Monday, October 4, 2010

A years supply of food...

I noticed today that CostCo has a deal going on dried and freeze-dried foods in a years-supply-for-one-person selection that comes to a total of $799.99... YOWZA! That said, like all of the years' supply of food kits I have seen, the selection of actual food selection is somewhat dire but there is a lot to be said for $2.19 a day price tag!

Over the last couple of years we have been making an effort to incorporate more dried and long-life foods into our diet for a variety of reasons...

One being that the cost of food in the Caribbean has been getting more and more pricey and a second reason is that while the prices of produce and suchlike keep getting higher there seems to be an inverse situation with quality. As the prices go higher the quality gets more dire. Case in point: the other day we were shopping and the scraggy/gnarly only good for pressure cooking carrots were selling for $1.79 a pound as opposed to the normal 69¢... OUCH! It's scary when meat has become cheaper than vegetables!

Another reason being that, living down here in the Caribbean, we often have periods where some produce and other foodstuffs just don't make it down to the islands. Sometimes for  a week or so you will have empty shelves in the supermarkets until the next container ship from Miami makes it down... It's a bitch being at the last link of a distribution chain whether it is toilet paper, cat food or broccoli!

Canned goods have fallen out of favor here on "So It Goes" as the quality of cans are such that they tend to rust in short order and we have never liked canned vegetables (we'll make an exception with canned corn or green beans) but for the most part, canned goods just don't cut it as far as we are concerned.

Dried vegetables on the other hand are pretty good as they store well, taste good (drying actually intensifies flavor) and are pretty reasonable cost-wise. The downside is that there is bugger all in the way of how to cook with dried vegetables cookbooks of a culinary bent and the learning curve in how to use dried food is something of a steep sucker.

Getting back to the CostCo stuff, I should point out that most of the purveyors of dried fruit and vegetable are not really boat-friendly in that they are seriously into bulk packaging which for most companies starts at number 10 cans (1 gallon) and goes up from there... I don't know about you, but trying to stow 84 gallon sized cans around the boat is somewhat problematic or in the case of our 34-foot boat, simply impossible.

Which is one of the reasons we like companies like Harmony House as they have a variety of sizes that range from a cup (sample size), quart pantry size, and in gallon family sized jugs (not cans) which are all very boat friendly resealable packaging and sizing. An added bonus of the smaller packaging is that you can try something and if you don't like it you are not stuck with nearly a gallon of beets (or whatever) that you hate!

For us, the advantage of having a store of dried food is that when carrots reach a silly price, dreadful quality or are simply not available where we happen to be, we can still have carrots or whatever on the menu tonight...

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