There are many directions you can go with food storage, and today’s review represents another option. While I generally discourage processed pouch meals, I recognize that they do have their place. These type of meals would be great for a 72 hour kit. Most of the time I’d much rather make a meal –even if it needs to be quick –from ingredients I’ve put together myself. You can visit my pantry meal archive to see some favorite quick to make recipes.
One of the problems of the emergency foods market, however, is that you rarely find objective opinions about the products you see online. Most every review seems to have some monetary attachment to it, so it’s hard for the reader to know exactly where the review is coming from. I’d love to see more independant product reviews for my own reading especially for food storage products. These are meals many are buying (basing their purchasing on advertising and opinions from paid affiliates) yet no one is tasting for themselves because they’re being saved up for an emergency.
Survivalbased.com was open to an honest opinion — no matter what I might say –so I was happy to oblige.
The product: Food Supply Depot’s sample pack including Southwest White Bean Chili, Rio Grande Beans & Rice, Creamy Stroganoff and Rotini a la Marinara.
While I largely focus on healthier longer term food storage options, to address a temporary short term need (such as a 72 hour kit) these could offer a viable solution. As a mom I have a hard time saying that, due to the artificial ingredients they contain, but as a realist I have to admit that their portability and convenience would be easier to manage than a pantry meal that included a lot of canned items in the event of having to feed a family post evacuation while on foot. There are definitely pantry meal options (my DIY “home-cooked” convenience meals) that are easier to transport, but this is where I see this product best fitting into a food storage plan. Another smart “ready made” meal option would be the Hormel Compleats meals (as seen in this post).
To be completely fair (as to taste) I prepared the meals, packed them up into thermoses and met up with two boy scout troops which I used as volunteer tasters. I figured a group like this, having already tried camp food, would have an opinion to give one way or another. I ended up with nine boys who agreed to do it, and each gave me a rating between 1-5 on each meal, with 5 being the best.
Southwest White Bean Chili
2 rated it a 5
1 rated it a 4
This chili only made it through the first group of scouts because one of the boys liked it so much that he drank my whole thermos. The boy spoken of was well behaved, I’m sure he didn’t know I had another group coming, but that just shows how it went over.
4 rated it a 5
4 rated it a 4
1 rated it a 3
They’re comments? “This is good.” (Lol, gotta love boys!)
Rotini a la Marinara
4 rated it a 5
2 rated it a 4
3 rated it a 3
This one had a mix of reactions. Some of the boys loved it and some of them were just “so-so”.
Rio Grande Beans & Rice
2 rated it a 5
7 rated it a 4
Again, they really liked it and many asked for seconds in their sample cups.
After all was said and done I asked the boys how the food was “in general” compared to what they’ve previously eaten camping. “This is great– it’s so much better!” was their reply. So as far as taste goes, the meals went over well.