For people who want to stock up on food for an emergency, there are many options available. The type of emergency food you buy depends on how much preparation you want to put in, and how much money you want to spend. MREs are Meals Ready to Eat, and they require minimal preparation. MREs are also the most expensive type of emergency food to buy. Canned goods are a good source of emergency food, but be aware that they do not last forever. Low-acid foods will last five years or more, and still retain nutrition and taste; high-acid foods, like tomatoes, fruit, and foods with vinegar, should be used within the year if you want them to taste as good as possible. Canned goods can be used beyond these points, but be aware that they may not taste the way they usually do. Also be aware that much of what you’re paying for in canned foods is water. You can get more bang for your buck with other types of emergency food.
Freeze-dried food is another option, as is dehydrated food. Both of these are cheaper than canned food and MREs, although dehydrated food is the cheapest of all. Dehydrated food has had most of the water removed. In freeze-drying, they freeze the food at extremely low temperatures before removing the water. Freeze-drying is what they do to ice cream to create the “astronaut ice cream” you see in stores. Many freeze-dried and dehydrated foods will last up to 30 years, if you don’t open the container. An advantage of freeze-dried foods is that, in general, they’re easier to prepare than dehydrated foods; the ingredients for a meal usually come together, and seasonings are already added. All you have to do is boil the ingredients in hot water. In dehydrated foods, you get each ingredient in bulk, so you would have, for example, one bucket full of rice and one bucket full of kidney beans. You need to select the ingredients for the meal yourself, and add the seasonings yourself.
A good place to go for a good deal on dehydrated food and freeze-dried food is www.survivalacres.com.