Option 3: Freeze Dried Foods

Attributes

  • Price: $0.75 – $1.95/oz
  • Days of Survival per $100: ~ 5 Days
  • Cost Per Day of Survival: $15-$25
  • Official Shelf Life: 7 – 25+ Years
  • Storage Conditions: 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (room temperature)

Note: Often times freeze dried food can last well past it’s “best if used by” date. The temperature the food is stored at has a direct impact on the shelf life. Keep the temperature as stable as possible (without fluctuations). Use the following as a guide:

Storage Temperature to Shelf Life

50°F – 40 years
55°F – 35 Years
65°F – 25 Years
75°F – 15 Years
85°F – 10 Years

* Note: Generally when you buy freeze dried food it will have a printed expiration date of 7 years from the day it was manufactured. This expiration date is widely accepted to be extremely conservative.  It is generally safe to consider your freeze dried foods to still be good for consumption for 15 – 20 years when stored at room temperature.

Pro’s:

  • Generally light weight and easy to carry
  • Easy to prepare; just add boiling water
  • Extended shelf life
  • Many choices of vegetable, meat, wheat, dairy, and desert products

Con’s: 

  • Expensive when compared to many alternatives
  • Taste can sometimes lack
  • Multiple packages need to be used to obtain variety in a meal (each item is packaged individually)

A Note About These Calculations: The numbers reflected here for “price”, “days of survival per $100”, and “cost per day of survival” are based on my research and are a result of averages. They are by no means exact and are only meant to be used as a general guideline and overview of each option for long term food storage. One “day of survival” is based on a 2000 calorie per day diet. If you eat more, make adjustments accordingly. Shelf life is based on storing the food at room temperature (widely considered to be 65°F to 72°F) unless otherwise noted. The Dehydrated Foods Section calculations are considered extremely general at best. Dehydrated food can be produced at home fairly inexpensively or in a professional factory where additives are put into the foods to preserve freshness for a longer duration of time. This is what accounts for the broad number ranges in this section.

Option 1: Canned Foods

Option 2: Dehydrated Foods

Option 3: Freeze Dried Foods

Option 4: MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat)