Tag Archives: Long Term Food Storage

Valley Food Storage Review

Valley Food Storage Review

I am honestly not even sure how many food storage companies are selling long term food storage products right now. It seems like there is another company that pops up every month. They always claim to have the best tasting, longest lasting survival food on the market. Because of the fact that there are so many food storage brands on the market, I was somewhat hesitant when I was contacted by Valley Food Storage to see about sending me a sample of their product.

Valley Food Storage

A few days after I agreed to try the product, I received a package in the mail that contained a single packet of Valley Food Storage’s Pasta Primavera entree. I can’t say for sure that I know what makes something primavera or not, but I know that I was optimistic. First of all…primavera sounds fancy and most of all, before I agreed to have a sample sent to my house, I did a little snooping around at some of my fellow blogger’s websites that had reviewed Valley Food Storage products to read their thoughts and there was overwhelming feedback that Valley Food Storage was the real deal.

I decided that the best way to give it a try was to make the pasta dish for dinner one night. My wife didn’t mind because she didn’t have to cook. The preparation was very simple and the instructions are so easy that my 9 year old son helped me make it without issue. I added the butter that was suggested by Valley Food Storage in the directions but I don’t think that it really made too much of a difference. As it cooked, I also discovered that I needed to cook the pasta for about ten minutes longer on my stove to get the dish to the consistency that I wanted it to be. This is not uncommon on our stove though. For some reason, things seem to take a little longer to cook on our stove. The extra cooking time didn’t make the noodles mushy or anything so we came out just fine in the end.

Valley Food Storage

(A funny note about the pictures above...my boys kept giving me a hard time for taking pictures of our food. They told me that if I wanted to tell people what I thought that I should just tell them and not worry about taking pictures.)

Once the pasta was to the consistency that I wanted, I served it up. Surprisingly, the final number of servings matched up accurately to the number listed on the package. This is how things should be but I often see food packaging that says that it contains “X” number of servings and what actually ends up happening is that the realistic number of servings is less. I chose to finish mine off with a little parmesan cheese but I am not sure that really changed the flavor much. If anything, it probably changed the texture a little.

So…when we dug in, the findings were positive. The flavor was good. Actually, the flavor was surprisingly good. I was not alone in my opinion either. All three of my boys had great things to say about the pasta but what really sealed the deal was the fact that my wife not only tried it, she ate all of hers. For anyone who knows my wife, you know that food storage types of food are not something that she would ordinarily even smell, let alone taste. This really let me know that the Valley Food Storage entrees were a truly great option and would be something that I could stock in my preps.

Another great thing about Valley Food Storage is the fact that they have so many options when it comes to their food choices. Valley Food Storage’s inventory includes eight breakfast options, seventeen lunch and dinner choices, and three different sides (including brownies!). Purchase options include the choice of purchasing items by the pouch, by the case, in a grab and go bucket, or in monthly increments.  On top of everything else, there are dairy free and gluten free options available, everything is made in the United States, and the food can be stored for up to 25 years!

The only thing that I can say that is even remotely negative is the fact that I thought the pasta primavera was a little on the salty side. Even so, all five of us completely finished off our portion. I don’t hesitate (even a little bit) to recommend Valley Food Storage products to you. I don’t think that you will be disappointed at all. My future plans definitely include ordering some of the other entrees to give a try. I personally have my eye on the pasta alfredo, mac and cheese, Irish pub cheddar potato soup, chili mac, and the baked potato soup. Valley Food Storage is also graciously willing to send you a free sample, all you have to do is pay the shipping.

If you choose to try Valley Food Storage foods, let me know what your thoughts are.

Proper Food Rotation & Storage Procedures

The following article is a guest post submission from Lee Flynn, a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Proper Food Rotation And Storage Procedures

Rotating food supplies is important. During emergency situations, families must have plenty of food and if the proper food storage and rotation procedures are used, everyone will have enough food for several days or weeks.

Why Food Must Be Rotated

When food is rotated, the food will better maintain its nutritional content. Food must also be rotated often so that it maintains its flavor. When homeowners rotate their food items, there is always a suitable store because the stored food is not expired.

Rotation also helps families because everyone gets to try dehydrated or freeze-dried foods if that is what is stored. Learning how to eat these long-term storage foods is important because it may be the only option in an emergency situation. Eating long-term food storage items also offers health benefits because the items have less fat and plenty of nutrients.

Using Food Storage Items Efficiently

Many families store their food items in basements and in food pantries. These locations are great because they are cool and dry; these conditions make food last longer. This poses one unique challenge however…because basements and pantries are out-of-the-way places, homeowners usually do not use their food on a regular basis after it is stored. There is a way to solve this problem though. Many preppers use solutions that were designed by food storage specialists like the Shelf Reliance Food Rotation System.

Kitchen Storage Procedures

Food items in the kitchen should be stored in small containers. These small containers can be used to remind others that there are more items in the basement. Because the containers are small, they will not take up a lot of space and will need to be replenished more often, resulting in stored food being rotated. Canned items should be stored on the kitchen shelves.

Designing A One-Week Menu

Many preppers test their food storage skills by making a menu. After they design a menu, they usually notice that certain items are not as efficient as others. A menu also helps preppers understand if they have enough food for certain meals, such as breakfast. In most cases,  an initial trial of the menu will demonstrate that you do not have enough items for certain meals; this is why a menu is important. An efficient menu also prepares families for disaster situations because they can test emergency meals and know what they need to have stored.

Advanced Storage Procedures

It is also an important practice to rotate your food storage items in to your current recipes. For example, many food storage professionals use cheese powder in macaroni and cheese. They also make pancakes using wheat. Beginning to incorporate food storage products such as these into your current recipes will allow you to become familiar with the qualities of the food products you store and how they can be included in recipes you are familiar with and know how to make.

How To Increase The Life Span Of Stored Emergency Food

Food usually lasts longer when it is stored in an area that is 40-60 degrees. Each food item should be rotated and dated properly. All new foods should be placed towards the back. Placing the food on the floor is not recommended because the air will cause problems. Instead, place all food on a shelf. Depending on the weather, the food could get very cold. However, the food should never be placed in an area that has a freezing temperature to best preserve it.

Date And Rotate

Individuals and families should practice their food rotation procedures. Rotation keeps food in great condition, as long as the food is also properly maintained. Most long-term items should be used regularly, such as bulk foods. This procedure is what best helps preppers rotate and replenish their inventory.

It is wise to remember that there are food items that do not last as long as others. For example, canned foods do not last as long as a bucket of grain. However, most items have a date that lets you know how long the food will last.

It is also helpful to remember to use organizing techniques when storing preparedness items. One way to organize food is to place the newest food to the left, leaving the older food on the right. Then as food is used, take food from the right because the items on the right are the oldest. The oldest food should be eaten first because fresh food is needed during emergencies situations and it will avoid losing valuable food resources to spoilage.

Photo Credit: Tim Patterson via photopin cc

Best Ways to Store Food

The following post is a guest submission from Lee about the different containers available to store food in and the pros of cons that accompany each type of container as well as some other storage challenges.

Best Ways to Store Food

Storage of food is essential. Most items people purchase must be stored properly. If they are not, the item may develop rot of some sort, rending it partially or wholly unusable. The best storage systems can prevent this from happening. This is why it is important to think carefully about the kind of storage you want to keep in your home. You should also think about where you intend to store your food containers in order to make sure that your storage area looks clean and tidy. A clean and organized storage area can make it easier to find items and avoid accidents.

Image Courtesy of Naypong/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Where to Store Items

One of the most important aspects when considering any type of storage item is the ability to store the items when not in use. Effective storage should be compact. It should have as few parts as possible. Many companies offer storage items that have multiple parts that often interlock. For example, there is a company that offers several boxes in various sizes that can easily be stacked on top one each other. This is very useful because it means that you can stack the items without worrying that they will topple over. You can also store such items in a single place rather than multiple areas of your kitchen.

Materials Used

Another important consideration is the type of material used. Storage for food is available in many types of material including plastic, glass, and heavy duty fabric. Each type of material has certain advantages. For example, plastic is very widely used in many types of storage items. Plastic has many advantages. Plastic containers are easy to clean, come in many different colors, will not break easily and typically will not fade even if stored in direct sunlight. This can be an important factor if your kitchen has many areas with lots of sun.

Glass Storage

Glass is another widely used material for storage. Glass is popular for many reasons. Glass containers can be very attractive and even serve as a type of artwork. Delicate, incised glass bowls may even be used as a focal point in a room, providing a beautiful place for the eye to rest, offering a place to store fresh produce and allowing people to admire a lovely piece of glass art at the same time. Glass, however, can pose a health hazard and may unexpectedly break, especially if you have young children in the home who may play with it.

Metal Storage

Another option is metal storage. Many companies offer metal containers that blend in well with other items in a kitchen including appliances. Metal storage containers can be heavy but also offer an excellent way to keep food away from pests as well as water and intense sunlight. Typically, metal storage containers are durable and will last a long time.

Fabric Storage Bins

Fabric storage bins can be found in many places. Often they come in bright colors and patterns. In many cases, such storage bins are intended for non-food items. However, they can be adapted for food storage by placing a glass or plastic container inside. A fabric storage bin can be an excellent storage solution if you want to add a splash of color and light.

Avoid Moisture

In all cases, care must be made to make sure the storage container being used stays dry. Moisture can easily get inside a storage container. The best way to keep moisture out of a container is to make sure all the sides of the item have no areas where moisture may get inside. Any storage container should also have a very tight lid. The lid should fit well with no gaps in the seal.

When properly used, storage containers can add a nice touch of color to any space. Think carefully about the kind you want. You will have items that will last a long time and keep your food in good condition.

About The Author

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Emergency Food Storage: 7 Tips for Getting Started

No matter where you live, there is potential for a disaster. If something were to happen, would you be prepared? Taking the time to store emergency food, water and first-aid supplies is essential in fully preparing your home or business for the unexpected. Starting with a basic food and water storage is a great way to make some headway. For this, you can start with a-la-carte food storage items and pick up more as you go, or purchase quick and easy kits for a solid base. Emergency kits are available in pails, backpacks and duffle bags, each designed for a specific use. These kits are great if you don’t have the time or desire to start building a food storage base on your own. They’re also inexpensive and designed to accommodate almost every emergency need.

Whether you choose to pick up food storage items as you go, or start with emergency food kits, it’s important that you store your items properly for optimal shelf-life and quality. To give you a better idea of how you can do this, we’ve provided the list of food storage tips below.

Food Guidelines for storing:

  • Keep food in a dry, unused area
  • Keep food enclosed at all times
  • Open food boxes or cans care-fully so that you can close them tightly
  • Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags and keep them in tight containers
  • Empty open packages and put into screw-top jars to protect them from pests
  • Inspect all food for signs of spoilage on a regular basis
  • Place new items in the back of the storage area and older ones in front

Starting a Storage

Now that you know where and how you should store your emergency food supply, it’s time to get started! Canned foods are the best choice as the food can be well-maintained for a very long period of time. Dried fruits, nuts, sugar, tea, and coffee can also be stored in sealed containers.  Review the tips below for a complete description of what you should start storing and when.

1)     Create Kits

First, make an emergency evacuation kit, also known as a 72-hour kit. Each member of the family should have their own emergency kit with an assortment of emergency supplies and food in a backpack or small bucket. Each kit should have enough supplies for three days. If danger strikes and you need to evacuate instantly, all you have to do is grab your backpack or bucket and escape. Don’t forget the following items: food, water, clothes, first-aid kit, hygiene needs, necessary medicines, important papers, and basic tools and utensils.

2)     Build Your Storage of Favorite Meals

Make a food storage plan based on your current diet. This would include a two or three month supply of the food your family eats regularly. In an emergency, you will want to have foods that you’re accustomed to eating as they will ease your transition into long term food storage items. Do not forget water.

3)     Stock PLENTY of Water

A top priority for getting started is an ample supply of clean water. The average person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day, and hot climates can double that amount. Water will also be needed for food preparation and hygiene. One gallon per person, per day is usually recommended. According to FEMA, you should have at least a two week supply of water per person in your family. Never ration water. You can always minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.

4)     Stock up on Food Staples

You will want to start storing long term food items. These are simple foods that store for extended periods of time and provide sufficient nutrition. These include grains, legumes, and other staples that will allow you to provide for your family in a reasonable manner for an extended period of time. You will need to incorporate these into your diet so your body can become familiar with them.

5)     Plan for Fire Needs

You also want to consider fire. It is very important to have the ability to light a fire for cooking and warmth. A fire starter is a vital item because it could be tough to locate burnable material and even tougher to ignite it.

6)     Make Sure Storage is Easily Accessible

Location is important. When an emergency is happening, you need to be able to locate your emergency kit and fast.

7)     Plan for Every Emergency

Your home isn’t the only place you should have an emergency kit. You will want to consider placing one in your boat, cabin, vehicle, etc. You never know when disaster could strike.

These are great suggestions and are compliments of the folks at Augason Farms.

7 Different Aspects of Food Storage

Emergency preparedness includes getting ready just in case a natural disaster occurs. Because there may be power outages and dangerous conditions outside, local stores won’t be able to help feed you or your family. This will cause a need for food storage plans in order to survive until things are normal again.

Basic Ways to Prepare for a Natural Disaster with Survival Food

To truly be ready for natural disasters, you’ll need to prepare your emergency food storage to ensure healthy survival:

  1. Seasonings – When preparing meals, you’ll need to season your foods. Some natural seasonings include salt, honey and sugar. All three have indefinite shelf lives when stored in sealed, waterproof packaging and containers.
  2. Cooking Oils – Vegetable, corn, canola and olive oils are important ingredients when preparing roux for thickening your gumbos, sauces, soups and stews. They also come in handy for frying foods and greasing pans for baking foods.
  3. Baking Goods – Be sure to add baking mixes, flours, baking powder and baking soda to your food storage. These ingredients are necessities when making baked goods such as pastries. They can also be used to prepare pastries that don’t require baking. These goods usually have a one year shelf life.
  4. Starchy Foods – These foods provide carbohydrates, which are vital to healthy eating. Dry cereals are edible without milk. Or, you can eat them with canned milk, boxed milk, a milk alternative or powdered milk. Powdered potatoes contain a natural amount of carbohydrates to add to your emergency meals. Also, pastas and rice are starchy foods with very long shelf lives.
  5. Dehydrated Vegetables – Dehydrated onions, mushrooms and other vegetables have the same nutritious value as their fresh forms. These veggies, as well as soup bases and gravy mixes are useful for creating full course meals after a natural disaster. They can also be used to give your prepared foods some well-needed seasoning.
  6. Canned Foods – These are a favorite among savvy survivalists. Canned goods have extremely long shelf lives. They’re also great during emergency situations because the foods can be eaten out of the can without any cooking whatsoever. Cans are generally strong enough to survive most natural disasters. The liquids from many canned foods is great for giving your other foods a little seasoning.
  7. Freeze Dried Meats, Vegetables, Fruits, Starchy Foods and Desserts – Freeze dried food is another favorite emergency food for ninja survivalists. These foods have a 25-year shelf life. And, the flash freezing process essentially freezes the natural flavors, textures, colors, shapes and nutritional values in time. So, you don’t have to worry about your family going hungry because the foods just don’t look or taste right.

This article was written by Dirk Puckett for DailyBread.com. Need tips for incorporating freeze dried food into your food insurance plan? Visit FoodInsurance.com to see how to prepare your emergency food for a natural disaster today?