I found an article a few days ago that has been on my mind quite a bit. The article can be found here. But if you don’t want to read it, I’ll tell you what the basic gist of it is. Columbia Food Laboratories conducted a recent study testing the oxygen levels in a couple of major food storage brands. Oxygen is one of the four factors that can reduce the shelf life of food (the others are heat, light, and moisture). Ideally, any long term food storage should contain less than 2% oxygen.
What prompted the study is the crazy notion that Wise Food puts out all of their food storage in mylar bags rather than #10 cans, yet they still claim a 25 year shelf life. So they tested the oxygen levels in 30 of these mylar Wise Food packages and compared them to the oxygen found in 30 of their own products. The findings were amazing. The oxygen levels found in the Wise Food meals were 110 times higher than what was found in Mountain House. The average oxygen levels found in Wise Food were over 18% (only 3% less than what is found in the atmosphere) while the oxygen levels in Mountain House were at a very safe level of 0.16%.
And the sad part about the whole thing is that the samples tested were only manufactured in April of this year (2012). That means that within a month or two of being packaged, the Wise Food mylar bags already expose the food inside to as much oxygen as if it was just sitting open on the shelf. I already didn’t like the Wise Food company (based on taste, and ingredients used) but now they have given me another reason to never ever buy their food. The Wise Food website claims to package their food in airtight mylar pouches, and that the majority of the oxygen is removed… Yeah, a whole 3%. I also find it interesting that they don’t use oxygen absorbers because they don’t seem to think that they need them. Keep telling yourself that, Wise Food.
Mountain House freeze dried foods are produced by Oregon Freeze Dry who also manufacture brands such as Food Insurance and Daily Bread Food Storage. I would trust any brand put out by Oregon Freeze Dry to contain low oxygen levels, but in my opinion, I’d be weary looking for long term food storage elsewhere. I never would and never will purchase food storage in mylar bags unless I am planning to rotate through it like I would any other food. #10 cans are the only “safe” option in my opinion if you want your storage to last for at least 25 years.
What do you think of the study results?