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Food Storage Assortments - How adequate are they?

By Denis Korn

There is a food storage company who is currently advertising on many very popular web sites and talk radio shows whose readers and listeners are inclined to self-reliance and may be motivated to prepare because of disturbing current events.  Add to this a plastic bucket of small food pouches, being sold at a popular national warehouse discount store, that so distorts the daily calorie needs and the estimated shelf life that Costco ought to be ashamed of themselves for being party to this deception.  For those of you who have purchased this item be aware of its true contents and longevity – at least you have begun the preparedness process.  For the website and talk show company, the caloric values per day for the time frames advertised are very low (they were not clearly published even on their own website – I did the math myself from what information I was able to find) and inadequate in my opinion for most people – especially during the stressful conditions of an emergency situation.

Sample of an assortment of pre-packaged food pouches in a plastic bucket

This has prompted me to write this post and reiterate what I have preached for 35 years.  Buyer beware!  What are you getting for your money?  Have you done even the basic research and asked the essential questions?  I have written 3 articles of interest concerning the issue of buying pre-configured food storage assortments, and the links are at the end of this article.

I want to give you a few excerpts from these articles so you will get an idea of the importance of doing your homework before you purchase pre-configured assortments.  Let’s prevent surprises during an emergency event when you are called upon to consume your valuable food reserves.

From the article Purchasing Food Reserves – The Essentials Questions consider questions 2, 3, and 4 carefully.

2) On food assortments that specify food supplies for a specific length of time (i.e. 1 year, 6 months, 30 days), how was this time frame determined? Who determined it – the provider (the person or company selling you the products) or the manufacturer? Was it determined by caloric value or another means?

3) If caloric value was used (the usual method), what are the daily values that determines the length of the assortment? For whom? Children – teens – adults – elderly? What was the source of the technical information on caloric values? Important note: Most companies selling food units do not properly inform the customer of this essential information, and without it how can you properly compare differing available food reserve units? Unfortunately many units have inadequate caloric values and deficient nutritional worth.

4) What is the source and quality of those calories? What amount of those calories comes from sugar?

From the introduction to The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning similar important questions.

When purchasing food provisions, especially pre-configured assortments, it is essential to know exactly the quantity of food you are getting for the price you are paying.  “X” amount of servings, or “X” months supply” doesn’t give you the accurate information you need for proper planning.  You need to know the answer to these questions: What is the basis for the manufacturer’s claims?  What is the nutritional value, quantity, and quality of food and the caloric value of each serving?  “X” months gives me how many calories per day, and of what quality and nutritional value are the foods?

And finally from the post Pre-packaged Food Storage Units some guidelines.

    • Be aware that a good general caloric range should be 1800-2200 calories per day per person.
    • Some companies figure on 900-1500 calories per day. This does not offer a good value to the customer.
    • What else is supplied with the unit in addition to food?
    • Get complete information about food units before you buy so you can be sure it is appropriate for your needs.
  • Very important – When a company advertises a shelf life of their products ask them to show you how that figure was determined and what evidence they have to substantiate their claims.  There are reputable, long established, and experienced companies that can do this – and there are also companies who simply make up figures.

You are encouraged to read all of these 3 articles:

Purchasing Food Reserves – The Essentials Questions

The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning

Pre-packaged Food Storage Units

4 comments to Food Storage Assortments – How adequate are they?

  • Gustavo Speaker

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  • Chanel Sunglass

    Thank you for useful info. 🙂

  • Judi

    At least Costco has a great return policy. As far as I know, anyone who bought their emergency food supply buckets there can bring them back at any time for a full refund. The purchase info should be in Costco’s computer if they tossed the receipt. I’ve never returned food, but they’re wonderful with other stuff (90 day limit for electronics).