Off the keyboard of RE
Published on the Doomstead Diner on February 23, 2015
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I’ve had bags of Bear Creek Soups in my prep arsenal for years, but only recently since I started experimenting with various recipes for my Slow Cooker have I started testing them.
Similar to the Mountain House Freeze Dried Foods, they come in sealed bags and are very long lasting. They aren’t produced by a Freeze Drying process though, its basically just a straight drying proceedure for the various veggies in them, plus dried milk powder, spices, salt pepper etc. Kept in a cool dark environment, these bags of nourishment probably have a shelf life around a decade.
The total Calorie Count for any given soup varies from around 800 to 1500, depending on the variety. The Cheddar Broccoli and Cream Potato varieties have high calorie count, the Minestrone and Chili varieties a bit lower, but more veggies in them.
Just by themselves, one of these Soup Bags will get you through the day and they are very easy to cook up with just about any apparatus you might have, from a campfire or rocket stove to a solar cooker or electric slow cooker. In a real pinch with some of them, you could just eat the powder dry, the Broccoli Chees soup for instance is quite tasty to eat a spoonful of the powder and wash down with a glass of water.
Price wise, they come in cheaper than the Mountain House stuff even at normal prices (around $5), but lately I have found them on Sale for $3 a bag, and $2.25 on a big sale at 3 Bears. I bought another 20 bags at this sale.
They are light in weight, compact and easy to carry, so make the grade as an excellent Bugout Bag food. You need nothing more than water and a pot and source of heat to prepare them. No refrigeration necessary, and you don’t have to cook it all up at once either. After opening the bag, you can portion out one cup worth of the powder, add a cup of water and just heat that up for a meal. Reseal the bag with a clip, it will be fine all week.
However, you can do alot more with them than just this if you have access to any other ingredients to drop into the soup. If you have some Rib Bones available, drop them in and let the remaining meat cook off the bone. If you have a can of beans around, add that to the chili or minestrone. If you have some cheese, add that to one of the cheese varieties. If you have some milk around, use that instead of water for a richer cream soup. Add a can of diced tomatoes (or fresh ones if you grow them) a Potato and some browned ground beef and then you got 2 days of eating from one package, or you can feed a family of 4 with more potatoes and ground beef added. Nail a squirrel in the backyard, you can skin it and add that instead of the ground beef! By the time it’s finished simmering, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
Right now in the Slow Cooker I have half a bag of Broccoli Cheese Soup simmering up. I’ll be adding to it Fresh Broccoli I picked up on sale for $1.50/lb, plus some cheddar cheese I got on sale for $4/lb. This will make 2 very LARGE bowls of soup I will eat over the next 2 days.
I probably have around 100 of these now in various containers, if you add to that all the bags of rice and bags of dried beans that could be added to them, this represents at least a year of eating, without touching all the canned foods. In fact, I would be eating the frozen foods and canned foods first, because these would go bad first, and save the Bear Creek Soups for the End Game, or for the Last Bugout.
I was tempted to buy a lot more of them with the $2.25 sale, but at this point I have easy 2 years worth of various foods in the larder, and if the community hasn’t figured out how to produce enough food by that time, I’m history so storing up more now is just overkill. Might be useful as Barter item though, but what would you barter FOOD for?
In any event, on a Price comparison, it’s hard to imagine how you can prep up cheaper than this, even with trying to grow your own food. To do that, you need land or hydroponics equipment and space for it, grow lamps etc. For under $1000, you can store enough Bear Creek Soups in the basement to last you a year, no problem, and that is without adding anything else you can find to them. A couple of hundred pound bags of rice and some Vitamin pills, you are probably good for 3 years with no additional inputs.
As your FIRST FOOD PREP, if you haven’t yet dropped into the world of Full Doom, the first $1000 you spend could not be better spent than on 300 bags of Bear Creek Soups.
Disclaimer: I have no stock in Bear Creek Soup Company. 😀