Most long-term foods are single ingredients stored in secure containers (either heavy pouches or cans) and can have a shelf-life of up to 25 years. Some of the foods are meant for survival and some are intended for everyday use. I use the Thrive Life foods for everyday use and for long-term storage. The products normally have higher nutritional value, are convenient to use, taste better, and can be more economical.
Plan your meals when choosing long-term foods. Choose ingredients that can be combined to create a variety of menu items. Get a mix of proteins, vegetables, fruit, spices, etc. Ingredients normally come in different sizes including:
- Pouches are used for snacks and single servings.
- A Pantry Can is about 4″ (diameter) by 5.5″ tall. This is a good size for kitchen use and for long-term storage.
- A #10 Can is about 6.25″ (diameter) by 7″ tall. These are good for the everyday use ingredients and for quickly used long term ingredients. I normally use the pantry cans in my kitchen but then refill those pantry can from a #10 can. This is more economical, I have some backup product in the #10 can, and it keeps the product in the #10 can fresher because the can is opened fewer times.
Some of the long-term food is much more convenient and more economical then using fresh products. I have also found that they often taste better than fresh or canned products. With the Thrive freeze-dried products they are picked at their peak freshness and then processed within hours of being picked. This locks in flavor and nutrients. The Thrive products are already cleaned and chopped so it significantly reduces preparation time.
Some freeze-dried foods are more expensive than their grocery store counterparts. For example, a grocery store box of macaroni may cost about $1.50 and the long-term equivalent may cost $3.00. The grocer store version may last for a few years if properly stored whereas the long-term version may last 25-years and can be stored in harsh environments. The consumer packaging is fine if under ideal conditions but it must be kept dry, it must be free from pests, etc. With the long-term product it is sealed in a metal container or heavy pouch that protects it against pests and the environment. High humidity or water should not affect the long-term product but could destroy the product with consumer packaging.
Opening a sealed container significantly reduces the shelf-life of the ingredient. The product may last for 25 years in a sealed can but it may last less than a year once opened. Again, choose the ingredients wisely and plan your meals.