Thursday, November 15, 2012

Food Items Good for Disaster Preparedness

I have been searching the shelves at the grocery store looking for quick-fix items that would do well if we had an emergency situation. I am amazed at what is there. I think the workplace and school lunches have encouraged the development of these microwavable or pop-a-can entrees.

I just finished eating Annie Chun’s Kung Pao Noodle Bowl. It was ready in 2 minutes and has all 100% natural ingredients no preservatives and no MSG. One bowl serves 1 person 500 calories. The carb count is 17g with 5g fiber. The down side is 980 mg sodium and 14 grams of sugar. However you also get 17 g of protein. AND….it tastes good! You can also fix this by just adding 1 cup boiling water. In a no-fuel situation you would just add the water and let it sit until the dehydrated vegetables rehydrated.

A very vital discovery is the realization that scissors made the job of opening all the little packets easier. So, I am putting a pair of blunt-nosed scissors in my Go-Kits.  These are available in School Supplies.

Check out Hormel’s Compleats. I picked up a 2-serving container of Seasoned Pork with BBQ sauce to make sandwiches for lunch. I figure it will make skimpy serving so most will probably eat the entire container which has 280 calories. Another option is Homestyle Beef Pot Pie with 230 calories. Both are ready to eat so they’d be  great Go-Kit items. Of course they are better heated a little.  The best by dates are two years out. This doesn’t mean the product will be ruined and needs to be discarded, it is just the manufacturers guarantee for vitamin and quality issues.

I am a fan of Idahoan instant mashed potatoes. There are other brands out there, but these are the only ones I have found that taste good with only the addition of water. Two cups of boiling water will reconstitute in 1 minute. All that is really necessary is to let them sit for additional time after you add the water. Each pouch makes 4 servings at 110 calories each. In an emergency you would probably want to serve each person 1 cup so you would need extra packets for your meal counts.

Another great source for quick, easy, no-prep food is your soup aisle. I have been a fan of Bear Creek for years. I love their potato soup. While they don’t have the big cans for at Sam’s any more, they now have many varieties in packets in grocery stores.  I picked up Creamy Wild Rice and “Darn Good” Chili. They both make 8 cups of soup which would serve 4 very well. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on whether you are enjoying chili on a blustery night at home or in an emergency situation. Each serving only has 180 calories for 2 cups of soup.  The rice soup has 130 calories per cup.

Calorie counts are very important in emergency situations. Each age group needs a specific amount to function at top form. Those calories can’t be empty – the just fill you up or satisfy a sweet-tooth craving kind.  Now I am not discounting the beneficial aspects of good chocolate. I think any prudent preparer would want them in their stash. One good thing about winter weather in most climates is the wonderful fact that chocolate won’t melt. Alas, we in the south can NEVER leave chocolate in the car.
I am thoroughly enjoying the food searches and taste tests. I am pretty adventurous about food. I don't particularily like squid -- but that is about it. While I ususally pass up kim chee, I've been reading about the benefits of fermented foods. I am trying to get my nerve up to experiment. I'd welcome reader input on the subject.


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