*"Just Add Water Food"... But How Much Water? *
By: Vikis

I decided to cook one of the dehydrated "just add water" meals that I ordered from a company a few months ago. I've read a lot and witnessed a lot of people flocking to these types of foods because they are "easy" or at least "easy" in their mind.

My experiment goals were simple:

1) I wanted to see how much water it would take for 1 year, for 1 person to survive on this type of pre-packaged food

2) I wanted to experience the taste

My experiment began!

The instructions called for 4 1/2 cups of water and the yield was 4 cups of soup. I will admit it smelled very good as I opened the package.

The process was pretty simple being that I have ample water, power, and time. I boiled the water and whisk the mix into the pot of water.

The directions said to reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes, but at 20 minutes some of the potatoes had not rehydrated, so I cooked for 10 minutes longer equaling 30 minutes of cooking time.

Suggestion: I was cooking this under normal conditions on an electric stove. At the time of this experiment I wasn't concerned with conserving energy per se nor was I having to use stocked wood to prepare dinner.

The end result looked liked this and it actually had a great taste, very palatable.

I coupled the soup with some fresh green onions from our garden and I did enjoy the meal. However, I ate 3/4 of the servings! Had I been cooking for my spouse and myself, I would have had to cook 2 pouches of soup and would have used 9 cups of water. 9 cups of water weighs approximately 4.9 lbs.

Suggestion: to make these types of meals go further, you can add veggies or meat to it (if you thought ahead and have those supplies on hand!)

My next thought was more on water storage.... how much water would I need in order to use a years supply of these (at 3 meals per day for just ONE person).... and the answer is shocking!

4 1/2 cups of water looks like this: my finger is pointing to 4.5 cups of water poured into an empty 2 ltr. soda bottle.

Reminder: this pack yielded 4 cups of soup and I consumed probably 3. If my husband was eating with me, I would have had to double my expectations below and he'd have soup for lunch the next day because there would be a little left over most likely. But for experiment sake:

Water Needs!

At 3 meals per day, of the "just add water" prepackaged foods (soup for this experiment), you would need 548 2 liter bottles of water for one year to produce 4 cups of soup, 3 times a day.

The math:

Assuming 3 meals (of soup for this experiment) a day is:

Average 4.5 cups (per serving) at 3 per day X 365 days = 49,275 cups or water for the year

Divided by 9 cups of water in a 2 Ltr.

# of Bottles = 548 2 ltr. bottles to produce 12 cups of soup a day for one year.

This experiment solidified our opinion on surviving/prepping: it's better to plan, practice, produce, and preserve vs. trying to find the most convenient way. Learn old skills and the 4's of Preparedness.

This was just a little experiment. There's no one "perfect" plan but now is the time to practice with whatever your plan is.

Unless you have a renewable water source, this may not be quite the option, but a lot of folks don't understand the difference in MRE's (which are water packed and you can eat them out of the packaging) and dehydrated foods must be re-hydrated before you can eat them.

If you're plan consist of surviving on these types of foods, I must ask, "Got Water?"

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