Mountain House: Food that has lasted half a long
By Paul James
Paul James, 85, standing beside some 200 cases of Mountain
House freeze dried food. Purchased and trucked all the way cross country from
Oregon in 1975, this "mountain" of food was recently pulled down
from where it was stored for 32 years. This photo was taken July 29, 2007,
moments before the mountain was loaded into a moving van headed back across
the country to Idaho
The year was 1975. At that time many Americans were concerned that the Cold
War with Russia could turn hot. People all over the country were building bomb
shelters in their backyards and storing large quantities of food.
I was one of them. I didnít build a shelter, but I did order $10,000 worth
of Mountain House freeze dried food to be delivered to my home in Virginia
Beach, Virginia. When the shipment arrived from Oregon, my family sampled some
blueberries which we all liked. After that the food was stored in the attics of
our house and garage. There it rested until August, 2007.
My wife and I are in our 80s and our daughters, who live in Idaho, felt it
was time we joined them. In August, 2007, we moved with all of our belongings
and 227 cases of 32- year-old Mountain House freeze dried food.
First we opened a can of peas. The moment I heard the swish air flowing into
the can and felt their pellet-like hardness, I was convinced no air had entered
the can for 32 years. The peas were fine. We checked the blueberries and found
them to taste exactly as we remembered them in 1975; the strawberries also kept
perfectly. Since then we have twice served the scrambled egg mix. The added
flavor of butter and salt were perfect to our taste.
Are we again approaching uncertain times that could affect the food supply?
Will my decision to "stock up" during the Cold War 32 years ago soon
be transformed from folly to fortune?
In any event, it is an honor to be in a position where I can safely say that
freeze-dried food packed by Mountain House in 1975 (#10 cans, six cans per
case), is still perfectly preserved after all these years.