Long-term food storage is a critical part of every prepper’s lifestyle. And with numerous companies offering their own takes on various dishes, it can be hard without trial and error to find out which will become you and your family’s favorite brand.
The fact of the matter is, most of the major brands are quite good, but they have different things going for them. Thankfully, I have had the delight of trying various survival and camping long-term food storage products from a number of leaders in the long-term food storage arena, including names like Mountain House and Legacy Food Storage.
Here, I will compile my thoughts on these two in the form of a comparison so that you can see some of the pros, cons, and neutral aspects of both of these brands.
One thing I like a lot about Mountain House products is their frequent incorporation of meat. It raises the price point for the amount of food you get, but is almost guaranteed to make for a heartier meal. Mountain House’s chicken fajita bowl is no exception.
First, let’s look at the nutrition facts:
Whether you need a hearty camping meal or want something a little more luxurious on hand for your prepper’s pantry or bug-out bag, the Mountain House Chicken Fajita Bowl is excellent. However, a few notes on some of the ingredients.
The Chicken Fajita Bowl uses enriched rice, which has higher nutritional content but is more processed. The bowl also contains corn syrup solids, but this isn’t a huge concern – in the context of camping, hiking, and survival, a little sugar isn’t going to be a big deal.
A lot of the modern Western diet’s sugar problem is due to sodas, sweets, and sauces, and if you’ve been reduced to eating survival meals and foraging, it will be hard to consume anywhere near as much sugar as you did before. Unless, of course, you raise bees and make tons of honey!
As another note, the Chicken Fajita Bowl contains modified corn starch, which is a GMO ingredient. The sodium level, which is 90mg or 29% of the daily value, also seems high. But again, you have to consider these meals in the context of physically-taxing survival and outdoor activities, where you may only have two meals per day combined with a lifestyle that puts far greater demands on your body and mind. The dish also did not taste overly salty, which is a common issue when it comes to the flavor of long-term food storage products.
As far as nutrition goes, the Chicken Fried Rice dish has less protein and more carbs. This isn’t necessarily bad or good, it just depends on what micronutrients you think you should prioritize as an individual, since everyone’s needs are unique.
Here is the nutrition breakdown:
This product has the same notes regarding GMOs and preservatives…but take note, you’d be hard pressed to find a brand that doesn’t use any of that stuff in their products.
As for flavor, this one was very good, but not as flavorful as their Chicken Fajita Bowl. It would benefit from some chili paste or hot sauce, though keep in mind this raises the total sodium. However, as with the Chicken Fajita Bowl, this one isn’t plagued by an overly-salty flavor like many long-term food storage products.
Brands Compared: Mountain House & Legacy Food Storage
The ingredients in both brands’ products are generally excellent. However, Legacy Food Storage is committed to providing non-GMO options, while Mountain House does use some corn-based GMOs.
Both contain a number of preservatives, but this is unavoidable when you want even a freeze-dried product to last 25 or 30 years. This leads us to our next section: shelf life and longevity.
Flavor-wise, Mountain House stands out. Their products generally had the least saltiness while still keeping the product tasty. Their options also seemed to have less of that preservative-y taste than Legacy Food Storage’s products. Whether this is because fewer preservatives are used or due to some other aspect of their production process, I can’t say.
Both brands offer a wide array of nutritionally-dense meals. Mountain House products incorporate more meat, but Legacy Food Storage products give generous portions that make up for this. The key is buying good combinations that, taken together, give you the nutrition and overall heartiness that you need while working toward the goals of your particular strategy.
If you’re planning on bugging out, you’re not going to prep the same way as if you plan on bugging in. Similarly, the strategy is very different if you’re storing food for two than if you’re storing for a family of four.
The longevity of products from both Mountain House and Legacy Food Storage is excellent. However Mountain House comes out on top, with a guarantee that their products will still taste good after 30 years! Legacy Food Storage still comes with a very respectable 25 year shelf life, however. As for leftovers, long-term food storage products don’t keep well once you make them.
Legacy Food Storage products definitely tend to come in at a lower price point than Mountain House. That said, Mountain House products tend to contain more animal protein, which is more costly to incorporate.
There are trade-offs to both, but as a general statement, Legacy Food Storage offers more affordable options. That isn’t to say you aren’t getting your money’s worth with Mountain House, however, it’s just a matter of what your budget is, what your food storage strategy is, and buying accordingly.
Prep is very easy for both brands, with a system that allows you to make the meals directly in their pouches using hot water.
As one small note, I found it was easiest to find oxygen absorbers in Mountain House pouches. With Legacy Food Storage’s products, I had to dig around a bit more to find them. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning!
Summary & Conclusions
With Mountain House, on the nutrition and flavor fronts, I’d definitely say you’re getting a more premium product. However, that comes for a more premium price. People who are concerned about GMOs also might prefer the ingredients in Legacy Food Storage’s products, which claim to be free of genetically modified ingredients. Personally I don’t think that occasionally consuming a small amount of GMOs is a huge deal, but if you consider it a major concern, that will factor into whether you choose Mountain House or Legacy Food Storage.
I think that most prepper families will be more than happy with the options Legacy Food Storage offers, but would want to incorporate Mountain House as well for when you want to treat yourselves to something a little bit fancier. With the range of products Legacy Food Storage offers, however, you really have a ton of different meals to keep your prepper’s pantry from getting (proverbially) stale. Their soups and breakfasts are a particular treat.
The key is maintaining variety in your pantry while making sure you have a strategy for maintaining an array of nutritionally-balanced emergency meals. Overall I definitely recommend both of these brands… how much of each you decide to maintain in your pantry all depends!
Where to Buy
Mountain House: If interested in Mountain House be sure to take advantage of this special 10% off discount here
Legacy Food: While we love Mountain House, it’s pretty hard to pass up this 20% off discount promotion from Legacy.
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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