Nutritional Benefits Of Dehydrated Food Storage
Everyone knows that what you put into your body matters, big time. You are what you eat, as they say! Well, at Hibernate, food storage nutrition is a top priority—meaning, it’s about more than just great flavor and value (though you’ll get that with our food, too). What we’re saying is, we have zero intention of forcing you to practice a well-it’s-remotely-edible-so-I-guess-I’ll-endure-it type situation when you’re already suffering through an emergency and all that entails. Simply put, emergencies suck, but your food shouldn’t. And that includes the nutritional quality of your freeze-dried food as much as anything else. The problem is, there are a lot of common misconceptions about food storage nutrition that might make you wonder if dehydrated food is a healthy option at all. And what about freeze-dried food? And what the heck is the difference anyway? Well, let us be the ones to share the excellent news...
5 Questions About The Nutritional Benefits Of Dehydrated Food Storage
The first thing we have to clear up is the true difference between dehydrated and freeze-dried food storage. A lot of people use the terms interchangeably, but they are two separate products born of two very different food-preservation processes.
Dehydrated food is food that has had approximately 85-95% of its water content removed using hot, dry air to evaporate the liquid that is present. The process of dehydrating food has been in practice for many thousands of years (seriously, we’re talking in very distant 12,000 BC terms here), and is still commonly done at home with simple food dehydrators today. The temperatures used in these dehydrators are hot, but not hot enough to actually cook the food, just remove water content. The amount of water removed can vary drastically based on many things—how long you want to run the machine, the end product’s desired texture, and how long you want the preserved food to last, being a few. Dehydrated foods can last several months, and even longer if prepared and packaged very well.
Freeze-dried food is an entirely different story. As intimated by the name, freeze-dried foods have been frozen and then dried, removing about 99% of the liquid from the food. But the thing many people don’t realize is that the process is very unique in that the water in freeze-dried food passes from a solid to a gaseous state without ever passing back through the liquid form (sublimation FTW). This is the way in which freeze-dried food maintains its form, color, and—spoiler alert—extraordinary nutritional value! Some say that freeze-drying dates back about a thousand years to Incans living in the high mountains where freeze-drying could naturally occur. Modern freeze-drying machines were created during World War II and have only improved since then.
Now, with that important foundation under us, we can get on with the 5 most common questions about food storage nutrition.
Does Dehydrated Food Keep Its Nutritional Value?
Does dehydrated food keep its nutritional value? Well, some of it. Going by our definitions above, most experts calculate that dehydrated food retains only about 60% of the nutritional content of fresh food. It’s actually the heat in the dehydrating process that breaks down many critical nutrients like Vitamins C and A, as well as niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin, all of which are essential to energy production and cellular function—both of which you’ll certainly need in a crisis.
Now, compare that 60% to the nutrient density of freeze-dried foods, where you’re looking at up to 99% retention! With the exception of Vitamin C, which breaks down very quickly, freeze-dried foods pack almost the exact nutritional punch of their fresh counterparts. Freeze-drying your food won’t change its fiber, iron, or antioxidant content either, which makes freeze-dried food storage a very healthy choice. You’ll have food that is difficult to spoil thanks to its lack of bacteria-inviting liquid, easy to store due to its very lightweight nature, and excellent to eat because of the flavor-enhancing, nutrient-preserving process of freeze-drying.
Is Dehydrated Food Harder For Me To Digest?
No! Dehydrated foods are actually sometimes prescribed as a way to increase digestive function—think prunes, apricots, and raisins. However, because of the lack of water in dehydrated foods, you’ll want to increase your water intake accordingly. For instance, if you were to sit down and eat a fresh apricot or two, you’d enjoy their juice as part of the snack. Whereas grabbing a handful of dried apricots will likely mean consuming more than an apricot or two without the benefits of the water content from the fresh version. So, grab a glass of water to aid in healthy digestion and cellular function.
When we’re talking freeze-dried meals, the answer is an even easier no: Freeze-dried food is not hard to digest because it has likely been rehydrated into a delicious meal that shockingly resembles something fresh from an expert kitchen (because, hello, it is!). If you’ve chosen not to rehydrate some of your freeze-dried foods, say, your fruits and vegetables—which make perfect snacks btw, but more on that later—you’ll just want to enjoy them with a little extra hydration the traditional way. We’re partial to a handful of freeze-dried bananas with a glass of milk, but it’s totally up to you how to fully enjoy your food storage nutrition!
Can I Eat Dehydrated Food Every Day? If So, For How Long?
In short, yes, you can eat dehydrated foods every day IF they don’t make up your entire diet and IF you’re replacing the water you would have gotten from the fresh version of the dehydrated food in order to maintain proper digestive function. Remember, dehydrated foods can be a concentrated source of fiber and some other nutrients, which is great, but they’ll never be a permanent solution to a well-balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other sources of critical nutrients.
The best freeze-dried foods can capture a more holistic nutritional picture than simple dehydrated foods. First, because many freeze-dried foods are intended to be rehydrated prior to consumption, you can generally avoid having to ensure you drink enough water to make up for a dehydrated food’s lack thereof. Second, the sheer variety of nutrient-dense, healthy freeze-dried food options is astounding. You may not know that you can dehydrate marinara sauce and hearty veggie soup and even pudding (yes, we consider the joy of eating pudding an important part of a healthy diet) and so much more. From full meals to individually-packed meats to eggs to peas to peanut butter—we’re confident that your body can thrive off Hibernate’s offering of food storage nutrition and that your taste buds will be just as happy emergency or not.
Are Dehydrated Foods A Good Alternative To Snacks?
Home-dehydrated foods are a good alternative to the many sugary, salty, and fatty snacks available today. Just keep in mind that the dehydration process makes them more compact so you may find that you need to watch out for overeating. And we did specify home-dried because some of the commercially available dehydrated foods are too processed and sugar- or salt-laden to be worth any of their benefits.
Freeze-dried foods are also a great alternative to snacks. One of the reasons for this is that freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are picked at peak ripeness before freeze-drying which in turn ensures peak nutrient density. They’re also incredibly light and portable and won’t spoil or melt like many other snacks which makes them perfect for keeping in your purse, gym bag, car, and hiking pack. Not to mention, freeze-drying can actually concentrate flavors for an extra delicious snacking experience.
Is Eating Dehydrated Food Bad For You?
I think you’ve got the picture now that eating dehydrated food is not bad for you. As with everything, you’ve got to keep moderation and hydration in mind, but dehydrated foods are a good option for day-to-day life as well as keeping in your short-term food storage.
When we’re talking long-term food storage and, yes—even your daily diet—high-quality, freeze-dried food is undeniably good for you. Nothing can compete with freeze-dried food when it comes to food storage nutrition, longevity, portability, ease of use, and...dare we say...deliciousness. And that’s what you get with Hibernate.
Hibernate’s Commitment To Nutritious Food Storage
When you’ve got freeze-dried food storage from an industry veteran, 100% bent on ensuring the highest product integrity to feed your family in an emergency, you have eliminated the stress, fear, and confusion many associates with food storage nutrition and an emergency food supply in general. You decrease your dependency on traditional grocery stores when disaster strikes. You put a delicious variety of nutrient-dense, energy-rich calories on the plate of every member of your household.
In short, you do what’s best for you, your family, and even other members of your community by preparing with the best freeze-dried food available from Hibernate.
Grab your own 3-month premium food supply today!
More On Food Storage:
How Much Food Do I Need To Feed My Family In An Emergency?
Hibernate: Changing Emergency Food For The Better