Full Disclaimer – The food in this review was supplied by Valley Food Storage. This did not affect the review in any way and the following is our honest (warts and all) opinion of the survival food provided.
Finding the best emergency food at a reasonable cost is a challenge all preppers face. While you want value you also want something that suits the dietary needs of you and your family and tastes good too!
Valley Food Storage is a producer of top quality freeze dried and dehydrated foods. Portions are packaged in resealable mylar bags that keep foods fresh and tasty.
This means that even those that are preparing alone or with just one other person, can still buy large pouches and not have to worry about using them up before they start to taste stale.
Valley Food Storage stands out for their wide variety of foods offered and the fact that they do not use GMOs or a bunch of artificial ingredients. You can also get survival foods that are suitable for restricted diets.
Valley Food Storage have a sales section on their website for end of line stock and flash sales.
It is well worth checking as there are some serious bargains to be had.
When it comes down to what I look for in survival food I use the following criteria:
Does the food have a lot of artificial ingredients and cheap fillers like corn, wheat, and soy? A lot of people have food allergies so they have to be really careful.
2. Shelf Life
Survival foods can vary a lot in shelf life. I will pay more for a longer shelf life up to a point. Past 10 years and I don’t care as much.
I know some preppers like the idea of a 25 year shelf life but I don’t think it is necessary for a good survival food. Most emergencies are short term.
3. Ease Of Storage
How well does the food pack into a tote or other small space. A lot of people have limited space they can dedicate to long term food storage.
4. Price Per Serving
To some degree you get what you pay for. Nothing is going to be as cheap as beans and rice but who wants to try to live on just that?
5. Calories For Your Dollar
The actual calories per dollar spent are more important to me than the overall weight of each package.
There are a lot of survival foods that might weigh more but that doesn’t mean they are as good a deal when you do the math.
6. Preparation Method
No or very little prep involved is important. During a survival situation you are going to have enough to do without complicated meals.
Base Level Standards
All foods tasted and reviewed meet the following standards:
- Sealed in mylar bags with a classic zip loc style closure for easy resealing
- Up to 25 year shelf life
- Oxygen absorber packet for freshness and quality over time
Valley Food Storage Reviews
We are testing five Valley Food Storage offerings today, with a varied selection from their comprehensive range.
Products on review today:
- Freeze Dried Bluberries
- Strawberry Cream Of Wheat
- Freeze Dried Asparagus
- Irish Pub Cheddar Potato Soup
- White Bean and Lime Chili
Freeze Dried Blueberries
|Servings In Package||15|
|Cost Per Serving||$0.93|
|Calories Per Serving||30|
|Cost Per 100 calories||$3.10|
Only a single ingredient in this 15 serving bag. I opened it up and tasted and it was very close to fresh blueberries.
As someone that has 40 blueberry bushes, I can be a bit picky about the flavor and quality but these were very impressive. I found myself snacking on them straight out of the bag.
I can see how having these on hand would go a long way towards making breakfast dishes tastier. Baking muffins, using for pancakes, and using them to make cereals better are all great uses. You do get a lot in a bag.
The only negative I have to say about these blueberries is that they are very low calorie so they are an item that preppers are going to want to have for flavor and antioxidants in their diet, but in terms of calories per dollar spent, there are better options.
Strawberry Cream Of Wheat
|Servings In Package||10|
|Cost Per Serving||$2.00|
|Calories Per Serving||170|
|Cost Per 100 calories||$1.18|
One of the first things I noticed about this breakfast entree is that it only has three ingredients. There is something to be said for keeping it simple yet tasty when it comes to survival food.
This tasted a lot better than the Cream of Wheat I remember as a kid. Valley Food Storage uses real freeze dried strawberries that you can actually see rather than artificially flavored bits like that found in cheap supermarket brands.
I never realized how good a Cream Of Wheat dish could be.
Since there are only 170 calories per serving you would need to eat two servings in order to get a 340 calorie breakfast. That puts your meal cost at $4.00. I don’t think that is too bad for convenient food.
To make this entree all you have to do is add boiling water and simmer for a minute or less. This dish thickens quickly.
For those that think this is expensive per serving I would like to point out that since it barely takes any heat or cooking time, you save fuel and time spent on food prep.
In a survival situation, more time to take care of things and stay on guard, is precious.
Freeze Dried Asparagus
|Servings In Package||15|
|Cost Per Serving||$0.87|
|Calories Per Serving||20|
|Cost Per 100 Calories||$4.35|
I really liked the ease of preparation that this side had. It tasted a lot like fresh asparagus. So far I have found that freeze dried really comes close to the flavor of fresh no matter what you are eating.
We had this as a side with a steak dinner. I added a little butter, lemon juice, and black pepper and I have to say that I would proudly serve that at a fancy dinner and not think twice about it.
To prepare the asparagus you just have to soak it in water and drain. You can then use it as you would fresh in any salad or other dish you want. It takes just a couple of minutes to soak.
The biggest negative I have for this freeze dried asparagus is how low calorie it is. While this is a tasty addition to a meal, it is expensive on a per 100 calorie basis.
This is definitely one of those extra luxury survival foods that are nice to have but you need to be realistic and not have too much of it and not enough calorie dense foods.
Irish Pub Cheddar Potato Soup
|Servings In Package||5|
|Cost Per Serving||$2.40|
|Calories Per Serving||280|
|Cost Per 100 Calories||$0.86|
This soup is described as being one of Valley Food Storage’s most popular entrees. While this is definitely good soup, I don’t see why it is that popular. It satisfies without being too salty but it seems to lack a lot of vegetables and is light on the cheese flavor.
This soup did not cook up thick like I thought it would. I tried to allow extra cooking time and even letting the dish set for a few minutes to thicken but I still could nott get it to look like the pics and description.
If you want this to be thick then I suggest using about half the amount of water they recommend.
I still think this is a good one to put back regardless of its flaws. 280 calories for $2.40 is not bad for the actual quality of the ingredients listed. If you are really hungry then you can chow down on two servings for $4.80.
The cooking time is low at about 5 minutes of boil time so you don’t have to waste a lot of fuel to get a good meal.
White Bean and Lime Chili
|Servings In Package||5|
|Cost Per Serving||$2.40|
|Calories Per Serving||230|
|Cost Per 100 Calories||$1.04|
We cooked this out in the woods with cornbread and while I like the flavor, it did not cook up in the amount of time listed on the bag.
The instructions say to add over 7 cups of water. I did that and despite allowing it to simmer for double the amount of time required, the beans were still a bit hard.
I have to wonder if this has to do with how precooked the beans were before they were dehydrated for use in this entree?
This is a little spicy so if you are sensitive to heat in your food then you might want to avoid this one.
I have to say that it does have an outstanding flavor overall. Valley Food Storage does do a good job creating complex flavors rather than just throwing in a bunch of salt and very few other spices. I just wish I could have got it to cook up thicker.
How much do you spend on your grocery bill during good times and how much time does it take to prepare your food?
By my cost estimate, I could eat the food that I reviewed and get a 2,000 calorie diet for around $15-$20 per day. That is pretty expensive for food that contains no meat.
On the other hand it is hard to beat the convenience of the meals. I could see paying that if I wanted food for a bug out bag that was lightweight or if I was on a week long backpacking trip.
I recommend Valley Food Storage for quality and variety as well as outstanding packaging but if you are on a budget I would suggest having some of their foods and rounding out your stash with other things that perhaps take longer to cook, or some DIY survival food.
If you have some fast and easy to fix foods they will come in handy when you are busy or tired, whereas cooking other meals that take longer and use less expensive ingredients will help you stretch out your prepping dollar.
Conclusion: Valley Food Storage is pretty impressive.
Overall I am impressed with the food quality and ease of preparation from Valley Food Storage.
Although their average price per serving is higher than some survival foods, the quality is much better in terms of ingredients, flavor, packaging, and shelf life.
They are definitely one of my top choices for buying survival food.
I have to say that Valley Food Storage is also a good option for those of us on restricted diets. It is easy to purchase single ingredient packs and combine them to make all kinds of classic dishes.
There are plenty of entrees that meet the criteria for diabetics, lactose intolerance, or wheat and gluten restricted diets. The fact that their food is all non GMO is a major bonus.
My main peeve with Valley Food Storage is the preparation directions. I found that the amount of water you are told to add per serving is usually way too much. The exception was the Strawberry Cream Of Wheat which needed about ½ cup more water than advised.
Cooking times also seemed to be longer than the time specified and entrees did not get as thick as expected.