As most of you know, Mountain House freeze dried foods have been around longer than any other brand of its type — since 1963. (The manufacturer is Oregon Freeze Dry.)
They began by freeze drying berries for cereals. When the Vietnam war started, they offered to provide more nutritious, easy to prepare food for our soldiers. It was a hit! And Mountain House foods really took off!
So let's look at why we should try Mountain House brand for ourselves:
Like all freeze dried foods, preparation is just a matter of adding hot water...wait 10 minutes...and eat! A one-burner stove or candle will heat the water but room temperature or cold water can be used too (it just takes longer to hydrate and is not quite as tasty).
Freeze dried foods require much less water and fuel than most fresh, frozen or dehydrated foods. In an emergency situation, both water and fuel may be in short supply or non-existent.
No need to rotate these foods. Mountain House freeze-dried foods are packed in airtight #10 cans or pouches. Up to 98% of the residual oxygen has been removed. The unique canning process uses both vacuum oxygen removal and nitrogen flushing. This is a time consuming and slightly more costly process...but well worth it. This same process is mandated by the U.S. Military.
Their products were tested for oxygen content by an independent testing facility and they came up #1. Take a look at the results!
Impressive, right? Mountain House has been around for 50 years so they have had plenty of time to perfect their products. Each of their cans is coated with protective enamel inside and out, including the lid, for double protection. Each can's contents are protected until you are ready to open and use them. After opening, they should be used within 1 to 2 weeks for best results and taste; using the convenient resealable plastic lid between uses. Treat any leftover food as you would fresh food.
At the end of its shelf life, freeze dried food will still be edible, if not optimal. Storage conditions (light, heat, moisture) will also play a huge part in their longevity and nutrition.
When I began my food storage journey, I bought the pouch sizes to try before buying #10 cans. I like to taste-test before stocking up. They were as good as any home-made meal I could cook up myself.
Mountain House starts with fresh foods, then cooks and prepares them, and finally freeze-drys them. Most other food companies don't freeze-dry or cook their own foods. They blend the dry components purchased from other companies and package them. Mountain House foods taste as close to fresh, frozen, or better, as you can get. Backpackers consistently rate Mountain House #1 year after year as the best tasting foods.
Mountain House follows the FDA rules on gluten-free claims which can be found here. The foods we classify as gluten-free are by their very nature, free of gluten (fruits, vegetables, meats).
They maintain a rigorous sanitation validation program. Tests are used to determine if gluten protein is still present on equipment after cleaning and sanitizing. They use these tests to make sure the cleaning practices are in fact removing these proteins.
That said, everyone who has dietary restrictions should educate themselves on what ingredients are known to contain gluten since gluten labeling is not required in the U.S. Don't forget there are many other grains that contain gluten other than wheat. Read labels carefully.
Since FD foods are processed at lower temperature and pressure than other methods, they retain nutrition better than dehydrating or canning. They are also packaged in a nearly oxygen-free environment.
Mountain House packages their foods in several sizes and containers. Backpackers and campers love the pouch size. Some pouches contain two servings and some contain four. They are perfect for your 72-hour pack also.
For your long term storage, #10 cans are the most efficient. There are also some products in smaller cans, usually spices, sauces, and often-used kitchen products like baking powder.
For convenience, there are pre-packed sizes containing three-month's worth of food for one person all the way up to an entire year's worth. The choice is yours.
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Having a reserve of Mountain House® freeze dried food makes a lot of sense — both for financial and security reasons. Use the pouches for short-term emergencies or camping and the larger cans and buckets for potential extended emergencies.