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Redfora visits Mountain House to try 40-yr-old food

Skyler Hallgren | MAY 7, 2019

People need to eat, and that doesn’t stop in an emergency. The power is out (goodbye refrigerated food!), stores are closed, and most of us don’t live on a farm.

The solution? Emergency food that will last decades. Finding something trustworthy can be a challenge. There are plenty of companies out there that make claims about how long their product will last.

We assumed that there was some government agency out there regulating shelf life claims, but guess what?!? It's literally a free-for-all! Companies can claim just about anything they want. In the emergency food space, that's especially tricky, as most companies haven't been around long enough to have product old enough to prove it! 

Our partner Mountain House has been doing it the right way for 50 years - they’ve fed astronauts on every Apollo mission 🚀, been making emergency food for Special Forces for that long as well, so their standards have to be high enough for government auditors.

Mountain House offers a 30-Year Taste Guarantee - they put their name and reputation behind their food tasting great, even after 30 years. Since they've been around for 50 years, they actually have food old enough to test.

Redfora exists to encourage everyday people like you and me to actually have an emergency plan in place, and emergency food is a big part of that. We take our responsibility seriously, and it's our job is find the smartest, best quality, most practical supplies out there. So you KNOW we had to put these claims to the test! 

We showed up to Mountain House's facility with a list of questions and some healthy skepticism... as someone who worked in food for years, I've been on plenty of these tours. But I was immediately impressed - it's a big operation, and they take safety very seriously. Every visitor gets checked in, goes through security, and gets to gear up in hairnets, helmets, lab coats, shoe covers... even beard covers! 

What was most impressive was their well-developed tracking and systems. This is a mature company that is operating at an incredibly high level, under maximum safety controls and scrutiny. Their record speaks for itself, but seeing it first hand was important to us. 

Finally, the moment of truth had arrived - time for me to eat 40 year old food! 

We were introduced to Giovanna, the most interesting person at Mountain House. Her job is creating and testing new flavors and recipes. She'd pulled out some of the oldest meals they still had from 40 years ago for us to try. 

Giovanna was out to prove to us that the Mountain House flavor is so much better than any other emergency food out there. It's because it's cooked together and then freeze-dried, not dehydrated ingredients just mixed together. But she is a scientist, so she'd set up a blind taste test for us. 

We tried 3 samples - 40-year-old Mountain House's food cooked in 1979, their freshest food that was just cooked, and their main competitor. 

The freshest food was (of course) a little tastier than the 1979 batch, but just barely! If I hadn't had something new to compare it to, I never would have known it was older than yesterday!

Next, we tried the 1979 model again their competitor's brand new food. The Mountain House was so much better! I could tell what they meant about the way their cook their food - the flavors had been cooked together, so the dish was rich and flavorful. The competitors just tasted like dried ingredients that had been put in some water. Huge difference! 

Now we were really sold - this is the only food I would truly want to eat in a stressful situation. With age comes wisdom, and Mountain House's 50-year history has clearly taught them how to perfect emergency food. We are huge fans, and I'm so pleased to offer Mountain House 'Just-in-Case' Emergency Food kits to our community.