FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How can I pay for my order?
A: We accept these credit cards: and bank debit cards from Visa.
Payment can also be made with personal check, postal money orders or cashiers check to our merchant account (Important: see cart checkout page for instructions). We do not accept any C.O.D. orders. All credit cards are processed through VeriSign. This protects you and it protects us. We have never had a reported case of a fraudulent card, bogus charge or any other problem. VeriSign is safe, secure processing. Discover and American Express are NOT accepted anymore -- they ripped us off and we will have nothing to do with them.
Q: What happened to PayPal?
A: PayPal has made it increasingly difficult to actually get paid, so we won't generally don't accept PayPal. However, PayPal now owns Verisign, which is who processes our credit cards. But we still get paid on time through Verisign. Once PayPal starts treating buyers and sellers fairly, we'll reconsider using them as a payment option. See PayPal Sucks for some real horror stories.
Q: Do you have a minimum order size?
A: Alpine Aire now has a minimum $250 order. There are no order minimums on any other products.
Q: What is a brand or product line?
A: A brand or product line is products from a single cannery, such as Mountain House, or Alpine Aire, or Rainy Day, etc.
Q: But what does RD, MH, AA, etc. mean?
A: We use abbreviations on our website to help simplify the product descriptions. The abbreviations and their associated products are listed as follows:
- RD = Rainy Day
- MH = Mountain House
- AA = Alpine Aire
- NH = Natural High
- SC = Survival Cave
- QS= Quick Store
- SI = Survivor Industries
- CL = Country Living
- SS = Super Spectrim
The MH, AA, NH, SS, SC, QS lines qualify for free shipping on orders over $100. RD "F" coded items (found on the food plans) are now available with free shipping.
Q: Is there free shipping?
Orders over $100 on Mountain House (MH), Alpine Aire (AA), Natural High (NH), Survival Cave (SC) units, Quick Stove (QS), all (RD) Rainy Day "F" coded items and Super Spectrim (SS) lines ship free.
If a product line is under $100, there is a $4.95 per line charge.
Q: What are the shipping costs?
A: For products that have any shipping cost, shipping is based on weight, zone, bags, buckets and any other special fees that UPS requires. Our cart can give you an accurate live quote on shipping costs, just add the items to the cart and enter in your (accurate) zip code. The majority of our products ship free.
Q: Why do I have to order online now?
A: We're seeing too many issues come up with phone ordering. By ordering online, you are assured that your order is accurate, your shipping address is accurate, your credit card information is never revealed (not even to us, we never see it), you are aware of our ordering policies and our shipping times, and you understand our customer quality care program and finally, you take responsibility for the accuracy of your order. All this is hard to convey in a timely fashion over the phone, we want you to be fully aware of what we offer you.
Q: Are there any exceptions to online ordering?
A: We still need to work with customers that have freight shipments (over 500 lbs), and will need to talk to you to place these kinds of orders. If you think you are going to have enough weight, be sure we can reach you by phone so that we can make these arrangements. You can also order through the mail.
General Questions & Answers
Q: What is the shipping time for my order?
A: We process all orders immediately upon receipt (pending any bank clearance of your payment, see below). Shipping time will vary depending on volume and the products you are ordering. You can check this here: current shipping times. This page is kept current and changes weekly, sometimes daily due to excessive volume.
Q: Can I pay C.O.D.?
A: No, all orders must be prepaid in full, including any applicable shipping charges.
Q: Do you have a layaway plan?
A: No, we don't find much demand for this and it would create higher prices (and problems) for everyone. Canneries are constantly changing their prices and layaway would compound this problem dramatically.
Q: Can I pay with a money order?
A: Yes, we prefer US Mail postal money orders. You must include any applicable shipping charges with your payment. Money orders are held until cleared, then we will process your order. Important: See cart checkout page for mailing instructions.
Q: I don't have a credit card - what can I do?
A: We can accept a personal check or cashiers check. You must including any shipping charges associated with your order. Just use the shopping cart, and print out the final payment page (page 3 of 4), it will have all the correct totals including shipping and mailing instructions.
Q: Can I or my group / business get a large order discount?
A: We need to see the order first before we can answer this question. A large order (for us) is usually well over $10,000. Depending on products order and shipping costs, we can consider group discounts on a case-by-case basis. Send us (email) your itemized list (use our shopping cart is best) along with the shipping address and we'll give you a quote.
Q: Where are the canneries located?
A: The canneries (there are now six) are located in southern Idaho, three in California, Oregon and Virginia. Depending of the foods you order, we will ship directly from the cannery or warehouse nearest to you.
Q: Can I pick up the food myself at the cannery and save on shipping?
A: Yes, but only at one of them where it is allowed, in southern Idaho. This is the Rainy Day cannery.
With the much higher fuel costs these days, almost nobody has chosen to do this since around the year 2000. Back then, gas was much cheaper and we had many customers pick up their orders in person. This would only be cost effective now if you were in zone 2 (within a few hundred miles each way) of the cannery.
The reality is, nobody can beat the commercial delivery charges (UPS, FedEx or Freight) these days if you have to drive both ways. Driving back and forth doubles your actual miles and at today's fuel prices, it will probably cost a lot more then simply paying the present shipping rates. But you are free to check into this of course.
You CAN make arrangements to pick up your order at the southern Idaho warehouse if you like. This must be scheduled into the regular production stream like all orders.
Q: Can I pick up the food at your warehouse?
A: No. We do not permit walk-in service at our location. The only product line that has any shipping charges associated is from Rainy Day Foods, and they are located in southern Idaho, everything else ships for free (or next to free) anyway. If you are interested in customer pickup from Rainy Day, you can check Mapquest online to see how far you are from this location (Montpelier, Idaho). Remember, you'd have to drive both ways. We do not inventory these products (Rainy Day) at our facility.
Q: What does it mean on your web site, "In Stock" on your list of products?
A: This means the canneries are still shipping this product, these items are in stock and available. Every item and every order is subject to our current shipping times. All orders are filled on a first come, first serve basis. There are always thousands of orders being processed, which is why there are any shipping delays at all. We can only fill so many orders so fast.
Q: Doesn't "In Stock" mean you can fill my order right away?
A: No, it simply means that these items are currently still being filled by the cannery in the order received, and they are still available for new orders, but every order is subject to our current shipping times.
Q: How large is a case of #10 cans?
A: The #10 can is a gallon sized can (large coffee can size). A case is 6 cans and ships in a box 13" deep x 7.5" high x 19" wide.
Q: The product I'm looking at shows "out of stock" -- what does that mean?
A: We do not have this item in stock. The cannery is "out". If you order this, you may not get it for a while. Missing items are simply refunded back to your credit card AFTER your order has been filled (because we will still make the attempt to obtain the item for you and it may come back into stock in that time frame).
Food Questions & Answers
Q: Do you have any GMO products?
A: The canneries specify non-GMO products from their wholesaler suppliers. Only soy and corn has the possibility of being GMO (non-GMO soy or corn cannot really be found anymore within the United States, we've checked into this).
Q: Should I get freeze-dried food or dehydrated food?
A: That's up to you. There isn't any real difference in terms of nutrition or shelf life. But there is a difference between taste, convenience and cost. We receive this question a lot, so we've put up a new page covering this issue in depth.
Freeze dried food is pre-cooked with multiple ingredients (usually, such as entrees). Instant preparation is convenient by simply adding hot water (in most cases, some require cold water, such as ice cream). Freeze dried food has the best taste, since everything was already precooked and pre seasoned and the type of dehydration used (freeze drying) also locks in better flavor. This type of food is considered best or "premium" and is the most enjoyable, but there is an added cost compared to dehydrated food.
Dehydrated foods are the most cost effective and are usually "single ingredient" foods that can be combined together and then cooked. Cooking usually involves rehydration in hot water (just like you do now with spaghetti or rice or beans, etc.). You can cook ingredients combined together, or individually and season to taste. Some dehydrated foods don't require hot water, such as bread, muffins, pancakes, waffles, drink mixes, etc. You just add cold water to these type of ingredients and then cook (bake or fry) or use as is.
Q: What's the "best deal" for me?
A: We are!!! Bar none, we have the best prices in the industry. Our packages are significantly larger, more complete and with a better variety to choose from. We also have the best prices, period. The best deal is to buy the types and kinds of food you like to eat.
Q: How do you like the food? Have you tried it?
A: Yes, we've tried most of it, and in fact, have stockpiled our own food supply for many years. We've mixed this into our daily diet for over twenty years now and in December 2006, I ate nothing but dehydrated and freeze dried food, boycotting the supermarket offerings altogether. You can read all about it here.
Q: What is a SP or an RB?
A: Both SP (Super Pail) and RB (Ribbed Bucket) are 6 gallon food grade buckets with airtight gasket lids, both SP and RB use the same food grade bucket, which is essential for proper food storage (don't use any old bucket). The SP has the superior advantage of the food first being placed in a vacuum packed metalized mylar bag with an oxygen absorber. You can expect the longest possible shelf life from Super Pail buckets, due to their superior properties. The only advantage the RB has is that it is slightly cheaper. See packaging details for more important information regarding our buckets.
Q: Which bucket type do you recommend? Superpail or Ribbed Bucket?
A: For ultimate long term food storage, the Superpail is far superior to the Ribbed bucket. Buckets are highly durable, but with the added protection of the mylar bag in the SP bucket, it's like having a second layer of armor protecting your valuable food from the elements. We will always recommend our customers choose Superpails over Ribbed Buckets. We strongly recommend that you conduct periodic checks on your Ribbed Buckets to ensure container integrity because storage conditions and barometric pressure changes can have an impact on the bucket.
Q: What is GF?
A: GF means "gluten free". Only Alpine Aire has certified gluten free products. Many of our other products are gluten free also, but you will need to read the product ingredients on the "More Details" link. These are not certified, but can easily be identified on whether they have any gluten or not in their ingredients.
Q: What is Full Pack?
A: Full pack is a designation used by Alpine Aire for the #10 can they sell. It means the full pack can is filled to the top with food. There is an extra serving in the can, making this a better deal for you.
Q: What is TVP?
A: TVP is textured vegetable protein, made from soy. It looks like ground hamburger and can be added to soup, stew, pizza, scrambled eggs, etc., anywhere where you want a meat flavoring. TVP is "the" meat substitute for long term storage. You've probably eaten this before in restaurants, as it is widely used today in many meat products.
Q: Are there any additives, preservatives or sweeteners used in the products?
A: You must read the "More Details" page for the particular item you are interested in. We have several thousand of these pages up on the site, so it's impossible to provide a single answer without looking up the product.
Alpine Aire is considered the healthiest of the freeze dried foods (cans or pouches). We have a "More Details" page on every product provided us by the manufacture.
Q: I have severe allergies and cannot eat anything that has had any contact with xxxx (peanuts for example). Is your food safe?
A:The food is processed
on different machines that are in constant use and process various products. None of the food is certified 100% allergen free and we take absolutely no responsibility for any allergic reaction you might have for this reason. All of the food is processed in a USDA inspected facility, but people with severe allergies must follow their own best judgment.
Q: Can I get freeze dried food in buckets?
A: No, nobody makes this anywhere in the world to our knowledge. The large #10 can is the largest container size offered by the manufactures of freeze dried products. There are freeze dried pouches offered in buckets, but that's still a pouch in a bucket... Survival Cave now offers this, as do Alpine Aire and Mountain House. This is a great solution for many people.
Q: What is the difference between Regular Milk and Instant Milk?
A: Both Regular Milk and Instant Milk mix with cold water. Instant Milk can be used right away, Regular Milk should be refrigerated before using.
Q: What is the difference between Egg Mix and Whole Eggs?
A: Egg mix is best for baking, since it also contains powdered shortening. Whole eggs are best for scrambled eggs, containing only eggs and nothing else. You can however, make scrambled eggs from egg mix.
Q: How does dehydrated food taste? Have you eaten it?
A: Yes we have, and so have you. A lot of products you buy in the supermarket are dehydrated, such as rice, beans, spaghetti, macaroni, scalloped potatoes, pancake and waffle mixes and on and on. We sell exactly the same products, except ours are in bulk (you're not getting tiny packages full of air with us) and they are packaged for long shelf life. The taste is the same as what you buy in the store for dehydrated foods. Most dehydrated products (but not all) are packaged without seasoning, or mixed with other foods (exceptions are dinner mixes, soups, etc.) You can mix and match products together as desired to make your own recipes, which are quite good. Adding seasoning helps for enhancing flavor. Our dinner mixes are already premixed and don't require any other additions (but you can if you want to).
I've eaten a lot of the dehydrated foods and have long since incorporated these foods into my regular diet. I save thousands of dollars on food costs at the grocery store by doing so.
Q: How does freeze dried food taste?
A: It's very good. Freeze drying is a more expensive method of food preservation and "locks in" the best taste and texture for the foods processed in this method. Taste is comparable to freshly prepared and cooked food (or even better), since it's all seasoned and the ingredients are proportioned correctly for you. Entrees for example, are complete meals, containing multiple ingredients and seasoning. Freeze dried foods are consider the very best and for food storage, it doesn't get any better then this.
Q: Is there any MSG in the dehydrated food products I order?
A: No, none of our dehydrated food products contain MSG.
Q: Are there any preservatives?
A: Generally, no. There is an exception with sliced apples, they contain sulfur dioxide to prevent browning. Most of our foods are all natural, with no preservatives and no MSG. The majority of our foods are "single ingredient" and contain nothing else, just that particular food. You are encouraged to read the ingredients pages of the products you are interested in (this is the More Info link found on the product detail page, clicking this link will display Content, Nutrition, Ingredients for that particular product).
Q: What is the nutrition content / values for dehydrated food? Is this better or worse then what I get in the supermarket?
A: Dehydrated foods are far more nutritious then canned or frozen foods (up to 5 - 6 times more nutritious). The only "better" food for nutrition is fresh food right out of your garden. We have nutrition / ingredient pages for almost all of our food products. Check the "Product Information" or "Nutrition Information" links on the left navigation bar. You can also find this nutrition / ingredient information whenever you add the item to your shopping cart. The product detail page will have a link for "More Info" which will link directly to a nutrition / information page.
Q: Are all the food products dehydrated?
A: No, not all of them. This depends on which product line you are ordering from. All the dehydrated food we sell in cans, buckets or bags is dried or dehydrated, with the moisture content
removed to ensure a long shelf life. Many of these foods are simply rehydrated by adding water. You can use as little or as much of the food product as desired. This
type of food is by far the most economical food you can buy, anywhere. This is the Rainy Day Food line.
The Alpine Aire product line is almost all freeze-dried (but not all of them), as are all of the Mountain House products. These products can be easily prepared by simply adding hot water and consuming, no cooking required. They are perhaps the easiest
prepared products of their type available and have the best taste and texture of storable foods.
MRE's are a different type of food product that do not require rehydration (adding water) before eating. You can eat MRE's right out of the package, but they do not have the same
shelf life as dehydrated food. We have an MRE page to tell you why we don't believe MRE's are a good idea. On average, the MRE's are good for about five years to seven years. Many people have consumed MRE's that are much older - 10 years or more, but
the manufacture's shelf life is approximately 5 - 7 years. The colder you store your food, the longer it will keep and you can greatly extend the life of your food by ensuring your
food is not subject to heat or temperature changes.
Q: How can I tell which foods are dehydrated and which foods are freeze dried?
A: Mountain House products are all freeze dried. A few of the Alpine Aire products are dehydrated and will say so in the product description (such as dehydrated onions, used as a seasoning in an entree). Alpine Aire also uses "FD" to indicate freeze dried. The Rainy Day Food line is the main dehydrated line. Survival Cave uses both dehdyrated and freeze dried ingredients, but they're labeling their line as freeze dried. Knowing the difference between dehydrated and freeze dried can help you on shipping costs and how the food is prepared. See the next question.
Q: What is the difference between dehydrated food and freeze dried food?
A: Dehydrated food is made dry by a dehydration process. This is usually done in ovens where the food is subjected to low temperature heating to remove the moisture from the food. The food is not cooked prior to dehydration, thereby preserving all of it's nutrients and nutrition. These foods are usually cooked during preparation.
Freeze dried foods are first precooked with all the ingredients used and then freeze dried by using an extremely cold vacuum that removes the moisture from the food. This an advanced food storage technique that results in best taste and texture.
Both processes result in very dry food that provide extremely long shelf lives. The main difference between the two techniques is cost. Freeze dried food in particular is more expensive to process this way. The other cost factor is that freeze dried food is first pre-cooked, then freeze dried, which also includes seasoning and other ingredients (other food items). Freeze dried foods (entrees) make for instant meals without cooking or mixing of ingredients or seasoning. This is actually where most of the cost is at.
Q: What type of cans do you offer?
A: All of our food products (freeze dried and dehydrated foods) are available in enameled #10 (gallon sized) cans or #2.5 (large soup can sized) cans (we also have foil pouches and mylar bags). Each can contains an oxygen absorber to remove all the oxygen from the can, ensuring long life of the food stored in the can. You can expect 10 - 20+ years on your food storage in cans, if stored in a cool, dry place, depending on the individual product (read the shelf life page). We are very conservative on our shelf life, if your cans or buckets are stored in a cool dry place, many of our products will store 15 - 20 years or even more.
Q: How are the cans packed?
A: Each dehydrated food can contains the selected food product and an oxygen absorber. By getting rid of the oxygen, the food will last much longer. A 750cc oxygen absorber is
used in the #10 cans and a 300cc oxygen absorber is used in the #2.5 cans. This leaves no detectable oxygen in the cans.
The latest test (March 9, 1998) states: "This letter is to confirm that there was no detectable levels of oxygen in the samples of products you sent to us with the D-750 FreshPax
oxygen absorbers in them. Our equipment measures down to 0.0009% of oxygen. Additionally, the oxygen absorbers had extra capacity still in them when the cans were opened."
A small vacuum is created in the can by using the oxygen absorbers. Air contains 78% nitrogen and 20% oxygen. The oxygen is absorbed and the nitrogen is ignored by the oxygen absorber.
Each can is then labeled with the following information:
1) The can's ingredients;
2) The net weight of the food in the can;
3) The serving size;
4) The number of servings per can;
Directions for preparation;
6) The nutritional facts per serving;
7) daily nutritional requirements based on a 2000 calorie diet; and
8) Calories per gram of fat, carbohydrates and protein.
Q: What is the life expectancy of dehydrated food?
A: Please review the following web page for information of shelf life, packaging and storage. Shelf life exceeds 10 - 20+ years for most products, but not all. We use an honest and realistic assessments on shelf life. Shelf life of 15 - 20+ years is quite common for many of our foods. Cooler, constant temperatures can increase the shelf life.
Q: What other things will I need with my food?
A: Cooking oil is an essential source of fats and should be stored along with you food unit / food storage. This is not a product we carry, as it has a fairly short shelf life and needs to be rotated (used). The type of oil is up to you, but 4 gallons per person per year is the recommended figure.
Q: Why is the shelf life so long? How come I can't get this shelf life with the foods I buy in the store?
A: There are several reasons for this. Dry packed foods contain no moisture, unlike most products purchased at the grocery store, which are considered "wet pack". Wet pack foods loose their nutrition to the water they are packed in. Frozen foods lose nutrition because the cells break down in the freezing process. Dry pack foods avoid both of these problems.
Food drying has been around for many centuries, but the food was still exposed to the affects of oxygen, rodents, bugs, mold and bacteria and sometimes not dried very well. By packaging the food in airtight containers using modern canning methods, the food storage shelf life was increased dramatically.
Dry pack foods purchased in the grocery store doesn't offer the right kind of packaging. For example, spaghetti comes in a plastic bag at the grocery store. Although this is the exact same product we carry, we package it up differently to ensure a long shelf life. By using airtight containers, oxygen absorbers, we remove the possibility of rodents, bugs, mold and bacteria damaging the food.
Let's be honest here. Most of the food cost you're paying for in the supermarket is fancy packaging and air. Not only are the packages small, but their filled with more air then actual product. Not a very good deal for you. The actual quantity of food your getting is relatively tiny in relationship to the fancy package. This is a marketing scheme of course, to get you to come back constantly to buy more food each week, or even every day. And you throw all that fancy packaging and empty air away - but that's really what you're mostly paying for, plus the constant trips to the supermarket.
Corn meal is a good example to use for shelf life. Many people have experienced weevils or bugs in their store bought corn meal after storing this for a few months. The reason is because the bug eggs are found in the food, and the oxygen in the poor packaging allows the eggs to hatch. Other problems you have probably experienced is how food will grow stale when sitting in your pantry. This too is caused by oxygen which breaks down the food freshness (and bacteria). These problems can be avoided dramatically by dry packing the food in airtight containers. The grocery store chains don't do this because they're selling food they expect you to eat within days or a few months.
We don't carry any wet-packed products (except MRE's and real canned meat) making all of our products having very long shelf lives far, far in excess of what you buy at the supermarket. "Wet pack" is the can of green beans you buy at the store, or fresh meat or anything at all that is packaged containing water. Bacteria, mold, mildew, bugs and rodents can attack these foods.
Shelf life on Survival Cave meats is very long - 20 years becasue of their special process on preparing the food in the can.
Q: What is the shelf life of freeze dried food?
A: Mountain House for example, advertises a 30 year shelf life for most of their food products. We've found that shelf life between freeze dried and dehydrated foods is the same. Freeze dried foods in cans have the very longest shelf life, while freeze dried foods in foil pouches are good 7 - 10 years (converative estimate). These are usually 2 - 4 person servings and were intended to be rehydrated right in their foil pouch (just add hot water to the pouch and let sit for 10 - 15 minutes then eat).
Mountain House has done testing on pouches over 20 years old and has published their results -- it's very worthwhile reading.
Not all freeze dried foods have the same shelf life from other manufacturers! Wise Foods has been exposed as misrepresenting their shelf life quite dramatically.
For best possible shelf life of any storable foods, cool constant temperatures are best. We recommend basements, root cellars, pantry or cupboards. Store food out of direct sunlight is also very wise. See our shelf life page for more information. There really is no difference at all between cans shelf life and buckets shelf life. If they are both sealed, stored in a cool, dry location, they will last the same length of time.
Q: Are all products fresh?
A: Yes. We don't sell "old stock". We're far to busy to ever have any anyway.
Q: After I open up a can or a bucket, how long do I have to eat the food? A week?
A: More like a couple of years. Opened cans and buckets can keep the food dry by simply keeping the lid in place. Our cans all come with plastic lids and you can reused the bucket lid to keep the humidity and moisture out. Opened products kept dry can be gotten into and out of for several years in most cases. A bucket of food contains a LOT of food and you will have plenty of time to use up the product once opened.
Once opened, you can simply toss out the oxygen absorber found inside, this will be depleted and cannot be restored. You don't need (or want to) add more oxygen absorbers once the product has been opened. Simply use up the product over the course of months or a few years, keeping the lid in place between uses. We recommend that once buckets are opened, to use a #10 can (coffee can or something similar) to transfer product from buckets to smaller containers, and use the food in those containers. This leave the bucket closed between 'refills'. You can also store the smaller containers much more easily in your pantry then you can the bucket.
Some of our freeze dried manufactures, such as Mountain House recommend you eat the food within two weeks (#10 cans, for example). We've found that this can be dramatically "ignored" by simply keeping the plastic lid on the food. We've eaten our opened containers of freeze dried food over 3 years later with no noticeable deterioration in taste or quality. We have had Alpine Aire products in #10 cans opened (with plastic lids in place) for over 7 years.
Be careful of storage conditions in overly high temperatures and high humidity. All our cans come with a plastic lid to close them after removing the metal lid with a can opener. Although these lids are not air tight, if you live in a dry climate, they do provide enough protection to keep your dehydrated foods fresh for a fairly long time. However, if you live in a humid area or think it will take you several months to use up the contents, we suggest putting the food into a different container after opening the can.
Here's the problem... as the barometric air pressure rises and falls, it pushes and pulls air into and out of your opened cans around the plastic lid. As it does this it will bring in moisture with it that's absorbed into the food. When enough moisture has been absorbed that the food becomes pliable, the storage life has been seriously degraded and you need to use it up. If you wish to be a bit cautious, when you open a can, transfer it's contents into other air tight containers. The best solution is to put your food in Zip-lock bags. As they have flexible walls, they can bend with the air pressure changes so there's never a difference of pressure between the inside and the outside of the bag wall, such as what you do find with rigid walled containers. With your food in baggies, you can throw them right back into the #10 can the food came out of and put the included plastic lid back on the top.
We are also ask, "Don't I need to put more oxygen absorbers into the can after opening it?" No, it's not necessary. These foods aren't fragile but can take a certain amount of abuse before their nutritional or taste qualities deteriorate very much. Right now in my family's pantry in the kitchen, we have dozens of #10 cans that are partly full, some of them having been open for several years. In every instance, the foods are still completely serviceable. Granted, we live in a dry, cool climate, ideal for dehydrated food storage.
Q: Do I need to repackage the items you sell in bags or boxes?
A: Yes, if you intend to keep them for long term. Bagged and boxed items are available through our web site, these are the big bulk bags or boxes of grains or potatoes, eggs, milk, anything like that sold in bulk bags or boxes. If you want to store these products for long term, you will need to seal these items up in air tight containers. We recommend 6 gallon plastic buckets with gasket lids. Use 1 or 2 oxygen absorbers per bucket (D-500 size) and hammer the lids down on tight. Store these buckets in a cool, dry location for longest possible shelf life.
Q: Do I need a mylar bag?
A: We recommend them for bulk food storage in buckets. Mylar is impermeable to oxygen. Our mylar bags must be heat sealed with a hot iron (they come open on one end). The zip lock is only used AFTER the mylar bag has been filled from the open bottom and heat sealed.
Q: Do you have any organic foods?
A: Yes, we carry quite a few organic foods. Due to new USDA regulations, we are having to change the advertising of these products to "Natural". These products come from the same companies as before. There is also a link for Natural Foods on the web site for all of our natural products under the Shopping Cart Links found on the bottom of the page.
Q: Can I make substitutions on one of the foods plans you offer?
A:Yes! We have provided the item numbers in our food units to help you do this easier.
Q: How do I order?
A: The easiest way is to simply use our shopping cart. Add items to your cart one by one. You can always change the quantities during checkout, or delete any items.
The cart will add up your order and any shipping charges. You can pay right then through Verisign.
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: 17 years and counting. We've more experience in the industry then most.
We know our products, we also eat our products and can attest to their usefulness, value and long term storage first hand.
They are a great value and one of the wisest investments anyone can make.
Q: Can I get a freight quote?
A: If you want an order quote for freight shipment (500 lb minimum) simply email us and we'll give you a current freight quote. Our shopping cart isn't setup for live freight quotes (it will do live UPS quotes), but you can create your sample order with the shopping cart and then cut and paste the order and send it to us for a freight quote along with your shipping address.
Shipping Questions & Answers
Q: Do you ship to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or Canada?
A: Generally no. Shipping costs to these locations is very expensive. Almost no Canadians, Hawaiians or Alaskans agree to pay the actual shipping costs anymore, so we do not generally accept orders shipping to these areas. You can however, simply ask and we can get you a quote.
Q: Do you have an order minimum?
A: There are no order minimums on any other lines.
Q: Why don't you just offer free shipping like some other companies do? Isn't this a better deal for the customer?
A: We do on many products.
But let's be totally honest here, shipping is never free. Free shipping only means higher retail prices to cover the actual cost of shipping. We've looked into this extensively and the reality is, shipping isn't "free" to anybody, anywhere. It's always included in the product price.
Other companies inflate their product prices a huge amount to cover there claims of "free shipping". This is anywhere from 3 - 6 times our prices, we know, we've looked and we're shocked at what they're doing.
Our shopping cart is automated to give you live shipping quotes according to your zip code and cart totals. We've compared our delivered shipping prices to our competitors, we are hands down the better deal, sometimes so much so that you could buy twice the quantity of food from us with the prices they're charging! Our prices are far lower and shipping is the actual cost. Nothing is inflated. Everyone is being treated fairly this way too. Customers in different shipping zones aren't paying more then they should.
Q: What can I ship directly into Canada?
A: Nothing, not anymore. NAFTA turns out to be a real joke, but that's not our fault. We've also found out that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is a real nightmare to deal with. We do not ship directly into Canada anymore as a result. Canadians can have their orders shipped to a US border town and drive down and pick it up. They are responsible for GST or any duties / fees incurred when they cross the border.
Q: Aren't there any Canadian companies that have these type of products?
A: Not to our knowledge. Hundreds of Canadians have launched extensive investigations into finding these type of storable foods in Canada in bulk quantities. They've all reported the same dismal results. You can buy small quantities of backpacking food in pouches, but canned products and bucketed food products don't seem to exist. We don't know why this is. We would love to do more business in the Canadian market, but resolving the shipping questions and export restrictions remains the most difficult problem.
Q: Can you ship overseas?
A: No. Nobody has ever agreed to pay the shipping costs for shipping overseas out of the many hundreds who have now inquired. As a rule, we say "No" to these request routinely, because we're pretty certain you won't agree to pay the shipping costs due to their very high expense. Please do not ask us to figure out shipping costs overseas, we will not do this anymore, it's proven to be a gigantic time waster and requires a bunch of people to get involved and has never resulted in a single sale due to the extremely high costs of shipping overseas.
Q: Can you explain the what is happening with shipping costs?
A: This is because of the peak oil / peak energy worldwide crisis that is now well underway. Few really seem to realize how intricately linked our global civilization is on petroleum. Absolutely EVERYTHING we buy, sell, ship, eat, consume, build and entertain ourselves with is the result of formerly "cheap" petroleum. Much of the oil now consumed by the United States is being literally melted from "tar sands" (that's how desperate they are) creating a gigantic wasteland up in Alberta. Cheap oil is never coming back.
Those days are gone, FOREVER. If oil goes up $10 a barrel, shipping costs go up 30% - 40%. Oil is now over $90 a barrel and climbing. After years of study, we fully expect to see oil exceed $200 a barrel (and stay there). Long before this happens, our civilization will totally collapse. When the price of commodities and transportation exceed by a factor of 10:1 our ability to actually pay for them, we will simply stop (and starve).
This is no joke, we are deadly serious. We have documented this evidence of collapse on our blog for years. It is now happening as predicted by analyst, scientist, researches and market watchers all over the world. It is an undeniable fact of the global future facing every human alive today (and all our our survivors). Global collapse is occurring, intricately linked to oil and our incredible and short-sighted dependency upon this resource.
Shipping will NEVER be cheaper then it is "Right Now". I emphasize this because there is an incredible amount of shortsighted wishful thinking going on. Alternative energy cannot even meet 15% of the world's energy needs (when it and IF it finally gets built) and alternative energy will meet almost NONE of our transportation / farming needs (ever).
We are in severe, serious trouble when it comes to population overshoot and the inability to feed, let alone maintain our global population without cheap, plentiful oil. The reality is -- we cannot do this much longer. A severe, economic and resource crash is now underway, gaining speed daily. We predicted this years ago and now it's actually happening. Just watch the markets if you don't believe this and read the news, it's happening all over the world.
We will soon reach the point of many items simply being unaffordable. When we can't afford to extract the oil, we will shut down as a civilization. We are now expending 1 barrel of oil for every 3 barrels found in many cases. This make no economic or survival sense at all, but we're desperately trying to do this because we refuse to curb our consumption, which is now 85 million barrels a day (in just America, the world consumption is much higher then this). The "big finds" that are touted as being "huge discoveries" are a joke, they will last less then 6 months at world consumption rates. We are in severe trouble when it comes to cheap oil.
There are also several other major crisis issues now occurring which affect food costs and availability. See our blog for more info.
The World & Our Future
Q: Why is shipping so expensive? Do you know the reason for this?
A: It is because of the high price of oil. The U.S. imports over 85% of its oil now. The commercial shipping companies like UPS, FedEx and Oak Harbor Freight have all been scrambling to cover their shipping expenses with the higher price of oil. Last year, there were over two dozen rate changes, where in years past, it was a single change, once per year. And we are expecting this to get a LOT worse. Oil is very volatile and projections are for much higher oil prices, much higher then you can even imagine. The world is running out of oil, we've researched this extensively and it's very real and very dangerous for all of us. We're all going to be paying far higher prices soon.
Q: What can I do about the high cost of shipping? Anything at all?
A: No, not really. Buy sooner rather then later as prices will never be this low again (on anything). We have a saying that's proven true for over seventeen years we've been in business. "It won't be any cheaper then it is today". Shipping costs are just going to get worse, a lot worse. Food is a great investment right now because it's cheap and the shipping is still affordable. But in ten years, what will food cost? What will shipping costs be? We only know for certain that both food and shipping will be much higher. With food that can last 30 years then, it makes good sense to buy today while it is still affordable.
What most people don't know is how dependent modern agriculture is on oil (and it's price). All modern agriculture requires huge quantities of oil to grow (and products made from natural gas too, such as fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides) and to be processed (tractors, harvesters, trucks, shipment, distribution and factory plants). Without oil, there simply will be no food for over 85% of the world's population. The U.S. is eventually looking at massive starvation because of this problem, every nation on Earth is.
No nationwide initiative, including alternative energy has even remotely come close to solving this problem. In reality, it is a world-wide problem and the future world will have a massive population die-off because of it. We have investigated this issue and there is no solution.
Q: Are you serious?
A: Very. We have looked into this issue extensively. Our planet is in severe population-overshoot which has only been possible by the availability of cheap, portable energy. No "alternative energy" exists that can replace oil. A single barrel of oil represents 400,000 years of "sunshine" and we burn up a thousand barrels in a nanosecond. The U.S. is using over 8 million barrels of oil per day, and that figure is rising. 85 million barrels are used each day worldwide (that figure is still rising too!).
Resource wars will be commonplace as the world fights over the remaining oil supplies. It's already a matter of life or death and it will only worsen. The world will be a dramatically different place in a few decades as global starvation affects every country on earth.
Q: If this is for real, why isn't something being done about this?
A: Actually, a lot is being done, but much of it is misguided or inadequate because of the failure to appreciate the total scope and significance of the problem. Politicians are loathe to admit the seriousness of the problem and always manage to pretend it's not real during their terms. This is no accident, it's being done quite deliberately.
Recall the resource wars? That is already happening. Drilling for new energy supplies is occurring all over the world, but all major finds have long since peaked clear back in 1979. It now take almost five barrels of oil to even find one barrel, and this ratio is rising. The obvious outcome of this is going to be a complete crash of our oil-soaked civilization. Governments around the world are well aware of the problem, despite their denials. You can see the evidence of this in their plans for conquest, trade agreements, oil exploration, pipelines and many other factors. They're also trying desperately hard not to panic the population. We think this is disingenuous.
Q: What can I do about this? Anything?
A: Get ready. Learn to live with less. Consume less and conserve more. Realize that the modern world is going to come to an end, rapidly. Learn to be self-sufficient, at least to some degree. And teach your children to do better then we did. It will be the young generation alive today that will suffer the most and be the hardest hit, because they simply do not know how to live without cheap energy, cheap transportation and cheap food. We expect millions to die because of this. Entire nations will be displaced because of shortages of food and water. The ability of the world to feed 7 billion humans is now in serious question.
Q: Where can I learn more?
A: There are a number of sites online that cover these issues extensively. Our own blog, "Sustainable Living & Common Sense" is one place, although we do cover many other issues including the environment. Die Off is another, and Peak Oil is yet another and contains many forums and discussions, there are many more resources found on the Internet.
Q: Dare I ask? Is there anything else I should know?
A: Yes, there's quite a bit more. Peak energy (same thing as peak oil in reality) isn't the only pressing issue. A global race is underway to find an alternative energy source in time before the oil and coal runs out. The widely reported claim that coal will last 400 years is completely bogus. At our present rates of consumption, it will last less then 45 years. Other sources of alternative energy like methane hydrates, hydrogen, solar or wind power are technologies that have very low EROI (energy returned on energy invested) ratios and don't even come remotely close to replacing the energy found in a single barrel of oil. A great many claims of a promised "techno fix" to solve our energy requirements are totally bogus and empty promises. So far, nothing has been developed to solve these issues.
Global climate change is also causing severe havoc around the world and will worsen very soon. Already countries like Australia are having severe water shortages and will be shutting off the water supply to their farmers. Many countries throughout Africa are in severe drought. Global climate change means severely impacted agriculture (food) and even rising sea levels. Nearly 1 billion people will be affected by rising sea levels alone, islands are already being evacuated in low-land countries. The displaced population of hundreds of millions will also affect North America.
Global climate change means many things, but most importantly, it will affect food, disease and immigration. There is a absolutely huge and hidden danger of the Siberian permafrost suddenly melting. This will release billions of tons of methane into the atmosphere all at once (in a matter of weeks) and could cause a runaway greenhouse affect. In the space of a single year, our planet could become nearly uninhabitable for most of the surface of the earth.
On top of this, there are severe environmental degradation issues now being reported around the world. 85% of the world's reefs are collapsing. 90% of the world fisheries are in severe decline. The ocean is the main protein source for billions of people, and with the oceans in collapse, they will face starvation. Toxic pollution, dumping, over fishing and ocean temperature changes have caused these problems. The world's plankton is at the bottom of the food change, but there are now hundreds of "dead zones" in the oceans where absolutely nothing lives, and the plankton are in severe decline worldwide.
Q: Why haven't I heard about these things? Are you just trying to scare me?
A: Not at all. Food is an integral part of our environment and is directly affected by climate and energy. It's simply reasonable to understand how food production will be affected by what is now happening throughout the world. Population is also a factor.
Everybody needs to eat. Americans are very short sighted when it comes to food scarcity. High prices are another point. The only way to "save" is to buy early as both of these issues occur.
Our world is changing. We didn't create this news, we're simply reporting what is being told around the world. If you've not heard of these things, it is because the U.S. media has been ordered to be silent about it. There are now thousands of claims by scientist that their research work, funding and reports have been suppressed by the White House. And what does make it to the news is greatly watered down and even disparaged by media pundits and commentators. The reality is, we don't believe the government wants you to know what is going on because it would cause too much panic and people would instantly demand what they simply cannot have (solutions). The reality is, there are no solutions, and no government, no politician wants to be put into such a position.
The "answer" is simpler then anyone can imagine. Humans will adapt to a much smaller world, because it's their only choice. Everything will become localized, transportation will be very limited and jobs, food and consumer goods will be severely affected. Entire nations will be relocated causing massive immigration problems. Disease will be rampant as temperature changes affect things like dengue fever and malaria and bird flu. Population die-off will occur because of disease and food shortages. Eventually, the surviving world will "adjust" to "less" of everything. Civilization will halt it's present course of advancement to a large degree (all which depends on vast quantities of cheap energy and a available labor pool). Life as we know it will be over, probably forever. Those surviving will learn to live with less and will become much more self-sufficient then they are today. The most affected will be the young generation alive today, and their future children.
In approximately two generations, the present day world will be largely "forgotten" because those who live then will have never known the abundance, prosperity and easy living world that we have had up until now. Our era is about over. We've foolishly built our civilization on something that couldn't last. This has happened many times throughout human history, hundreds of times in fact, all over the world, it's the reason why ancient civilizations simply aren't here anymore. Civilizations come and go and ours will be no different. The hard part for us alive today, is figuring out how to survive the next fifty years. It won't be easy and will become increasing difficult. Eventually, die-off and climate change will force the answers out of us. Those of us that survive will teach our children how to live in the new world. Nobody really knows what that world will be like, but we do know it will be much different then what we have today. Our world consumed it's resource base much too fast and it was bound to crash because of it. We're all about to find out what this will really mean.
Q: This sounds really scary, and I'm not sure what to make of it. Do you have more information?
A: Yes we do. Many of these issues have been talked about on our blog. The data is taken from news reports and scientific research from around the world. All we've done is connect the dots and try to understand the picture that has been presented. We're not guessing - we're basing our views on what these reports are actually saying. There are now tens of thousands of world renown scientists who are in agreement with regards to what the future of humanity is. Despite these facts, tens of millions of people either have not heard of this or are in total denial. We think that is a very dangerous position to take because it will mean tremendous loss of life. Our position is that we should honestly face up to our problems since there simply is no escape and to deal with them the best we can. Preparations, getting ready right now, is essential.
Q: Why is there disagreement about climate change or peak oil or even bird flu and now the swine flu?
A: We believe it is because of several factors. Disinformation, lack of awareness, simple denial (cognitive dissonance) and the failure to understand the "big picture". Humans are not the only life form on this earth. The massive species loss now occurring around the world are signposts to how critical things are becoming. Humans have devoured their way through almost all of the earths natural resources including a huge percentage of "renewable resources". We've literally eaten our way down the food chain and are now scraping the bottom. Failing to identify how this affects our future survival is catastrophic.
Peak oil is another related issue. Oil is food in today's world. Billions of people simply would not be alive today if it were not for cheap, plentiful petroleum. Those days are about over - and what will those billions of people do? They will starve. This is harsh, but it is reality. The world cannot sustain 7 billion people without cheap oil. Studies have been conducted and the facts are clear - we are is serious, serious trouble. We cannot simply "grow our own" as some think, not all of us. Some of us can (if you know how) and if you have plentiful water, sunshine, quality soils and a decent growing season. But this is a fraction of the present world's population. The simple fact remains, 7 billion people could not, would not exist if it weren't for the mega-farms, vast distribution networks, pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers being used. All of this comes from petroleum, something most people simple don't know or refuse to accept.
The average distance of every single food item you eat has traveled 1500 miles. That will be absolutely impossible in the future as energy supplies dwindle.
Q: But I thought we still had half of the world's petroleum left!
A: We've taken the far, far easier first half (and more by many estimates). We are now consuming far, far more oil then we find. America all by itself uses over 8 million barrels per day. Reports of "huge finds" are ridiculous jokes, calculated out, they will last less then six months from just American consumption alone. Now add in all the other countries, especially China, which absolutely dwarfs the United States in terms of consumption.
Whatever is now left in the ground is becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract. Don't forget, it takes energy to "make energy". We are almost at the zero-return point. Also, no refineries have been built in America in 27 years, yet consumption has gone up 800%! The incredible shortsightedness of this situation should not be lost on anyone.
Consumption is still going up, despite rising prices. $8 gallon gasoline is a reality very soon. This will cause absolutely huge price increases on everything, including food. Food prices have gone up 300% this year over 2006 prices (update: 2008 food price increases were 54% in just one year). The day is coming when simply buying food will not be an option for tens of millions of people. Add in America's economic condition, personal debts, the average distances traveled to and from work and a million other factors and the crisis we claim exists becomes very, very real.
We are facing a massive, global shutdown of everything. We expect certain resources to be nationalized as governments around the world desperately try to survive. This will include food, water, fuel, heating oil and natural gas, propane and strategic metals. All of these commodities are extremely dependent upon cheap oil.
We emphasize "cheap" for a reason, because it really means the difference between some things existing and some things not. To put this into perspective, let's say copper, a widely used metal throughout the world, was $9000 a pound. Just how widely used would it then be? Not very - or not at all. We would simply do without copper. Our world would dramatically change because of this. It is worth noting, copper prices have risen over 500% in the last two years. When costs of anything reach a certain level, they are simply unaffordable and impractical to bother with. The "cheap costs" of commodities is what built our civilization, and all of it was built in the modern world because of cheap oil. When costs are no longer manageable, civilization will crash, because it cannot be maintained anymore. Our infrastructure is in severe peril for this reason. It "floats" on a sea of cheap oil and cannot be maintained without it.
All kinds of infrastructure will collapse, including our economy. Transportation, production, manufacturing, mining, distribution, roads, farming, agriculture, tourism will suffer greatly. The world will shrink, dramatically and people will have to do with whatever is "at hand" in their nearby communities. Everything else will be far to expensive to ship or even build.
Q: Okay then, I'll read up on all this. But what about bird flu or swine flu or climate change? Just how real are these issues?
A: Very. We've been in contact with people from CDC, emergency health management officials, doctors, nurses and disaster preparation specialists. They're very concerned and are making individual preparations for pandemic. We consider this indicative of what the experts think and take special note for that reason.
Climate change is already an in-your-face issue. Severe drought now imperils gigantic areas throughout the world. Climate change also means rising diseases as increased ranges and vectors (carriers) multiply dramatically. Malaria for example, is even being found in Europe! Other diseases such as dengue fever have risen 600% in Mexico. Climate change means many things, not just 'seasonal adjustments'. It means crop loss, desertification, starvation is some countries, rising sea level (Bangladesh is now evacuating many of their island inhabitants for this reason), drought, the destruction of the Amazon river and forests, abandonment of many glacial villages and settlements (no water left), impact upon migratory birds, animals and sea life and even the opening up of the Northwest Passage. These issues will have a huge affect on human life.
Climate change also means severe hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes and ice storms. Some areas will be inundated with flood waters. Crops will be devastated from either drought or flooding. Entire cities will be evacuated because of several factors - rising sea levels, drought, mudslides or the destruction of their infrastructure from "natural disasters". The city of Perth, Australia is on the verge of total collapse, there is active discussion of simply abandoning the entire city!
We are effectively at the very beginning of these changes that will devastate all life on earth. There are more in fact that we've barely mentioned. We suggest you read our blog and familiarize yourself with the various issues that are being addressed by climatologists and planetary scientists.
Q: Thank you very much! I have one last question - what do I do for myself and my family?
A: Prepare, right now, while you still can. Denial won't save anyone. Familiarize yourself with the issues and prepare your home, your life and your future by learning now to do things for yourself. Learn to live local - for everything you will need. This is a huge, tall order and requires a lot of planning and preparation, but we believe it can be done.
Q: Is that why you sell food? To help people prepare?
A: Yes. We've been doing this a long time. We've read everything we can about these issues and have come to realize that food security is going to be a matter of life or death for billions of people, including us. We believe that food will be a strategic resource in the near future. Having sufficient food on hand to endure food shortages, riots, poor harvests, climate change, drought and even marauding hungry people will be essential. It's one of the reasons why we specialize in the food business. The need to endure from season to season (and some will last entire lifetimes) any of the issues we've outlined above is going to be absolutely essential. Food security brings peace of mind, safety and personal freedom (you're free to do other things like work or defend you home or whatever).
The reality is, hardly anybody today actually knows how to feed themselves and grow all of their own food. Nor do people know how to actually preserve their own food from season to season, or preserve the seeds for the next planting. Some people do, but it's really just a tiny percentage of Americans. The fact is, nobody taught us or showed most of us these basic skills - and now we're in serious trouble because of it. Having a food storage plan on hand while we go through the painful process of learning how to feed ourselves is going to be an issue of life or death. Many mistakes are made trying to grow your own food, and the actual harvest (and very important, the preservation of that harvest) will not be sufficient until years of experience are gained. A food plan will be essential in our opinion as the world adjusts to the catastrophic changes. Those that don't have one will suffer, greatly. Those that do will have the necessary and essential cushion until the world and the people in the world transition to a localized community, where their food is no longer transported from thousands of miles away. We believe the entire world is poised on the edge of a great precipice, and being prepared before the crash will be truly and life or death issue.