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Purchasing Food Reserves - The Essential Questions

By Denis Korn

For over 40 years it has been and always will be the policy of Learn To Prepare and PrepareDirect to provide products, information, perspectives, insights, and recommendations for action with an attitude of helpfulness and respect for an individual’s choice based on evaluation and thoughtful judgment. You evaluate – you choose – you own your decisions. Be conscientious and diligent in your planning, and demand truthfulness and accuracy from your suppliers. Need help – we’re here!

Read the other companion articles on preparedness planning in the articles section on the home page of our website.

1) Are the quantities and specific food products you are considering purchasing adequate and appropriate for the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness food supplies? What will be the anticipated duration of the emergency for which you are preparing? Will you need to be mobile?

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?

5) Who is the manufacturer/canner of the food reserves? What do you know about them? How reliable are they?

6) Does the food manufacturing facility conform to federal standards, and are they inspected for cleanliness, and labeling compliance by the USDA? If not who does inspect them?

7) How long have both the provider and manufacturer been in business? Will the provider/manufacturer be available in the future? What about future customer service?

8) What is the experience and qualifications of your food reserve provider? Have you researched them? While prudent planning and self-reliance is always important, is your provider more interested in promoting fear and catastrophe as an incentive to buy rather than knowledgeable information and sincere customer support?

9) Do you trust your food reserve provider? Will they deliver true value for your monetary investment? Also, do you trust their knowledge of the quality, quantity, and nutritional value required of the foods that you will be relying upon to keep you and your family alive in a serious emergency?

10) How familiar are you with the specific bulk foods or the foods in the units you will buy? Do you know how to prepare them? Are they similar to your current diet? Are you or family members allergic to specific ingredients? Will you be able to properly digest the types of foods in the units you want? Are the foods “better than starving” quality and consisting of items you have never eaten or hope you never will have to eat; or will you be satisfied to use your reserves at any time for convenience, camping, temporary economic difficulty, or during an emergency.

11) In the units with #10 size cans have you been given the information you need so you can make comparisons with other companies products? One must compare apples with apples. For example one might be given serving sizes but not the calories per serving, or one company has significantly more product in a can compared to another, or the calories per can may significantly differ. Consider cost per calorie as true means of comparison.

12) Ultimately the question is: What are you really paying for? What is the cost per serving or per calorie? You must determine the real cost by evaluating caloric values, the quality of those calories, the nutritional worth of the specific foods, and the real quantities you are buying. Be diligent in your research and equip yourself with the facts – beware of less than honorable providers – I wish it were not so, but there is a great deal of inaccurate, misleading, and outright false information about preparedness products, storing foods, and proper planning.