Mountain House Vegetable Stew with Beef: 40-year storage food taste test

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This can was visibly bulging at top and bottom, which gave me a moment’s pause*. But it’s freeze dried, right? I mean, it might deteriorate but it’s hard to imagine fermentation. Plus, “Packed in Nitrogen Atmosphere,” by which they apparently mean pressurized nitrogen because when I applied the can opener the can hissed and relaxed but emitted no foul odors.

In fact it emitted a rather pleasant odor. Smelled like dried veggies.

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Unlike the freeze dried spaghetti, this material had substantially compacted. I needed to break it up to keep it from filling the bowl in chunks. Once again the “recipe” is one cup boiling water to 1.5 cup dried material and wait ten minutes.

I must say that they don’t short you on stew ingredients. Potatoes, peas, cooked beef, carrots, corn, they’re all here and all mummified.

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And once rehydrated, all as visually unappetizing as you’d care to imagine. They used corn starch for thickener and a lot of it, and I can only imagine that it hasn’t aged as gracefully as some of the other ingredients because I frankly hesitated to raise that fork to my mouth.

Smelled all right, though, so I tried a small taste – then a bigger taste, then I scraped the bowl clean. It’s really fairly good even undoctored. The ingredients that are supposed to taste like anything have retained their taste nicely. There’s none of that underlying tang that says “proceed with caution if at all.” And again my stomach accepted the offering quite cheerfully and without revolt.

I don’t know if this forty-year-old Mountain House stew is identical to its brand-new self – I kind of hope not, because visually it’s revolting – but for eating if not for gazing upon it’s perfectly fit.


*Big Brother emailed to say the can was definitely not bulging at his home, which is at substantially lower altitude than the Secret Lair.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to Mountain House Vegetable Stew with Beef: 40-year storage food taste test

  1. Kentucky says:

    So . . . read a book whilst eating.

  2. Robert says:

    That second pic does look rather … homogeneous. Yer a brave eater, Joel. Please post (in a tasteful fashion) on possible um, after-effects.

  3. M Ryan says:

    You remind me of something my father-in-law once told me when we were harvesting mushrooms. There are old mushroom pickers and there are bold mushroom pickers, but there are no old, bold mushroom pickers. 40 years old… bulging can… I have to say you are much braver than I am. Be careful.

  4. Zelda says:

    These posts on the 40 year old Mountain House food are wonderfully useful. I tried some expired Mountain House small packages found in a backpack and had to toss the food. Edible it was not. Ghastly tasting it was. Maybe it started off that way when new? Although Mountain House is usually pretty good. Between the unstable sliding rug and the 40 year old food you sure are living a daily adventure. Looking forward to your next post so we know you are still functional.

  5. abnormalist says:

    I will say in the few experiences I’ve had with Mountain House its been edible. My real issue using it as emergency provisions though is sodium content. Hope you dont have blood pressure issues, as it wont do you any favors…

  6. Joel says:

    It definitely has a lot of salt.

    Also a lot of MSG, which is probably why the flavor is still so prominent.

To the stake with the heretic!