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A lingering question in the minds of many preppers is “why the heck do freeze dried entrees have such a high sodium content?”. I had my own thoughts on the matter but they were unconfirmed so I decided to take the question to my two favorite freeze dried meal companies, Mountain House and Legacy Food Storage.
In this special report, I am sharing their responses verbatim.
Why Is There So Much Sodium in Freeze Dried Meals?
Here is the question that was posed by a Backdoor Survival reader and posed to the two food storage companies:
Do you know why most pre-packaged meals contain so much salt (sodium)?
If you look at the nutritional info for them almost everyone has 20, 30 .. maybe even 40% or more .. of the RDA for sodium! My guess is that it is there for taste purposes but, my gosh, these things are just LOADED with salt. Seems to me that in a survival situation a person wouldn’t want to be loading up on too much salt. Sure a meal might taste as good but I would gladly trade off some taste for a more healthy meal.
Legacy Food Storage Weighs in on Sodium Content
“Manufacturers use sodium for two primary purposes: preservation and taste. In order to prolong the shelf life of products, the amount of sodium in foods is typically increased to certain standard levels. Aside from preservation properties, sodium also helps bind ingredients. It enhances the color of the food, improves taste and function as a stabilizer.
Legacy Foods has strived to keep sodium levels lower compared with other companies. Our servings are 2-3 times larger than what other companies provide so while the sodium seems high initially, spread over the larger 1 1/2 – 2 cup portion actually makes it lower overall. Another great reason to choose Legacy!
A great option to cut sodium if you or someone you know is sodium sensitive yet still enjoy the wonderful tastes would be to add smaller portions to sodium free rice or other base ingredients. Also, Legacy Essential items which are all sodium free or low sodium, are also available to build low sodium meals or add to existing meals for extra calories/flavor.
During strenuous survival situations (vs. resting), you’ll sweat out more salt, use more calories, need more fat and will need to replenish these. Storage food is designed for these higher stressful times. ”
Mountain House Also Responds
“Our meals are meant to be eaten by active individuals. If you look back on our history, we originally started making Long Range Patrol Rations (LRPs) for military personnel in the Vietnam War. Then shortly after we made a deal with REI to use this same concept, just add water meals, for backpackers. The intent was for military and active hikers who need to replenish sodium and all those nutrients/calories/carbs, etc. Our process control, history, and expertise are what make our shelf life so incredible and a natural fit for emergencies.
There is naturally a lot of sodium in home comfort foods. If you take our Beef Stew and compare it to a can of Campbell’s Beef Stew, is one significantly better? No, because the meals are what have a lot of sodium. Freeze drying is the most natural form of preservation, so it’s not the process of freeze drying that creates sodium, it’s the food itself.”
The Final Word
By way of full disclosure, please note that I do have a bias for these two companies that is based on quality, taste, and nutritional value. These are the meal entrée’s I include as part of my own food storage strategy and both are excellent choices.
Legacy Food Storage is an excellent value for both cost per calorie basis and cost per pound of food basis. They also have gluten free options and all of their products are non-GMO.
Mountain House has been around since the Vietnam era and is known for proven packaging and shelf life, plus, as I mentioned in my review of a Mountain House Emergency Food Supply Kit, they include meat in most of their lunch and dinner meal selections. For additional information, visit the Mountain House website, Emergency Essentials.
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