Wise Food Storage [Interview]

April 28, 2016 by | Be the first to comment »

We’ve had a lot of questions about freeze-dried food, so we figured we’d go directly to the source and let Mike Malmrose from Wise Company answer them for you.

Your freeze-dried food is labeled as having up to a 25 year shelf life. What factors affect that?

This depends upon where you live. Wise products are made of both freeze-dried and dehydrated components and are affected by temperature, moisture, oxygen and light. Optimal storage conditions for our foods are in cool, dry places. Studies have proven that freeze-dried and dehydrated foods will last up to 25 years or even longer. For optimal storage life it is suggested that food be stored in a cool, dry place, such as a basement, with room temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees. Many of our customers store their food at room temperature and have not had issues with the shelf life. The most important thing for the food is that you keep it away from extreme heat and/or direct sunlight. Storing your food in an attic, hot shed, or any other high temperature outdoor location will significantly reduce the shelf life.

Is the food still unsafe to eat after that?

If stored as we suggest, the food should still be safe and full of flavor even after 25 years, but it may lose some flavor and texture.

(HTSI note: check out our previous article on the expiration date myth for more info.)

Some of your products have shorter shelf life—why is that?

Moisture is one of the key components that will reduce the shelf life of freeze-dried or dehydrated foods. For our packaging here at Wise Company, we use an ultra-high barrier film developed by ExxonMobil called Metallyte™. This essentially is a flexible metal pouch that is designed to allow little to no oxygen or moisture to penetrate. This packaging is a critical component in maintaining our ultra-low moisture levels (0.032 oz./pouch). This is below U.S. military standards and well within the range necessary to achieve a 25 year shelf life. I have also included a link below that shows the results, from a third party company, of the moisture levels within our packaging. Here is the link: http://www.wisefoodstorage.com/wise-quality-control

You recently added gluten-free options to your product line. Is there a lot of demand for that?

Yes, we realized the demand! Aside from meats and veggies, Wise Food carries a unique, gluten-free, 84-serving entrée and breakfast package that can provide a single individual with three servings of gluten-free food a day. The package includes meals such as loaded baked potato casserole, tomato basil soup, potatoes and chicken-flavored potpie, teriyaki and rice, and more. Much like our other emergency food storage packages, this particular one can last for up to 25 years when stored properly. Being prepared for the unexpected is important. As long as you do your part to plan in advance, you don’t have to compromise your dietary needs even during an emergency event or natural disaster.

Do you have any plans to add Paleo-friendly options in the future?

Not at this time.

(HTSI note: Paleo Meals to Go has tasty paleo options, but they are more expensive and don’t offer as much variety just yet.)

How do freeze-dried foods compare to other options, such as MREs, canned goods, or dry goods?

Much easier to prepare, store and move or grab and go when needed. Tastier than an MRE. No need to open up a bunch of items to prepare a meal, just open up a pouch, add water and wait and then you’re good to go.

Can you explain your manufacturing process?

Sure, we can even show you!

Your packaging is pretty space-efficient; how many meals can be stored per cubic foot of storage space?

You could fit a year supply of food for 2 adults in the space of about a washer and dryer.

What advice do you have for someone just starting to build their emergency food supply?

Do something now to get started even if it is small. Once you start and get the feeling of what it’s like being somewhat prepared, that will motivate you to keep going. Getting just a 72 hour supply of food and water for everyone in your family is a great place to start and won’t break the bank.

Tell our readers about some of the other products you carry.

We carry water storage products as our food is really of no use without water. We also have backpacks with emergency supplies that include our food as well as a couple of fuel sources in the event that you want to warm up the water and have a hot meal, even though hot water is not a requirement.

Melanie Swick (a.k.a. Survival Chick) grew up wanting to be a rocket scientist, but when she realized she that required way too much math, she took to her second dream—spending time in the wilderness. Today, when she's not hiking, camping, or hunting, she's blogging about it. You can connect with Melanie on Facebook.

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