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Thread: Freeze-dried food as a steady diet

  1. #1

    Default Freeze-dried food as a steady diet

    Hi, everyone I'm new to this site, although I've been prepping to one extent or another since 1982 (when I got married and started being concerned about the future.)

    My wife and I do a lot of canning, drying, and freezing of what we produce in our garden, and our biggest enemy is space. We have a huge freezer, but it is filling up, a nice problem to have, but to very practical if the grid goes down.

    I noticed recently that affordable home freeze driers have come available, and a person in a prepping group on Facebook says she has one and loves it.

    That would solve a lot of our space problems, but I do have one concern. I read several yras ago that soldiers in the field living exclusively on MREs get severely constipated. Does anyone know if this is also true for "merely" freeze-dried food?


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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    The first question is what are you prepping for? A natural disaster or Armageddon? There is a vast difference between what you put up. A small back up generator for your freezer would do wonders for a short term power loss.

    As for MREs vs. Freeze dried food. You cannot even compare them. They are two different animals. The MRE is calorie dense carbohydrates with no roughage (fruits or vegetables) and probably far less liquid intake than is really necessary. Hence the constipation. Freeze dried, on the other hand, can be the same if only calorie dense carbohydrates are used or it can be a more balanced diet depending on what you freeze.

    I have no plans to live exclusively on anything. I keep only what I like and know I will eat. The last thing I want in an emergency is to be stuck eating crap I don't like. Make sure you have some comfort food stuck in your preps too.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Hunter63 saying Hey and Welcome....
    There is an intro section to say Hello at:
    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...-Introductions

    No experience eating much of anything all the time.....but as a young man on hos own with no cooking skills to speak of....I can tell you I can't stand mac and cheese to this day after several months of eating it all the time.

    Most people like and need a variety......
    That said...and as the world hasn't ended ...yet....may want to make some up,... of whatever you had in mind....then try eating it for a few weeks ?

    As far as MRE's go....have had a few her and there and are a step up from grubs and bugs......
    Got to hand it to our boys that make do with them as best as they can....doing what needs to done.
    God bless them.
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    Aren't those freeze dryers running around $3k?
    And they require 110 power supply to run.

    If you are preparing for a "long term" power outage...that won't be very useful so keep your back up canning jars handy.

    There are gas/propane powered and solar powered freezer units out there. You can even still buy kerosene operated refrigerators.
    I opt for a generator as I'm not prepping for armageddon. Just the occasional bad winter storm or hurricane.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
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    I would recommend a spring-house & root cellar to store potables for long term emergencies. Just because freeze dried can last 25 years, don't mean that you will want to eat it for 25 years. You and the members of your clan will be much happier rotating through annual harvests jarred/canned or otherwise preserved than reconstituting freeze dried for an eternity. Portability is the primary reason that the Government moved to freeze dried MRE's, you won't be traveling with the foodstuffs & your freezer, so enjoy all the benefit's that variety offers.

    A couple of pics convenience of Uncle Sam: (I couldn't include the c-ration desserts do to the 5 photo limit) But even Uncle Sam attempted to add a little variety to the menu.

    Mumbo jumbo Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meal,_...ividual_ration
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by M118LR; 09-25-2016 at 07:00 PM.

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    I was in a unit that was issued LRRP rats for 3 meals a day. Yup- OFD food packs. The one rule of thumb we went by was the need to drink at least a full quart of water with the meal and another in the hour after.

    You could hear a guy guts drying out, this because we often didn't have a chance to fire up the stove and boil water. To me, MREs were a major step up.

    You will still need to add oils and fats to your diet.
    I'd much rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist....

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    Oh come on dkr, ain't nothing better than a cold (green) can of green eggs & ham. In a box with a fox or even with Sam I Am. Now if you have a teacup flame spam ain't bad, and I've rubbed elbows with a few Marines that could whip up near gourmet meals with a rotary topped spam can. If it can be scooped into a G.I. SS Mess kit (someday I'll include the USMC Tabasco Chile recipe) hot and ready, DREAMSVILLE. But even the peanut butter sucked worse out of a green bag than out of a green can. JMHO. And there wasn't a John Wayne biscuit to wipe it up with!!!!!

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Speaking of MRE recipes....This was passed on to me some time back


    hunter63
    03-07-2008, 11:40 PM
    From South of the 49th......

    GOD LOVES THE US MARINE CORPS

    MRE dinner date, the following is a story told from the point of view of a young Marine.

    I had a date the other night at my place. On the phone the day before, the girl asked me to 'Cook her something she's never had before' for dinner. After many minutes of scratching my head over what to make, I finally settled on something she has DEFINITELY never eaten.

    I got out my trusty case of MRE's. Meal, Ready-to-Eat.
    Field rations that when eaten in their entirety contain 3000+ calories. Here's what I made:

    I took three of the Ham Slices out of their plastic packets, took out three of the Pork Chops, three packets of Chicken-ala- King, and eight packets of dehydrated butter noodles and some dehydrated/rehydrated rice. I cooked the Ham Slices and Pork Chops in one pan, sautéed in shaved garlic and olive oil.

    In another pot, I blended the Chicken-ala-King, noodles, and rice together to make a sort of mush that looked suspiciously like succotash. I added some spices, and blended everything together in a glass pan that I then cooked in the oven for about 35 minutes at 450 degrees.

    When I took it out, it looked like, well, ham slices, pork chops, and a bed of yellow poop. I covered the tops of the meat in the MRE cheese (kinda like Velveeta) and added some green sprinkly things from one of my spice cans (hey, if it's got green sprinkly things on it, it looks fancy right?)

    For dessert, I took four MRE Pound Cakes, mashed 'em up, added five packets of cocoa powder, powdered coffee cream, and some water. I heated it up and stirred it until it looked like a sort of chunky gelatinous organism, and I sprinkled powdered sugar on top of it. Voila--Ranger Pudding.

    For alcoholic drinks, I took the rest of my bottle of Military Special Vodka (yes, they DO make a type of liquor named 'Military Special'--it sells for $4.35 per fifth at the Class Six) and mixed in four packets of 'Electrolytes - 1 each - Cherry flavored' (I swear, the packet says that). It looked like an eerie Kool-aid with sparkles in it (that was the electrolytes I guess... could've been leftover sand from Egypt ).

    I lit two candles, put a vase of wildflowers in the middle, and set the table with my best set of Ralph Lauren Academy-series China (that sh!t is EXPENSIVE...my set of 8 place settings cost me over $600 on sale at the Lejeune PX ), and put the alcoholic drink in a crystal wine decanter.

    She came over, and I had some appetizers already made, of MRE spaghetti-with-meatballs, set in small cups.
    She saw the dinner, saw the food, and said 'This looks INCREDIBLE!! !'

    We dug in, and she was loving the food. Throughout the meal, she kept asking me how long it took me to make it, and kept remarking that I obviously knew a thing or two about cooking fine meals. She kinda balked at the makeshift 'wine' I had set out, but after she tried it I guess she liked it because she drank four glasses during dinner.

    At the end of the main course, when I served the dessert, she squealed with delight at the 'Chocolate mousse' I had made. Huh? Chocolate what?!

    Okay... yeah... its Chocolate Moose. Took me HOURS to make... yup

    Later on, as we were watching a movie, she excused herself to use my rest room. While she was in there, I heard her say softly to herself 'uh-oh' and a resounding but petite fart punctuated her utterance of dismay.

    Let the games begin!

    She sprayed about half a can of air freshener (Air Freshener, 1 each, Orange scent. Yup. The military even makes smell-good) and returned to the couch, this time with an obvious pained look.

    After 10 more minutes she excused herself again, and retreated to the bathroom for the second time, I could hear her say 'What the hell is WRONG with me???' as she again send flatulent shockwaves into the porcelain bowl. This time, they sounded kinda wet, and I heard the toilet paper roll being employed, and again, LOTS more air freshener.

    Back to the couch. She smiles meekly as she decides to sit on the chair instead of next to me. She sits on my chair, knees pulled up to her chest, kind of rocking back and forth slightly. Suddenly, without a word, she ROCKETED up and FLEW to the bathroom, slammed the door, and didn't come out for 30 minutes.

    I turned the movie up because I didn't want her to hear me laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my cheeks.

    She came out with a slightly gray pallor to her face, and said 'I am SOOOOOO sorry. I have NO idea what is wrong with me. I am so embarrassed; I can't believe I keep running to your bathroom!!' I gave her an Imodium AD, and she finally settled down and relaxed.

    Later on, she asked me again what I had made for dinner, because she had enjoyed it so much. I calmly took her into the kitchen and showed her all the used MRE bags and packets in the trash can.

    After explaining to her that she had eaten roughly 9,000 calories of 'Marine Corps Field Rations' she turned stark white, looked at me incredulously, and said 'I ate 9,000 calories of dehydrated food that was made 3 years ago?'

    After I rogered, she grabbed her coat and keys, and took off without a word.

    She called me yesterday. Seems she couldn't sh!t for 5 days, and when she finally did, the smell was so bad, her roommate could smell it from down the hall. She also told me she had been working out nonstop to combat the high caloric intake, and that she never wanted me to cook dinner for her again, unless she was PERSONALLY there to inspect the food beforehand.

    It was a fun date. She laughed about it eventually and said that that was the first time she'd ever crapped in a guy's house on a date. She'd been so upset by it she was in tears in the bathroom while I had been in tears on the couch.

    I know... shouldnt have done it, but it was still a funny night.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I do not think I have enough information to start making lifestyle and construction recommendations for these people at this point. Don't know if they live next door or in BFE. Plus there is no indication if the OP is storing for two or twenty.

    As for the MRE constipation issue, I have always felt that was purposely built into the meal systems to combat disentary. Same reason they always go heavy on the cheese and peanut butter.

    I have never felt MRE units were a compact storage method. 12 to a case in a box that is big enough hold 48 cans of fruit and vegetables. I can store a year of canned goods in the space needed for a month of MRE meals. Fact is, I do.
    We came here to have family fun so shut up and make a freekin' smore!

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    You did neglect to mention if you got "LUCKY" regardless of your meal selection!
    What was the object of this Mission??????
    Could you put this into "COMBAT" terms?
    Inquiring minds would want to know?

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M118LR View Post
    You did neglect to mention if you got "LUCKY" regardless of your meal selection!
    What was the object of this Mission??????
    Could you put this into "COMBAT" terms?
    Inquiring minds would want to know?
    Who are you referring to??????....and why would that make any difference to anyone...???
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
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    It would only be relevant to those that were heing & sheing, based on a government sponsored cuisine. Not to mention that it would only make a difference to those experiencing such a frivolous moment in thier lifetime. But why do U ask 2 dogs mating? (Internet version)

    As previously promised: From the TABASCO BRAND COOKBOOK:
    "Walter McIlhenny's Chili."
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    3 pounds lean beef chuck, well trimmed, cut into 1 inch cubes
    1 cup chopped onion
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    3 tablespoons, chili powder
    2 tablespoons, ground cumin
    2 teaspoons, salt
    2 teaspoons Tabasco pepper sauce
    3 cups water
    1 4 oz can chopped green chilies drained
    cooked rice
    chopped onion, shredded cheese, and sour cream (optional)

    In 5 quart Dutch oven or heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium high heat. In three batches, brown the beef well, removing each batch with a slotted spoon. (Set aside)
    Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender , stirring frequently. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, salt, and Tabasco sauce, and cook for 1 minute. Add the water and chilies and bring to a boil. Return the beef to the pot. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours, or until the beef is tender. Serve the chili over rice with onion, cheese, and sour cream, if desired. Serves 4-6
    " Walter McIlhenny was fond of homemade chili and liked to serve his version to former Marine Corps buddies who visited him at the island."

    Sorry about the delay, had to find the cookbook to ensure I did things correctly when quoting the recipe. This would be a good time for our new Chef (can't remember his screen name) to add in a recipe.
    Last edited by M118LR; 09-26-2016 at 07:55 AM. Reason: chili

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    MRE's are not freezedried. And they are designed to make you a little constipated. Since you asked about freeze drying, don't worry about MRE's, they aren't the same.

    I have eaten a lot of freeze dried stuff on a regular basis. I have done it mostly with vegetables and some meat. It has been used for quick lunches at work. Basically, I put a half cup of instant rice in with a variety of freeze dried vegetables and meat. I would put it all in a baggy and take to work. Then at work I would put the food in a glass bowl and poor in the super hot water from the coffee maker. 10 minutes later I would eat it. I stopped because it is cheaper to use real rice and frozen vegetables. Now I cook 3/4 cups of rice in the rice cooker the night before. Then I put the cooked rice in with frozen vegetables and leftover meat, or frozen meat and some BBQ sauce all in a glass bowl with a lid. Take it to work and heat in the microwave. However, my point is that you can freeze dry vegetables and eat them on a regular basis. I find they are very similar to frozen (once reconstituted) and my bowels treat them the same as frozen veggies.

    Of course, I grew up eating canned vegetables that my parents canned in glass jars. My dad always had a very large garden, and they canned a lot of what came out of it. Mostly green beans and fruit from the fruit trees. Us kids made sure the strawberries never made it inside the house.
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    hunter63 Thanks for a great story!
    "Never work against mother nature"--Caesar Milan.

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    finallyME I think you are the first person I've heard of eating freeze dried food by choice!
    Last edited by OMark; 04-28-2017 at 01:37 PM.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I enjoy Mountain House and a couple of the others. Freeze dried food is lightweight, economical and tastes good.

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