Emergency Foods

The belly rules the mind. - Spanish Proverb

Food Bars

These are specially formulated "cookie" bars that are non-thirst provoking and high in protein to help in a high stress situation. Each bar exceeds the normal daily requirements for vitamins and minerals. They typically have a five-year storage life and can withstand extreme temperature ranges (-40 degrees to 300 degrees F). A typical 3-day package contains 9 bars of 400 kcal each (3,600 kcal per package). Because of their wide storage temperature range and relative small size and weight, they are ideally suited for emergency kits. A 3-day (9 bars) package cost under $10. The taste is acceptable, but you may tire of them after a few meals.

Pouch Products

These products are packaged in an aluminized foil pouch and typically have a shelf life of about 2 years (if stored at room temperature). The foods are either dehydrated or freeze dried, and each package is nitrogen flushed to ensure freshness and extended storage life. Many are "no-cook" varieties that don't require any cooking. To prepare you simply add hot (or cool) water. The average cost per meal, per person can be as low as $2.50. They are very light and easy to transport. And the taste of the camping meals is usually excellent.


MRE's are ideal for a quick, nutritious, easy-to-prepare meal. These are packaged in a specially designed pouches that are sealed, cooked and not exposed to air until opened. MREs typically have a five to seven year shelf life if stored in a cool environment. But the nutrition and taste deteriorate with an increase in ambient storage temperature. They can be eaten warm or cool. One advantage to MREs is that it doesn't require that water be added (except to the drink base). They don't need any cooking or preparation. The drawbacks are that many of these foods are high in fat, salt, sugar and may contain MSG. On the negative side they do not provide as much roughage (fiber) as you need. (This can lead to digestive problems if you plan to live on them for more than a week or two.) The maximum time Military Rations should be eaten is 21 days, assuming that no other foods consumed during this time.