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Questions & Answers to Eliminate the Confusion

Deciding what emergency food storage to purchase can be a daunting task. To make it worse, food storage companies don’t make it easy to determine how to select the best plan. It may feel like the only way to figure out what you need to isolate yourself in a room and scour through sites making notes, attempting to decipher how they are different to come up with the best deal. Armed with the information we provide below, we hope to help make this process much easier for you to quickly reduce your list of contenders.

Is 2,000 calories a day per person necessary?
2,000 Calories is based on the recommended dietary allowance and is used as a guide within the prepping industry. This is commonly used by many food storage companies as one of the ways to measure food package sizes, and for good reason! If you look at some packages closely, the calories they claim are not all from the meals. 2,000 calorie packages can contain a huge amount of inexpensive items in the forms of rice, sugar drinks, puddings, and extra breakfast items to bump up those calories to meet the 2,000-calorie claim. Coupled with these lack of nutritional calories, the meal servings are often small which equals more filler calories and poor nutrition for you and/or your family. Logically, it is better to get most of your calories from nourishing meals and then make your own choices on the extras you would like to add. These items are typically cheaper to buy separately on your own, and then you get items your family will enjoy more.
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How do I determine how much food I need for my family or myself?
The first thing to figure out is your variables. By that we mean count the number of people in your group and determine how many meals a day for each person you want to plan for. Once you have that, you’ll need to determine how long you want to be prepared for FEMA will tell you 3 days per person, however, it can take a week or more for emergency services to mobilize. We recommend storing enough food and water for a minimum of 2 weeks with an end goal of 2 months or more.

2 people x 3 meals a day = 6 meals daily x 30 days in month = 180 food storage meals each month.

Or, if you only wanted to plan on 2 meals per day for their supplies, then 2 people x 2 meals = 4 meals daily x 30 days = 120 food storage meals each month.

When the variables change, so does the result. Make sense? Then you look for a package with the meals to match your goal.
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What are the differences between food storage companies?
Each food storage company tends to fit into a few different categories of preparation styles and all vary on calories per serving. The typical categories are:
  • 1. Companies who provide only meals in their packages but do offer extras like meats, fruits, veggies on the side for added purchase.
  • 2. Companies who provide packages containing a bit of everything (these usually boast 2,000 calories but are low in calories and heavy in extras and fillers).
  • 3. Companies who only offer single pouched items like individual meats, fruits, and vegetables. (best to have recipes planned for this type of plan).
  • 4. Camping line styles with smaller pouch sizes and cook in the pouch offerings. These tend to be more convenient but also more expensive.

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Once I figured out the type of company I want to purchase from, then what? Ask the following questions:
  • 1. How many servings of actual meals are included in this package? (don’t count the filler servings)
  • 2. What is the serving size? In other words, how much food does this company consider a meal?
  • 3. Is there a good variety of meals?
  • 4. Do they meet your dietary requirements and/or allergen concerns if any?
  • 5. How many of the ingredients in the meals are pronounceable?
  • 6. Is shipping a sneaky additional cost?
Asking these questions, will allow you to meet your dietary and food storage goals. You can always add extra additional items over time.
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Should I go by weight?
Do not use weight as a factor until you are comparing similar packages. Companies who market 2,000 calories will have include many powdered items such as rice, milks, puddings, and sugary drinks. Powders are heavy. These items can tip the scales, inflating the weight and calorie count with less nutritious calories. This will not provide you much nutrition during an emergency. Weight can be a good measure of how much food you’re getting, just be sure you factor in the type of food that accounts for all that weight!
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Should I go by price per serving?
Don’t consider the lowest price by serving the best deal. Servings sizes vary widely by companies, from 1.5 cups down to only 1/3 a cup per serving! If you examine and compare the calories per meal or serving size, you will understand why it’s priced as it is. Always know the serving sizes you are purchasing before settling on what you think is a good deal. You don’t want to end up with a small serving package at the time when you need it most! For example, you may need to triple a package with small servings just to get a decent meal, making it more expensive than what you initially thought was a higher priced company!
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I have a small budget, are there options for me?
It’s always good to ask companies what payment options they have. You might be surprised! Many companies offer various options ranging from payment plans, volume discounts, group discounts and subscriptions. These can be great for matching your budget or timeline, allowing you to decide today and spread it out over time.
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I’m single, are there companies that package for just 1 person?
Camping lines come closest to this with their cook in the pouch meals. However, these are more expensive due to the smaller pouch sizes and the cook within the pouch capability. Food storage companies will typically package in a convenient way for most families but do require cooking outside of the pouch. This does keep production costs down tremendously which passes the savings onto the customer. Often these larger pouches have directions to prepare only a portion of the meal which makes it a good economical option for just one person as well.
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Members of my family have allergies; how do I account for those?
The last thing you want is your family to be miserable or worse in an emergency. Companies should be transparent and display all ingredients and nutritional information on their websites, so if there are ingredients that are concerning, you will know which to avoid. An easy way to check is to hit Ctrl F (PC) or Command F (Mac) to open your browser’s find function, then just type in the ingredient you’re worried about on the package page!
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We have special diets, are there food storage options for us?
There are food storage options for people with special diets whether you are gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, sodium sensitive or paleo! It’s not always evident on some websites and it is usually best to speak to a representative who can guide you to these selections.
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What is TVP?
Textured or texturized vegetable protein (TVP), also known as textured soy protein (TSP), soy meat, or soya chunks is a defatted soy flour product, a by-product of extracting soybean oil. It is often used as a meat replacement or meat extender. Many companies will use this for a cost savings in place of meat. It is a good economical protein option but also good to know what you are buying and what may be in your meals.
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What are red flags I should watch out for?
Red flag #1: When prices seem to be much lower than the rest of the companies. Many times, these servings are very small, and you will end up with much less food than you hoped for or mostly filler items that you won’t be able to do much with.

Red flag #2: When companies do not provide much information on their product. You should always be able to see what you are ordering, what meals are included, their ingredients, nutrition, and shipment specifications such as weight and other measurements. Occasionally it does help to pick up the phone if you are not finding it, but if during a phone call the representative does not point you in the right direction or must send it to you via mail, consider this lack of information a red flag.
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Are cook-in-the-pouch meals better for emergencies?
Campers and hikers like these because there are no dishes to clean, and it makes a light convenient hike food. However, you do pay for this convenience. Its best to use these for outdoor activities or food on the road where cooking and dishware are kept at a minimum. When home during emergencies you typically have everything you need and non-cook in the pouch meals will give you much more food for your investment. Camping pouches can be convenient if you plan to bug out or need to evacuate, just keep in mind you’ll need to have water and the ability to cook wherever you go.
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Can’t I just get stuff at the store?
Freeze dried food is different from grocery store food. The magnificent discovery of freeze dried and dehydrated foods allows us to store food, well past any fresh or grocery store food that we typically all buy. This makes it a great investment for long term shelf stable storage that doesn’t need to be rotated every year. Additionally, when store shelves are bare, fresh is not available, and emergency services are not in the area for days or week, you can still count on long term food to be there as it can be packaged to last up to 25 years.
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Why do there have to be additives in food storage?
Let’s understand, all food companies will have some added ingredients to their packages required or to ensure your meal in 25 years is not a rock in a bag. Food storage is a science not magic. This science has discovered a way to stop bacterial growth to extend food life, but it has not figured out how to get around other rules of food preservation, such as clumping, loss texture and what time simply does to real prepared meals without any additional help. Any added ingredients should always be clearly identified on the labels so that, as with all food sensitivities and allergies, people can be aware of ingredients they'd like to avoid. However, if you see a long list of unpronounceable ingredients, this may be a sign of lower quality.
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What other things do I need to consider when buying food storage?
All freeze-dried meals no matter where you buy will require water and heat to rehydrate properly. Never eat this product without water. It would act like a sponge to your system and quickly dehydrate you. Adding meals to boiling water will ensure this product will prepare as intended. Water and a cooking method are critical components to any Freeze-dried long-term food storage plan.

Additionally, storing food like this is still affected by temperature. Make sure to store this in a cool, dry, temperature-controlled location for the longest shelf life! Improper storage of this food will speed up the breakdown of the nutrition, texture, and taste much faster than storing it properly. This means no garages, attics, or storage sheds. It’s best to have a nice, cool location planned and preserve this investment you hope never to have to use.

If you have any further questions not answered here, please reach out to our education team here, and we can get you any additional answers you are looking for!

Start your journey well informed and Click Here to see how Legacy packages are designed.
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"I keep eating these meals and can't stop. My kids love them too. They taste great so we use them often. We need to store them, since that is what they are for"
"I ordered samples from all the food storage companies out there and Legacy Premium was by far the best. Legacy emergency food tastes amazing and the deals are way better!"
Melissa A.
"Everything tastes great and is very easy to make. Seems like this would be the perfect food to have in a crisis."
"I would recommend this food to anyone who needs food storage. Everything has tasted pretty good and the buckets stack nicely."