If you're prepping for a disaster scenario, it's important to have food that will last a long time. Freeze dried foods are an excellent choice because they can last decades without spoiling.
However, storing them is not as easy as just throwing them in the closet and forgetting about it! In this article, we'll go over how to store freeze dried foods so that you know exactly what is in store.
What are freeze dried foods?
Freeze dried foods are just like the name suggests. They are foods that have been frozen and then dried out in a process called "freeze drying." This is done to preserve them for long periods of time without refrigeration or freezing and reduce weight and volume so they can be transported easily.
Freeze dried foods include fruits, vegetables, meats, and other ready-made meals like lasagna, pizzas, and spaghetti, and much more.
Freeze dried foods typically require the addition of water in order to be consumed.
These freeze dried foods are perfect for when you're prepping because they last much longer than canned foods and take up less space!
You can also get a lot more food per weight or volume, especially if it's an emergency where your resources are limited; these would be very helpful to have on hand.
How are freeze dried foods made?
Freeze dried foods are made through a precise process different from any other type of food preservation. Freeze-drying is the process of freezing food and lowering its temperature to a particular point, known as the "triple point."
At low temperatures, the moisture in food can change from a solid state to gas without changing into liquid. This is a delicate science perpetuated by precise cooling, heating, and control of atmospheric pressure. Packaging for sale usually follows a two-step drying process.
The quality of freeze dried foods
Gone are the old days of bland and tasteless freeze dried foods. Nowadays, you can get many freeze dried foods that actually have a good flavor and taste. However, food quality is determined largely by how it's been made and the ingredients used to make them.
The quality of freeze dried foods will vary between brands. Some are much better than others, though these are usually more expensive as well.
Pros and cons of freeze dried foods
As with any food you are planning on storing, freeze dried foods have both pros and cons to using them. We recommend that any prepper has various foods stored away, including canned, dry bulk foods, and dehydrated foods.
- Freeze dried foods are typically light and easy to transport.
- Freeze dried food is easy to prepare because all you need to add is some boiling water.
- Products can have an extended shelf life of up to 25 years.
- Freeze dried food is available in a wide variety of categories, from vegetables to desserts.
- One downside of freeze dried foods is that they are often more expensive than other alternatives.
- Freeze dried foods can sometimes taste a little bland.
- To get variety in a meal, multiple packages need to be used.
- One important thing to remember when preparing freeze dried foods is the amount of water necessary to rehydrate fully.
Why you should store freeze dried foods as a prepper
Storing freeze dried foods is a great idea for food preppers.
Freeze dried foods are lightweight and take up less space than other types of emergency preparedness food such as canned goods.
This makes the storage of these items ideal for people who live in small homes with limited space.
A person can put out a large variety of freeze-dried meals in their pantry, which allows them to be ready with different options at any time.
They also last an incredibly long time, up to 25 years.
Another advantage of storing freeze-dried foods is that they are very shelf-stable, which means a person can store them in their pantry without rotating them constantly.
Freeze dried food also does not require refrigeration or freezing and will not spoil as easily as canned goods might.
If someone wants variety from their prepper meals, freeze dried foods should be on their list when considering what type of emergency preparedness food to keep stocked up on.
Shelf life of foods that have been freeze dried
The shelf life of freeze dried foods depends on the food itself, how it was packaged and its quality.
The shelf life of some items can be up to 25 years, although the labels may say only 5-7. This is a conservative estimate, and there are even some companies out there now that claim their products will last up to 30 years.
Freeze-dried fruits will last slightly longer than vegetables or starches because they contain more sugar, which helps them stay preserved.
The best way to store these types of goods is in sealed packages with oxygen absorbers that have been specifically made for this type of item.
Freeze dried foods manufacturers often pack their goods in sealed Mylar packages, and many of them contain oxygen absorbers that have been specifically made for this type of item. An alternative that is also used is #10 cans (10-pound cans), which are common for storing foods.
These commonly have nitrogen pumped into them to ensure all oxygen is forced out before it is sealed; it also helps preserve the food further. Freeze dried foods will stay fresh and still good tasting for many decades if properly stored this way.
How to store freeze dried foods
Freeze dried foods should be stored away from direct sunlight or any other type of light that will cause the food to deteriorate. It should also be kept at, and preferably below, room temperature.
Freeze dried foods that are subjected to higher temperatures, or extreme temperature fluctuations, can degrade faster and lose some of the qualities that make them so great to use.
This includes color, flavor and texture changes.
Freeze dried foods are specifically made with as low of moisture left in them as possible, so you want to keep them tightly sealed and away from any moisture.
Once you open a package or can of freeze dried food, it will last up to one week if you haven't added water. Once prepared with water, it is only good for a few days - treat it like any other leftover food and refrigerate properly.
Final thoughts on storing freeze dried foods
Freeze dried foods offer a long-lasting option for storing as a prepper. They are more expensive than other alternatives, however, like canned or dry goods. It is recommended to have a variety of different foods stored away as a prepper.
Do you store freeze-dried food? What tips do you have for others who want to start stocking up on these high-quality meals from the convenience of their own home? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!