Chef’s Banquet ARK 330 Emergency Food Supply
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Happy New Year, and my best wishes to woot team in 2017…
but to the contents writer of this item… my hat’s off to you, sir.
A good review on Amazon:
By J. Pawlowski on December 10, 2012
Size: 1 Pack
Have you folks checked the nutritional breakdown of these?
Unlike MREs & many canned goods, this is mostly cheap carbs, & very little vitamins & minerals. If you eat 3 of these a day, you’ll get less than 20% of the minimum adult requirements for vitamins A, C, D, & minerals. Not much else in there other than calories. If it’s just calories you’re after, you’d be cheaper off just storing a bag of sugar, or some cases of Top Ramen (cheaper in bulk or by the case at $13-$20 per hundred servings).
If you’re looking to survive more than a couple days almost exclusively on these, it won’t work, but it will help. You’ll have to add something nutritious.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a great deal per meal for dry storable food compared to anyone else. But if you try to survive exclusively on this you will get sick & die of nutritional deficiencies. So plan on keeping stuff around to add to these meals or supplement them, or at least store a big bottle of good multivitamins with minerals in them.
Getting their bucket of their dried fruit (tastes pretty good), & bucket of their dried breakfast food will help a bit. It adds some nutrition that these meals seriously lack. You might might try storing some oil or fat to add to these too. Without at least a tablespoon of oil or fat a day, you will die. Even a large bottle of cheap corn oil will do. It will store a long time unopened if kept in a cool dark cabinet, closet, or basement.
Also add more protein sources if you want to keep your strength up. A large case of canned meat from Werling and Sons isn’t that bad in price per pound with shipping. They have a website & ship almost anywhere. It’s all pre-cooked so can be eaten cold, warmed up right in the open can, or added to these dishes.
By the way… people talk about long cooking times for many of the portions of these dry foods. Cooking & heating fuel may run low on in a survival situation. Soak these in cool water all day or overnight (works with rice, & dried beans or peas too) to soften them up for less cooking times. It will make them edible enough to eat cold if one day you don’t have a cooking option anymore too.
Make sure to store lots of water too. If the electricity goes out for long, your tap water won’t run either. Ordinary tap water that is usually chlorinated will keep for months in any clean container that can seal air-tight. Most juice, soda or liquor bottles (with the plastic caps), & jars (like spaghetti sauce jars), will be fine if washed & rinsed in hot water. You can get plenty of old 1/2 gallon jugs from your local restaurants & bars in a pinch. Plastic is OK as long as it can be sealed tight (like bottled water containers too). With plastic though, I prefer dumping the water every 3 months & refilling them after a rinse out in hot water. In glass containers, change it out at least once a year.
Do not use containers not used for food, like bleach or soap jugs, or old fuel containers.
MREs & canned goods require no water, & can be eaten cold. If you haven’t eaten half the day it even starts to taste good cold. It’s already cooked, so you’ll save fuel. Warming it up takes less fuel than cooking it. Most MREs come with their own food warmers too. For back-packing or bug-outs, with the dry food, you’ll either have to carry lots of water (heavy) with you, or know for certain that there’s clean water accessible where you’re going.
By the way folks, you are NOT qualified to give food a 4 or 5 star review for food, if you didn’t taste & eat it. That’s like giving a good review for a light bulb without screwing it in to see if it lights, just because it didn’t arrive shattered in a nice box.
If you didn’t taste & eat the food, do not review the food, just because it arrived, was undamaged, or the price was fair.
120 of these servings are just potato product. Both stews (60 servings) are mostly potato product too (taste like potato, flour & salt). So that’s 180 servings of mostly potato, & only a trace of other stuff.
For instance: There is no chicken in the chicken stew. In a 1.5 cup serving (1.5 cup container, 0.5 cup of the product, & filled the rest with water). There were no noodles (they say they’re in there but I didn’t see them). About 1 1/2 dozen peas, only 2 small bits of a celery leaf, just a few tiny green bits of something that might have been bits of celery, one 1/4 inch cube of a carrot, & dozens of 1/4 inch cubes of potato. I could smell a hint of celery in the bag, but couldn’t taste or smell any in the cooked product. The stew, was pure white, not stew or soup color. Not yellow, brown, or green.
Brought to a boil in about 3 minutes, simmered for 12 minutes to get it thick enough, stirring occasionally. It also tasted mostly like salty potato with some flour. They also said there was onion in there but I didn’t see, taste or smell any. Maybe it was like the single 1/4 inch carrot cube in the mix, so a single small piece of noodle, or onion wasn’t noticed. If they say it’s in there I expect more than than a single micro 1/4 inch cube of it per serving.
Decided to give the Cheddar Broccoli Rice a try since people claimed they liked it. What it was, was a bag of rice with tiny microscopic green dots scattered in it. They were so tiny, I did not taste or smell any broccoli in the dry form or cooked up. There also was no cheddar, salt, or seasoning of any kind in it. Tasted like water & rice. It cooked up pure white with very tiny specs of green. Maybe because of the white color, there was some flour or more powdered potato in it like the other pouches.
There was only 1 large pouch of Cheddar Broccoli Rice in the bucket. There was also no Macaroni & Cheese in the bucket. There was 1 pouch of noodles though, & a smaller pouch of powdered cheese in the bucket. Can I assume the cheese is supposed to be added to the macaroni, & to the Cheddar Broccoli Rice??? If so, I don’t think there’s enough for both unless I stretch it a bit. It also means opening & ruining the seal on yet another pouch to complete the meal. Added some of the cheese, salt, spices, & a splash of lemon concentrate to the bowl (from my own supplies), & cooked it some more. It tasted better, but really couldn’t taste or smell any of the microscopic broccoli bits.
Think of this dish as mostly just rice, with absolutely no salt, seasoning, or flavoring of any kind. Maybe some flour & powdered potato was in there as thickener too (just tasted like water & rice to me though). If you want cheddar in it or the mac & cheese, you have to open up the single smaller cheddar pouch in the bucket. So 2 pouches will have to be opened & unsealed for either meal. The rice may be instant rice. It cooked up soft enough in 12-15 minutes.
Tried the broccoli rice & cheese again (since the package was already open). Now that enough was removed from the only pouch of it in the bucket, I was able to shake it up better than the first time & get stuff settled on the bottom mixed around more (resealable bag does not seal tight so shake over sink). The second 1.5 cup cooked serving of the stuff did reveal a slight hint of broccoli taste. It was a very pale cream color (almost white) instead of pure white, with a hint of what may taste like cheese in it.
Even upon cooking & thickening, it still tasted mostly like starchy rice. I had to add the same stuff as before to make it worth eating. I guess I’ll have to buy some more powdered cheese for the macaroni to make mac & cheese. I can see using up the cheese packet on this & all their 180 servings mostly potato product. I’d still call this pouch mostly rice, with a hint of other stuff mixed in. So yes, there is some broccoli & cheese in it, but only enough to claim it’s in there, not really enough to really taste it much, or make much of a difference.
The writer says thanks!
Not bad. Hard to believe he’s a doomsday preparedness person, tho. He seems too rational.
Seriously, if there’s every some sort of “event” that makes it so we can’t live off our pantry for a bit and the world is really in that much upheaval, I think we’d be better off going into the garage and turning on the car…