Thrive Life Freeze Dried Food

Thrive Life Freeze Dried Food
Thrive Life Freeze Dried Food

Friday, January 12, 2018

Is Freeze Dried Food Just For Astronauts?

As I've grown older I have realized what a bad idea a centralized food system is. Everything is so intertwined that one glitch in the system can bring everything to a screeching halt.There is an encouraging trend towards buying locally but let's not allow more and more regulations and taxes to creep in on this forward effort. If more people grew a large portion of their own food and then bought from neighbors what they could not grow, we would save on the pollution of transportation, we would know how our food was produced, and we would all be healthier as a result.

Being concerned over our droughts, floods,  hurricanes, wildfires, and just the overall fragility of the food system pushed me to look for food storage solutions that would make our family's access to food more secure. I have a couple of freezers and I dehydrate some garden produce but the frozen food is only helpful if we have electricity and the dehydrated food doesn't have as long of a shelf life as I would like. Freeze dried food seemed like the perfect answer to me. It is now considered to be the cutting edge technology in food preservation. The process of freeze drying allows food to ripen on the vine or tree (which concentrates flavor and nutrients) and then is quickly flash frozen on site and then shipped to a plant where they immediately freeze dry the food items. This process locks in almost all of the nutrients and concentrates the flavor. In fact freeze drying preserves the most nutrients and flavor of any other preservation method.

Several companies state that the shelf life of their food is 25 to 30 years if stored under the proper conditions. I like thinking of having a freeze dried pantry....as food insurance.  Not only is it a secure feeling to have a storage pantry with a long shelf life but the foods are extremely convenient and delicious. When refreshed or re-hydrated, many people cannot tell the difference between fresh and freeze dried. Some of the food items , such as fruit, corn, etc...can be eaten right out of the can.

I am also concerned about future increases in food prices and the probability of an increase in chemicals used in growing and genetically modified foods. While we absolutely need to work towards a more natural food system, at the same time I feel it is wise to become more familiar with freeze dried foods and the many many ways they can be incorporated into our every day lives. I am finding that as I store some of these foods, I am discovering how convenient and fun it is trying different recipes using freeze dried foods.  For example....making a chicken salad is as easy as placing the freeze dried grapes, chicken, celery, onions, and mild chili peppers into a bowl with some water to refresh for 15 minutes or so. If there is any liquid left you just strain it off, add the mayo and seasoning ....and you are done!. Here is a photo I took of the chicken salad I made with all freeze dried ingredients (except the mayo)....and it was yummy!
Putting together a pre-packaged freeze dried meal below

Here are some scrambled eggs that I added freeze dried veggies and shredded cheese  to. I threw all of the veggies and cheese together in some water for a few minutes, drained them, and then added them to the eggs before scrambling.

With Soups and stews no need to rehydrate ahead of time!Add caption
Fruits and veggies hold their shape and don't shrivel up like dehydrated food. The photos below show peas before and after re-hydration.

Freeze dried food retains 97% of it's nutrients and much of it lasts from 25 to 30 years under a stable range of  temperatures.

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