Legacy Food Storage has earned itself a spot in many prepper’s pantries, and the reasons are simple. Their food options are robust, offer great variety, and have a 25-year shelf life. I received a sampler from Legacy that contained six four-serving packs: pasta alfredo, potato soup, enchilada beans and rice, a meatless stroganoff, oatmeal with brown sugar, and pancakes. I was very impressed by the amount of food that each of the packs provided.
A few notes about preparing the foods: I found it difficult to find and remove the oxygen absorbers hidden in all the packages. I ended up dumping each whole package dry into a Ziploc bag, removing the oxygen absorber, and then dumping everything from the Ziploc instead of from the original package. Other than that, prep was easy. I found that each meal alarmingly watery upon first being added to the boiling water, but that during cooking, each meal thickened dramatically and consistency wasn’t an issue.
According to the manufacturing dates stamped on each package, I could eat these meals in early 2042, and they’d be just as tasty as they are today. However, eager to try them within the decade, I decided it would be best not to keep you waiting!
A Note on Sodium and Fat
All survival and camping foods are likely to be high in macronutrients like sodium and fat. However, this is because they are designed for more physically intense situations than in your day-to-day life. Whether you’re enjoying the wilderness for recreation or fighting for survival after a local volcano blows its top, survival and camping food suppliers are assuming you are burning more calories, and will require far more fat, sodium, and carbohydrates than usual.
For someone like me, blessed with the metabolism of a hummingbird, the extra macronutrients are a wonderful thing. But if you’re concerned about getting too much sodium and fat, you can reduce your serving size or combine dishes with vegetable and low-sodium options to balance things out.
1. Pasta Alfredo
After following the instructions for making 2 servings, or half the package, I realized just how impressive a volume of food this package contained.
I’m a big eater. Usually when a package suggests the amount for two servings, I scoff and make twice as much. However, two servings of the Pasta Alfredo (and the others I sampled) was truly two servings for me, filling me up beyond my expectations.
I wasn’t able to sample it on an actual backpacking trip, so I wasn’t as ravenous as I would ordinarily be when eating this type of meal. But even if I had to eat 25% more, I’d still be impressed with the amount of food provided. And since the whole bag weighs 13.6 ounces, bringing half of it on a trek would give you two robust meals in a fairly lightweight package.
The smell, taste, and aftertaste had a bit of a preservative-y tinge, but for any food storage solution with a 25-year shelf life, some trade-off is inevitable. In a survival setting it wouldn’t matter in the slightest, and it’s minor enough that I’m looking forward to taking this dish on my next camping trip.
2. Enchilada Beans and Rice
The Legacy Foods Enchilada Beans and Rice was pretty good, but would be even better (and healthier) with a higher ratio of beans in the mix. I’m no bean counter (sorry, I had to), but a more appropriate name would be Enchilada Rice and Beans — the rice definitely takes up the vast majority of the dish. I understand this might make for a more expensive product, but I’d personally be willing to pay extra for more beans, especially for the extra protein they provide.
This one was somewhat bland, but not bad. A bit of hot sauce (which I always keep handy anyway) did wonders for it. It didn’t’ have as much of that preservative flavor as the alfredo dish, but also packed less flavor on its own. It would be enhanced even further by mixing in freeze dried cheese or high-quality cheese powder, along with some tortillas. With those simple additions, this could feel like a pretty luxurious backpacking or survival meal.
3. Potato Soup
Like the pasta Alfredo, the potato soup had a bit of that preservative flavor, but also had enough going for it flavor-wise to make up for it. Since potatoes dehydrate so well, they translates well to food storage solutions, because Legacy was able to make real potato the first ingredient in the soup. It was well-seasoned, and although is not as calorically dense as the other meal options, proved to be a satisfying meal. I recommend seasoning with black pepper. I also imagine it would be a good one to combine with freeze-dried broccoli to add even more flavor and nutrition.
The stroganoff dish was similar to the pasta Alfredo, just with a stroganoff gravy instead of Alfredo sauce and some nice little diced onions thrown in. The noodles seemed identical. As with the others, the flavor was good – the stroganoff had less of a preservative taste than the Alfredo — but like those, could be improved upon if you rounded it out with some extras.
For example, seasoning with some black pepper made it tastier, and I bet that adding in some of Legacy’s freeze-dried beef chunks would make it an even more satisfying feast. On one camping trip where I made a box of macaroni and cheese, I crumbled on some of my homemade beef jerky (easy to make with a dehydrator), to fantastic effect. You could do the same for this stroganoff, and it turn it into what would feel like gourmet meal in terms of survival and camping food.
5. Pancakes & Oatmeal
For breakfast options, Legacy Food Storage sent me one packet of pancake mix and one packet of instant oatmeal. Both breakfast options were extremely tasty, on par with the pancake mix and instant oatmeal you’d keep in your own kitchen. For the pancakes, mixing in freeze-dried blueberries is an easy upgrade that takes them over the top. The maple oatmeal was a bit sweet for my palate, but I’m not much of a sweets eater, so this likely wouldn’t be an issue for most people.
My only complaint about the pancake mix is that it requires oil, rather than being a “just add water” formula. While this probably helps with the flavor, it seems a little bit strange to require vegetable oil to make pancakes that are meant as a survival food, when store-bought mixes already come in “just add water” varieties.
While the bag of pancake mix might last 25 years, no cooking oil would last nearly as long, and would be an extremely difficult ingredient to come by in a survival situation. This makes the pancakes more limited in their usefulness as a long-term survival food because if you don’t have access to cooking oil, you’ll be out of luck.
For the oatmeal, the 38 grams of sugar does make it a less than a totally nutritious breakfast. After all, that’s about 18 grams more sugar per serving than a Snicker’s candy bar. A vastly healthier survival breakfast would be powdered eggs with freeze-dried veggies, but a sugary breakfast could certainly do wonders for morale as well as being extra valuable as a potential barter item.
Aside from those notes, both the pancakes and oatmeal were tasty and filling, and would make for an enjoyable survival or camping breakfast.
Pricing and Conclusions
For the hefty serving size, shelf life, and flavor, I highly recommend Legacy Food Storage for survival food storage and backpacking situations. I would recommend mixing in plenty of vegetable options and your own extras, like adding homemade jerky to the stroganoff, to take the flavors and nutrition to the next level.
The pricing is competitive with other suppliers. Affordability per serving increases the more you buy, but Legacy’s entrée packs range from a 16-serving entrée sampler for about $40 to a 4,320-serving bucket set currently priced at about $8,800.
Whether you’re fighting for survival or just enjoying the great outdoors, a little bit of customization takes Legacy Food Storage’s meal options from excellent to extraordinary. I highly recommend them!
Eric is a nature-loving writer, experience junkie, and former Boy Scout who never forgot that time-honored Scout Motto: Be prepared. Aside from camping and survival, he loves writing about travel, history, and anything he finds strange and unique!
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