Nutrient Survival is a newer brand of emergency foods. They advertise themselves as “Special Ops grade nutrition,” meeting or exceeding the nutritional requirements for 23 essential nutrients and as being 2.5 times more nutrient-dense than what the military requires in its meals.
We dug deep into what Nutrient Survival has to offer and their nutrition. Here’s how they stack up.
Nutrient Survival – Our Ratings
Overall rating: 75\100
What We Think
Nutrient Survival is one of the only brands making low-sodium survival food. If you don’t mind the high price, the single-serving meals are great for bug-out bags.
- Offer meals in single-serving pouches; great for bug out bags
- Also, have meals in multi-serving pouches and #10 cans
- Foods are fortified to provide complete nutrition
- Low sodium levels (at least compared to other emergency meals)
- 15 to 25-year shelf life on most products
- Made in the USA
- Very easy to prepare meals
- Great taste
- Not many meal options
- Mostly just carbs; no real meat and very few vegetables
- Kits lack variety
- Only a few bulk freeze-dried foods
Also, check out our picks for best emergency food brands for kits and bulk items.
What Types of Survival Food Does Nutrient Survival Offer?
Bug Out Bag Food
What’s cool about Nutrient Survival is that they make foods designed for Bug Out Bags or Go Bags.
These foods come in single-serving packs, which is more practical than carrying a 10-serving meal pouch with you.
You can buy the single-serving meals as part of a kit or in sets of 5. They also have some meal replacement bars, which would be great for BOBs.
- Valkyrie Go bag: 45 single servings
- 72-hour bug out bag: 25 single servings
- Meal bars
- Meals in single-serving pouches
- Milk, coffee and liquid nutrients in single-serving pouches
Emergency Food Kits
Nutrient Survival offers a few different emergency food kits. Each kit contains the same thing, just in different quantities.
Unfortunately, these kits currently only contain three meals (mac and cheese, southwestern medley, and homestyle scramble), oatmeal, cereal, and powdered milk. Obviously, you would get bored eating just these meals for 30+ days. I don’t know why they didn’t include the lasagna meal in their kits.
Hopefully, they will add more variety later on.
You can also buy individual meals, which come in single-serve pouches, 9-serving pouches, or 10-serving cans.
There aren’t too many options right now. Here is the current offering:
- Mac and cheese
- Southwestern medley (beans and rice)
- Homestyle scramble
- Oatmeal and 2 crunchy cereals
- Meal bars
Bulk Survival Food
Nutrient Survival doesn’t have much when it comes to bulk foods. Right now, they just offer #10 cans of the following:
One of the things that sets Nutrient Survival apart is that they offer several beverages. These include fortified coffee and shakes as well as vitamin mixes.
Even if you don’t get it from this brand, I recommend including an electrolyte (rehydration) mix in your preps or first aid kit.
All emergency meals tend to be on the low end when it comes to calories. Nutrient Survival is no exception.
The meals have 230 to 340 calories per serving. That’s more than most other survival food brands have per serving, but it is still obviously inadequate for most adults – especially if active. Read more about the minimum calories required to survive.
Calories per serving:
- Mac and cheese: 340 calories
- Lasagna: 260 calories
- Southwestern medley: 280 calories
- Bars: 290 calories per bar
- Oatmeal: 230 calories
- Cereal: 240 calories
When it comes to calories per day in the meal kits, Nutrient Survival falls pretty short. Their kits only provide 1,356 calories per day.
Of course, raw calorie numbers are not the whole story, and Nutrient survival has the upper hand in providing essential vitamins and nutrients (more on this later).
Key Criteria and Our Ratings
Let’s break down Nutrient Survival further and see how they stack up.
Range of Meals
Nutrient Survival only has a few options when it comes to meals. However, they are a very new company, so I am willing to cut them some slack. Hopefully, they will add more meals and bulk products later on.
- Breakfast: apple cinnamon oatmeal, maple almond grain crunch, chocolate grain crunch,
- Meal Bars: honey granola, peanut butter, chocolate crunch, chocolate chip cookie meals,
- Meals: lasagna, mac and cheese, southwestern medley, scrambled eggs
- Bulk: freeze-dried milk, eggs, and butter
- Drinks: fortified coffee, hemp coffee, chocolate shake, vitamin mixes
All of the meals are vegetarian. The Southwest medley meal and bars are gluten-free.
View the Range
Quality and Taste
When it comes to taste, Nutrient Survival definitely beats the competition. They taste delicious, and the texture is nice too. It’s kind of hard to screw up pasta slathered in cheese, though.
I wish they would have added some more herbs and spices to the meals, but maybe it’s better that way: you can add your own spices (here’s how to stockpile spices) so the pasta tastes different each time you eat it.
It’s worth noting that their Southwest medley has “yeast extract,” which is another name for MSG.
It is a flavor enhancer that will “excite the brain’s cells into making you believe the flavor is in the food and not just in your head.” Anything that contains yeast extract will be delicious, but the flavor is far from natural.
Ease of Cooking
Preparing meals from Nutrient Survival is insanely easy: pour boiling water over the meal, wait 4-5 minutes, stir and eat.
This is easier than other survival meals, which must be simmered or boiled. The powdered eggs don’t even need boiling water: you can just pour cold water over them.
How Healthy Are They?
Vitamins and Minerals
Nutrient Survival advertises their survival food as meeting the “uncompromising nutritional standards of the US military” to deliver “preparedness through nutrition.”
Yes – Nutrient Survival does meet this claim. Their meals have more vitamins, minerals, and protein than virtually any other emergency food brand. However, the issue is how they get these nutrients into the meals.
The nutrients don’t come from healthy ingredients; meals are made with white rice, pasta, and no vegetables. Instead, each meal contains a “Nutrient Survival Vitamin and Mineral Blend.”
You are eating a cheap meal with a fancy multivitamin and mineral supplement added to it.
As several people have pointed out, it’s questionable how long the vitamins in these blends remain potent. Some vitamins are susceptible to heat and are going to break down (read about how to store vitamins here).
I would rather get my nutrients from real foods, which also contain antioxidants and micronutrients that you don’t usually find in supplements. Stockpiling healthy foods like whole grains and veggies is somewhat tricky, though; they simply don’t last as long as simple starches like white rice.
In this sense, it’s nice that Nutrient Survival takes care of the nutrition aspect for you.
One area where Nutrient Survival does get a big thumbs up is the sodium content. Most emergency meals have an insane amount of sodium in them, which is especially concerning if you are hunkered down and inactive.
For example, Nutrient Survival mac and cheese has approximately 1/3 of the sodium of Mountain House mac and cheese. The NS lasagna has half the sodium of Augason Farm’s lasagna.
Nutrient Survival meals have a good amount of protein per serving: usually 11 to 13 grams. However, just like with the vitamins and minerals, it’s worth noting that (in most cases) the protein doesn’t come from the food itself. There’s no actual meat in the meals. Instead, some meals have whey powder or pea protein added.
The shelf life of Nutrient Survival food is very good. It varies based on packaging method, but the shelf lives are usually as follows:
- Single serving pouches: 15 years
- Pouches: 15 years
- Cans: 25 years
There is one big exception: the meal bars only have a shelf life of 18 months. According to their website, they contain syrups that may harden. They are safe to eat after 18 months but will be hard to bite into.
Basically, in terms of shelf life, the Nutrient Survival bars aren’t much better than any other meal bar you could find in the supermarket. For example, Clif bars and Powerbars have a best-by date of 12 months after manufacturing.
Cost and Value for Money
Here is where Nutrient Survival really suffers. Nutrient Survival is much more expensive than other emergency food brands, no matter how you break it down.
- Meals: $5-$6 per serving
- Kits: Approximately $20 per day
Considering that the meals are mostly pasta or rice, the price of $5+ per serving is very high. By comparison, the NS lasagna costs approximately 2.5 more per calorie than the Augason Farms lasagna. The NS lasagna costs almost the same as Mountain House’s, but MH uses real meat in their product.
Likewise, the meal kits are also very pricy, especially considering they don’t have many calories per day or variety. Valley Food Storage kits cost about $11 to $13 per day. Augason Farms 30-day kit is even cheaper at $6.70 per day and has many more calories.
Yes, you are getting a full range of vitamins and minerals in your meal – but it would be a lot cheaper just to repackage some mac & cheese from the supermarket and stockpile some supplements.
Customer Service and Availability
You can currently buy Nutrient Survival products from their website. They also have some products available on Amazon.
Most items appear to be in stock. Even with the current state of supply chain issues, they say that most orders ship within 1-2 weeks.
If you aren’t happy with your order, you have 14 days from receiving it to ask for your money back. You will have to pay shipping costs to return the food.
Returns are only allowed on full-priced items and not items on sale so watch out for that.
Nutrient Survival currently doesn’t offer any rewards or loyalty programs for repeat customers. The only reward they have is a freebie sampler, which honestly pales compared to the free samplers offered by some of the bigger emergency food brands.
It’s nice to see new survival food brands on the market, especially ones focusing on nutrients and lowering sodium levels. However, the price for essentially carbs with a supplement blend is high.
However, it could be worth buying some single-serving meals for your bug-out bag. The convenient size and 15-year shelf life on these go some way to justify the high price.
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