Augason Farms 48-hour emergency food supply review, Pt. 4: and we’re done here.

My original concept was to live on the contents of this tub exclusively until it was gone, to see what would happen. That would have taken eight long days. I gave up that plan on the afternoon of the second day because of gastric distress: All the creamy stuff was causing me to spend too much quality time with the Ivory Throne, and I do have work to do. So I’m bringing this to an end with a description of the final entrée in the tub.

The third entrée in the Augason Farms tub is good old supercheap macaroni and cheese.

Plus side: It’s actually pretty okay mac&cheese. I’ve had way worse. and there’s more here than four normal people would want to eat in a single meal. (that first picture shows half the available macaroni.) And there’s a ton of cheese powder, which works pretty well.

Minus side: It’s macaroni and cheese. You could buy cases of mac&cheese for what this tub cost. (Okay, I just fact-checked that statement and apparently you can buy a case of mac&cheese for roughly the same price as an Augason Farms tub. Man – you used to could buy a case of the stuff for like $3.) And I got over eating a lot of mac&cheese before I was out of my teens.

The bottom line here, since I’m not going to do this particular test any more, is that the Augason Farms Emergency Food Supply tub would be better than nothing in an actual emergency as long as you hadn’t lost any of your food prep infrastructure. You could never take it on the run with you unless you’re also bringing your stovetop and gas. You should (seriously) stay away from it if you’re lactose intolerant. Pre-packaged long-term storage food is a simple, logical and comforting way to stock food against the chance that supply chains will be cut in some undefinable future crisis. If you want to go that way, Regular Commenter Kentucky has pointed out that there are lots of similar products on the market, lots of information available concerning them, and there are probably better alternatives than this particular product.

The one thing I’m sure we can all agree on is that this is a subject that rates a lot of serious thought. Plenty of preppers out there settle for minimums, or get caught up in tacticool gear or wild scenarios, but shelves of securely stored long-shelf-life food are never a bad idea. The super-secure America with all the answers that I was born in, where the stores are always open and always take your money and always have stuff to buy, seems more an illusion with every passing year. Preparing to tide yourself and your people through an insecure future just makes sense.

Personally I like shelves and shelves of canned and jarred food of the sort I’m used to eating. But I’m an old one-legged guy who has pretty much already bugged the hell out. Barring a housefire I’m not going anywhere, and even then not far. I don’t need portability. I do keep my food stocks in multiple places, one of them pretty much absolutely fireproof. Frankly my need for sealed tubs of “emergency food supply” is limited. But in other scenarios I could see this sort of thing – not necessarily this particular version, with which I’m not especially impressed, but something like it – filling a pretty good niche.

The people nobody should listen to are the ones who pooh-pooh the whole idea of emergency preparation. Alas, those people tend to rise up in one’s own family, and overcoming their objections can involve drama. I’m not sure why, but it does seem common. Just keep telling yourself that nobody ever went wrong by being overprepared for bad things.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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8 Responses to Augason Farms 48-hour emergency food supply review, Pt. 4: and we’re done here.

  1. Kentucky says:

    We know a couple approaching retirement age who bought a “year’s supply” of survival food for two. Big dollars. Pallet-size packaging.

    The question we have NOT asked them . . . “If the stuff hits the fan, which of your children and their children will you turn away so the rest of you can survive? Or will you take’em all in and everybody dies in a couple of months?”

    I don’t think many folks consider those questions.

  2. brew says:

    Being lactose intolerant I just get stuff that I know I can handle… the mnt house breakfast skillet, chili mac, etc. Otherwise I get straight stuff i.e. veggies or meat per can and I’ll blend them as needed… that’s my theory anyways….. thanks for doing this review… well done, and sorry it didn’t turn out better.

  3. Judy says:

    As someone who is allergic to casein (milk) protein and a diabetic accumulating a deep pantry takes some thought. Most of mine is the component parts of meals. I have done a lot of canning with a few busts, like (shudder) meatloaf. I have done a fair amount of dehydrating and I really like dried meats better than canned. You are never going to get 20 – 30 years of shelf-life by using those methods on real fruits, vegetables and animal proteins. But why would you want your food to set around that long?

  4. taminator013 says:

    For some reason I gag on creamy sauces and I absolutely, positively loathe mac & cheese. I make up my own buckets with stuff that I like. Dehydrated hash browns, eggs, pasta, tuna pouches, rice, pinto beans, spam, instant coffee, sugar, powdered creamer/milk, condiments and spices, bouillon cubes, spam, soup mix, dried fruit, nuts, etc. You get the idea. I even bought a bunch of little military surplus folding stoves and Triox packets really cheap to go in each bucket. A lot of the stuff I vacuum seal in bags before they go into the buckets. Before the lids are screwed on the buckets are purged with CO2 to extend the shelf life. This keeps the food from oxidizing and also prevents any insect eggs that may be in with the food from hatching. Yeah, dry nitrogen would be better, but I have CO2 tanks for my brewing, so that’s what I use.

  5. Ben says:

    Mac and cheese is a cheap and easily prepared food “paste” that can be easily and almost infinitely varied by adding things that may be on your shelf. For example:

    Dump in a can of cheap tuna and half a can of peas and you have a pretty good casserole analog.

    Add a can of chili and you have chili mac.

    Fold in a couple cut up hot dogs (or better yet, sausages) and you have a cheap and quick meat dish.

    With a little thought and some added cheese, I’ll bet mac & cheese it could make a great baked dish.

    Thanks for the review Joel. It led to some pretty good reading and a very useful discussion. That’s blogging at it’s best.

  6. Mark Matis says:

    He needs refrigeration for hot dogs. And for most cheese as well.

  7. Mike says:

    Having read your series on eating “survival food,” all I can say is if you have to actually live off this stuff, good luck to you. The fecal matter would really have had to hit the fan before I would even try to choke this stuff down. And yes while being in the military, I’ve had to eat some stuff that would make a goat throw up. While not manic hoarders of emergency food, my wife and I have enough to get us through for several months should there be an issue and we could not replinish our supplies. The majority of items we stock are ones we eat on a normal basis with a final plan B being a month worth of Mountain House 2 serving dehydrated food packages that, should we have to leave, are easy to grab and go.

  8. Bonnie says:

    Like Judy, I’m a lactose intolerant diabetic – no dairy, no sugar, no grains, little fruit. So I can & freeze meat, and raise some of my own. And like the author, I’m old & getting crippled – I can no longer walk even a mile without pain, so I’m not going anywhere.

To the stake with the heretic!