Food Storage – Mountain House, Wise, Legacy, Thrive, or ?????
- January 2, 2018 at 8:07 pm #16214
Greetings & Happy New Year from the Great White North (Canada)!
From what I’ve read (and tasted), Thrive & Mountain House are good and always seem to be named as two of the best long-term food storage products going for preppers.
Up here in Tundra-Land (-23 outside right now…lol), Thrive & MH are very expensive compared to some other products. As an example, a #10 can of Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce is $26 USD (approx $32 CAD) per can on the US Amazon site, but is anywhere between $45 CAD and $93 CAD per can on the Canadian amazon.ca site (the $93 is based on a price of $558 for 6 cans!). The cheapest I have found a #10 can of the Lasagna with Meat Sauce up here is about $40 CAD plus shipping. The price differential with Thrive is similar.
I’m not opposed to spending a little more due to exchange rates & import/shipping costs, but having to pay nearly 30% or more seems excessive to me. Purchasing in USD & shipping to a friends P.O. box in Michigan that I can then pick up from is also an option being considered, however, travel time & costs as well as taxes/duties are also a consideration with this option.
Prices up here for Wise & Legacy Premium food storage seem more reasonable and are similar to US prices once the exchange rate is considered.
I am aware of the various oxygen content/moisture/calorie/flavour/other tests that Mountain House did a few years ago and that their “independent” test results showed that some brands – Wise particularly – were brands that many agreed should be avoided due to a variety of reasons including high levels of residual oxygen, moisture, etc in their packaging. Legacy seemed to do okay in most of these tests.
Although it’s likely going to be a hard no for the Wise stuff (unless someone knows about any recent info that show Wise has since improved and reduced the oxygen and moisture content to acceptable levels), I would like to know what you folks think about Legacy Premium and/or any other quality food storage products so I can then see whether they are available up here for reasonable prices.
Thanks folks, and I hope 2018 is a safe one for us all…
JohnJanuary 3, 2018 at 5:59 am #16215
I have to put my vote in for Thrive, it’s my favorite. So much so that we decided long ago to sign up as consultants, as that is the best way to get your food at a discount. I know there are Thrive consultants in Canada, but not many. You can find them through the Thrive website and ask to be contacted with more information. I can tell you just about anything concerning the food but can’t speak to the price that you will pay in Canada. I have very rarely had issues with any product that I have received from Thrive and when I did, they replaced my order and told me to keep the damaged can.January 3, 2018 at 4:35 pm #16217
Milkbone96 – Since crossing borders (physical and currency) is a factor, have you considered a home freeze drier, a la Harvest Right? I know it is a much higher up front cost but depending where you are in your stores, it may be less expensive in the long run. Plus, you get to determine what and how much you get to store. Particularly the coveted proteins…unless you are vegetarian of course.
I have considered this approach but unfortunately, was far into my preps to have the ROI, that is why I commented about your stores. Not sure if you read my (link–>) DIY Long Term Storage post regarding tiered approach. Forgive me if you are well into prepping and “You know that!“. The reason I make the reference is that I was well into it with the Tier 3 level food stock thus the ROI was not there for me. If you are not in same situation or are looking to seriously increase your stocks, I recommend the DIY Freeze Drying for the benefits.
Now, as for what brand I stocked for Tier 3.2 (per my post), 5 of them. They are;
- Prepared Meals
- Mountain House
- My Patriot Supply
- Wise Company
- Emergency Essentials
- Honeyville Farms
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Emergency Essentials (F)
- Honeyville Farms (V)
For Dairy, I went with Hoosier Hill Farm as they are USA, Hormone Free, and has whole milk and cream. The milk for Mashed Potatoes, Rolled Oats, and other SHTF meals that require milk. The cream, well my honey bunny (which is the CFO with whom I have to grease the purchasing skids) likes Half and Half in her coffee… so, that is must have in that SHTF Coffee bucket! ??
- A couple of points:
- For my purpose, the prepared meals are primarily for bug out use; of course, if needed or desired, bug in too. For the other Tier 3 items, I focused on an ingredient based approach. Meaning, #10 cans of Proteins, Vegetables, etc. to allow compiling my own meal with my own spices.
- To supplement the animal based protein meals, I also stock TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) which is ground meat consistency. This allows getting the necessary protein without having to utilize the much more costly animal based ones. They come in plain, beef, and chicken flavor and are great for savory dishes like Chili, Ragu Bolognese, etc. I do a 2:1 ratio of animal to TVP ration, but that is to taste.
I have heard nothing but praise related to Thrive products but as I had a sufficient long term stock, have not purchase (yet), nothing opposed to the brand, products, etc. My focus lately has been to Tier 4 items (Garden & Livestock) and rotating through Tiers 2 and below, DIY meals and home canning. These latter two give me easy +2 and +7 year shelf life respectively. With commensurate rotation, that carries for quite a while before needing to dip into Tier 3.1 and 3.2 items.
A major tip item, make sure you stock condiments and spices, they are invaluable when making any meal tasty, particularly the DIY versions.
January 6, 2018 at 1:33 am #16249
- This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by TN Homesteader.
Dear Milkbone, Prepared Mom, TN Homesteader,
My primary field is medical. However over the last decades I have eaten and cooked some meals. So
my perspective is between college, Army meals thrown out of a UH-1 or convoy truck, 12 years as a single Dad with 2 sons, 1 dog, 1 cat and teaching diabetics how to buy and prepare food.
Can food is my go to meal preference for SHTF. It is cheap. It can be cached with some digging. Cans can be opened with a bayonet, knife or kitchen opener. Some sizes can be turned into small stoves.
My days of hiking with a 75 pound ruck sack and rifle are over. A 3 day patrol is possible on the perimeter of the community where I live in a active SHTF situation. Cooking at home(BUgIn) behind a concrete wall and sand bags is my choice. People say what about the marauding hordes of starving people? Starving people cannot walk very far. So they will drive. Know the approaches to your neighborhood and your street and guard these choke points. A car full of idiots makes a great target compared to a recon patrol.
I stocked a lot of BEANS (FIBER PROTEIN AND CARBS). RICE both BROWN and WHITE.CANNED CHICKEN and BEEF.All are easily transportable in plastic bins. SPAM for variety. Dennison’s Chili. Pineapple Chunks, Peaches and Honey,WHEAT AND OATS in bags or buckets. These are readily available at COSTCO, HONEYVILLE,LEHMANS AND PLEASANT HILL GRAINS. Or you can BUY BULK and use mylar bags and seal with oxygen absorbers and place in plastic buckets.(HINT: spray white buckets with CAMO color streaks for your geographical locations. White is good for SNOW ONLY.
None of your brands of dehydrated food taste good day after day at sea level, 5,000 ft or 13,000 feet. Beans taste good in the jungle, desert, snow, beach and followed with peaches , mystery meat and crackers. Packing enough dehydrated food for a team or group location requires a plan, a secure storage area and vehicles. Many of you are ready. God Bless your families. In my neighborhood less than 5% of the people are prepared. As John says there will be a lot of widows in SHTF.
DIGGING AT NIGHT to make a CACHE.HINT: use a red light flash lite or infra red light; Best of
LUCK to Prepared Mind Fans.
JMED308January 6, 2018 at 2:55 pm #16250
JMED -Good stuff and it always comes down to one’s plans. Regardless, the key point is the 5% of your neighbors, more to the 95% not prepared inference! Yup, concealment of cache reserves is definitely a must, particularly for your locale as your neighborhood is also near one of the largest megalopolis in the USA!
For the rice, you may have already included this. In the Hispanic food section of grocery store, there are Goya “flavoring” cubes. They are great to flavor something like white rice or in a complex carb. combination of rice and beans. If you are still stocking, try par cooking some rice and beans (separately) and dehydrating. That with a Goya, or bullion cube, makes a great “add boiling water” meal, virtually no cooking, a DIY MRE ?!
Good tip on the red light. When I go out at night to inspect livestock, always use the red light setting. That way, does not disturb animals and potential predators/pests are less apt to see you coming. Works great for the 2 legged kind of same “pest” ?
I extend the blessings to you and your two sons (family). Although you have the military experience (I do not), I hope we don’t have to utilize our preps for SHTF! But, best to have and not need (for SHTF) than need and not have… we can always eat what we have!January 9, 2018 at 8:34 pm #16259
Thanks so much for the info & advice – all of it greatly appreciated!
I’d say I’m about 60% of where I want to be with regards to food storage. I have a significant amount of canned soups/vegetables/fruits/meats & fish, beans, rice, pasta, dry goods, salt/pepper/spices, grains/flours, cereals, yeasts, condiments, etc. stored. I store what I use day-to-day, and for these items, I have an equivalent of what we would use in a 1 year period stored.
What prompted my post is that I am starting to build up my supply of ‘manufactured’ food storage to compliment the other items I have stored up, and I’m looking for educated opinions on what is a good brand to consider and what is not. My plan is to first get sample packs or small quantities of the various brands that get more good than bad reviews (MH, Thrive, Legacy, Honeyville, Wise, etc), sample them, figure out the serving size vs cost ratio, and start storing 2 or 3 different brands that are (in our opinion) good quality & tasty, nutritious, and cost effective (once the conversion to the Canadian Beaver Peso has been factored in).
PreparedMother – thanks so much for the info re Thrive – it’s definitely on the ‘to try’ list! Since my initial post and your reply, I have emailed back and forth with a Canadian distributor of Thrive (Briden Solutions) and plan to make a trial order of cans of beef, chicken, milk, eggs, and a few different veggies shortly. Also, thank you for all the work and effort you have put into the club in general – I’m sure I speak for just about everybody when I say your efforts are very much appreciated!!
TN Homesteader – was great chatting with you a week ago! Thanks for the suggestion re a freeze dryer. Unfortunately, its not an option financially right now, but it will be in a couple of years. Your DIY Food Storage post/thread is full of great info – all of your posts are actually, and I’d like to say thanks for the time and effort you spend writing them. +1 on the half-and-half for Mrs as well – I will be following your lead on that addition to the coffee pail for sure!! BTW, I’m going to be in your neck of the woods on my Harley the week of Sept 10th – a bunch of riding buddies and I are headed to the Smoky Mountains on our bikes to tear up the awesome roads and eat some spectacular bbq that week! I think we are going to rent one of those big luxury log cabins instead of doing the hotel/crazy Pigeon Forge traffic thing, so if you have any suggestions for good cabin rentals, let me know! (maybe a Prepared Mind Club rib night at the Pigeon Forge Calhoun’s is in order??!! )
JMED308 – our perspectives on eating are very similar in ways, so I understand where you are coming from, and say “+1” on the canned foods preference – they were the first thing I started to load up on once I committed to getting prepared. It took a while to figure out how much of each item to store, but it didn’t take long to build up the supply. Thanks for your reply – lots of great info in there too!!! I would estimate that my area is less than 5% prepped, probably because most Canadians seem to have a lot more (blind) faith in their (ethically corrupt and morally vacant) municipal, provincial, and federal governments to keep them safe, heathy, and fed in times of crisis. I don’t see it happening, which is why I’m now doing what I have to so that, whether the cause is natural or man-made, I don’t have to depend on them for anything when things take a shit.
Thanks again to everyone for their replies and info, and anyone else who has an opinion on decent food storage products, feel free to chime in!January 16, 2018 at 12:47 pm #16276
milkbone96 – Glad you found the food comments useful! September in the Smoky Mountains and BBQ, sounds like a great time! One of our friends works for people that have properties in the Gatlingburg area. I will reach out to her and see if I can get any leads to pass on!
I think your approach to selecting the food brand is very sound, nothing like tasting the pudding! One of the reasons I have multiple brands is due to that very reason, taste. Using an example, I may like a Coke but doesn’t mean I like a Cherry Coke… I don’t drink Coke but it was the brand that came to mind. I have to say, Thrive’s corn is both good for cooking and candy right out of the can, literally, like eating candy (sampled at a gun show).
Whichever brand(s) you select or focus on items from differing brands, stock up on spices and condiments. Save some room in your saddle bags! ? In some cases, I have dehydrated my own. For example, I can get a bunch of Cilantro for $.88 and can dehydrate way more volume for the same $8 than McCormick’s or other brand. Of course, you need to taking into consideration the CBP (Beaver Peso). Anyway, the point is that having a good stockpile will help in the flavor department. One thing to consider is humidity so I vacuum seal the containers with a desiccant. I used the standard Food Saver bags as they are kept in basement (cool & dark). You can certainly use Mylar, it’s a cost thing.January 19, 2018 at 7:34 pm #16286
- Prepared Meals
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