The first reason in my book for why I should make dehydrated food, –it saves me money!
Convenience and ease of storage are two other really good reasons to why to make dehydrated food, –think about all of those summertime ripe and delicious fruits and veggies.
Let’s not forget your own tasty homemade beef jerky.
I also make my own dehydrated doggy treats for the BFFs.
Why Make Dehydrated Food
Dehydrated foods are easier to store and last much longer. They take up much less space, and heck, in a pinch you can even eat what you have “as-is” if needed.
Yep, all of those veggies and herbs in your backyard garden bounty are also prime candidates for some love from that dehydrator.
Not only can you dry extra produce before it gets past its prime, you can dry your leftovers for later.
How Much Later And For What?
Well, if you have some dehydrated food stashed way, you’re all set for that zombie apocalypse, or other tough times. A few years ago, Hurricane Isabel rolled through my neck of the woods. That storm knocked out power for 4.5 million folks, it took over two weeks to get power restored. I was on the tail end of that power restoration priority list, my power came back on about ten days or so after we lost it.
I had some dehydrated food stashed away. I was living large with my small camp stove and propane grill while other folks were heading out and using their limited supply of gasoline to find something to eat.
I usually don’t have that ten days or two weeks worth of dehydrated food set aside, or even one week on hand, but I always have enough for two or three days.
Remember, –no electricity equals no gas pumps, equals no refrigeration, and also equals no stores (no employees, no deliveries, no refrigeration, no…, no…., no…., (you get the idea). Everyone is in the same situation, competing for limited resources.
You can rotate your dehydrated stock, adding to it and using up the older stuff if you want. When I dry something, I will store that dehydrated food in a zip top style plastic bag, a mason jar, or in a vacuum sealed bag. I also make a label with a date and the contents. After all, dried parsley looks just like dried cilantro (dried leftovers.)
I really do not consider myself a “prepper” but I do have a stash of dry food should something happen. We went almost two weeks without any electricity. I didn’t have that much stashed away, but what I did have helped us to get by. So there was no real need to compete with everyone else and use our limited supply of gasoline looking for something to eat.
Towards the end of that time without power in my area, nearby neighborhoods would get their electricity restored (higher priority?). Then, we were able to head out for gas and get a few good meals. It was no Katrina, but having no power for almost two weeks really drove home the message that “stuff” can and does actually happen.
Probably the biggest reason to dehydrate is that the food does not spoil. When that flank steak goes on sale, I am there stocking up. When the london broil or other lean cuts of meat are discounted, there will be a few in my shopping cart. I will “invest” in what is on sale, and then dehydrate over the next couple of days. Yep, beef jerky o’plenty.
Dehydrated foods are lighter in weight, a LOT lighter. As I try to get outside as much as possible for those weekend camping and fishing trips, dried foods are easier to manage than something requiring ice and a cooler. Just take into account the extra prep time that may be required when fixing that meal.