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Deception or Trust? - Buying Emergency Foods

Let me be frank about what I am seeing during this time of heightened awareness for preparedness food buying - DECEPTION.

I have been in the emergency preparedness, outdoor recreation and natural food industries for over 40 years. I have innovated, created and sold numerous natural, self-stable and emergency food products in those many years. Very few have been doing this as long as I have. My expertise is significant - I have been a retailer, manufacturer, developer, author and consultant.

I have been directly involved during a number of periods of elevated concern about emergency preparedness, and each time I have seen food sellers come out of the woodwork who have pedaled less than adequate and marginal quality foods. Some of these companies have large advertising budgets and slick ads - often advertising on prominent radio talk shows and popular websites. I have also seen these products offered at the largest of warehouse retailers. Be aware that warehouse buyers and advertising reps most often have no idea about the true value of these food products.

What I have observed ranges from deceptive, false, missing and inaccurate information to products that are of very low quality, have questionable nutritional value and are filled with suspicious ingredients that I nor my family would never consider eating.

The 3 biggest problems I see with many of the emergency foods I have researched are:

  1. The real quantity of food offered - If a company states for example that their food unit will last one person for six months, how was that determined? The only way to compare apples with apples when researching other companies products is to know the amount of quality calories per day one is to expect. If all you know is the number of "servings" then you know little of the true quantity of foods. A standard among reputable companies is the USDA recommendations of about 1800 to 2100 calories per day for an adult or growing child. I have calculated the values of some of these questionable units and 600 to 1000 calories per day is not uncommon.
  2. The true potential shelf life - There is so much misinformation given out by some of these companies about shelf life that it is shameful. Ask them, how did they determine the shelf life of their foods? What are the characteristics and manufacturer specifications for their packaging? Many of the current emergency foods are packed in flexible pouches of of varying compositions - MOST OF THIS TYPE OF PACKAGING WILL NOT DELIVER A 25-YEAR PLUS SHELF LIFE! Plastic buckets and flexible pouches are not packaging for extended shelf life (over 15 years at best).
  3. The adequate and truthful nutritional value - What is the quality of the foods offered? How was the nutritional value determined? What artificial additives are present? HAS ANYONE EVER HAD TO LIVE EXCLUSIVELY OFF OF THESE FOODS FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME? Ask the company, what reason do you have to believe one can be sustained adequately on your foods for an extended period of time?

I cannot emphasize enough the need to do diligent research into the products you anticipate buying and the companies you anticipate dealing with. If you are going to invest your hard-earned money for potentially life-sustaining nutrition for yourself and your family, don't be conned into buying inadequate and inappropriate foods!

While some of these "preparedness" foods might be alright for a short time, convenience at home or camping, relying on them for extended periods is questionable. When you compare the cost of what you are REALLY buying from some of these companies - serving quantities, nutritional value, real shelf life, quality of ingredients, taste - with dependable, proven, reputable, established, and high-quality food manufacturers - quality always endures!

I encourage my readers to contact me directly if they have any questions or comments. I have been committed to the preparedness industry for as long as I have because I realize that proper preparedness planning is serious business and may be the difference between life and death.

The article that follows was posted recently and focuses on what I have just covered - Trust.

With the current state of affairs and the pervading uncertainty in our society today, it is no surprise that a significant number of people are seeking products for preparedness planning and self-reliance. While I have addressed the question of why prepare in another commentary on our home page, this article focuses on the crucial issue of trust.

Preparedness planning is a prudent and wise action to take. This search for provisions, however, can create a dilemma - Who do you trust? Remember, you and your family are relying on preparedness products, especially food and water options, to sustain you during critical times. Some situations can be so catastrophic as to have life or death consequences. It is this very real potential scenario that compels me personally to take the process of emergency planning very seriously.

My 40 years in this industry with extensive research, valuable networking, and hands-on experience have enabled me to be very discerning as to the reliability and knowledge of those attempting to represent the emergency planning process and appropriate products. Numerous preparedness dealers and websites have recently appeared on the scene, and many are claiming the virtues of their products and are hoping to take advantage of current demands. I have been in this industry for a long time, and I have seen numerous companies come and go as political, economic, or prophetic issues dominate the news. With the advent of the internet, it has become even more difficult to assess the reliability of online companies.

Many companies are conscientious and dependable - as a previous manufacturer of food reserve products, I have had business relationships with a number of these companies over the years. Unfortunately, many are very questionable. I have examined their products, their data, and the accuracy of their information - it ranges from inadequate to unclear, to erroneous.

I urge you to carefully examine the preparedness marketplace, and as you investigate and evaluate companies in which you may make a small or possibly a substantial investment for foods or products, please give careful consideration to our company - PrepareDirect - and what we can provide for you. To help establish trust and confidence in our company's ability to service your needs, we ask that you review our experience and knowledge, and our commitment to offering only the highest quality products from established industry leaders.

For specific guidelines in evaluating sources of preparedness foods, I highly recommend that you read and answer for your own benefit the questions in the article titled Purchasing Food Reserves - The Essential Questions. In many instances, equipment considerations can be applied to these questions.

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