Legacy Emergency Food Review
Dinner time was making me nervous.
I was trying to keep my expectations in check as the family and I gathered around the table.
No, the evening’s dish wasn’t hot dogs and baloney (I know the kids would eat that stuff).
It was a menu I choose and one I wasn’t sure the kids would like.
I was mentally prepared to make “something else” for everyone if things went south.
No matter what the packaging tries to sell (with its professional “perfect” meal photos), freeze-dried food can’t hold a candle to a home-cooked meal.
Yes; I’m aware that’s an unfair comparison.
To me, there’s nothing like a delicious homemade meal. And freeze dried food can’t compare, right?
But, to be honest, “taste” shouldn’t be your main reason to buy freeze-dried survival food.
No, we invest in survival food for its
- Convenient bulk calories
- Extreme longevity
- Secure packaging
Taste is more of an afterthought. It’s nice bonus. It’s the cherry on top.
Because, if you’re ever truly forced to eat lots of freeze-dried survival food, you’ll be so hungry an old shoe could taste amazing.
With survival food, taste matters only after other important aspects (packaging, calories, nutrition, price).
Because, in general, I’d rather store survival food that lasts a crazy long time but tastes bland.
I’d rather have survival food with that includes all the essential nutrients your body needs but tastes like unseasoned mush.
Why? Because if you’re facing starvation, even the worst tasting food miraculously turns into a 5-star meal.
I don’t buy survival food to enjoy a meal. I buy survival food to survive.
So why even perform a taste test with the family? Why not just buy on price and nutrients and calories – those “more important” criteria?
Because, if it does taste good today – it’ll taste amazing when I need it.
Again, taste is not the primary reason for your purchase, but it’s also nice to know exactly what you’re getting.
So for my family, the dinner taste test was a big part of our full Legacy Premium freeze-dried survival food review.
Choosing Our Meals
A few ago we’d just received a Legacy Emergency Food Bucket with eight meals in it.
For this review, we picked two freeze-dried meals out of eight choices:
Pasta Alfredo, Pasta Primavera, Enchilada (beans and rice), Stroganoff, Cheese and Broccoli Bake, Chili Mac, Cheese and Broccoli Soup Mix, Classic Chili Mix
I laid them out and let my wife choose one, and I’d choose the other. She picked Stroganoff; I went with Pasta Alfredo.
She picked Stroganoff; I went with Pasta Alfredo.
Legacy’s Food Bucket
Now, before I move onto the meal packaging and the cooking, I want to take a minute to discuss Legacy Premium’s food bucket.
Simply put, the food bucket is a very nice bonus. It’s a 15 liter, white #5 plastic bucket with a handle. It’s lightweight but robust. A great combination for stacking and protecting your food stockpile investment.
No complaints about the bucket, it’s a nice addition.
The bucket came with a security seal. What I like about this is, with survival food, you’re not planning to use it often. So, you can leave this seal when you first store your food, and it’ll help keep the bucket free from rodents or pests.
Just leave the seal on until you’re ready to use your survival food, even if that’s a decade from now.
The other nice feature is the handle. This makes for super convenient hauling. But I must ask myself – “how often do I plan on hauling my survival food around?” The answer for me – NEVER (if I can help it).
So, while the handle at first seems like an important feature, I’d prefer not to have to pay extra for it. That’s just me.
For someone else, the handle might be a big selling point – but I can’t think of why. If you’re bugging in, you’ll likely only use the handles two times in your life (once to store it and once to retrieve it).
However, if you’re bugging out by vehicle, then maybe the handle comes in handy. If you’re practicing your escape plan, then the handle is nice since you may end up using it a few times a year.
Legacy Emergency Food Pouches
Let’s talk about Legacy’s meal pouches.
The front of each package has an image of several foods; each image is identical no matter the food that’s in the package. It looks like they are showing a macaroni and cheese, broccoli soup, chili and Alfredo pasta.
So, for example, the Stroganoff package does not have an image of the stroganoff you’re about to eat. Not a deal-breaker but worth noting.
The actual meal inside is denoted by the black, bold lettering in the upper right-hand corner. You can’t miss it.
There’s also the net weight number in the lower left-hand corner and the 100% quality guaranteed emblem on the bottom left.
On the back, there’s the typical “Nutrition Facts” table, cooking directions, ingredient list, allergens, etc.
Fairly standard stuff.
Shelf Life Guarantee?
One omission I noticed on the packaging was a shelf life statement. Another food storage company I reviewed did include a shelf life note on the actual package.
Now, Legacy does have an “Up To 25 Year Shelf Life” image on their website – which is a similar statement I’ve seen with most freeze-dried meal companies.
However, I’m always curious – if the food only lasts 1 year, does it still meets that “up to 25 years” requirement?
The key is the use of the words “up to.”
Technically, 1 year is in that “up to 25 years” range…
So basically it sounds to me like a meaningless phrase that makes the buyer’s feel warm and fussy but doesn’t hold anyone accountable.
Again, this is not just Legacy Foods – nearly all the other companies use this same confusing verbiage.
Legacy Foods FAQ
Then I found Legacy Food’s FAQ section on their site. Here’s what they have to say about their foods longevity:
- How long can Legacy Premium meals be stored?
When kept in optimum conditions as outlined above, freeze-dried food can be stored safely and securely up to 25 years with no need for rotation.
- What is the best way to store freeze-dried food?
Like any food storage, freeze-dried food is best preserved when stored in a cool, dark place that maintains a fairly consistent temperature.
Properly Store Your Survival Food
So basically, what they are saying is, their freeze dried food has the potential to last 25 years (maybe even longer), but it is highly dependent on how YOU store it.
If you store it in a place that floods, harbor rodents and is blazing hot in the summer the foods going to go bad well before 25 years. So make sure you know how to store your survival food to protect your investment for the long haul.
But in general, freeze dried food tends to last a long time when stored properly.
Plus, Legacy’s meal pouches look both solid and reliable. It has a broad, tight seal all the way around the edges.
Also, the pouch material used is Mylar. So as long as the seal stays intact, the air inside the pouch will be completely isolated from the air outside.
That’s the power of Mylar bags.
After opening the package, you have to fish around the freeze dried food to remove the oxygen absorber.
This square pouch attracts and absorbers oxygen. So, when paired with air isolating Mylar, the oxygen absorber eliminates nearly all the oxygen inside after the food is packaged.
Another method of removing oxygen from packing is to flush the oxygen out with another gas like nitrogen. Based upon Legacy Foods website this is also a method they use as well.
Between the oxygen absorber and the nitrogen flush, you’re left with nearly no oxygen left in the sealed pouch.
The less oxygen, the better, since oxygen is necessary to grow mold. So, if you remove all the oxygen, you also eliminate the possibility of mold growth. Obviously, desirable for long-term survival food storage.
Now, you do have to remove the oxygen absorbers before you cook your meal. They’re not something you want to cook and accidentally eat.
You want to remove the oxygen absorber before you dump the meal into the boiling water. Trust me, I learn this lesson the hard way. In one of the meal pouches, I was struggling to find the absorber, so I thought maybe it was left out…
Cooking Freeze Dried Meals
So, I dumped the meal into the boiling water, and there it was. Then I had to carefully get the absorber out of the boiling hot water without getting scolded. And then explain to my 3 ½-year-old daughter that this was a “Daddy only” job and she should never mess with hot boiling water. Kids.
So next time, I’ll be dumping the food into a bowl first, then removing the oxygen absorber before adding it to the boiling water. Lesson learned – don’t make the same mistake.
By the way, cooking freeze dried meals is in the running for “easiest task in the world”.
- Measure water and put it in a pot
- Bring water to boil
- Add meal
- Whisk and reduce heat to medium
- Wait for 12 – 15 minutes (stirring occasionally)
- Remove from heat and wait for 3 – 5 minutes
It was so easy.
However, in an emergency, this easy task might become a bit more challenging (depending on the nature of the emergency). If electricity and natural gas are not available (a very real possibility), you won’t be cooking on your lovely kitchen stove.
Instead, you’ll have to look at some alternative survival cooking methods.
It was so easy, I had my 3 ½ years old help me (she’s so proud of the ½).
However, that’s when I started to get a bit concerned about this meal. The Stroganoff and the Pasta Alfredo still seemed slightly runny after the 5 minute cool off.
I’d followed the directions to a T, yet my wife commented on seeing the meals in the cooling pots “did you follow the instructions”?
Yes, I did. 8 cups of water -15-minute cook – 5-minute cooling.
Next time, I think I’ll only add 7 cups of water and see what happens.
The Taste Test
Our meals looked soupy and that’s when I started managing my expectations. Again, not a deal breaker for survival food but they didn’t look as good as the meals shown on the packaging.
So I held my breath and plated the dinners; everyone got a scoop or 2 of each.
Fortunately, my 10-month old son started happily shoveling it in as fast as his little-uncoordinated hands allowed it.
But to be honest, he’ll eat just about anything you put in front of him.
The real test was my 3 ½-year-old daughter – if she doesn’t like something, it’s game over.
With food, she can be picky and stubborn (she gets the picky from Mom but the stubborn part – that’s all me).
So, I was pleasantly surprised by my daughter’s reaction to our survival food dinner –
“Hey, Dad this is gooood!” Followed by her new favorite kid quote “its yum yum yummy in my tum tum tummy.”
So, congratulations Legacy – you passed with flying colors from the kids.
Now, the adults have a bit more to say.
Out of the two meal options, my wife and I both agreed that the Stroganoff was the better tasting of the two. The Pasta Alfredo was a bit bland, and I ended up using a fair amount of salt and pepper to give it some much-needed flavor.
The Stroganoff had more flavor than the Alfredo, and we both enjoyed it and even went back for seconds.
So while it wasn’t the best meal I’ve ever had what’s important is it satisfied my family. Everyone ate, got plenty of calories and for survival food, that’s what matters.
Oh, and after dinner, Loui our chocolate lab didn’t hesitate cleaning plates either so he was won over as well.
So far, so good with Legacy Premium Freeze Dried Foods.
The next review point may be the most important of them all – price.
Legacy Food storage claims to be the “best value food storage company”.
Note: Comparing prices is not as straightforward as you might think. Some company’s like to focus on cost per serving, others cost per lb. Plus, there’s occasionally seasonal sales and bulk discounts, etc., etc.
It’s challenging, if not impossible, to determine the “absolute best price.” But, this doesn’t mean we can’t get a sense of the value.
I’m going to provide 2 comparison tables – one from Legacy Food Storage and a second from Valley Food Storage. Using these two tables will give you the best sense of the values for many of the biggest food storage companies.
Legacy Emergency Food Storage Comparision Table
So as you can see both food storage companies claim to have extreme value – one on a per servings basis and the other on a per calories/lbs basis.
See what I mean about difficult to price compare…
So how to proceed? I recommend you decide on your families survival food priorities. Figure out what’s most important to you.
- Artificial Preservatives?
- Hydrogenated Oils?
- Free Shipping?
- Shipping Timeline?
- Customizable Orders?
- Gluten Free Package Options?
- High-Quality Mylar Bags?
- Shelf Life Guarantee?
- Buckets or Storage Bins?
- Made In USA?
You need to look carefully at all these factors before buying. Then once you’ve done that, choose the food storage company that meets all your top priorities.
Full disclosure - I choose Valley Food Storage for my survival food stockpile. However, Legacy Food Storage may be the better option for you and your survival food needs.
Take Action Today
So let’s cover Legacy Food Storage highlights.
- Lowest cost per lbs.
- Up to 25-year shelf life
- Free Shipping (U.S.A)
- Time To Ship 2-5 business days
- Voted the best tasting
- Gluten-free options
- Made in the USA
The most important thing is that you take action now. If disaster strikes, you’ll be kicking yourself for not having bought some survival food.
It may end up being the best investment you ever make but only if you do it.
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