Sunday, September 5, 2010

Company Review: Shelf Reliance

     My first post for "Company Review" is going to be about one of the best long-term food preparation online business's I have found; Shelf Reliance.  Their site has tons of preparation resources on it, like emergency survival kits, but the one that stands out above all, is their canned food system.  They use #10 cans (or coffee cans; big, gallon sized cans) to store food that has been either dehydrated, or freeze dried, giving foods a shelf life of anywhere from 5 to 25 years!  They have all food groups including meat, and fruit.  What really sets the company apart though, is their THRIVE Q, which lets you build a customized food storage plan divided by a monthly budget.  So, for example, if I set up a monthly budget of $50, they will go through my THRIVE Q and send me however many cans equaling $50 for that month.

     Other than offering great long-term food storage options, Shelf Reliance goes a step above giving you recipes (video and text), and reviews (from customers).  Best of all, they are reasonably priced, and their Q system allows you to slowly build your long-term food supplies over time, not forcing you to spend a lot of money at once.  

     One problem I had is that the cans came dented, though I don't blame them for that.  If you are concerned about dented cans, you shouldn't be.  Dented cans are safe for the most part, though it can drop the shelf life of a product by a few years.  Either way, here is a quick article about how to tell if a dented can is safe to consume. 

     For our small NYC apartments, food storage may be a problem, but I find a little ingenuity goes a long way.  I live in a small studio, and have always found ways to store food and water all over my apartment while keeping the apartment livable.  I also do my best to keep my supplies out of site, making sure my apartment looks no different then any typical New Yorkers, as to not draw any unwanted attention from my buildings maintenance/management.  

     It's up to you how much or how little you decide to cache in your apartment.  I suggest no less than a months worth of food per person, or a few #10 cans covering all basic food needs (carbohydrates, protein, fat).  Most disaster scenarios, typically, do not last more than 72 hours, or so they say (tell that to Hurricane Katrina Victims).  I feel that if there was a major disaster, like a category 4 Hurricane in NYC, we would have to support ourselves, and those we love, longer than 72 hours.  The cities fragile infrastructure, and the amount of people that reside here would ensure a long recovery process.  I personally try to supply at least a years worth of food for me and my loved ones.  
      As per Shelf Reliance's recommendation, I cook at home with my stored food on a day to day basis as to rotate my stock and learn fun, enjoyable recipes.  This saves me loads of money as I don't "daily shop" my meals at expensive stores like D'Agostino's and Whole Foods.

     Companies like Shelf Reliance can help you take the guess work out of preparation, teaching you how to become a master prepper.  Beyond prep, it can help you live a satisfying, self-sufficient New York life style.


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