SurvivalistFilter part 3: Homemade MREs
October 23, 2007 1:05 PM Subscribe
Survivalist/LazyStudentFilter: I need advise on the feasibility of making my own "canned" meals (but without the can), using boil-able/freezable/microwavable plastic pouches, a vacuum sealer, and a pressure cooker. May interest cheap and lazy students, busy people, and survivalists - if it works. Details inside...
posted by jytsai to food & drink (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
So the theory goes: I cook the food and put it in a pouch (specs
), vacuum seal the pouch, and pasteurize it in the pressure cooker. If this works, I would be able to make a big batch of food when I have time, split em up into smaller portions that are durable and don't require refrigeration, and be set on food for days. Cheaper, and certainly more nutritious than pre-prepared frozen foods. These food pouches would have the added bonus of doubling as MREs, for long term disaster preparedness.
The questions are:
- Safety: How safe is this? I'm assuming the bags are hermetically sealed so air leakage = contamination, and conversely no air leakage = no contamination. But this assumption only works if the bags are sterilized. Assuming that I follow the homemade canned food guidelines for pressure cooker pasteurization (125 degrees celsius for X number of minutes), would proper sterilization have occurred? Or is home canning more of a "good enough, but not completely sterile" process?
- Nutrition: How nutritious is the food, post processing? Will the pressure cooking significantly alter the nutritional content beyond that of normal cooking? Also, can I fortify the food with ground up multivitamin pills? Or would that significantly alter taste?
- Shelf Life: Given a cool, dark environment, what's the shelf life of the plastic pouch, as well as the food? And would vacuum sealing all of it in a second mylar pouch (specs) significantly improve the shelf life?
Bonus questions: If I were to use the same process on dried fruits, would it significantly alter taste/nutrution? And would pressure cooking adversely affect the function of oxygen absorbers or desiccants that are packed with aforementioned dehydrated fruits?