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Monday, March 8, 2010

Peanut Butter: Great Bug Out Food or Greatest Bug Out Food?

Peanut butter has some awesome qualities--the biggest (aside from yummyness) is its nutritional density. Peanut butter packs an awful lot into of nutrition per ounce--it's nutritionally dense, doesn't require preparation or refrigeration. As an example, a 1.5 ounce packet of MRE peanut butter contains 250 calories, 21 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbohydrate and 10 grams of protein. For just over a pound of weight, you can carry 11 packets of MRE PB--giving you 2750 calories, 231g of fat, 110g carbohydrate and 110g of protein!

In comparison, a typical Mountain House meal-in-a-bag weights around 8 ounces and contains approximately 600 calories, 16g fat, 80g carbohydrate, and 30g of protein. Two Mountain House meals (about a pound--not including water needed to cook and rehydrate them!) would have only about 1200 calories, 32g of fat, 160g carbs and 60g of protein! Peanut butter wins on all fronts except carbs.

Aside from dense nutrients, peanut butter requires NO cooking, heating, re-hydration or refrigeration. You can eat it on the move, spread it on crackers or bread and enjoy. Since it requires no cooking, there's none of the associated cooking gear, mess, fire or smell. That's ideal for a bugout, where you will probably NOT have time or a secure location to stop, cook and eat. It won't melt in hot weather. It works as an excellent bait for traps. Finally, its not some weird exotic survival food, but something that most of us have eaten since childhood. That means that you'll eat it in a non-emergency situation--thus making sure that it stays rotated and current--and it also means that your kids will eat it without out a fight. My little son--currently a very picky eater--even loves the stuff--here he is swiping a packet out of my Camelbak.

You can certainly just throw a couple jars of the old PB and a box of crackers in your BOB and have some solid bug out food ready to go. Personally, I prefer the little MRE single-serving packets of peanut butter. They're durable, handy and easy to work with. You can either squirt PB into your mouth or onto your bread or crackers; very clean, no need to dig around in a jar. The size and pliability makes them are easy cram and squish into small open spaces in your pack. The MRE packing helps to ensure a long shelf life. I actually need to restock--I went through most of my stash by eating them with Ritz crackers for quick lunches at work! The MRE peanut butter is just that good--it tastes like PB from the jar! I've got PB packets in my BOB, EDC bag and plan to stash some in my vehicle kits.

NOTE: Sopakco recalled their civilian MRE-style Peanut Butter packets during the salmonella scare last year. You can read more about this here:  It doesn't look like the military packaged Peanut Butter packs (like those in the above pictures) were affected.

It looks like Emergency Essentials has 'em in stock for .50 a piece (a pretty good deal); found here.

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