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Preparedness Tips: Dried Food

Dried foods are common and are a favorite treat for many Americans. Today you can find these foods on the shelves of most stores and specialty shops. These foods consist of all types from beefjerky to dried apples. The two main processes of drying foods are by dehydration and by freeze-drying. Both processes extract the moisture of the food and allows for prolonged storage without the worries of mold and other food borne illnesses. Dehydration Dehydration is the most common and least expensive form in which we see food dried today. This is done through a process of extracting the water out of the food in a dehydrator. A dehydrator is a machine that through various processes dries food though sustained dry heat. The liquid is evaporated from the food and leaves a tasty remnant that is lightweight and easily packaged. When packaged correctly dehydrated foods are storable for many years. This is a good way to increase your home food storage on the cheap. All you need is a food dehydrator and the right kind of storage containers, all of which are sold here. Be sure that it is stored in a dry cool place to ensure longer shelf life. Freeze-Drying The basic principle in freeze-drying is sublimation, which is the shift from a solid into a gas. Sublimation happens when a water molecule gets enough energy to free themselves from the others around it. This occurs when the temperature and pressure are within a very particular range. For more information see our section on freeze-drying. This process is not a process that is easily accomplished at home. It takes a very expensive machine to make and unless you were doing it consistently for a large community, it would be more cost effective to purchase direct. Unlike dehydrated foods, freeze dried food retains nearly 96% of the original nutritional value. Amazing! However, just like dehydrated food, It’s lightweight and easy portable. If placed in a proper food storage container it can last up to 5-10 years. Some of the more popular foods that are freeze-dried are raspberries, bananas, mangos, pineapples and corn. However you can freeze dry nearly anything eatable. You can even freeze dry entire meals such as spaghetti and meatballs and even sweet and sour chicken. This is the primary reason this dried food has also become popular with campers, hunters and a lot of sports enthusiasts. Dried food is a safe and reliable as food storage. It is lightweight and can also be used as a survival food and put into your family’s survival kit for evacuation situations. It makes for a much tastier alterative to the MRE. Overall this food is lightweight, easily to store and natural. Don’t miss out on dried foods when making your emergency preparedness plan.

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