Friday, May 10, 2019

Emergency Survival Food Face-off

Scene at local supermarket one day after SHTF

Wherever you are and whatever your SHTF plans may be, it is certain that one of the key components of your plan is long term emergency food storage. 

Emergency food supply is Big Business these days. It's grown into a multi-billion dollar industry and is projected to grow even more. 

Offers of emergency food supply "ready to go" buckets stuffed with an assortment of various entrees are proliferating across the internet. 

If you look closely, you'll notice that there are significant differences between the emergency food supply kits offered by various distributors -- differences in caloric content and cost per day. 

How does a doom-driven prepper go about deciding which emergency food supplies to purchase?

That's what this post attempts to answer. 

Per Day Calorie Requirements

Calories per day is the most critical aspect of any emergency food supply. While overall nutritional content is vitally important -- vitamins, minerals, protein, etc. -- the one thing that every person is going to absolutely need in an emergency food supply is sufficient calories to maintain energy and strength.

How many calories per day does a person need to maintain energy and strength in an emergency situation?

The general guideline printed on food nutrition labels is 2000 calories per day. But that is only a general guideline based on average needs of a diverse population which on the whole tends to be rather sedate. 

Men generally need more calories than women because they tend to have larger frames and more body weight. Adults tend to need more calories than children for the same reason. 

Activity level is also a key consideration when considering daily caloric needs. Active individuals need more calories than inactive individuals. Athletes or people who exercise regularly need far more than the average 2000 calories per day.

How Many Calories Do You Need

One rule of thumb is that for people with high activity levels, the caloric need is 18 calories per pound of body weight. For a 200 pound man, that would be 3600 calories per day. A 150-pound man would need 2700 calories per day. 

According to health.gov dietary guidelines published in 2015, a 154 pound active man age 36 to 40 needs 2600 - 2800 calories per day to maintain weight and muscle mass. A 126-pound active woman of the same age needs 2000 to 2200 calories per day.

Calculate your anticipated daily caloric need here

2000 Calories Per Day May Not Be Enough

The main point here is, in a SHTF emergency, you're likely to be highly active and in great need of more than the minimal 2000 calories per day. 

There are of course other factors to consider when choosing an emergency food supply besides calories per day.  For example: 
  • What is the shelf life of the food supply
  • How easy or difficult is it to transfer the food supply in case of the need to bug out
  • Ease or difficulty in preparing the food for consumption
  • Chemical additives
  • How appetizing is the food
  • How filling is the food -- usually boils down to quantity consumed 
While those are all important factors to consider, caloric content of food intended for an emergency situation is the most important factor.  Not enough calories = diminished energy and strength.  Calories provide the ENERGY that powers a human body.

Face-off

For this comparative analysis, four emergency "food kit" products currently on offer via online purchase from four different emergency food supply companies are highlighted. Each of the four product offerings were randomly selected from the corresponding company's website.

1) The first emergency food provider selected is Wise Company.  The product selected for comparison is the 360-serving Wise Emergency Survival Food Storage pack found at this link:

https://www.wisefoodstorage.com/360-serving-package.html


Number of days food supply: No claim made
Price: $777.99
Number of servings: 360
Price per serving: $2.16
Total Calories: 83640
Days supply for 1 person 41.82 days
Cost per day: $18.60

  • Days supply is calculated as Total Calories divided by 2000 calories per day
  • Cost per day is calculated as Price divided by Days supply for 1 person

2) The second emergency food provider selected is Augason Farms.  The product selected for comparison is the Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Pail Combo found at this link:

https://www.augasonfarms.com/breakfast-lunch-and-dinner-pail-combo

Number of days food supply: 20 days for one person
Price: $139.99
Number of servings: 254
Price per serving: $0.55
Total Calories: 41250
Days supply for 1 person 20.62 days
Cost per day: $6.79

  • Total Calories of 41250 is stated on website.  Per-serving calories and nutritional content is unable to be independently verified
  • Days supply is calculated as Total Calories divided by 2000 calories per day
  • Cost per day is calculated as Price divided by Days supply for 1 person


    3) The third emergency food provider selected is Patriot Supply.  The product selected for comparison is the 4-Week Emergency Food Supply found at this link:

    https://mypatriotsupply.com/products/4-week-food-supply-140


    Number of days food supply: 28 days (4 weeks) for one person
    Price: $197.00
    Number of servings: 252
    Price per serving: $0.78
    Total Calories: 56140
    Days supply for 1 person 28.07 days
    Cost per day: $7.01

    • Days supply is calculated as Total Calories divided by 2000 calories per day
    • Cost per day is calculated as Price divided by Days supply for 1 person


    4) The fourth and final emergency food provider selected is Mountain House.  The product selected for comparison is the Just in Case...® 4 Day Emergency Food Supply found at this link:

    https://www.mountainhouse.com/m/product/0084606.html

    Number of days food supply: 4 days for one person
    Price: $91.99
    Number of servings: "About" 24
    Price per serving: $3.83
    Total Calories: 6650
    Days supply for 1 person 3.325 days
    Cost per day: $27.66

    • This company claims a 4 day food supply, but based on 2000 calories per day the actual supply is for only 3.325 days
    • Days supply is calculated as Total Calories divided by 2000 calories per day
    • Cost per day is calculated as Price divided by Days supply for 1 person

    OBSERVATIONS

    • Cost Per Day of the emergency food supply one decides to purchase can vary greatly between different emergency food suppliers and the products they offer
    • All four companies featured here are clearly targeting a 2000 calorie per day emergency diet


    QUESTIONS
    • What if you need MORE than 2000 calories per day, an almost certain possibility?
    • Are you okay with consuming the preservatives, food coloring and other chemical additives that are in some (or most) of these food packages?

    A BETTER ALTERNATIVE?

    Maybe it would be a better option to secure a supply of emergency long term storage food that provides not 2000 calories per day, but 3874 CALORIES PER DAY at a per day cost of $9.71?

    Here's how, but first:

    It used to be that humans relied exclusively on basic foods for their sustenance: grains, beans, honey, dried vegetables, dried fruits, nuts and meat or fish when they could get it.  Our ancestors knew how to raise and preserve these foods for long term storage and future consumption -- they HAD TO because their survival depended on it. 

    Don't be surprised to wake up one day in a post-Economic Collapse world to find that there are few if any restaurants, frozen dinners or long term storage emergency food kits still available.  

    INEVITABLY, humanity is returning to a time where we will once again be forced to rely on the basic foods for our sustenance because these are the foods that are the MOST energy-efficient and are practical to grow and preserve for long term storage.

    Number of days food supply:60 days for one person
    Price:$582.67 (plus shipping)
    Number of servings:N/A
    Price per serving:N/A
    Total Calories PER DAY:3874
    Days supply for 1 person60+
    Cost per day:$9.71

    25 pound bag: $16.84 (plus shipping)
    Serving size: 189 grams per day
    Total Servings: 60
    Calories Per Serving: 710

    15 pound bag: $105.76 (plus shipping)
    Serving size: 100 grams
    Total Servings: 60
    Calories Per Serving: 341

    Two 2-pound 1 ounce cans: $27.99 each, total 55.98 (plus shipping)
    Serving size: 5 tablespoons (2 egg equivalent)
    Total Servings: 71
    Calories Per Serving: 80

    2 pound plastic jar: $15.59
    Serving size: 1 tablespoon (twice per day)
    Total servings: 129
    Calories Per Serving: 35 (70 per day)

    4 pound pail: $17.99 (plus shipping)
    Serving size: 1 tablespoon (used for frying/cooking -- 2 tablespoons daily)
    Total Servings: 140
    Calories Per Serving: 120 (240 per day with 2 servings per day)

    15 pound bag: $141.60
    Serving size: 100 grams per day
    Total Servings: 60
    Calories Per Serving: 372

    25 pound bag: $16.09 (plus shipping)
    Serving size: 189 grams per day
    Total Servings: 60
    Calories Per Serving: 618

    15 pound bag: $108 (plus shipping)
    Serving size: 100 grams per day
    Total Servings: 60
    Calories Per Serving: 372

    15 pound bag: $84 (plus shipping)
    Serving size: 100 grams per day
    Total Servings: 60
    Calories Per Serving: 341

    25 pound bag: $21.60 (plus shipping)
    Serving size: 189 grams per day
    Total Servings: 60
    Calories Per Serving: 730

    Add salt, pepper, dehydrated garlic/onion powder and other dried herbs/spices at minimal cost for seasoning and a little extra nutrition.

    !! THE ULTIMATE EMERGENCY FOOD SUPPLY !!

    Number of days food supply:60 days for one person
    Price:$277.06 (plus shipping)
    Total Calories PER DAY:4798
    Cost per day:$4.61

    If you're thinking that this might be the way to go, don't forget one of these so you can make bread, cornbread and other stuff: Hand Crank Grain Mill

    Two 25 pound bags: $16.84 times two for total of $33.68 (plus shipping)
    Serving size: 378 grams per day
    Total Servings: 60
    Calories Per Serving: 1420
    Quick Prep Recipe

    Two 25 pound bags: $16.09 times two for total of $32.18 (plus shipping)
    Serving size: 378 grams per day
    Total Servings: 60
    Calories Per Serving: 1236
    Quick Prep Recipe

    Two 15 pound bags: $84 times two for total of $168 (plus shipping)
    Serving size: 200 grams per day
    Total Servings: 60
    Calories Per Serving: 682

    Two 25 pound bags: $21.60 times two for total of $43.20 (plus shipping)
    Serving size: 378 grams per day
    Total Servings: 60
    Calories Per Serving: 1460
    Quick Prep Recipe


    NOTE: Nutritional and caloric attributes per food product for most items listed above were obtained from this website:




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