Nutrient survival is one of the highest quality emergency food suppliers on the market. We’ve tested every one of their meals, and I’ll take you through each of them one by one.
Emergency food is one of those things that most people buy and stock away in a back closet for “just in case.” It can be hard (if not impossible) to find emergency food reviews from people who have actually eaten the food.
When an emergency actually happens, few people have the time (or internet connectivity) to review a product, they’re just stuck with it…for better or worse.
Personally, I’m not comfortable storing emergency food I haven’t tried, so when my family made the decision to store compact, lightweight freeze-dried emergency food I decided to test each and every emergency food supplier on the market.
Some of the emergency food brands were pretty terrible and cooked into little more than a starchy paste (without flavor or texture, and way too much salt). Others were absolutely incredible and as good as a home-cooked meal right out of the package.
I was initially skeptical of Nutrient Survival, largely because their advertising promotes their meals as “health food.” It’s not that emergency food shouldn’t be healthy, it’s actually more important than ever to fuel your body well during an emergency.
The thing is, I’m just naturally skeptical of health claims when someone’s trying to sell me something.
They advertise that their kits are “specifically designed to exceed (by 2.5x!) the nutritional standards of the US Military for its most elite warriors, Special Operations Forces.”
When I actually tried Nutrient Survival’s Food, I was pleasantly surprised. They make some of the best tasting and most satisfying emergency meals I’ve eaten to date. Since they’re not just bulk calories, these nutrient-dense meals really stick with you all day.
They’re also one of the few emergency food suppliers that make “just add water” emergency food. Most types need to be simmered on the stove for 20-30 minutes, which means both cook time and dishes. These meals, on the other hand, just have you pour boiling water (or cold water in a pinch) over the food in a bowl.
After 5 to 10 minutes, it tastes like a freshly cooked meal. (Really, no joke!)
I love their meals so much that I’ll often reach for them on busy weeknights, or hectic mornings when I’m rushing out the door, when I just don’t have time to make a meal. Instead, I boil a kettle of water and I’m eating a hot, delicious, healthy meal in about 10 minutes.
What Does Nutrient Survival Sell?
Nutrient Survival sells prepared, ready-to-eat freeze-dried meals that are easily prepared without cooking. Just add hot water (or cold water in a pinch) and you’ll have a meal in your bowl ready to eat in minutes.
Most of their products are lunch/dinner entrees, including:
They have some comfort food breakfasts as well, including:
My kid’s favorites are their meal cookies, which are a lot like ready-to-eat meal bars nutritionally…but in a tasty cookie so that they’ll please even the pickiest eaters. Flavors include:
- Tastes Great – We eat these on busy weekdays and they’re incredibly popular with the whole family.
- Nutrient-Dense – Plenty of protein, and full of nutrients like omega fatty acids.
- Single Serve or Bulk Packaging Options – Options for single people or large families.
- Just Add Water – No cooking equipment required.
- Portable – Available in small single-serve packs, but also they also have no prep needed nutrient-dense meal bars for your food storage.
- Good Price – One of the most affordable “just add water” emergency food options. There are less expensive options, but they require boiling on the stove for about 20 minutes per meal (rather than just pouring boiling water on the food to rehydrate). The other options are also lower in protein and nutrients.
- Price – These are a great deal, and as I said above, the best value in “just add water” emergency food. That said, they’re not “bargain-basement cheap.” If you’re on an extremely tight budget, I’d recommend My Patriot Supply and be prepared to spend time cooking (and doing dishes). Feel free to read my full review of My Patriot Supply Emergency Food.
- Limited Selection – Since they’re still a new company they don’t have as many types of meals as others on the market. That said, they still have more than a dozen different options, and all of them are fabulous.
Nutrient Survival Taste Test
As I’ve already mentioned, these are some of the best tasting and easiest to prepare emergency food options available. I keep them in my basement for an actual emergency, but I also keep a few options in my pantry for last-minute meals on the go.
When I’m running out the door to an appointment in the morning, I’ll pour hot water over a bowl of breakfast scramble and it’s hot and ready to eat by the time the coffee is ready.
My favorite meal from Nutrient Survival is their Homestyle Scramble, largely because it’s so unique. Packaged breakfasts are almost always carb-heavy cereals, but this is a hot and hearty mix of scrambled eggs, potatoes, and peppers.
When I have a bowl of this I’m full for many hours, and I feel like I’ve had a whole home-cooked breakfast.
Classic beans and rice with enough warm spices to give it flavor, but not enough to make it spicy.
Their southwestern medley is a good option for pleasing a wide variety of people, and it has balanced nutrition to keep you fueled.
Three Cheese Mac
A couple of things I’ll note about their Mac and Cheese…
First of all, it’s not classic elbows, which confused my kids. (“Can you even make mac and cheese in other shapes?!?!” my 6 year old asked.) I actually found that the spiral pasta rehydrated better than elbows from other brands, so while it’s a little different it worked out better as a freeze-dried emergency food option.
The other thing I’ll say is it’s not exactly a kid’s mac and cheese anyway. (It’s a far cry from Kraft yellow elbows). This is more like homemade mac and cheese, with a rich cheese sauce and herbs added to give it a more mature flavor.
I’ll put it out there, it’s really hard to make a layered lasagna as freeze-dried food. As a sheet, it just wouldn’t rehydrate right.
That said, they managed to get all the flavors of lasagna into this pasta dish, and though it looks like a bowl of pasta with sauce, there’s a lot more going on here flavor-wise.
Beyond their hot meal options, they also have cold breakfast options including:
While these were all totally fine (and popular with my kids), they’re not my favorites because I’d rather have prepared hot meals in my long-term food storage.
Freeze Dried Pantry Staples
These have been really handy in a pinch when we’ve run out of fresh milk and I didn’t have time to go to the store. (It’s amazing how fast kids can run through a gallon…)
The number 10 can is great if you’ve got a large family, but as an emergency backup, I like the small pouches because they make just enough to get me through to the next grocery trip. In a longer-term emergency, lasting more than just a day or two I’d definitely appreciate the no. 10 can.
Nutrient Survival Vs. Competitors
How does Nutrient Survival compare to other survival food companies?
It’s one of the few brands offering just add hot water meals (rather than 15-20 minutes stove cook time meals). They’re also some of the most nutritionally dense and great-tasting meals available.
While I also like Valley Food Storage as a high-quality option, their meals require cooking…which may not be practical depending on the type of emergency.
My Patriot Supply is a great budget option, and while it’s a lot cheaper, it’s nowhere near as tasty as these meals. Their stuff is also mostly carbs, rather than balanced nutrition.
Some people compare Nutrient Survival to Mountain House meals because they’re both just add water, and I’ve done head-to-head taste tests. Mountain house has less protein and tastes a lot saltier. It’s also more expensive.
The only competitor that really comes close to Nutrient Survival’s taste and protein is a new brand called Peak Refuel. It’s a just add water camping meal that’s much higher quality than mountain house, and they have some really unique meal options. The flavor is great, and they’re high in meat/protein.
If I had to pick a competitor that’s closest to Nutrient Survival, that’d be it. The problem is Peak Refuel is quite a bit more expensive, and only comes in single-serve options which are not ideal for extended emergencies of large families.
Looking for more preparedness resources?
- Best (and Worst) Survival Food Kits
- Survival Gardening: Our Real Life Dry Run
- Best Survival Seed Banks
- Canning Water for Emergencies