Check Your Freeze Dried Food Ingredients

LTS foods promise us the ability to eat well years down the road. We put them up and say, “When things are bad, I’ll have some good food that hasn’t spoiled.” Freeze dried foods are the cream of the crop when it comes to long term storage, in shelf life, taste and light weight. They are offered in complete entrees, breakfast selections, deserts and individual ingredients for the prepper chef! On the surface, they answer all prepper needs except for low cost.

If you have a certain food sensitivity, though, you might want to take a look at the ingredients before you buy. The multi-ingredient offerings often include things that many people have found to be contrary to their dietary requirements and restrictions.

A few examples. In the Mountain House Chicken Teriyaki with Rice, the ingredients list, as found on their web site is:

Chicken Teriyaki with Rice
INGREDIENTS: Chicken Teriyaki: Cooked Chicken, Soy Sauce (wheat, soybeans, salt), Brown Sugar, Bamboo Shoots, Mushrooms, Red Peppers, Green Peas, Modified Corn Starch, Sherry Wine (contains sulfite), Onions, Green Peppers, Garlic Powder, Alcohol, Ground Ginger, Salt, Vinegar, Lactic Acid. Rice: Precooked Enriched Rice (enriched with niacin, iron [ferric orthophosphate], thiamine mononitrate, folic acid). CONTAINS: Soy, Wheat

People with soy and wheat allergies will find both in this entree.

Their Beef Stew offering is represented by this list:

Beef Stew
INGREDIENTS: Potatoes, Cooked Beef (beef, salt), Carrots, Peas, Corn Oil, and contains 2% or less of Modified Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (hydrolyzed corn, torula and brewers yeast, wheat gluten, soy protein), Dehydrated Onions, Sugar, Spices, Spice Extract, Garlic Powder. CONTAINS: Wheat, Soy.

Along with the wheat and soy, specifically pointed out to us by the way… is MSG.

MSG

Mono-sodium Glutamate is not only called MSG. It has several other names, one of which is “Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein”. Some people have bad reactions to MSG, and need to watch for it. MSG is described as an excito-toxin. Here are a few sites for researching MSG nomenclature….

A trip over to AlpineAire, and a turn down to their entree selection, pulled up this random set of results.

  • Pasta Alfredo with Shrimp & Sun-dried Tomatoes – a relatively clean ingredient list
  • Kung Fu Chicken – autolyzed yeast extract (MSG),  along with 2 sources of wheat and 3 of soy
  • Mountain Chili – TVP (soy) and caramel color, which has its source in many different and mysterious places
  • Beef Rotini – one source of wheat, and overall not a bad choice

We do stock a lot of these entrees, purchased before we decided to look closely at ingredients. They will remain with us, but our current purchasing plans make use of individual ingredients, or vetted entrees. Freeze dried meats, and in-the-can-cooked meats take care of the animal proteins. Single item vegetables, fruits and berries make up the rest. Mountain House and AlpineAire both offer foods we stock, along with Provident Pantry (from Emergency Essentials) and Honeyville Farms (which we like very much).

Some other things we try to look for when shopping at the super markets are foods free of pesticides (organic) and non-GMO (genetically modified organisms). Chemicals are not on our list of fun things to eat. But more so are the GMO crops. Most of the soy crop in the US is GMO, and it is being linked more and more to inflammatory responses and joint damage. I don’t need any more of the latter. When we switched to verifiable soy sources, we noticed a measurable decrease in joint pain. To me, that says something for the publications that claim GMO soy can contribute, or outright cause, systemic inflammation. I asked AlpineAire about their GMO stance. They answered that their products are non-GMO, but that they can not guarantee “organic”. Honestly, with the difficulty such food procurement strategies as ours present, I was okay with that.

Now, I’m not publishing this in order to turn you off to freeze dried entree-type foods. All of the major freeze dried food manufacturers have offerings that meet our requirements, and we’re pretty picky. So, if you have the means to acquire them, do it… but watch what you buy. Research what you’re looking at before pulling the trigger. Package deals will include these, and other items. Know your own restrictions and issues beforehand. When times are stressful, you do not need internal reactions to foods that just add to that stress. Be wise. Decide what is good for you, and buy that. Maintain your health. It might cost you a bit more to buy other than package deals, but is it really worth a few dollars if it costs you down the road?

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