Saturday, January 25, 2014

Treet vs. Spam For Your Emergency Food Storage

    There have been countless praises for folks using Spam as a meat source for their Emergency Food Storage.  Some people have said it was terrible but others have commented how good it was.  I have eaten Spam, but I have also eaten a product called Treet.  While some people may not like Treet or Spam, I like them both, but I prefer Treet simply because of the lower cost of the product.  A few people even said they can distinctly tell the difference between the two.  I grew up eating an occasional fried Treet or Spam sandwich, and I thought after frying either of them, they were equally as good.  I also feel like in a taste test with back to back samples of each, people really wouldn't be able to tell which was which.   
     The difference in sodium is only 30 mg.  I doubt the palates of most of the population can differentiate between sodium content at that level when both products are relatively high. 
     I think there is no need for taking strong sides in the Treet vs. Spam comparison, although people have done so.  People should be grateful that there is a low cost meat product out there that serves them well as a Prepper storage food.  The cost is really where the big difference comes into play.  Spam costs 40% more than Treet, i.e., $2.48 vs. $1.50, and both are relatively the same as far as nutrition goes, and both are rather salty.  However, I see lots of pictures of people's pantries on YT showing case after case of Ramen Noodles in their food storages.  Now that's a salty product!
     It all boils down to personal preference and an extra $0.98 per can to pay for the Spam, when they have basically the same value when the an emergency strikes:

To put food in your growling belly!
Treet vs. Spam Evaluation

Items for Comparison:                            Treet                         Spam
Cost                                                        $1.50                        $2.48
Cost Difference:                                  40% less                    40% more
Main Ingredients on Label:            Chicken & Pork           Pork with Ham
Ounces per Container:                              12                              12
Serving Size in Ounces:                             2                                 2
Servings per Container:                             6                                 6
Calories per Serving:                              140                             180
Fat Calories                                            100                             140
Total Fat in Grams:                                  11                               16
Saturated Fat in Grams:                         3.5                                 6
Trans Fat in Grams:                                  0                                  0
Cholesterol in mg:                                   50                                40
Sodium in mg:                                        820                              790
Total Carbs in Grams:                              4                                  1
Fiber in Grams:                                         0                                  0
Sugars in Grams:                                      2                                  0
Protein in Grams:                                      6                                  7
Vitamin A                                                  0%                               0%
Vitamin C                                                  0%                               0%
Calcium                                                    6%                               0%
Iron                                                           4%                               2%

     In summary, it would be good to have either meat product in your emergency food storage.  Another factor that makes them so popular is their distant best by dates which is a particularly important piece of information when it comes to emergency food storage.  I bought these two cans last week, and the best by dates are as follows: 

Treet - September 2016;
Spam - December 2016. 

     Take your pick of either one, but in my opinion, I suggest having several cans of one or the other in your emergency food storage.  I would simply buy whichever one was less expensive, and for me, that's Treet. With the cost savings, I can buy a can of Beach Cliff Fish Steaks for my preps.
     Keep building your preps, even if it's only one or two cans at a time, and put them in a separate place if you don't have one already.  Don't forget matches and cigarette lighters for lighting your candles.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting.
Bob Hotaling

Monday, January 20, 2014

Selecting Food Cans From Grocery Stores

          Whether you are a Prepper or just someone that likes to maintain a large pantry, selecting the best available type of metal can that your food comes in is very important.  Some cans simply have "rolled" top and bottom edges (ringed cans) and can shift easily when they accidentally get bumped or are on a shelf that is subject to vibration when someone walks across the floor.  This can cause them to topple over and possibly become dented.  We all know that we don't buy dented cans because they may compromise the safety of the food inside regardless of the best by date.  There is a type of can with a "socket style" base available in grocery stores which reduces and possibly eliminates dented cans due to toppled stock in your pantry or food storage.   The cans  may have been out there for awhile, but I just recently discovered them.  They are now the preferred type of can for my food storage pantry, which is a combination of a regular pantry and long term food storage.  Using my foods this way, I am able to keep my grocery store foods rotated.  There are some grocery store foods that have best by dates four years out from now.  If it's a food we normally eat, you can bet that I have a substantial amount of those canned products in my food storage pantry. 

          When I began building my food storage pantry I didn't pay attention to the actual different types of cans I bought.  However, while stacking my cans on my wooden shelf I accidentally bumped cans that were adjacent to what I was stacking and very easily knocked them over.  It was then that I realized the real benefit of the distinct differences in the construction of the food cans.  Most cans are of the metal edge "ringed can" style with the same type of ring around the bottom and the top that allows it to slide very easily, especially when stacked.  You almost have to stack them in an offset manner to keep them from toppling over.  But even doing it that way, there are only four tiny points of contact with the can below, which is what makes it so easy for the upper can to slide and then tip over and fall.

Non-Socket Style Cans

          To stack the ringed cans exactly on top of each other is almost impossible without having the top can tilt into the recess of the ringed can below it due to a vibration or a bump to the shelf unit.  Unless your shelf unit is on a concrete floor, you will need to frequently check the cans just to be sure they aren't close to toppling over.  There's nothing that stops the shelf from even the simple effects of vibration from someone walking across the floor in a wood framed house.  That vibration will make the ringed cans jiggle ever so slightly and over time, shift position unbeknownst to you until you find them toppled over. 

          I have decided to only buy cans that have socket style bases whenever they are available for the product I am looking for, regardless of possibly costing a few cents more.  This socket style feature is where the bottom of the can is designed to snugly fit into the recess made at the top of the can below it. 

(Notice the indentation on the bottom of the can)

          You can even stack them three high without fear of them tipping over from an inadvertent bump or vibration. 

Securely Stacked Cans

          Even if it costs a few cents more per can for the style with the interlocking base, I'm willing to pay it because it's well worth it to simply not have to worry about your food cans falling over and becoming dented.

          When I first became aware of the stacking feature of the socket style cans, I thought it was only a few brands that used that can design.  I'm pleased to have found that the following brands use the socket style base of the can design on some of their cans. Not all of them though, so you have to look for the socket style can for each product.

Here's a list of the ones that I have found so far:

  • Armour Star Treet
  • Double Q Pink Salmon
  • Hormel Corned Beef
  • Del Monte Vegetables
  • Chef Boyardee Pastas
  • Green Giant Vegetables
  • Sol-Mex Sardines
  • Beach Cliff Sardines or Fish Steaks
  • Star Kist Tuna
  • WalMart's Great Value Sliced Potatoes

          In summary, whether you are a new Prepper or a seasoned one, or just someone who likes to maintain a substantial pantry, you may want to seriously consider beginning to use only using the 15 ounce (average size) stackable socket style cans when available to help prevent damage to your stored food.  I haven't found any 29 ounce cans with this interlocking feature, but I'm still looking!
Have a great prepping day, and thanks for stopping by!
Bob Hotaling