Myths and Deceptions About Food Storage

Myths and Deceptions

Myth: All “year supply products” give you enough food. Example, some companies are selling “year supplies” that only contain about 125 lbs of dried food. That will only feed you for three months. That means you need to 4 times that amount in order to have a year supply. We have seen nationally advertized food units that only provide approximately 500 calories a day. That is equivalent to 1 McDonalds Big Mac per day (I like Big Mac’s, but that’s not much food.

Myth: A serving is a meal. Many companies are replacing the term “meal” with serving. A serving is a portion of a meal usually containing 150-250 calories. If you are being told that you are getting 3 1/2 servings a day, then you are getting 450-750 calories. That is death by slow starvation.Myth: Lightweight and space efficient. Food can be dense and space efficient or light weight and space inefficient. You need approximately 500 lbs of food per person. If a can weighs 1 lb you’ll need 500 of them. If a can weighs 5 lbs you’ll need 100 of them. Heavy is space efficient, light is not.

Myth: All dried food lasts 30 years. We had a customer point out a product and say “that lasts 20 years.” Our supplier gives that product a 5-7 year shelf life. Come to find out, a salesman at another store greatly exaggerated the life of the product to entice her to buy it. This happens a lot in the industry. Average shelf life is between 3 and 30 years depending on product and storage temperatures. Products with fats, oils, or higher moisture content (some fruits) have shorter shelf life. Some companies use the phrase “up to” 25 or 30 years to make their product seem better.

Yes, in a freezer that’s probably true. Many base this on a 40 or 60 degree temperature. Shelf life drops drastically as storage temperature is increased. Example: a product that lasts 20 years at 60 degrees really only lasts about 10 years at 70-75 degrees. Also, there are 2 sets of numbers when referring to shelf life. The first is based on best flavor and nutrition. (You are still going to want to eat it). The second number is based on the idea that you can eat it and it won’t kill you. (Realizing that nutrition and flavor may have declined drastically depending on the product). Most salesman use the longer number to impress you!

Myth: All #10 cans are the same. Not true. Many companies are short filling their cans to create the illusion of a better price, thus ending up with a can that has less product, empty space, and requires more storage area. Example, our onions have 40 oz per #10 can and a major competitors can only has 30 oz. The egg powder we sell has 3 lbs of eggs, whereas a major competitor only puts 2 lbs in their can. You can also shake the can to find how full it is. Better way, just compare the cost per ounce. Also, keep in mind that the taste and quality will vary based on the grade of ingredients use to make the product!