Ready to eat Food

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Above Guildbrook Farm ~ Off Grid Living shares three tips for starting out in

Happy endings...
It's practical to stock ready to eat foods for emergencies.

Get started prepping!
  1. Plan a shopping spree at the grocery store.
  2. Store water safely and store enough of it!
  3. Find a campstove that suits your needs.
  4. Figure out an easy off-grid toilet system.
  5. Know how to do the laundry without electricity.
  6. Pack a bugout bag.

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Ready-to-eat Foods
Get started prepping with ready-to-eat foods

Stock up on ready-to-eat emergency foods.
If you're new to prepping, one of the best ways to quickly get
prepared is to stockpile ready-to-eat foods. What are ready-to-
eat foods? Ready-to-eat foods are shelf-stable foods that
require no preparation, no water, no heating and sometimes no-
utensils to eat — essentially, you just open to eat them.

A few ready-to-eat foods available from the grocery store
include beef jerky, breakfast bars, canned applesauce, fruit
sticks, PopTarts, and
tuna salad kits. Survival-type ready-to-eat
foods include ration bars, pemmican bars, and MREs. Ramen
noodles are not a ready to eat food, because they require hot
water to mix.

Below is an overview of ready-to-eat food ideas to get you
thinking about what to stockpile for your family's needs...

Stock up on Ready-to-Eat Foods
Commercially prepared foods that are shelf-stable, require no
cooking or water to prepare are ready to eat and good to
stockpile for emergencies.

Cooking might be impossible, impractical or even dangerous in
an emergency situation. For example, it may not be possible to
light a fire to heat food during inclement weather. An
earthquake or man-made disaster might make it dangerous to
light a cooking fire if there is a risk of gas leaks. In another
scenario it may be impractical to cook if you're in hiding from
predators. In other situations, you may run out of fuel or extra
water for food preparation. These are just some of the reasons
preppers rely on ready-to-eat foods. Stock up on ready-to-eat
foods, including those discussed below...

Ready to eat foods have a few things in common:

  • Ready-to-eat foods require no preparation. You can
    open and eat RTE food. Whether you rip open a package or
    use a can opener, ready to eat foods are just that: ready
    to eat without preparation. The best example is a food bar,
    such as the Millennium food bars, pictured right, or beef
    jerky. Just unwrap and eat.

  • You don't need water to prepare RTE food. In the
    purest sense, you don't need water to clean or cook ready-
    to-eat meals. An exception is an MRE, which are meals-
    ready-to-eat. MREs require water, but the caveat is that
    they do not require potable water. You can use water from
    a mud puddle or even salt-water to activate the MRE
    heater included with these meals. Some MREs even come
    with a packet of saltwater to activate the heater, so you
    have everything you need including the utensils.

  • You do not need heating to eat them. Ready to eat foods
    include those foods already cooked. This includes MREs,
    which taste better if you use the MRE heater, but which do
    not require that you heat them. Canned foods are ready to
    eat: even canned chili. Canned chili may not be palatable
    cold, but it is perfectly okay to eat commercially canned
    meals without heating.

  • Ready-to-eat foods require little or no cleanup. The best
    thing about ready-to-eat foods is that there's virtually no
    cleanup required. You just toss the packaging and utensils
    provided. You should have plastic utensils and

Here are some ideas to get you thinking about the best ready-
to-eat foods to stock in your pantry.

Ready-to-eat food #1: Food bars.
One of the best ready-to-eat foods available on the market are
food bars. There are many kinds of food bars, so you should be
able to find something for everyone in the family.
Pemmican is
a good example of a food bar. Traditional pemmican is a
mixture of fruit, meat and seeds or nuts. They are protein

  • Food bars are not the same as granola bars. Technically,
    granola bars are a food in bar format, but they're not what
    you want to stockpile in terms of food bars. The crunch
    factor makes them a bad idea in emergency food storage.
    The last thing you want in an emergency is to add finding a
    dentist because of a cracked tooth.

  • Food bars are not the same as ration bars. Ration bars.
    Millennium food bars, pictured right, are a sort of hybrid
    between food bars

Ready-to-eat food #2: Crackers with tuna, etc.
Always be prepared for a delicious, quick and easy lunch or
snack with a tuna salad 12-Pack.
StarKist tuna pouches,
pictured right, are easy to store and great to have handy for
emergency or when hunger strikes at the office or at home.

Tuna is packed with protein and omega-3 unsaturated fatty
acids, vitamin B6 and niacin, as well as important minerals like
iron and selenium. Tuna salad kits don't need mayonnaise,
which requires refrigeration. They're ready made and come
complete with a spoon and crackers.

If you have
shelf-stable mayonnaise, you can make your own
tuna salad kits. With any luck you have a root cellar, garden or
refrigerator filled with celery, carrots or onions you can chop up.

  • Pilot crackers. Pilot crackers are a ready to eat food that
    every Alaskan with good teeth has in their pantry! (Even
    those with dental problems stock pilot crackers because
    they can be softened in soups.) Pilot crackers obviously
    require no cooking and are ideal to eat on their own with
    what you have, such as peanut butter, canned cheeses,
    jams and jellies and the like, but pilot bread crackers are
    also an ideal accompaniment to your freeze dried meals to
    enhance the meal with texture.

  • Peanut butter and nut butters. Peanut butter and nut
    butters are ready to eat, though they are more palatable
    with bread, crackers, apples or celery. Peanut butter is
    among the top items in food pantry's for this reason

Ready-to-eat food #3: Beef jerky and meat sticks.
Beef jerky and meat sticks are ready-to-eat snacks that are
highly prized source of protein to supplement their meals.
Friends and family send deployed military Slim Jims and beef
jerky care packages.

Ready-to-eat food #4: Shelf-stable dry salami.
Shelf-stable, dry salami is another ready to eat food. Dry salami
is one of the original prepper foods and one of the first
backpacking foods. In its whole form, with casing intact and not
cut, dry salami can be kept safely unrefrigerated. It should be
kept cool and away from any pests in a container. Once opened,
eat quickly and keep in a dark cool place.

You may find beautiful
jarred German sausages at the end of
Oktoberfest. During the holiday season you'll find many shelf-
stable sausages and salami. Italian dry salami by Foustman's is
naturally dry-cured without chemical nitrates or nitrites.

Ready-to-eat food #5: Meals Ready to Eat (MRE).
Meals Ready to Eat have heaters that activate They require no
cooking. While the U.S. Food and Drug administration may have
definitions and regulations on what is Ready-To-Eat food (RTE
food), for prepping purposes it means
shelf-stable food for
consumption that you can store at room temperature, which
requires no preparation such as potable water and it also does
not require heating to eat it.

Ready-to-eat food #6: Poptarts.
Poptarts, or their generic equivalents, can act as a breakfast,
snack or dessert. Poptarts really are survival food and should
you have any doubt, consider that they come wrapped in Mylar
and there's no need to toast them. Certainly, they are a comfort
food and good to have in an emergency as a replacement meal.
What's more you can get 32 of them for around $7.00.

Ready-to-eat food #7: Cereal and shelf-stable milk.
Cereal is a ready-to-eat food, add milk and you've made a meal!
Part of a "well-balanced" breakfast, according to Kellogg's, Post
and other cereal brands, cereal is shelf-stable and ready to eat
as a snack.

Did you know that
cereal is among the most requested foods at
the food banks?

An easy meal to have ready for the kids is cold cereal and milk.
There are a variety of nut milks, rice milks, coconut milks and
homogenized shelf-stable milks available on the market that
require little or no refrigeration after opened.

Ready-to-eat food #8: Canned fruit.
Another no cook, ready to eat meal is canned fruit. Having
canned fruit on hand for emergencies is important for
maintaining a varied diet and provides a balance with high
sodium meals you may be having when you're able to cook

What's more, fruit is often rich in Vitamin C, including canned
peaches. A typical cup of canned peaches will provide about
45% of the daily value of Vitamin C for an adult. If you're on a
sodium-restricted diet, however, be sure to read labels as even
canned peaches may have sodium. Also beware of high sugar
content as with 18 grams of natural sugar in canned peaches, it
may not always be appropriate for diabetics.

Note that while the packages in plastic are convenient and offer
portions for rationing purposes, foods in actual cans or glass
will have a longer shelf life.  Don't bother storing canned fruit if
you don't enjoy this food. Store what you eat and eat what you

For those not on a restricted diet consider the following:

  • Dole diced peaches, pictured right, are the perfect addition
    to your pantry if you're included to eat fruit cocktails.
    These peaches come packed in 100% juice and do not
    include any added sugar. Not only are they great to have
    on hand for a healthy snack, but they're great for kids
    snacks. Just be sure to rotate them into your diet so that
    you're not stuck with old food.

  • Dole canned pears. Dole canned pears also have 45% of
    the daily values of Vitamin C and add 12% fiber along with
    4% potassium. Canned pears.

Ready-to-eat food #9: Ration bars.
Ration bars are heavy bricks of portioned food intended for
survival when food and water are in limited supply. It's dense
nutrition packed in 1200 or 3600 rations that you break off to
help with portion control. In short ration bars are a high-calorie
prepper food that you may not want to take with you in your
bugout bag, but are great to have in your car, recreation
vehicles, at the office and around your home as a last resort
food. Originally intended for survival at sea, they are non-thirst
Ration bars are not the same as food bars. The
purpose of ration bars is to provide a minimum daily rationed
sustenance that's non-thirst provoking for times when both food
and water is scarce. Food bars are packed with protein

Ready-to-eat food #10: Canned chicken.
Chicken in a can whether it's in freeze dried or in water is safe
and ready-to-eat straight from the can.

  • Freeze dried chicken is a protein snack that's fun to eat.
  • All white meat chicken in a can doesn't need to be heated
    and can be very satisfying in times of crisis, and of course
    it's a nice option for emergency dinners. Think chicken
Ready to eat Foods
Bos of 32 Poptarts
EPIC Pemmican sampler
Tanka Pemmica Bars 6-pack
Solilder Fuel bars
Mountain House #10 can - Diced Chicken
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Mountain House Diced Chicken