One of the things about preparedness is it is tough to determine what food to store. Recently, this question was simplified when the folks from Valley Food Storage reached out to me to review some of their products. Given the choice of the three shipped, I selected the Irish Pub Style Cheddar and Potato soup first. This was followed by the Pasta Primavera and eventually, Chicken Teriyaki.
Let me start by answering the question that everyone asks first, “Did it taste good?”. The answer is a resounding “Yes”.
Now for the rest of the information you want. Each of these three packages yield five servings and claims an “up to 25 year shelf life”. I cannot, at this time vouch for the 25 years since I have only recently obtained the pouches. However, the five servings will work if you follow the label exactly which is simply, bring 5 cups of water to a boil, whisk in package contents, and cook for the number of minutes the package tells you. Finally allow it to cool.
One thing that has been bugging me lately are the number of packaged foods, especially long term types, that contain a major amount of sodium as a preservative, high cholesterol ingredients and a butt load of MonoSodium Glutamate (MSG). Valley Food Storage virtually eliminated all of these issues and even uses sea salt for flavoring. This is good from a perspective of, if it all goes to crap, folks with high blood pressure are not just eating to die. (yes, you read it correctly)
Mix this information with the fact that half of the foods out there have labels containing mostly words you cannot pronounce. Everything from the Valley Food Storage label is easy to read and sounds like it comes from an actual food product. The one exception is xanthan gum which is used as a thickener much like what corn starch does. While I could go into details of the benefits of xanthan versus other thickening agents, I think time would be better spent hoping I have already built your trust and say, this is a good thing. This is used with a food based starch to ensure the proper thickening of products that should not be drank.
The food tastes good, but I like playing in the kitchen and adding things that fit my specific needs. I did not add anything that I would not have if the world ended tomorrow. So in the case of the Pasta Primavera, I added a favorite of mine, Jalapeno Beef Jerky.
Additionally, I made the pasta with a little more than 4 7/8 cups of water. I felt the consistency was a little better this way and it thickened up nicely as opposed to having runny liquid over my pasta. In my opinion, the sauce should stick to the pasta and meat, not just sit in a bowl. But again, your mileage may vary and this is the way I like my pasta.
The package states 5 cups of water for 5 servings. The benefit is if you are not feeding five people at one time, but only need enough for one, the zip top package will hold the content so you can consume the other amounts at your leisure. My only problem was, I failed to measure out how much of the package is one-fifth so I cannot give you exact measurements.
While I have physically eaten and had the family try both the Irish Pub Soup and Pasta Primavera, we have not tried the Chicken Teriyaki for two reasons. First, it has ginger. My middle child is allergic to ginger so I will not let her eat it. This is something we can work around with no issues thanks to the easy to read labels.
The other reason is the shelf life. While I am not going to wait 25 years to see what it tastes like, I want it to sit and “percolate” for a while prior to opening the package. This will help me judge the reaction, times, air seepage, and value of the contents should I need it in an end of the world scenario. More than likely, my time frame will be between one and two years, unless we have to have it before then due to some event.
There is one last thing that puts Valley Food Storage at the top of my preparedness needs. Clearly written under the words “5 Servings” is a US Flag and the words Made in the USA. You know how I feel about supporting our country and homemade products.
So that is it. I do recommend the product based on taste, package content, and simple preparation. Make sure you store water for this or any of your long term shelf items. Regardless, you will need water to digest anything you eat regardless of what it is. Valley Food Storage products can be used for preparedness, camping, hiking, or backpacking. It is lightweight and easy to make.
Use your instincts to survive