Here is an interview with Kelley from Ready Reserve Foods.
How long have you been in the food business?
Kelley – Since 1972, 42 years. We are the oldest continually operating company in the entire industry.
What is your main motivation for staying in business?
Kelley - The need and want to create a prepared society has never been more important, and we create the best products to do that.
Do you have a military background?
Kelley - No
What Brands of Food do you sell?
Kelley - We manufacture and sell the Ready Reserve Foods, Inc. product line.
What is your favorite brand?
Kelley - Not to be biased, but our favorite brand is Ready Reserve Foods, Inc. We use the products on a daily basis, know the quality, and have been able to actually prove and test our preservation methods.
What is the oxygen level in the brands of foods that you carry?
Kelley – 0%-<2%. Our Nitrogen Preservation System creates a completely oxygen free atmosphere. We slowly pull out the oxygen atmosphere using a vacuum chamber, which creates a negative atmosphere. We then slowly refill the chamber with nitrogen. Because cold nitrogen is so much heavier than air, it fills the containers from the bottom to the top, like water would, and displaces any additional oxygen out of the can and addresses any atmospheric moisture that may be present. The can is then immediately pushed out of the chamber and sealed, ready for storage.
Has your food been independently tested?
Kelley - Not by a lab, but by thousands of customers over the last 42 years. We receive phone calls all of the time from customers who purchased foods in the 70’s or 80’s, opened up their cans, and the food was still good. They’re amazed! We still recommend replacing the foods after a certain period of time because the natural breakdown of food can only be slowed, not stopped.
Why doesn’t nitrogen flush work?
Kelley - Nitrogen flushing is completely different than the Nitrogen Preservation System that we use. Instead of removing the oxygen from the atmosphere and then slowly adding the nitrogen, a nitrogen flush simply “squirts” nitrogen gas quickly over the container of food creating a blanket. This is an inefficient method for long term storage. Think of a bucket of rocks. If you were to take a hose and simply spray the bucket for a few seconds, most of the water would splash out and it certainly wouldn’t be enough to fill the container.
What method do the brands that you carry use to control the oxygen levels?
Kelley - We have used the Nitrogen Preservation System for 42 years. It is a time tested and proven method of long term food storage.
Are there Chinese foods in the products you sell?
Kelley - All of our suppliers are domestic, however, a few items must come from out of the country. Our bananas come from the Philippines, and occasionally during a national shortage, our wheat comes from Canada.
What about foods from Mexico or other countries?
Kelley - Since bananas are not grown in the Unites States, they come from the Philippines. During a national shortage, the wheat occasionally comes from Canada.
What would you warn consumers to look for in purchasing foods?
Kelley - Avoid oxygen absorbers. We have seen companies come and go for decades because they promise an extended shelf life using oxygen absorbers. The truth is that an oxygen absorber is designed to work for a few years, not decades. The oxygen absorber packet is a small package of chemicals that oxidizes in a chemical reaction when activated. The oxidation process turns the chemicals into rust inside of the packet, which then sits there with your food. One of the biggest problems we’ve seen is that sharper edged foods like potatoes can easily puncture the packet and spill chemicals, contaminating and destroying the food. It also does not address atmospheric moisture that may be present in the food. This can cause future mold. This is one of the many reasons why they do not work for long term storage. Also, the quality of the cans is much more important than people realize. An aluminum or non-enameled can comes in direct contact with your food. This can and will cause a reaction that makes the food taste like metal. Also, if the food is not dry enough, and properly prepared, the direct contact with the metal can also rust the can, again, destroying the container and everything in it.
Why do you think people should buy long-term storage foods?
Kelley - Over the years, we have watched thousands of people purchase their emergency food storage for one reason or another, and then use the foods for a completely different reason that they never saw coming. Layoffs, medical emergencies, natural disasters, and many other scenarios that have caught people off guard. In 2005, Ready Reserve Foods, Inc. was commissioned by FEMA to provide truckloads worth of non-perishable foods to the victims’ of Hurricane Katrina. Ready Reserve Employee’s worked tirelessly for 18 hours a day, 21 days straight to get as much food and water on semi-trucks headed to New Orleans. It took FEMA almost 4 weeks from the time of the hurricane to when they finalized what they wanted us to send. Seven years after we shipped the foods to New Orleans, it was brought to our attention that the majority of the food that was shipped was found in a non-climate controlled storage unit which had been untouched since 2005. The food never made it to any of the people it was intended for. Please do not count on the government to supply or provide for your family in times of emergency. Rely on yourself. You and your family are the only ones you can count on. The more people that become prepared for an emergency, the safer and less dependent we become.
What size serving do the foods you carry have?
Kelley - That varies by the type of food you are serving. Our serving sizes vary from a Tablespoon to a full cup. Keep in mind the difference between what you would use for salt in a meal and what you would serve for rice, a pinch versus a cup. A common concern that we hear is the industries use of servings. You see many “units” of food with the description of “includes 1000 servings.” This is deceiving . This does not mean it includes 1000 meals. A meal typically includes 3-5 servings. A perfectly rounded meal includes 1 serving from each food group. So, by definition, a unit that includes 1000 servings is really only 250 meals, or 83 days’ worth of food for one person. Yet, it is marketed like it may feed your family for a year. When we say our Family Unit is “enough food for 4 people for a year, “ We mean it. It is designed for 3 full meals a day, per person, for an entire year. That’s 4 adults, for a year.
Why should people buy from you?
Kelley - Here at Ready Reserve Foods, Inc., we pride ourselves in our quality. Quality food, quality containers, quality preservation methods, and quality customer service. Our food products are the best. We take extra special care in finding the highest quality foods as local as we can get. Our cans are made from U.S. Steel and double enameled, and our Nitrogen Preservation System is unsurpassed and real time tested to be the best. We have never taken shortcuts in our products, which is why we’ve been able to stick around for over 42 years. Because of our continued relationships with our suppliers, we also have excellent pricing on our products. We’ve been able to keep our costs down and prices competitive by not hiring overpriced spokesmen or ridiculously expensive ad campaigns. Our dedication, expertise, and experience is unsurpassed. We have over 60+ years’ of experience in just our management team. This knowledge and know-how is the backbone of our company and we truly enjoy sharing the knowledge with our team and customers. We believe that creating a solid relationship is just as important as creating a solid product. Ready Reserve Foods, Inc. has not only had the privilege of getting individuals prepared, but also large corporations, small businesses, hospitals, church groups, the military, various government agencies, and emergency response facilities. Here at Ready Reserve Foods, Inc., you can rest assured that you and your family are prepared with the best available while purchasing from people who actually care.