Over the years, I have tried several different emergency food items. Some tasted great, and some tasted downright awful.
I am always on the lookout for new, long-term food options because they are a convenient way of storing food and being prepared for an emergency.
I had not heard of Valley Food Storage until recently and I am excited that in this review I will have the opportunity to try out one of their kits. Specifically, I will be taking a closer look at and tasting their 175 Serving Long Term Food Kit.
Below is what the kit has to offer.
Valley Food Storage Kit Features Reviewed
Each bucket comes with 21 full-sized resealable bags which provides 175 servings and an average of 27,000 total calories.
The resealable bags are packed in a water-resistant bucket that is easy to store, transport and provides additional overall protection.
Valley Food offers a wide variety of food options that cover breakfast, lunch/entrees, freeze-dried protein selections, fruits, and vegetables.
Long Shelf Life
When the kit is properly stored the food can last up to 25 years.
Country of Origin
The food in Valley Food kits is packaged in the USA.
The first thing I noticed after receiving the kit was the bucket that it came in. It is made from durable plastic that is both water-resistant and protects the food from outside elements, like pests.
A comfortable carrying handle allows 20 resealable bags to easily be transported where you need them.
The lid on the bucket is tightly sealed but can be quickly opened by using the pull tab to unseal the bucket.
What’s Inside A Valley Food Storage Kit?
I opened the bucket by pulling on the tab just below the lid and removed the seal. There are two of these tabs, one on each side, and both need to be removed before trying to open the bucket.
Also, I do not want you to make the same mistake I did and try pulling the lid off after the tabs are removed because this is not your typical bucket lid.
The lid is hinged on the back and is kept shut by a small push tab on the front. To open the lid, simply push the small tap notch inward and pull the tab forward.
I took all the meals out and laid them on my dining room table so that I could see what my menu choices were.
Here is a list of the meals I received.
- Italian Wild Risotto
- Fettuccine Alfredo
- Pasta Primavera
- Apple Oatmeal x2
- White Bean and Lime Chili
- Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal x2
- Strawberry Oatmeal x2
- Enchilada Beans and Rice
- Irish Pub Cheddar Soup
- Strawberry Cream of Wheat
- Chicken A La King
- Chicken Teriyaki
- Tomato Basil Soup
- Freeze Dried Green Peas
- Freeze Dried Strawberries
- Fortified Instant Non-Fat Milk
- Whole Eggs
It is important to know that what came into my bucket, may not be what you receive. Meals can be swapped out in the kit depending on what is available at the time of packaging.
The Resealable Bags
With some of the long-term food I have tried in the past, the pouches generally contain one or two servings. Valley Food provides a larger serving size per pouch that can be five or ten servings.
I like that on the front of the pouch there is a large label that displays helpful information. It tells you the type of meal, nutritional information, serving size, ingredients, and directions for preparing the meal.
What is on the back of the bag is just as important. On the back, each bag has information that tells you what the meal is, its lot number, and the food’s packing date.
At the top of the bag, there is a small slit on the side that allows the bag to be easily opened without a cutting tool.
Lastly, the bag is resealable. This is a great feature that saves food for when you do not want to cook the entire contents of a bag. Also, in an emergency, the bag could be used to carry cooked food or as a general use container.
Time To Cook!
Before putting my chef’s apron on I do need to point out one difference between Valley Food and other long-term food. Other long-term food that I have had in the past can be rehydrated and heated in the pouches they come in.
That is not the case with Valley Food. While it is still incredibly easy to prepare, their food does need to be cooked in a pot or pan over a heat source.
Now that I got that out of the way, it is time to cook. I put my chef’s apron on which was not necessary because preparing these meals is a breeze.
I chose the Italian Wild Risotto because it sounded good, and I had never had it before.
Here are the difficult steps (just kidding) I took to cook my dinner for the evening.
Open the bag by using the easy to tear tab on the side.
Remove the oxygen absorber that is inside. It may be buried under all the ingredients so shake everything up until you find it. Throw the oxygen absorber away unless you do not intend on cooking a whole bag. In that case, keep it for later.
I grabbed a measuring cup and added the recommended amount of water, 3 ½ cups for a whole bag of this meal, to a pot and brought it to a boil.
Here is what the dried meal looked like before adding it into the pot.
Once the water was boiling, I stirred the contents of the bag into the pot, covered it, and allowed it to simmer for 20 minutes. Per the directions, I occasionally stirred the pot to prevent the food from sticking. At this point, I must say that it smelled really good.
After twenty minutes the risotto was done, and it was time to ring the dinner bell!
Taste Testing The Valley Food Storage Kit
I have to admit that before cooking I did not know what risotto was. I thought it was soup and another family member thought it was pasta. We were both wrong as it is a rice dish.
I dished out a couple of servings into a few bowls and sat down to try risotto out for the first time. At first, it tasted a bit bland to me but after a few bites, I started to taste all the spices and flavoring. My wife immediately thought it tasted great and she is a better judge than I.
Here is what the finished risotto looked like after it was prepared.
And here is what the risotto looked like after I was finished with it. I thought it tasted good and even went back for seconds.
Food Storage Kit Pros and Cons
- 25-year shelf life
- The bucket is durable and easy to store and transport
- Variety of meals that help prevent menu fatigue
- Large serving size is ideal for a family
- Meals are easy to prepare
- Resealable bags
- Large serving size per bag may not be desirable for individuals
- The food cannot be heated in the bags and does require it to be cooked over a heat source
Q: What should you do with uncooked, leftover food?
In the case that you are not going to eat an entire bag at one sitting, here is what you should do. Leave the uncooked food in the original bag and place the oxygen absorber back in as well. Press out as much air as possible and reseal the bag
Q: How long will an opened bag last?
If you do not intend on eating an entire meal at one sitting follow the above steps for storing it. After a bag is opened and properly resealed it should be consumed within four weeks.
I have tasted emergency or survival food in the past that I did not like and trying risotto for the first time was a risky choice. But the risotto tasted great, and I give it two thumbs up. Thus far, I give everything about Valley Food thumbs up.
I like the durable bucket that the food comes in. I like that it has a comfortable carrying handle. I like that there is a variety of meals that come in the kit and that those meals are packaged in resealable bags. I like that the meals only require the addition of water and heat to cook. And lastly, I like that the food actually tastes good.
I think everyone should have a supply of emergency food because we never know what tomorrow will bring. One thing I can guarantee about tomorrow is that at some point you will be hungry, and Valley Food provides a great way to satisfy that hunger.
Have you ever tried Valley Food products or have a question about the above review? Be sure to sound off in the comment section below and let us know!