Finding great-tasting and appetite-satisfying survival food has been a bumpy ride. For the sake of transparency, I am a harsh critic when it comes to food. My husband and I cook all of our meals at home. Even before the pandemic, we never went out to eat unless it was for the occasional family get-together. My survival food journey has been challenging because we don’t eat many processed foods. We cut out corn syrup and most artificial ingredients years ago.
Nutrient Survival is a brand of survival food that I hadn’t heard of until recently. When they offered to send me samples, I agreed to try them even though I was skeptical after having tried so many brands and being disappointed. Nutrient Survival is based in the United States, and their food is made with quality ingredients. I saw no artificial flavors, colors, or cheap fillers in their ingredients lists.
Freeze-dried and Dehydrated
Like many survival food companies, Nutrient Foods freeze-dries and dehydrates foods. Some entrees are a mix of the two preservation methods. As a result, the food is lightweight and easy to prepare. All I had to do was add boiling water and wait for 5−10 minutes. The instructions were accurate, and following them resulted in the food having a good texture.
Nutrient sent me a sample box with two servings of various items. It came in a nifty metal box that I plan to reuse as a bread box because we’ve been baking all our bread during the current pandemic and unrest in the USA.
When you order from Nutrient Survival, you get resealable #10 cans like so many other survival food brands use. The sample size packs and kit I received is just for reviewers.
They also sell convenient 72 hour and 90 day kits.
I ate several Nutrient Survival foods so I could provide an informed review.
This was the best survival food breakfast entree I’ve ever had. Nutrient Survival’s Homestyle Scramble contains shredded potatoes that actually taste great instead of reminding you of cardboard—like some survival potatoes can. The second ingredient is sharp cheddar cheese, followed by diced red and green peppers. My husband and I appreciated that the entree was not overly salted or spiced. The flavor was balanced. I admit we both added a little hot sauce, but it was good without it.
It was nice that the instructions were accurate. It irritates me when survival food instructions tell you to cook something too long or call for too much water, so you wind up with a soupy and/or overcooked mess.
This scramble tasted more like homemade than other survival breakfasts I have had.
Matt and I used this as a dinner replacement. It was not spicy at all. It is pretty clear that Nutrient Survival makes sure their foods are not overly seasoned or hot. That’s why it’s nice to have hot sauce and basic spices on hand, even for premade survival foods.
Each serving contains 280 calories, so we added some veggies from the garden and a few slices of cheese and ate it with tortilla chips on the side. The medley alone would have been satisfying for a single adult if they ate both portions.
One cannot expect much from instant coffee. There is just no way to make instant coffee that comes close to a freshly brewed cup. If you’ve found an instant version that compares, please share it in the comments so the rest of us can be in on the secret.
This coffee is a bit better than some instant coffee we have consumed on camping trips. We compared it to powdered Nescafe, and although the Vitamin Coffee was a little more robust, it also had a strange flavor. I assume the flavor is from the vitamins that are added to it. I typically drink my coffee black, so my taste preferences may be a bit different than yours.
This is Nutrient Survival’s version of Emergen-C. It comes in a 30-packet box.
The instructions are to put it in a container with 10−14 ounces of water and shake. After pouring it into a glass of ice water and stirring it well, I can tell you that you must follow the instructions and put it into something you can shake. It took a long time to get it to dissolve by stirring.
The flavor was good, but it doesn’t have the fizz or carbonation of Emergen-C. I prefer some carbonation.
Its list of vitamins and minerals is impressive. The natural lime flavor seems like it would do a good job of covering up any residual taste or odors present even in filtered water in some areas. The slight sweetness of the drink mix is thanks to stevia, making this a good drink mix for those who cannot have regular sugar and avoid artificial sweeteners.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie-Meals
- Peanut Butter Bar-Meals
- Honey Granola Bar-Meals
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Meals
All three varieties of these were quite good. I have to be careful about uncultured dairy products, but I managed to eat both the peanut butter and honey granola bar-meals. Each cookie/bar contains 110−120 calories. Ours came two to a pack. I like the smaller portions, so you can eat a little when you need it.
These are not sugary sweet desserts or candy, so if you’re looking for that, you’ll be disappointed. I used to love really sweet things, but as an adult, I prefer things like these cookie/bar meals. The word “meals” in the name is a bit of stretch. At 220−240 calories per two cookies, they’re not a true meal. We keep a lot of peanut butter on hand and rotate it because the shelf life is only about a year. By adding a few tablespoons of peanut butter on top of the cookies, the calorie count can be boosted enough for it to be a decent breakfast or even a quick lunch if you didn’t want to take the time to cook. These cookie/bars require no dishes or cutlery, so there’s nothing to clean up afterward. It’s easy to understand why survival foods in bar form have become popular. Just look at how well Clif Bars have done over the years.
Both of the granola blends were good. I imagine the Chocolate Grain Crunch would seem like a dessert if paired with Nutrient Survival’s Creamy Chocolate Shake Mix. This granola is different because it is heavy on sorghum, which gives it a natural sweetness. This isn’t overly sweetened candy disguised as cereal either.
The Chocolate Grain Crunch would be popular with kids. A little maple syrup or honey would be good on the Maple Almond Grain Crunch. Nutrient Survival offers a Vitamin Milk mix, but you could use yogurt powder or water if that’s what you have on hand.
Vitamin and Mineral Content
I give Nutrient Survival high marks for going above and beyond when it comes to making their food as nutritious and balanced as possible. Some survival foods are severely lacking in the vitamins and minerals necessary for optimum health and well-being. Eating this food would make it difficult to get a nutritional deficiency. It’s worth mentioning that these foods are high in folic acid, something that is very important for women in their childbearing years.
They also do a good job of offering items that even people with food sensitivities can eat. I recommend reading the food labels carefully if you or a family member suffers from food allergies.
No excessive thirst or heartburn
Many survival foods are notoriously high in sodium. If my husband and I eat an MRE or a boil-and-eat meal from a survival food bucket, we are usually thirsty the next day, even if we drink a lot of water. Cooking at home all the time means that our meals are lower in sodium than processed or restaurant-prepared meals.
Salt is a preservative, and people crave it, so it’s abundant in survival foods. There is some logic to survival foods containing more salt because in a survival situation, you might be more active. Salt also helps you remember to drink more water and avoid dehydration, which can sneak up on you.
As I reached my mid-thirties, I found myself more susceptible to heartburn. Nutrient Survival food did not give me indigestion or heartburn
Survival food companies try to appeal to a wide audience
People are used to a lot of salt and flavor.
You may want more salt or a different flavor. Adding some spices and hot sauce to your survival food stash will allow you to customize the flavor of your food. We keep a variety of spices and shelf-stable spices on hand for that purpose. You can buy small packets of condiments if you want something more convenient than full-size bottles.
Shelf Life & Survival Food Planning
Nutrient Survival food will last for up to 25 years if stored properly. When you buy survival food, you must provide the appropriate storage conditions to achieve the longest shelf life. I recommend keeping food in storage totes with good lids, especially if you are stashing food at a remote location or in a home that isn’t used all the time.
To stagger your survival food stash, it makes sense to have some items with a very long shelf life and eat the things with a shorter shelf life first. Keep that in mind when looking at survival food prices. You don’t need everything to have a shelf life of 10+ years. If you’re on a budget, put back some staples and canned goods that will last 2−5 years, and have some foods that will last longer. To me, it just doesn’t make sense to put back a lot of expensive and highly processed foods.
I browsed the Nutrient Survival website to see if I could find any entrees with meat. I am a pretty carnivorous person. I expected to find some options with meat. In their defense, I think that they are concentrating on a limited menu and doing it well rather than spreading themselves too thin. I expect that in the future, they will have more entrees available.
This is really good food compared to most survival foods I have tried. In fact, it is perhaps the best.
The downside is the cost. I can’t make it on a 310 calorie entree. That means I need to eat two servings. At $55 for 10 servings, that means dinner costs $11 per person. That’s not affordable for long-term survival food. A few days, sure, but the average family won’t be able to afford per person food costs that high.
The quality and taste are top of the line. More survival food companies should strive to produce nutritionally complete meals and meal replacement options like Nutrient Survival. If you can afford it, you may want to have a few cans of this for times when the convenience of a good meal in minutes will make a big difference. However, I recommend adding some spices and hot sauce.