By Denis Korn
7 Things Every Reputable Food Reserve Company Needs to Tell You
- You must trust the company that provides you with the food you and your family will require during an emergency!
have written a number of articles dealing with trust, honesty,
reflections, guidelines, questions to ask and recommendations concerning
the purchasing of food reserve products. While the food you rely upon
in an emergency is vital and life sustaining, unfortunately few preppers
and planers do the valuable research they should for this essential
category of provisions. This post is written to help educate and inform
the serious preparedness planner.
Because I have personally
witnessed, heard and read so many conflicting, misleading and outright
deceptive claims and information regarding foods for long term storage, I
am writing this - the first of two - concise and to-the-point
articles. While many food reserve companies are educated and reliable,
many are intentionally or unintentionally ignorant and deceitful.
You are highly
encouraged to take this post seriously and require that the food
reserve companies you buy from know what they are doing, and they need
to answer these questions honestly and to the best of their ability. If
they can't - then buyer beware! In my opinion - there is something
immoral, appalling and disgraceful about companies who take advantage of
people who may not be adequately informed and are vulnerable to
misleading promotion. Unfortunately many people are more motivated by
fear and mindlessly react, then carefully evaluate the facts and make
Spending thousands of dollars on
deceptive advertising, being all over the internet with Google ads,
getting high profile talk show hosts and websites to promote your foods,
creating shelf life figures out of thin air, telling folks how
nutritious the foods are when they are filled with questionable
ingredients, packaging foods in pouches and in a manner that does not
assure a long shelf life, and tricking people into thinking they are
getting an adequate quantity of foods during an emergency by creating
arbitrary "servings" - does not guarantee you are buying value, quality
or an adequate supply of vital foods! The high cost of advertising,
endorsements and commissions has to come from somewhere, and all too
often it comes from the value of the food products themselves while
compromising quality and quantity.
If the company promotes their food reserve assortments by number of
servings, how many calories are contained in what they designate as a
A common marketing tactic used by many food
companies today is to promote a given number of servings in an
assortment, and sometimes to even state that an assortment is good for a
given period of time with a given number of servings. In the
preparedness market place today, where people may have to depend on
daily food rations for their nourishment, only knowing the number of
servings in an assortment is close to meaningless and the information
insignificant . Why? Because a “serving” quantity and quality can be
anything the company wants it to be. You need more information.
What are the calories in each serving – the ingredient source of those
calories (white sugar, non-nutritive calories or quality calories) – and
what method, or source of information, was used to determine the
calories in their products?
The standard for comparing one reserve food product with another has traditionally been to compare the number of calories of similar
products or meals. This is done by comparing the calories by either:
knowing the stated calories and the weight in a given serving of a
product; or the number of calories of a food product in a comparable
sized pouch or container. This enables comparisons of similar items
from different companies – comparing apples with apples. Even the
government on their mandated nutritional information requires the
calories be listed – and the source of those calories.
How many calories does the company recommend one should consume per
day, and how many of their servings will it take to achieve this number?
Now you can do the math and compare the real cost and
value of one companies products to another. What is the cost per
quality calorie? What is the cost for supplying the proper number of
calories for the time period in your emergency scenario? Don’t forget
it is the quality of the calories that is critical.
Here is the important issue:
The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for the average adult person is
2,000 calories a day (reputable companies generally allow 1,800 to 2,100
calories a day in formulating their assortments). There are companies
who promote a 600 to 1000 calorie per day allowance!
If a company uses names for their meals that sound like they contain
real meat or are similar sounding to meat recipes – is it real meat, soy
This is a common deception among many
companies who either do not have the legal authority to pack real meat
products because they do not have USDA inspected facilities, or they try
to make their products as cheaply as possible.
5. When a company claims a shelf life of between 20 and 30 years, how was this determined?
know of only three companies who have been in business longer than 20
years with long term food reserve products who can verify shelf life,
use the proper packaging technologies and have their own testing
facilities. In the 40 years I have been in the preparedness industry, I
have never heard of any established major manufacturer of dry food
products ever recommending storing foods in any type of pouch over 7-10
years. This includes all the established companies packing pouch foods
for the outdoor recreational industry.
6. What experience do your customers have eating your foods exclusively for extended periods of time?
a company is selling you foods that you may have to rely upon for
weeks, months or possibly years, how did they determine that their foods
have the necessary nutritional value to sustain a person for an
extended length of time? This includes children and adults.
7. How does the foods taste and are they formulated to digest properly if consumed for a lengthy period of time?
of today’s preparedness food companies are primarily marketing
companies that don’t emphasize quality and nutrition. Their foods must
be made cheaply to support the margins required for their extensive
marketing budget, commissions and dealer costs. Study the ingredient
declarations – often very difficult to find if not unavailable on many
websites – for artificial flavor enhancers, preservatives, artificial
colors and flavors, fillers and white sugar. Are there any reliable
independent testimonials about the foods you are considering for a
preparedness investment? How long has the company been in the food
NOTE: MRE’S (meals-ready-to-eat – military rations) were formulated by the military to be eaten for no longer than one month.