Beans and rice is a food combination long known for being a low-cost and nutritionally potent. For both of those reasons, it’s a combo you see very often in long-term food storage products marketed toward preppers, campers, and survivalists.
Augason Farms and Legacy Food Storage are two of today’s leading brands for long-term food storage products. I recently reviewed several beans and rice-based products from both suppliers. From Augason Farms, I tried their black bean burger mix and their black beans and rice mix. From Legacy Food Storage, I tried their enchilada beans and rice.
For this article, I’ll compare these beans and rice products from both suppliers.
While nutrition is always a higher priority than flavor with long-term stored survival food, it can make all the difference in the world for survival morale to know you have something genuinely tasty to look forward to eating. To that end, Augason Farms’ black bean burger mix is fantastic.
It’s one of the tastiest survival, camping, and long-term storage foods I’ve tried to date. It is salty, like all foods in this category, but not as much as many other products. It has a robust flavor with lots of spices, and preserves and packs very well.
Unlike their black bean burger, Augason Farms’ black beans and rice was too salty for my taste, even for this category of food. Legacy Food Storage’s enchilada beans and rice was somewhat bland, but had a saltiness level that I could tolerate. Adding hot sauce as an easy way to fix the blandness and give it a nice kick, though you might have limited hot sauce or none at all in your survival pantry.
Even though I liked Legacy Food’s beans and rice better than the one from Augason Farms, the Legacy Foods one came with a tradeoff: fewer beans in the mix. If the saltiness doesn’t bother you and you want more beans in the rice to bean ratio, go with Augason Farm’s beans and rice. If you prefer less salt and don’t mind having much more rice than beans, definitely go with Legacy Foods.
To summarize— for my palate, the flavor of Legacy Foods’ beans and rice was bland but pretty good with some hot sauce, while Augason Farms’ beans and rice was just too salty for me to find it palatable. Augason Farms’ black bean burger mix was the tastiest of all, and is even more portable and easier to make. We’ll get into those aspects next!
Portability/Ease of Use
Augason Farms’ black bean burger mix has become my favorite all-around prepping and camping food products. The format makes for unparalleled portability and ease of use. All you do is blend some of the mix with water, let it set for 15 minutes, and cook on each side until brown.
The result is a patty that you can wrap and put in your pocket as a tasty, hearty kind of energy bar to take on hunting or foraging trips. When I go skiing, I wrap a few of these patties in tin foil and keep them in my pocket to munch all day on the lift between runs.
While very useful and quite tasty, the “energy bar” application for the black bean burgers is fairly crude. However, you could get much fancier by making the patties into full-fledged black bean burgers with cheese, buns, and other fixins, or by sprinkling them into eggs for a bit of huevos rancheros-like flavor.
These burgers have tons of potential uses whether you’re camping, hiking, or want a survival food that you’ll potentially be able to turn into a surprisingly fancy meal during a SHTF scenario. The mix is a good option for bug-out kit food as well, as you don’t need hot water to prepare the mix.
Both Augason Farms’ beans and rice, and Legacy Foods’ Enchilada Beans and Rice required hot water to make, so they’re just a little bit less practical than the black bean burger mix. They’re also less portable than the bean burgers once they’re fully prepared, but are still easy to make in their own right.
Augason Farms is widely available at a variety of stores and online. Wal-Mart and Amazon carry Augason Farms products. Legacy Food storage appears to be more available online than off.
Other favorites from Augason Farms
Augason Farms offers items in buckets such as dried potato slices and shreds that are nice to have on hand. Pancake mixes are another high calorie and versatile food to have put back. Augason Farms also tends to be a little more affordable than Legacy but that can depend on the sale prices and what you are buying. I like that there are a lot of plain choices that you can mix and match to create meals.
Favorites from Legacy
Legacy is great at having kits put together for specific needs such as gluten-free. They also offer a variety of safety kits for your car or for keeping at home in case of brief disasters. They carry some kits that are designed to feed a family of 4 for a full year for those that just want to throw money at the problem of having enough food put back. For a couple, that kit would last for 2 full years.
A note on cost: Freeze dried foods are always more expensive than merely dehydrated foods. While I love the quality of freeze dried, it is not always the best choice to put back for hard times. If you are mostly planning on sheltering in place, than dried foods make sense and will offer you the best value for your money. The advantage of freeze dried is that it often just requires a little bit of water and a short cooking time. Many preppers find that it is worth it to have a little bit of everything on hand. There may be times when more convienent food can help ease the hardship of a situation.
Both Augason Farms and Legacy Food Storage’s products have a 25-year shelf life, as long as they remain unopened. Typically, once being opened, guidelines indicate they’ll stay fresh up to year, though I’m sure in the right conditions you could keep opened goods even longer. Make sure to keep an oxygen and moisture absorber in there for the longest shelf life.
Either way, both companies offer similar shelf life for their products, so you’ll want to pick based on nutrition, flavor, ease of use, and other concerns, which will depend on your intended use for the food: adding it to a prepper’s pantry, using it for bug-out rations, packing it for camping meals, etc. Depending on your planned use for the food, some concerns will be amplified and others will be reduced.
For example, my standards for flavor are higher for camping meals than they would be for bug-out rations or survival food. For bug-out kit rations, I need them to be as compact and nutritionally-dense as possible, but food stored long-term in my pantry can take up more space.
Nutrition is also a major concern, and will be approached differently to fill a three night bug-out bag than a long-term food pantry. It all depends on your individual needs!
Where to Buy
- You can check out Auguson’s full product lineup here
- You can also see what Legacy has to offer right here
Author Bio: 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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