When I first heard the term “Preppers,” a specific persona came to mind … one that was cultish, crazy, and clandestine. They were the types constantly putting up Impending-Doom posters and practically shitting their pants waiting for God to hammer them back into the divine ceramic molds they came from.
After poking around the American Prepper’s Network website, however, my impression is less Harold Camping and more Annie Edison—type A types who want you to get your own damn generator. And to get you hooked on their whole “surviving” kick, they’re offering free (plus $3.99 S+H) samples of FREEZE-DRIED FOOD on their website!
After a small nudge from J.Pat (“How do you feel about taste-testing doomsday food?) I went on the website and filled out the form that begins with
“Would you like to try our survival food to make sure it doesn’t taste like tree bark?”
After speaking with a Preppers’s Network representative on the phone and choosing to taste the chili mac with beef and freeze-dried milk, the food was shipped to my Allston apartment. I brought it to the Dig to give it a whirl. Primero, the milk. Following the directions, I heated up a mug of water and stirred in the powder. It tasted like a warm, diet Frosty, or milk after you leave the cereal in too long. Not exactly TruMoo vanilla, but if in dire need for some liquid and calcium, it would suffice, especially if I had the chance to chill it first.
Now, the feature presentation. The chili mac with beef came in a fancy ziplock-looking pouch. I removed the small oxygen absorber, which explicitly stated, “DO NOT EAT.” I did not eat it, despite overwhelming temptations. I added (near) boiling water right into the package, mixed it in, closed the ziplock and left the mixture sit for approximately 8 minutes. When I came back to my lunch, it smelled like, well chili and looked appetizing. If I were hungrier, there may have even been some saliva action. It tasted sort-of like Chef Boyardee, which is not horrible,
especially if it was post-apocalypse and I was starving and my choice was between that and eating the dog.
Full disclosure, I thoroughly enjoy the taste of Lean Cuisine. That being said, I also enjoyed the taste of this freeze-dried meal. It was warm, nutritious and filing, which really is the purpose of food. Definitely no cardboard here. The macaroni was a bit hard, but that could be due to not using actual boiling water, like the package instructed, or not leaving it sit long enough.
This leaves me wondering about all the other delectable-sounding varieties that American Preppers’s Network offers: blueberry cheesecake, pasta primavera and oriental-style spicy chicken, to name a few. Perhaps if I weren’t forced to spend my money on actual food, this could be a reality. But hey, if any Dig readers out there want to send some other freeze-dried food my way, I’ll gladly taste test it and report back!
Just don’t anthrax that shit, please.