-ish thin slices) in a small can (9 oz).  It appears to me (from the limited amount of grease and moisture) that the bacon was partially precooked before canning, then layered between pieces of paper, folded and rolled up, stuffed into the can, and given a final cooking.  Requires refrigeration after opening.

Nutrition (per 3 slices = 14 g):  60 calories (of which 40 from fat), 5 g protein, 190 mg sodium.

Shelf life:  claims to be 10 years or more.  Neither the cans nor the case were marked with a date of manufacture (although there is a code number on the can which probably indicates the date).

My opinion:  Comparable to other brands of precooked bacon we've tried -- i.e. pretty tasty, but not as nice as freshly-cooked bacon.  It's "smoke flavor added" bacon (rather than for-real smoked), so the smokiness is a bit strong.  I heated slices in a microwave between paper towels.  It's already completely cooked, so you could use it straight from the can for sandwiches or recipes.  The only thing discouraging me from using this product frequently is its high price.

Offline Onug

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Review on MH Granola with Milk and Blueberries
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2010, 09:52:50 AM »
I was at a local shop on Friday that sells Mountain House #10 cans, so I picked up a few to test out.  I've tried a bunch of their food in the smaller pouches, but wanted to see how the #10 cans work.  "Proof of concept" type of stuff.   

This morning for breakfast I opened their Granola with milk and blueberries.  To describe it in one word: Delicious.  I'm not a huge granola fan, but this was really good.  There are a ton of blueberries and they work with the powered milk to make a nice sweet base.  Each serving of 1/2 cup requires 1/4 cup water and contains 240 calories.  There are 20 services per can.  However, my breakfast was a full cup and I think this is the minimal amount I'd need to hold me over until lunch.  So I'd only plan to get 8-10 meals out of one #10 can. 

I think the label on this can is the older version, but the expiration date on the bottom is Dec 2032.  They recommend using the contents within a week of opening, so you know what I'll be eating every day this week for breakfast.

Offline sclindah

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2010, 10:04:19 AM »
The best thing for dehydrated or freeze dried eggs that we have found are the Ova-Easy Egg Crystals from Rainy Day foods sold through Walton Wheat.  When you first cook them you think it's going to be a pasty mess but suddenly they cook up to some wonderful looking scrambled eggs and have a really great flavor. You mix 2 t. mix with 2 t. water.  The #10 can have 144 one medium egg servings.

Offline ozarked

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2010, 05:29:37 PM »
Yoder's canned bacon:  I like this stuff and served it to the whole family when every one was home last Christmas.  It was a big hit; everyone said they liked it.  They probably just thought I was being cheap.  If they only knew.

MRE Squad Trays (Cheesy Mashed potatoes w/ Ham): Shelf life: 1 to 25 years, depending on who you believe.  Taste:  In my opinion, this depends on how hungry you are.  Needless to say, I will not be buying any more.  I will reserve those I have in storage as barter items for my worst enemies.

There are other squad trays that might be better.  I will report once I sample them.

Offline HumbleInKentucky

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Re: Reviews of long-term storage foods (non-homemade)
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2012, 09:45:19 AM »
I just finished a review for this and thought I'd duplicate here.

Backpacker's Pantry
Pad See You with Chicken - 2 Person
0-3 years (due to Olive Oil Packet)
(Similar to Pad Thai minus peanuts)

I love Pad Thai and any good rice noodle dish. This Pad See You is better than most Pad Thai Chicken I've had at restaurants. At $7.60 (Campsaver.com) it's well worth it for more than a single serving and is better than good for everyday eating. Finally, a real winner from Backpacker's Pantry. Note: There actual Pad Thai... not nearly as good.  Sorry, I bought them out.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 10:11:48 AM by HumbleInKentucky »