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.
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.