Survival Food Has Come a Long Way, Baby


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Most people have heard the biblical story of Adam and Eve. This original couple had a perfect life in the Garden of Eden.

But they blew it by disobeying God. They ate fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And were tossed out of the garden.

The Genesis account also mentions another lesser-remembered tree in the garden. It was called the Tree of Life.

According to Genesis chapter 3, verse 22, God said if anyone ate from that tree, they would live forever. That’s what I call survival food.

Preserving Food Naturally

Now, perhaps it’s a stretch to trace the evolution (pardon the term) of survival food to the Garden of Eden.

But the idea of making food last goes back many centuries. Hunters and gatherers back then did not have a Frigidaire in which to keep animal meat and other perishable food.

So, they had to improvise. They used natural preservatives to keep food from spoiling before everyone had a chance to enjoy it.

We’re not talking about the preservatives found in Twinkies. These preservatives included salt. But it was mainly about the drying process that greatly reduced moisture.

Native Americans Paved the Way

Native Americans learned how to keep food fresh through a variety of methods. Food such as meat from animals, birds and fish. Plus berries, fruit, nuts, corn and squash. As well as roots, onions and potatoes.

Tribes rarely stayed in the same spot for more than a few weeks. That’s because they needed to keep their horses fed. They also wanted to avoid stripping the area of food and firewood.

So, their food needed to be dried. And kept as small and lightweight as possible.

Food was dried in the sun (a primitive form of dehydration). Those who weren’t hunting or gathering turned it over regularly and kept bugs off it.

A Revolutionary Way to Feed Soldiers

Preserving food was challenging enough for home dwellers before ovens, refrigerators and freezers came along.

It became an even greater task to feed on-the-go soldiers. They needed to keep up their strength in order to march and fight. Supplying them with calories and nutrition was a must.

In the Revolutionary War days, soldiers were provided with beef, rice and peas. During the Civil War, bulky rations for soldiers included salted beef or pork. Plus hardtack (hard bread) and compressed cubes of mixed vegetables.

Some of these rations also included beans, peas, rice, coffee beans, sugar, salt and vinegar.

Rations Improve from War to War

By the time World War I rolled around, rations consisted of corned beef, bread (usually stale), potatoes, onions, soup and stew.

In World War II, U.S. soldiers consumed K-rations (breakfast), D-rations (chocolate), and C-rations (lunch and dinner).

These pre-cooked meals were easier to eat on the move than those used in the first world war.

The Military Combat Individual (MCI) meals eaten by soldiers during the Korean War were superior to the C-rations of World War II. Mainly because they included more variety and nutrition.

In Vietnam, soldiers had the LRP (Long Range Patrol) food packets. These freeze-dried, dehydrated rations were packed in large cardboard boxes. They consisted of items such as beef hash, beef and rice, chicken and rice, and spaghetti with meat sauce.

MREs Evolve Over Time

And then came the famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs) in the 1980s.

The idea was to create a lightweight, easy-to-transport meal. Forget the bulky cans carried around in previous wars.

These meals were packaged in metalized bags. They were ready to eat at a moment’s notice. No heating of the meal was necessary.

Improvements in nutrition and taste were made in the first decade of this century. But some soldiers still referred to MREs as “Meals Rejected by Everyone” and “Materials Resembling Edibles.”

Comedian and former Minnesota Senator Al Franken once joked with troops in Iraq about MREs. Commenting on the lack of fiber that caused some soldiers to have constipation, he said he’d eaten a few MREs and “none of them had an exit strategy.”

MREs are still used by U.S. troops today. Advancements have helped considerably. For one thing, there are now many more choices than in the past.

Cracking Open 56-Year-Old Crackers

Some of you may recall an email I sent you not too long ago about a box of survival crackers from 1962 that we obtained.

We knew it was the real deal. The wording on the side of the box matched what we’d seen in an article on this subject.

It read: “Survival supplies furnished by Office of Civil Defense, Department of Defense.” And “Civil Defense, Survival Ration Cracker… Date of Pack: 1962.”

Our email included video of a couple of our employees opening the containers. And tasting the 56-year-old crackers.

If you didn’t see that video, I’ve included it above. I think you’ll get a kick out of some of the comments our folks made while opening the containers and tasting the ancient crackers.

Taste, Variety, Nutrition… All in One Pouch

Yes, survival food has come a long way. Our 4Patriots Survival Food has a shelf life of 25 years. The meals can be prepared in less than 20 minutes. And they require only boiling water.

But what really separates our food from other survival food you may have eaten is taste and nutrition. Our customers rave about the great taste of our food. As well as the variety.

They appreciate the fact that this food is contained in easy-to-store Mylar pouches. They keep out air, moisture and light.

And for a limited time, we’re giving out our 4Patriots 72-Hour Survival Food Kit for free, so you can try it out for yourself. All we ask is that you cover shipping.

Get Your Free 72-Hour Survival Food Kit Here



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