Often when people first think of what food would be good to store for disaster preparedness, they think of dehydrated food.
But is dehydrated food really a good choice for survival food?
Let’s consider 3 factors; preparation, taste, and shelf life.
Dehydrated food requires a lot preparation to be consumed. In order to use dehydrated food it needs to be hydrated so you need to soak it. You still need to prepare, mix and cook it. To cook you will need cooking equipment and fuel. You will have to clean up after the cooking.
Compare this to freeze dried food.
For a hot meal using freeze dried food you need heated water, just add it and wait a few minutes. If you have to, you can use unheated water but still no cooking is required. This is huge convenience, not to be undervalued for disaster preparedness. There likely will be times in a disaster when you do not have time and energy to cook using dehydrated foods.
You may like the taste of dehydrated foods you have consumed as a snack or specialty food. However if you are eating for weeks or months meals made from dehydrated food as a base, you may have difficulty consuming healthy amounts of food.
You should never underestimate the importance of being able to enjoy the food you are eating, there are examples in history of people starving even though there was edible food available.
It is of great benefit to lower stress wherever possible in a disaster situation, lower stress results in people dealing more effectively with problems in any situation. Having good tasting hot meals regularly tends to lower stress. Freeze dried food retains the original taste and freshness when re-hydrated to a high degree.
Finally there is the shelf-life to consider. The likelihood of a experiencing a disaster is greater over a longer period. The longer the shelf-life of your survival food, the less the often you will be replacing it. Even worse, would be discovering you have rancid food when you need it most. Dehydrated food shelf life is usually rated 8-10 years. Freeze dried food can keep it’s flavor, appearance and nutritional value for 25 years.
While you may save a little with dehydrated food in the up front cost, the long run costs will be much higher than if you choose freeze dried food. The added benefits of taste and less time to prepare to eat make freeze dried food a much better choice than dehydrated food.