The Truth About Food Storage and Food Storage Companys
Welcome to Food Storage Facts.com. I have put this site together because I feel an obligation to share my views with the world about food storage and food storage companies. Let me be clear from the beginning that I am not a "Prepper", I am not a right wing extremist, I am not a mindless lemming and make my own mind up about what I believe and dont. That said I expect the same level of critical thinking and questioning about the information you find on this site. Do the homework for yourself and then make rational well balanced decisions.
So what qualifies me to sit here and blither about food storage then? I have personally been deeply involved in everything from Product development, advertising, Web development and worked with a dozen of the largest food storage and emergency preparation companies in the world. I have developed my own products for the space and have been involved in the manufacturing process with most of these companies. I have seen behind the curtain and I know exactly what is going on.
In truth I am disgusted. I am disgusted with the practices of this industry, the mindlessness of the community backing them up and the way they not only pray on fear and worry of people but will go so far as to manufacture it them self's. I have seen blatant lies published as fact and then seen the spike in sales and corporate dweebs high fiving. You the consumer have to be smarter than the companies your buying from.
So hopefully you will find my opinions helpful, and by all means share your own to help others understand your thoughts as well.
1. All Food Storage Products Are A Lie
If there is one simple truth you must understand it is this, "If they are trying to sell you something, they want your money and will tell you anything if it helps them get it". The food storage market is 100% unregulated and is full of misinformation, deception and outright lies.
Normally any company selling you a product wants to try to compete in a direct way with there competitors. As a consumer this generally means that you get a better product and value overall. However this is not how the food storage market works. Food storage companies pray on the most basic of human emotions, Fear, Security, Survival. Because of this focus they never have had the consumers best intentions in mind. Food Storage companies will sell you a truck load of packaged food, tell you it will last forever and then wish you luck in the oncoming apocalypse with no care in the world for you as an individual and hoping you never understand what they actually have delivered.
Compounding this problem is the rise of Ecommerce. Anyone now can go and make a website and sell vapor. Oh sure you will have a product delivered but not from the seller. 90% of food storage comes from manufacturing plants where they mix and package generic food stuffs and slap a cute label for your food storage company of choice on the package and sell you the same crap you can get from most any other seller. In fact most food storage companies use the same recipes, packaging and formulations as the just add water soup mixes you find in your mega mart.
The food storage market is driven 100% by social and economic factors. In fact when we have recessions, tragedies, wars, elections and natural disasters food storage company sales skyrocket. When people are reserved and the economy is slow food storage companies boom. This has lead to the problems of oversaturation and this directly effects you as a consumer. With the boom and bust nature of food storage companies you have people who have no place in this industry selling you food jumping in with both feat and dumping a bunch of soup mix into a bag with a cute brand on it and selling it as a premium. You also get the short sighted people thinking thats its a money train to ride forever and there companies die when living is good for the rest of us.
Food storage companies live and die by there online presence and the food storage market place is the most cutthroat place for online marketing there is. These companies constantly are tiring to produce content, marketing and sales strategies to drive you as the consumer to make a purchase. These companies spend tens of thousands of dollars a month on SEO and Google Ads trying to out do each other in the attempt to be highest in the rankings for search results so they have a better chance of getting your dollar. This means that your spending more and more and getting less and less as a consumer in the way of actual food.
The long and short of all of this is that there is no prepackaged food storage company in the market place that genuinely has your interests in mind. Most of the owners of these companies are so diluted in the mindset of prepping and hording that there companies are just a way to feed there addiction, or on the other side you get nothing but a blind corporation selling you the cheapest and highest profit margin items they can source.
You the consumer must educate your self and in some cases do the work your self to properly prepare healthy food with realistic expectations and a balanced approach.
2. Food Storage Companies Have One Goal
Greed drives this market, greed and greed alone. As a consumer you must educate your self not only about the product you are purchasing but also about the companies your purchasing from. The saying "We vote with our dollar" holds more meaning here than in many other industries. Our intentions as a consumer of food storage products is to insure the security, life and health's of ourselves and loved ones. This attitude of caring about our families needs to extend to the other consumers in the market place. Most food storage companies use predatory practices and misinformation to drive there sales. They use aggressive marketing practices and have no problem with selling you old food stored in sweltering warehouses. The whole point of these companies is to make money so the owners and executives can get fat on your fears.
3. Fear Mongering
The most basic way to evaluate a food storage company is to evaluate its marketing practices. Do they sell product with fear and gloom and doom? Are there pictures of hurricanes, disasters and sadness? Do they encourage violence directly or passively? I have seen so many email campaigns blasting lists of tens of thousands of people with images designed to create an emotional response and trigger fear and paranoia. These types of marketing practices boost there sales and in turn there profits. The most basic way to evaluate a food storage company is its marketing practices in the good times as well as the bad.
4. Comparisons, Charts, Graphs and Data
Lies, Lies, Lies... But often the hardest thing to crack. Most companies will compare them self's to others using extremely narrow minded content that highlights there strengths and hides there weaknesses. Often you will find a comparison chart skewed so heavily that it is more or less useless. Serving sizes not being equal, or calories being inflated with ingredients that add no nutritional value at all. If you see a comparison chart do not buy into it at all. This is the most basic way to manipulate someone into making a purchase. Look past the chart and educate your self so you know the truth.
5. Advertizing Facts
When it comes to the world of online advertizing just about everything you see and read will be fake. But this especially applies to the food storage market. Companies hire firms to help them rank above each other in search terms and it is a cut throat market with a very high price to play. So often these companies will resort to other tactics to try to get your sale. This is just a handful of these.
Fake Sites: There are so many site out there that are fake, designed by companies and affiliates for companies selling food storage online. One of the most grievous is wessonresearch.org. This is a totally fake site designed to build false trust. Look them up on the Better Business Bureau. Use a Who is tool and find out who they are. They are apparently running out of a gas station in Texas. This site has one goal and that is for you to buy from a specific company that is rated as the best. So when you go to purchase your already knowing the trustworthiness of there product. Do not trust any site that offers reviews or comparisons.
Mom blogs: There was a time that these blogs were the only honest and reliable source for information. Stay at home moms that were of the Prepper mind set would store, cook and prepare food and share what they had done. Then as they grew in popularity they would sell out ad space and enviably the competition became so strong for the ad space they sold out entirely to companies and would post fake reviews written by the company them self's. These sites just sadly to say cant be trusted as a source of information or honest marketing any more.
Search engines: When it comes to ad spend Search engine optimization and tactics are the life blood of the food storage industry. Often the tactics for moving up really heavily on buying services that create back links to there site. This ultimately relies heavily on automated tools to create fake posts on blogs, forums and other sites that are totally fake but read as lidigimate. Generally speaking the companies with the highest sales volumes and marketing spend are the ones that rank highest for general search terms for this industry. Be wary of the results your getting and especially of the paid for ad space on search pages. Though, it can be really funny to click the ads of these sites and not buy anything so they just have to pay for your clicks.
Spam: If you have ever made the mistake of buying something online from store that you thought was trustworthy and then your inbox becomes flooded with email spam then you know the pain of giving out your email address to an untrustworthy site. The food storage market will spam you to death with deals, promotions and fear mongering tactics all in the attempt to see more sales come from it. The best part is how transparent they are about it. At the end of each quarter you can see these marketing efforts skyrocket as they try to make there goals and quotas. If you have a vendor you prefer to work with then perhaps you can profit from getting a "deal" but its just smoke and mirrors in the end.
Amazon and black hat: One of the worst techniques I've seen with several companies is the use of black hat marketing techniques. A black hat (think bad guy in western movies) technique of marketing online is something that is knows to be harmful, parasitic or against the rules of search engines. These methods usually result in a companies site being banned and penalized and thusly they are not used on actual company sites usually. However a growing trend is to use these techniques to drive traffic to amazon.com and there store front found there because Google wont penalize Amazon. Use extreme caution of you buy from an Amazon affiliate or link as you can bet the methods are not ethical in most cases to drive you there.
Review sites: I will keep this simple and sweet as its been covered a few times in other sections. If you find a review only site you can guess its been designed and created as a marketing tool by a food storage company and that 99% of these types of sites are fakes.
6. Product Offerings and Uniqueness
When it comes to the food storage industry, you will have a hard time finding an industry that is more cannibalistic than this one. Any company that innovates in the smallest way will have there idea stolen and reproduced by every other competitor within months. As an example nearly every company has quick fix options or the just add water to the pouch and eat out of the baggie offering. This method was originally designed by mountain house for there backpacking food line. Now its just another gimmick. When it comes down to it there are almost no meaningful differences between serving, calories, content or preparation technique between the various food storage companies offerings. Because of this industry homogenization the ability to select what is better than another is very difficult. Some things you may want to consider that are meaningful would be nutritional content overall, sprouting kits so you have a nutrition dense food source and finally foods that are comfort foods because if you have to really on them your likely not in such a good place emotionally.
7. Serving Size
If there is one portion of the prepackaged food storage marketing effort that food storage companies invest a massive marketing effort into, above anything else it is serving size. But this is where the lies begin in earnest to get you to give them your money. Each company calculates a serving size totally differently from each other and there are no standards in any way.
What we think of as a standard serving size when we sit down to eat is nothing even close to comparable to the serving size these companies have defined for there products. With some companies selling you 200 servings of an entree at 1/3 cup each you can easily see that you are going to be hungry, malnourished and unable to do any real work if you had to or your 200 servings is closer to 60.
But it gets worse and fast. When you buy a family kit many of these are sold without you even knowing they calculate the kit for 2 adults and 2 children or 3 total servings of food per meal vs. 4. This deception is horrific because if you had to actually really on your food storage to survive and you base it on the numbers alone you will come up short.
Simply put, if you find a company you have qualified as one you want to buy from make sure that your serving size is appropriate for your needs. A good way to do this is to buy a 30 day supply and use it ever single day and exclusively for the 30 days. See how it works out for you before you buy years of food storage and spend your money unwisely.
8. Water storage
There are two types of perpetration you need to be aware of when you start planning your preparations. First are personal economic hardships or situations where you need to rely on a store of food. In these times you will still have the basic services available to you so you can take a more balanced approach to your prepping.
However the second and far less likely is preparing for a disaster where city services are not available. In this case the most important thing is the most overlooked by more than 80% of all preppers, and that is water. From a simplistic point of view you can survive far longer without food than you can with water. But to compound this issue nearly all premade and even bulk food storage items require water to hydrate them and make them consumable. You can have all the cute little buckets of food stashed away in your basement and under your bed and you won't be able to eat a damn thing without water. In fact it can actually be deadly to eat dried and freeze dried foods without water if you have no consumable water source because they pull water out of your body to be able to be digested.
There are two practical methods to water storage and a bunch of fringe ideas that may work but should not be relied on. First is the classic 55 gallon drums and secondly is cisterns that collect water, rain or plumbing based. In just about all cases water will still need to be purified before it is consumed due to long storage periods and lazy practices for sanitization. The worst thing you can do is rely on bottled water as a stored water source. Bottled water frankly is dangerous in any form because the water leaches chemicals from the plastic into the water. But this is compounded by water stored for long term as they will have much higher concentrations of chemicals than from your store shelves.
Its a huge space taking item, it takes time and effort to manage and its frankly a pain in the ass and this is why no one properly stores water. But the most important thing you can do is have a clean source of drinking water to help you survive a disaster of any form.
9. Commission Based Sales
One of the nasty hidden truths about food storage sales online is that 99% of these are driven by commission based sales. We are not talking about a greasy used car salesman here, but something much more subversive and manipulative. All advertizing drives a traceable reference from the ads you click on to the emails you get spammed with and these ID's and Cookies leave a fingerprint that track everything from what you purchased to how much it cost so a sales rep can get paid there commissions. Every site is using your visit, purchase and account information with big data to track and disperse money in the direct attempt to get you to buy something. "Commission Junction" and "Pepper Jam" have armies of spammers and website affiliates that are mobilized and food storage companies bid for their attention with generous commissions of up to 30% of each orders dollar amount.
What does this mean to you as a consumer? You are paying for every dime these companies spend to try to one up each other to get your purchase. 40-50% of each order you place was already spent on marketing, commissions and payroll for internet goons that spend all day just tiring to manipulate you into blindly purchasing something.
10. GMO's and Product Lies
A GMO is a Genetically Modified Organism. Scientists are crossing genetics from animals with grains and legumes to produce a hybrid organism that has characteristics they desire for disease or insect resistance. The problem is that there not enough testing that has been done to understand how these new strains of once natural plants effect the human body and wellness. Consequently many people do not want GMO's in there food supply and especially however in there long term food storage.
This has been met and greedily adopted as any new marketing buzzword by the food storage industry. As part of a campaign for a client in 2013 we tested the top 8 food storage companies food stuffs for GMO's. As we expected all food items we had tested showed GMO quantitative contamination to varying degrees. Even the "GMO FREE" companies products tested positive and was at a higher level than most of the other competitions.
The significance of this comes into play when you talk to geneticists. Simply put there is no such thing as a GMO free product anymore. From the pollen in the field to the soy beans in the holding tank at a processing plant everything is so intermingled that it is 100% impossible now for a product to be GMO free. The FDA has even set guidelines for the non-GMO usage by percentages of contamination. Even the term "Non GMO" is a shade of lies in and of its self. It means nothing more than that they try to not source a known GMO ingredient.
The truth of the matter however need to be realized from a rational point of view. GMO's are now found throughout the entire food system from restaurants to your local market. People are not dying off in wave after wave of genetically induced genocide. If you are using an perhaps living off of long term storable food products of any type, a handful of GMO's is the least of your health concerns you need to worry about. All processed foods and especially exclusive diets are known to cause vitamin, mineral and nutritional deficiencies as well as colon cancer.
11. Ebb And Flow of the industry
One of the most important things as a consumer or buyer of food storage products you can understand is how the food storage market Ebbs and Flows. It is like clockwork and unbelievable predictable. Unlike most businesses that have predictable seasonal sales and a more constant base level of sales, the food storage market is feast or famine. There are two primary things that effect the sale of food storage, disasters and political shifts.
When we have a democrat in office we see a surge in food storage sales. When we have an election and the year leading up to it we see a major surge in sales and if a democrat is elected a 2-3 month spike in sales. That tapers to the end of the term. If the republicans are in power we see dead flat sales across the board
When disasters happen weather man made, terrorist or natural we see a spike in sales due to the panic people have. In some ways this is a good thing because it spurs people into preparing for a genuine need, but it is out of fear and can often be skewed or totally wrong overall because there is no level head planning with a holistic approach. Truth be told these disasters are never a good thing, but they effect such a small amount of people but can cause a huge emotional reaction.
So there is a trick you need to know. When the food storage market crashes ALL food storage companies are overstocked with food they cant sell to save there lives. This is the best time to buy because the food is the freshest, has the longest shelf life and you can get it often for a deal when they try to blow out there inventory.
Conversely, the worst time to buy is during the disaster panic. The food is left over from the peak sales and has sat the longest, often in warehouses that are not climate controlled and thusly your getting old food with less shelf life overall. I have personally seen food as old as 4-6 years sold online when these times happen.
12. Bags, Cans and Pouches
The marketing machine is running in overtime over this simple topic. At this point in this series of articles I sure hope you get the importance of having a mind free of control from fear and marketing mongers. There is only one simple truth here that you must understand, IT DOSENT MATTER. There are pros and cons with each packaging method and each company tries to push there ideas, agenda and concepts about why they are soooo super duper. The simple matter of fact is that it does not mater in the end. If you have to rely on your food storage you are not going to care about having to put a lid on your number 10 can or the fact that you have to cook 3-5 pouches of food at a time, your simply going to be happy you have food.
This all said there is of course an opinion that is worth interjecting. I have seen first hand the effects of poor production standards. In these cases food manufactures use the same packaging technique for 20 different vendors and bag the same crap for them all with different labels. These generic white label food storage companies have a lower quality standard overall for there food packaging that leads to problems. If food is packaged below 5000 Ft in elevation (90% of food storage manufacturers) there is a potential problem with shipping that will damage your food. IF you order for air freight, or they ship at high altitudes (think Denver) the packaging will swell due to the air pressure difference and will create a risk of damaging the packaging and rupturing the pouches. These pouches are often stored and shipped in boxes and many preppers dont check each bag to see if it survived shipping. So if bags or pouches are for you, you need to test your purchases for leaks so it last years vs. months.
13. Food As Insurance
To be blunt starting this section out, if you believe food is an insurance item you are a fool. If you believe food will be the new international monetary system you are also a fool. There are companies that aggressively market food storage items as being an insurance product. There are companies and MLM's preaching to there blind followers that each packet of food is as good as cash. There are companies using fear based marketing to target the paranoid and those with hording tendencies to push them to make unnecessary purchases. These practices and perspectives are simply unhealthy and perhaps even insane. Food Storage companies that proscribe to any of these perspectives must be avoided at all costs.
There is a more balanced approach however. Being prepared is essential and important. Statistically most Americans only have 5-7 days of food in there homes and of those most do not have a grid free way of cooking and preparing it. If we use a handful of examples of natural disasters we have had here in the US as a baseline we can expect in a worst case for government response in 12-14 days, Law and order being restored in 10-20 days and utility service outages for 20-30 days.
Ultimately a healthy preparedness level would be for 30 days of food, water, medicine, toiletries, and comforts to be stored for your whole family and if you chose to extend this then 90 days at an aggressive level. In any event if you must go longer than 30 days then lawlessness and relocation will likely drive you away from your stores long before they are used up.
However there is one more perspective that is worth sharing, some disasters are very slow moving and more insidious in there fallout. The recent recession we have weathered is a good example. Many Americans found them self's unemployed or with significant income changes. I personally know of several people who had to really on there long term stores for up to a year and they were grateful they had them. But this is not justification for hording, buying guns and ammo or gold. In all of these cases they still had income, water, gas, electricity and a roof over there head. You simply need to look at life with a little more strategy to stretch what you have. So soaking a few cups of dried beans overnight to cook a meal with is simple and governments programs can help supplement. The point is that you dont need the typical isolationist style food storage in this case. Long term storable foods that augment and stretch your ability to provide is a great idea and very valuable to have but you dont need cute little packaged soup mixes and leftovers can be saved in the fridge.
14. YAY! Colon Cancer
There is a plague occurring right now in America. This plague is driven by supermarkets filled with overly processed food and any and all degree of wholesomeness has long ago been extracted. We eat empty calories from old foods designed to sit on the shelf for prolonged periods of time. The exact same mentality is what drives the food storage market, Sell the cheapest food for the most money possible.
Processed foods are directly linked to a host of health conditions including Colon Cancer. The problem with food storage is this is amplified significantly. Foods that once had some degree of wholesomeness have lost nearly all of it within 3-4 years of storage. A simple comparison would be looking at seed storage. Each year you store seeds you have a percentage of them they will no longer germinate. In other words they die. If stored in absolutely ideal conditions you are lucky to get 4 years from them before 95% of them will no longer germinate. Simply put, dead things decay.
The process of food decay can be slowed by many processes from flushing with inert gasses, adding oxygen absorbers to even treating the food with radiation. But regardless of the process food decays, builds up free radicals and other cancer causing compounds. The problem with food storage is that you loose the foods that can counter this effect and contain high concentrations of antioxidants you would get through a normal diet of fresh foods.
Simply put, if you rely on any processed foods, and all pre-packed food storage products are processed, you will be increasing your chances of cancer, illness, disease and deficiencies that will effect your health overall.
15. Nitrogen, CO2 and Oxygen Absorbers
This is actually an interesting topic because it can directly effect the quality of the food you buy and can be the biggest direct contributor next to storage temperature that determines the lifespan and quality of your food storage. There are a lot of lies, misinformation and marketing gimmicks you need to be aware of.
First off, the reason we worry about these methods is that food stored in the presence of oxygen will spoil faster, develop bacteria and allow insects to live. For this reason we remove the oxygen from the foods we store on mass big box mart macaroni and cheese or 20 year food storage. There are two primary methods to do this, #1 displaces gas and #2 oxygen absorbers. Both when done right are effective but this can be done very wrong as well.
Displaced gas uses an inert gas to displace the oxygen in packaging. Displaced gas is the least expensive method of preserving foods as often it just requires a small puff of gas to blow out the oxygen from the packaging or at least reduce its amount significantly. Nitrogen is the most economical methods however it is important to note that nitrogen will not kill bacteria and insect eggs where CO2 can. Regarding this method of food preservation the best method is a mix of both.
There is a problem with displaced gas however. I have seen the assembly lines for several food storage companies and these lines simply puff a jet of gas into the top of the pouch right before it is sealed. The problem is that all the spaces between food and ingredients have been aerated when they are poured into the pouches and the jet of gas doesn't penetrate rendering it totally ineffective. The only really effective method for flushing a food product like pouched food mixes is to place a nozzle into the bottom of the packaging and flush all the oxygen out. To date I know of no manufacture that does this critical method.
Oxygen absorbers are tried and trued technology. This simple little packed dropped into food will over the span of a week or so remove 99% of all oxygen from the food and even draw out the O2 from the food stuff its self. By far the most reliable method of oxygen removal is the absorber method, however it is up to the manufacturer to properly handle the absorbers properly so they dont sit in atmosphere to long and reduce there effectiveness.
Personally I am a fan of packing my own food storage and I use a combination of a Co2 + nitrogen mix with an O2 absorber. I get the best of both worlds and total control over my foods quality. Did I mention this is also cheaper than buying food storage from a manufacturer?
16. Supplements and vitamins
Calories may keep you on your feet but Vitamins and supplements will literally save your ass. Food storage products are about as far from a healthy or nutritious food source as you can get. Any processed food is not going to be good for you and some are worse than others, but foods containing quick fix style ingredients are especially devoid of anything healthy. We have all had the experience of cooking some fresh veggies by boiling them. We take the overcooked and sad veggies out and eat them and dump a bright green pot of water down the drain without any thought. The irony is that the water contained much of the nutrition of the food and the rest was destroyed by the cooking process.
Cooking and eating healthy is critical when you are under stress, and if your eating your food storage out of necessity your likely dealing with some stresses. The problem is that all the processed ingredients used in quick preparation food storage products are really lacking anything more than carbohydrates and calories and this wont work for the long term, unless you like scurvy and goiters.
So what should you do to prepare? You need a good storage of high quality multivitamins at a minimum and a source of greens packed with micro and macro nutrients as a start. You should also look into herbal preparations for simple medical needs and tinctures of these herbs store for a long time. A herb garden is great in the spring and summer months but wont be of any help in the winter and so you should plan on growing and drying some medicinal herbs. If your clever you will even plan on fortifying your food preps with your own blend of essentials to help you stay healthy when you might not remember you need a supplement.
The truth is that it doesn't matter what you do with vitamins and supplements because they will never be a replacement for fresh nutrient and vitamin dense foods, but they will stave off many common aliments and even help you out when your sick.
17. Fresh Food planning
As covered in the colon cancer section, Food Storage products are less than healthy. The processed and aged nature of these food stuffs increases the risks associated with colon cancer, nutritional deficiencies and illness especially when used over prolonged periods of time. For this reason you must have a fresh food plan in conjunction with your food storage.
Fresh foods can be a difficult item to address and achieve when it comes to food storage planning. There really are two scenarios that needs to be thought through for this type of food storage augmentation, long term tragedies like all the wonderful Prepper nightmare stories where you must be self reliant, or personal economic hardships where there is still a governing system in place that is functional.
In either case you must be able to produce your own fresh food stuffs to help offset the negatives of processed food stuffs. There are really 2 primary ways you can accomplish this.
1. A dedicated garden space: With a dedicated garden space you have the ability to grow a wide verity of food items to fill the nutritional gap as well as produce excess that can be canned and saved for times out of the main growing season.
2. Sprouting Kits: Another way to benefit from fresh food is by using a sprouting system. These systems are small and easy to use and allow you to keep a near constant year around supply of fresh veggie sprouts. Care must be exercised with these systems however as you can develop salmonella if they are not cleaned and taken care of with basic sanitary needs.
In ether case you need to plan on augmenting your food storage plan with fresh foods or your long term storage plans can be impacted with illness caused by the very foods meant to prolong your existence.
18. Use It so you Buy More!
This may be one of the most gross marketing gimmicks out there and it has only one motive from these companies, Greed and continual sales. These companies push the concept of Food Storage Rotation to a degree of perversion. Rotating your food storage is a good idea. You use things up and replace them before they get to old and when you need to rely on your food storage you have the longest value out of the food stuffs. But the concept of Food Storage Rotation also preaches that you only store what you eat on a daily basis anyway. I have a feeling that it doesn't come in cute little quick serve Mylar bags designed to survive the apocalypse.
19. Hide And Seek
One of the simple truths is that IF that really bad day comes where the world falls apart and we start living in a post apocalyptic movie staring Mel Gibson or Will Smith then most prepping methods simply wont work. The truth is that governments do collapse, there are riots and even civil wars even today with our internets and lazy boy recliners. If you make your self a target you will eventually be over run sad as it may be. So what do you need to do to prepare should the day come where you need to feed your self? The best possible solution is to be prepared long in advance with many hidden caches of food vs. one large horde that can be taken from you. If you live in an dense urban area this can be borderline impossible but if you live in the burbs or rural areas you an easily burry 5 gallon buckets with lids. Simply put you cant stand out should the worst happen. While I dont personally believe in Yellowstone blowing up or an asteroid impact I can see things like war, martial law and civil unrest make us live our lives like the gustafo is marching down each street and invading our lives. This is the more likely outcome for a first world country and as we have created this artificial market of food storage praying on fear then we better use a little common sense.
20. Industry Regulation
As a consumer you must be extremely aware that there is no regulation for the food storage instustrys claims. If you are buying food to last 20 years you must understand that there is no one verifying that this is even possible. But more importantly there is no source of information of the nutritional content of you food as it ages.
As food ages it degrades. This is a known and simple fact. There are things you can do to help increase shelf life of your food like removing oxygen and adding preservatives but you are simply slowing the damage done by bacteria as the food ages. But this doesn't stop decay and expectably of vitamins found in the food.
Most companies will happily slap a label on there product to bait you into trusting the product is of high quality. As an example take Kosher. For a product to be called and branded as Kosher an actual rabbi must be present at the time of the food manufacturing. Of all the food storage manufactured for mass distribution 82% of it is manufactured in Utah. Just how many Jewish rabbis are spending all day hanging around food storage companies manufacturing plants in Utah? So why do they slap the kosher label on the packaging? They buy one or two ingredients that are certified as kosher and then mix it into there pre-packed recipes and TADA! It gets a Kosher label. But its not kosher.
So if you want to be a real pain in the ass for these food companies you have some leverage. The FDA requires them to provide you with both Kosher and Non-GMO certificates from there manufacturers for every ingredient and its your right as a consumer to demand them. If they cant provide them then dont purchase from them.
21. Product Reviews
I have personally seen several companies not only write there own reviews, but also and more disturbingly edit and censor reviews from customers. One client I worked with would take every one and two star review and edit them to 5 star reviews. Its a common thing now to see companies use freelancer.com and fiver.com to source fake reviews on there site and on other review sites like Google. 90% of the reviews and testimonials are completely fake and marketing departments work endlessly to craft reviews to remove your concerns before you ever raise your hand.
Why do they focus so heavily on there efforts with reviews? Simply put 3 out of every 4 purchases online are influenced by consumer reviews. Places like Amazon and eBay have created a degree of truth that we the consumer can participate with and believe in. These companies exploit our trust as a consumer and our belief that the reviews we have come to really on for our making our purchasing decisions are true. Simply put, within this industry you must be extremely cautious before believing any reviews you find on a food storage companies website.