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Ready or Not #76: Pre-packaged Meals

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

I’ve never been a big fan of commercially pre-packaged meals that are heated in a microwave. I just don’t feel that the people who produce and market this type of food have your health in mind, maybe your pocketbook, but not your health. (Recently there have been a lot of pre-packaged meals that have bucked the trend and are healthy, but they aren’t for long time storage) I have always felt that you are better off health-wise and financially if you prepare as many of your meals as possible from scratch – it also tastes better.

…BUT, recently I was at the store and saw some new prepackaged, non-refrigerated, meals that piqued my interest. I looked at the contents (I’m now a “carb” watcher because one of the members of my family has just recently been diagnosed as a full-blown diabetic) and a couple of the meals didn’t look too unhealthy. Of course, some of them were 50 percent fat, which might be tasty, but really, do you want that to be coursing through your veins?

Okay, back to the point. If you choose these non-refrigerated pre-packaged meals with care and get the healthiest ones, you could use them in your 72-hr-kit and/or food storage instead of MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat). Granted, MRE’s are a great alternative to having nothing, but if these new easy to buy, haven’t-tasted-them-but-hope-they-taste-good meals, might be a very appetizing alternative. And they are cheaper – that appeals to me. They also come in their own serving dish, of which are disposable, but I’m sure they could be re-used in a pinch.

Another thing that I considered, while standing in front of the display at the store, is that I would know exactly how many carbohydrates my diabetic would be eating. I wouldn’t have to worry about measuring or weighing everything (I hope that I get better at judging food and portions in the future) and I will know exactly how much insulin he will need to use.

Which brings me to another point, of which I have talked about in the past; do you have enough medication to carry you at least two weeks during a disaster? Remember that most communities have to wait at least two weeks before getting help. I have always known that insulin needed to be stored in the fridge, but I didn’t know why. Now I do. Outside of the refrigerator, insulin only lasts 30 days and that is if it doesn’t get hot, like outside in our 100-degree summers. I have a propane refrigerator in my trailer, but it won’t do me any good if I don’t have propane. If you have the same type of fridge, please store propane. I am also looking into getting a small fridge that can be hooked up in the car, that way if we have to evacuate, I won’t have to worry about keeping the insulin cool.

Being able to eat well during a disaster is important, but even more so if you have poor health. If you have poor health, eating right and having your needed medication on hand could mean the difference between life and death.

No, I didn’t buy one of the prepared meals – it was just too hard, too much out of my comfort zone. Instead, I just stood there and looked at them, read their contents and walked around the display. When I left the store, I kept thinking about them and maybe the next time I go in I’ll be brave and buy one to try, just maybe. Besides that, it’s about time that I rotated my MRE’s


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