Updated: Feb 20, 2022
Tasting Food Rations Part 1:
I obtained three food rations. Two of them were ready to eat bars, similar to some meal replacement bars. The other was a bucket of food that required preparation to eat much of it. The focus is going to be on the two ready to eat bars due to the ease of use. I need to state that as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Now, at that time of purchase, the bars were not particularly expensive. They were stated to be a three day supply of rations, and were about 400 calories per bar.
If you’re anything like me, there are some things you want your food to do for you regardless of whether it’s an emergency or not. Chief among them is that the food should be tolerable to the taste buds. Preferably, I would like my rations to be part of my “good tasting food” list. After all, if the food is pleasant, you’re more likely to eat it. I also want my food to have decent nutritional value. Now, 400 calories may not sound like much. If you eat the recommended three bars per day, that’s only going to put you at 1200 calories. We did say this was an emergency, right? So few calories may not work for you and your specific needs. If that is the case, consider talking to your medical provider as well as getting more rations if needed. If you’d like more information on how to get started in your emergency prepping journey, check out this blog post.
The Better Tasting Rations
The “winner” for me largely came down to the taste. I like the taste of one much better than the other. I recognize that taste is subjective. That said, this one tasted almost like a dessert. In fact, on the package under the serving size, it lists the meal bars as “cookie”. It was quite pleasant to eat. Being honest with myself, I am more likely to get food that I like the taste of. The second one didn’t taste bad, but it was more on the tolerable level of taste rather than being what I would consider a good tasting food.
While the taste was a big factor for me, there were other things that I considered. For instance, the two were not the same in terms of nutrition. They were not the same in packaging. They did seem to be quite similar in packaging, but when you actually opened them, well there were advantages one had over the other. I tend to like individually wrapped items because you can open the main package, but not have to worry about potential degradation in shelf-life if the emergency doesn’t last the full three days.
Pros and Cons
Let’s get into the nitty gritty about what I thought worked and didn’t work for each of the emergency ration bars I tried.
It had a good taste. It referred to the bars as cookies on the packaging. I had no trouble eating a whole bar due to this.
The bars were individually wrapped, so they can be easily saved for later use.
They were reasonably priced.
They have at least a small meal’s worth of calories and felt reasonably filling when I ate the full bar.
The bar has a significant of carbs and sugar. This shouldn’t be surprising given it’s taste and being referred to as a cookie.
This may matter to some if they are trying to cut down on carbs and sugars due do to some medical conditions or for health improvement.
The nutrition info was pretty short and didn’t list much in the way of vitamins and minerals.
The bars were lower on the sugar and carb content.
The packaging listed more nutrients, which can be important for health conscious individuals.
Heck, knowing and understanding the nutritional content of the food we eat is beneficial to about anyone.
The taste was only tolerable in my opinion.
Taste is subjective, and this might not be a big issue for some.
The bars were not individually wrapped.
The bars were connected and had to be broken apart.
Trying to break one apart left some of it still connected to the larger mass.
I’m thinking I would need to keep this in a Ziploc or similar bag to maintain freshness after opening.
While I didn’t find the pricing to be bad, it was nearly twice as much as SOS Labs at the time of purchase.
However, I have since found a 6-day supply that is much closer in price to SOS Labs. It is included in the link below in “Making Your Choice”.
Making Your Choice
As you hopefully can see, there were things to like and not like about both brands. The specifics that go into which one of these you would pick would depend on what’s valuable to you. If you are used to food that is healthier for you, though it might not be as tasty, then Grizzly Gear might be the better alternative for you. However, while I have a significant background in emergency preparedness from a business and industrial standpoint, I am newer to it in terms of my own personal preparations. While I am not intending to begrudge any brand, It was easy for me to finish SOS Labs. I also try to be honest about my current strengths and weaknesses.
With that said, that means I like things being relatively easy in the preparation front. If it is filling, tasty, decently priced, and easy to keep and store, I’m much more likely to use it. I also consider the fact that emergencies are not the norm. They can happen with some significant frequency, but I am not constantly in an emergency. With that in mind, if the food is a bit lower in nutrition, I have supplements that help where I may be a little low in the food department.
I can tell you that I tend to get much more than 1200 calories a day in normal circumstances. But if things are scarce, you make do. The choice you make is about your specific situation, so I encourage you to be honest with yourself before you decide on a choice. While I personally prefer the SOS Labs rations at this time, I definitely see the benefits of the Grizzly Gear rations. This is just the beginning. I plan to continue looking for emergency food that is relatively easy on the wallet, is a good tasting food, and is reasonably nutritious. Stay tuned for more and stay safe out there!