What Is TVP?

Protein is the most expensive part of your food storage.  At the same time, it’s an important addition to keep you and your family healthy. While true freeze-dried meat is the best base for your protein storage, some people use TVP to supplement their protein.

What is TVP?
TVP is Textured Vegetable Protein.  It’s made from soy flour after the soybean oil is extracted.  It’s a protein substitute that is high in fiber and natural protein. It easily absorbs flavor and retains the flavor with cooking.

Benefits of TVP
TVP is something that you’ve probably had many times throughout your life. Schools and fast food restaurants use it to supplement meat. You’ve probably had it in tacos, hamburgers, sloppy joes, and casseroles.  Whether you use it alone or you use it to extend meat, it’s a great product to have on hand. Benefits include:
Affordability –  Soy protein is significantly less expensive than meat.
Flavor– It can be flavored with meat juices or another seasoning to taste just like meat.
Ease – While TVP needs to be cooked, it doesn’t need to reach a safe temperature, so it’s easy to use in an emergency.
Meat Substitute–  TVP is perfect for those on a kosher or vegetarian diet.

Drawbacks of TVP
TVP is not meat at all. Alone, you can definitely tell the difference between the two.  Other drawbacks include:
Lower Protein – While TVP has naturally occurring protein, it has less than half of its meat counterpart. It is actually not a complete protein, lacking two essential amino acids; cysteine, and methionine.
Higher Sodium– Because TVP needs to be flavored, it generally has a high sodium content.
Soy– TVP is soy protein. If you are on a soy restricted diet, you will not want to use TVP to supplement your protein storage.

Everything You Need to Know About Shelf Life

When you buy long-term food storage, you want to be confident that you are getting products that will last for a long time. How do you know how long your food is good? Here are some tips to remember when storing food.

Shelf Life
Shelf life refers to how long an unopened package of food is safe and retains its nutrients.  Dehydrated foods generally have a shorter shelf life than freeze-dried foods. Freeze-dried foods, if stored in the right environment, can be stored safely for up to 30 years UNOPENED.

Ideal Storage 
Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods should be stored in a cool, dry, dark environment. The ideal storage temperature is 50 degrees F.  A basement storage room away from moisture and windows perfect. Since homes are not usually built with food storage in mind, look for closets, under beds and other areas that do not butt up against the edge of a house.  Warmer, lighter environments can reduce the shelf life of food storage.
Avoid great temperature variations. Storing at a constant temperature is ideal for shelf life.

Bulging/Sucked In/Damaged Cans
Safe food generally is in cans that are perfectly intact. If you see cans that are bulging or sucked in, the safety of the food is compromised and should be thrown away immediately.
Damaged/dented cans can let air into them through microholes. Once a can has been dented, it should be treated as an already-opened can.

Open Cans
Once a can of freeze-dried food is open, the food is safe to eat for 6-12 months. Since most cans contain up to 40 servings of food, it’s unlikely that you’ll eat it in one sitting.   Store in a cool, dark, dry place with the lid on tightly for best results. You may like to keep opened cans in the refrigerator, but it isn’t necessary.


Freeze-Dried vs. Dehydrate Food

If you’re new to the food storage game, you might be wondering why so many emergency prepping companies choose to freeze-dry instead of dehydration for many products. Looking at the process for both preservation methods will help you understand the benefits and drawbacks to both.

The Process
Dehydration-  Dehydrating food is a relatively easy process that can be done from home.  Dehydrators simply circulate hot, dry air across the food removing much of the water (usually between 90-95%) Dehydrating is ideal for grains and legumes.  
Freeze-Dry-   Freeze-drying is a more complicated process. In systems that have only recently become available to households, foods are placed on sheets in chambers where they are frozen to -40 degrees F.  At this point the freeze-dryer creates a vacuum around the food and then warms it. As it’s warmed the ice turns to vapor and evaporates.  Freeze-drying removes up to 99% of water. Freeze-drying is ideal for meats, fruits, and vegetables.  Most freeze-drying is done commercially, but recently at-home freeze-dryers have become available.

Shelf Life
Moisture causes food to decompose and grow bacteria. The less moisture in your food storage, the better.
Dehydration – Grains and legumes are ideal to dehydrate because of their low moisture content. However, meats, fruits, and vegetables will retain up to 5% of their naturally high moisture, making it less than ideal for long-term storage (but great for short-term preservation).
Freeze-Dry– Because freeze-drying takes 98-99% of moisture out of meats, fruits, and vegetables, it is the ideal long-term storage option.

Dehydration – The dehydration process can break down several key vitamins and minerals.
Freeze-Dry – The freeze-drying process actually is conducive to retaining all vitamins and minerals except for Vitamin C.

Dehydration – Rehydrating dehydrated food typically requires boiled water, which can be time-consuming.  However, some foods (jerky, fruit leather, etc.) do not need reconstitution. (Note- Meats should be precooked before dehydrating.)
Freeze-Dry – Rehydrating freeze-dried food only requires water, hot or cold. Like dehydration, freeze-dried meats should be precooked.  However, fruits and vegetables can be freeze-dried fresh. Once water is added, it just takes a few minutes for the food to be reconstituted.

Typically, because of the easier process, dehydrated food costs less than freeze-dried food.  However, don’t compare pound per pound because freeze-dried food is significantly lighter than dehydrated due to the water content.

Both foods will retain the original taste. Freeze-dried foods will be softer and airier, simply because there isn’t any moisture in the food.



Emergency Sanitation and Hygiene

You have your food and water storage, but have you considered how important sanitation and hygiene will be in the event of an emergency? Improper hygiene can cause an infectious disease outbreak, escalating emergency situations. Here are some tips for creating your family’s sanitation/hygiene plan.

Bathroom Activity
Take a few days to see how many times your family uses the toilet in one day. See how many diapers are used. Note how quickly you go through bar or gel soap.  This information will determine the supplies you need to keep on hand.  Items you’ll need to help you with bathroom sanitation:

  • Portable toilet- A portable potty lid fits over a bucket.
  • Potty bags – Sealable, double layer bags with bio-gel can help keep your family clean. These bags can be thrown away at an approved facility (not in normal trash cans).
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Soaps
  • Toilet paper/wipes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Diapers/wipes
  • Disposable gloves

It’s a good idea to designate some of your water storage for bathing and hygiene. Whether you want to use a separate container or calculate your water needs with the storage you already have, remember that water for hygiene is an important item to have on hand. Here are some items to keep for bathing storage:

  • Cleansing cloths- Whether or not you have a baby in your home, baby wipes are great to have on hand for fast, waterless baths.
  • Dry shampoo- This can extend the time between showers
  • Body wash/body soap
  • Razors
  • Shampoo/Conditioner, etc.
  • Lotion to prevent cracked skin

You will want to have a good amount of cleaning supplies on hand. A disinfected house will help prevent the spread of disease. Important items to keep on hand:

  • Water purification tablets/water preserver
  • Bleach – While bleach is not recommended for water purification due to conflicting dilution information, it can be used if another water purification is not available.
  • Disinfecting spray- Disinfecting spray is an important thing to keep on hand to spray on door handles and other high traffic areas. This can help stop the spread of most germs.

First Aid
Part of good hygiene is a thorough first aid plan. Besides a complete first aid kit, anti-diarrhea medicine and cold/cough medicines are important for preventing the spread of family disease. Also, a set of dust/particulate respirator masks can help keep the rest of the family disease free when an outbreak happens.

Be ready to hand wash clothes, dish rags, etc. If your washing machine is out of commission or uses too much water, a wash basin will be a great asset. Keep liquid or powder detergent on hand so you can hand wash without having to break open small pods. Also, if you have space, you might want to store a drying rack.

Prepare Your Family For an Emergency

Unthinkable emergencies can happen at any time to anybody. These can already be high-stress situations. However, if you have a family with small children, it can be even more stressful. There are, however, ways to prepare now to minimize the stress later.  Here are a few ideas to help your family be better prepared for an emergency.

Create and practice specific plans
Your family needs to have plans for every possible emergency. Recognize possible emergencies for your area and adjust accordingly.

  • Fire evacuation- Have your kids help you create an evacuation plan complete with different routes and meeting places. If they help create it, they will be more likely to remember the plan.
  • Earthquakes- Show your kids how to be safe in an earthquake. Teach them to get underneath a sturdy piece of furniture and make themselves into a small ball, protecting their necks with their hands.
  • Tornadoes- Children need to know where the shelters are in school and at home so they know exactly where to go.

Emergency Packs

Each child should have an emergency pack next to his/her bed to grab and go. That pack does not need to be a heavy, complete pack. Have some food and water, a change of clothes, a flashlight, 2-way walkie/talkie radios, and small toys in that pack. Parents’ packs can be more inclusive.
Also, for emergencies while your child is at school, designate a pocket in your child’s backpack for emergency items. Insert a water pouch, a few granola bars, emergency blanket, and a picture of your family with a little note on the back.

Teach Through Recreation

Family camping trips are not only fun, but they can help teach your children important survival skills. Teach your children fire-starting techniques,  how to build emergency shelters, which plants are edible, etc. These activities don’t need to be in the name of emergency preparedness. If you make them fun, your children will learn important skills without even knowing it.




What Should Your Bug-Out Bag Have?

Bug-out bag, 72-hour kit, emergency pack. Whatever you want to call it, you shouldn’t ignore the importance of having one.  While you’d like to fit your whole emergency storage in it, you’re limited to space and weight.  Here’s a step-by-step process to help you build the perfect 72-hour kit. Items are listed in order of importance in each category.

Food & Water
The first component of a good 72-hour kit is sustenance. You’ll need food and water to stay alive.
Water- Pouched water or water bottles for 3 days. You need to pack a minimum of 40 ounces of water. If there is room in your pack when you finish packing,  add as much as will fit.
Food- There are 3 basic sources of food that would work in a 72-hour kit. Any of these would work, but they each have different pros and cons.

  • Calorie bars- Emergency Ration Bars are single bars that are packed with 2400-3600 calories. You eat these over the course of the 3 days.
    Pros: Easy, calorie-packed, filling, fills less space.
    Cons: Short shelf life (1-5 years), nutrient lacking, no variety in taste or nutrition.
  • MREs-  Meals Ready to Eat are essentially meals in an airtight bag that can be heated and eaten no matter where you are.
    Pros: Easy, self-heating, nutrient-rich
    Cons: Short shelf life (1-5 years)
  • Freeze-Dried- Freeze-dried food is food that has been flash frozen and dehydrated.
    Pros: Lightweight, nutrient-rich, easy, long shelf-life (up to 30 years), great variety
    Cons: Some items need rehydrating (not all freeze-dried food needs rehydrating to consume.)

Warmth & Shelter
Once the basics of food and water are taken care of, you’re going to want to move on to the need for warmth and shelter. (Or cooling)

  • Emergency blankets- Mylar space blankets are compact. They reflect radiant body heat, keeping you warm. You might want to try an emergency sleeping bag to trap heat even better.
  • Hand warmers- These warmers can be used for up to 7 hours to keep you warm
  • Cooling cloths- Cooling neckcloths can help keep your core body temperature down if you are stranded in the heat.
  • Ponchos- Staying dry will be important to keep your heat in. Pack a couple ponchos.
  • Tube tent – As far as priorities go, the tube tent is important, but not at the top of the list for your bug-out bag.  However, it could be very helpful if you are in a situation where you don’t have shelter. If you have room in your bag, it’s a great asset.
  • Matches/Firestarter


  • Flashlight- A flashlight is a very important item in your 72-hour kit. If you can get a combined radio/flashlight, that will cover communication needs, as well. Also, to avoid having to store batteries, a hand-crank flashlight with a cell phone charger is a good idea.
  • Light Sticks

First Aid 
A basic first aid kit is essential in a good emergency pack. Essentials include:

  • Bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Gauze pads
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Cleansing wipes
  • Burn cream
  • First aid tape
  • Tweezers
  • Particulate respirator mask


  • Multipurpose pocket knife
  • Paracord
  • Carabiner
  • Collapsible water storage pouch


  • Toilet paper roll
  • Soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Diapers/Wipes for babies
  • Tissues
  • Wet wipes for general hygiene

Make sure you have a sturdy backpack to carry what you need. For families with small children, it might be a good idea to add small toys, playing cards, candy, etc.

What Did We Learn From 2017?

2017 brought a slew of natural disasters; fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes.  They hit back-to-back, adding a feeling of unease to most of us. Even those of us who were perfectly prepared assessed our situation to see how we needed to adjust. Here is what we learned.

Emergency Packs
Many people are prepared for long-term emergencies. That is imperative.  However, it’s also important to be prepared to get out at a moment’s notice. Good 72 hour kits need to be kept updated and ready at all times.  Here are some tips to keep your emergency packs ready.
1- Check emergency packs every 6 months. A good time to remember this is when you change your clocks for Daylight Saving Time.
2- Have a mixture of MREs, freeze-dried foods, & calorie bars. Calorie bars are the priority, but a mixture of the 3 types of food can help sustain you for a few days.
3- Keep your emergency packs close to you. It’s a good idea to have your packs at home and in your car.

Be Creative in Your Preparedness
A customer affected by the flooding in Southeast Texas was grateful to have a heavy-duty blow-up boat on hand. That item went from recreational to necessary when her neighborhood was flooded. She was able to take supplies to neighbors in need.  She assessed her needs afterward and determined she’d also like waterproof waders and/or wetsuits if her area was ever flooded again. She was also grateful for baby wet wipes that the whole family used for bathing. Look around and assess the possible natural disasters and think creatively about what might be helpful.

Prepare During Good Times
Preparedness companies stocked out of many items during and after the hurricanes. Shipping companies had trouble getting orders to disaster-hit areas.   In fact, in 2017, MREs became very difficult to get because FEMA and the US military required extensive supplies, leaving retail distributors without inventory. Once a storm is in the forecast, it might be too late to get your preparedness items.
*Set a monthly budget and stock up along the way so you aren’t scrambling when the disaster comes.

Water, Water, Water
Floods, earthquakes, fires, and any other disaster can completely wipe out a safe water supply. It’s a good idea to have several types of emergency water sources. Here are some ideas:
1) Pouch water in emergency packs– Pouched water is easily transportable and can be packed in bags fairly easily.
2) Disposable water bottles– Grocery store water bottles can be stored easily and are also easy to transport. They are easy to stock up on and easy to store. Just try to store in a cool, dark place because the BPA in the plastic can leach out into the water when they are too hot. Anoter alternative to plastic is canned water.
3) Long-term storage containers– A large water container with water preserver and a siphon is a great idea to have on hand. 90 gallons will last 1 person 3 months if used for drinking, washing, and cooking.  Start with 1 container and add more throughout the year to ensure your family has clean water.

Be Ready  to Evacuate
Evacuating an area is tricky business. You don’t want to evacuate and disrupt your life if it’s not necessary, but you also don’t want to wait too long. Leaving when the masses evacuate can be just as dangerous as staying in harm’s way. Here are some tips to consider when evacuating:
1- Keep all cars gassed and ready. Some people never let their cars’ gas tanks dip below 1/2 full. Traffic and gridlock can drain gas tanks quickly.
2- If possible, leave early. Booking a hotel on the outside of town can give you the flexibility to go to work and function for a day or two when you’re not sure what is going on, but can also help you be outside of the worst parts of traffic if you do need to evacuate.
3- Again, make sure you have emergency packs in your car.


Combating Food Prices with Freeze-Dried Food Storage

If you’re looking for a way to save money amid rising food prices, you might have to take matters in your own hands and find a food solution that fits within your budget. The sad truth of the matter is that food prices will continue to rise throughout this year. The biggest reason for this is the California drought, which has destroyed many crops and forced farmers to make hard decisions. Almonds, in particular, have taken a beating, but other California crops, like kiwis, raisins, grapes, olives, and pistachios, are expected to rise in price as well. One paleoclimatologist has called this year the driest one for California since 1580. Fruit tree damage in the Midwest and poor growing conditions elsewhere have also been blamed for rising prices.

The meat industry has seen prices rise too for a number of reasons. Beef prices have soared because of the drought in the West and diminished numbers in cattle for slaughter. Pork prices have grown because of disease. Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus has caused a 7% reduction in pork production. In fact, over the past four years, the price of bacon has gone by more than 50%. Chicken and turkey prices are getting steeper due to growth demand as well as an increase in the prices of corn and soybean based feed.

The full scope of food price increases remains uncertain. The California drought is in full swing, and the extreme temperatures and natural disasters that have affected so many crops elsewhere aren’t going anywhere soon.With that in mind, we encourage you to consider alternative options, such as  freeze-dried food products, for feeding your family.

What is freeze-dried? 

freeze dried

With Daily Bread freeze-dried products, you get food that tastes good and is good for you as well. All you need to do is add water, and you have a meal ready to serve. What’s more, freeze-dried foods can last 25 years or more. Nobody can tell what the future will bring, but it doesn’t look good in regard to food prices. As supply dwindles and demand rises, prices will continue to go up. Will you be ready? Daily Bread freeze-dried food products are a worry-free storage solution to help you combat the dilemma of the rising food prices in our country.



What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from the MERS Virus?

masked dude On May 16th, the CDC reported the first instance of the MERS virus spreading from human to human in the United States. This wasn’t the first reported incident of the MERS virus in the United States, but the first that was contracted from another patient. The newest case was an Illinois man who had previous contact with the first man, an Indiana man who had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia for work as a healthcare worker. Officials report that the virus spread from one to the other during a forty minute business meeting that took place before the Indiana man grew ill and become hospitalized. At the time of the writing of this article, the Illinois man appears to have recovered and is resting comfortably. Although this is fantastic news, it is frightening to imagine it happening to yourself or a loved one. The MERS virus is a very serious respiratory illness that originated two years ago in the Middle East. Health officials confirm that the virus originated from camels but aren’t sure how it spread to humans. So far, the virus has inflicted 600 people. Of those 600, 175 people have died. That’s nearly thirty percent. Symptoms of MERS include fever, cough and shortness of breath. It’s in the same family of viruses as the cold and the more severe SARS virus. The reason for the high number of deaths is that there isn’t a known cure for the virus. All of this is scary stuff, to be sure, so what can you do to protect you and your family from this oft-deadly virus? Although, there hasn’t been an outbreak in the United States just yet, the potential is out there. We simply don’t know enough about MERS yet to be sure. Therefore, it’s up to you to prepare. This includes taking care of yourself to keep your immunity system strong, recognizing symptoms in people so you can avoid them, and readying your family for a possible extended stay indoors by stocking the right supplies. Daily Bread is your long-term food supplier, providing high quality food storage products to people in need of emergency food storage. Our food products offer the best value on the dollar, lasting 25 years. You will have peace of mind knowing that you will be ready if an outbreak does occur. In addition, the food tastes good too. Unlike other emergency food storage providers, we have real meats and cheeses. All of our freeze-dried lunch/dinner entrees can be prepared by just adding water. For more information about how we can help you stay prepared for any disaster, please contact us today! Image: Shutterstock