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An online friend told me about her recent experience purchasing food storage from one of Efood’s competitors. It turns out the product was set to expire not long after she received it. Lucky for her she caught the problem the day the product arrived, and didn’t put the food away for a couple of decades. I can think of few surprises more unpleasant than opening up a can of dehydrated food 25 years hence, and finding out the food had expired 24 years earlier.
My friend had responded to an ad for dehydrated soups at the irresistible price of 50% off, so she bought a full case of Chicken Noodle Soup along with a full case of Broccoli Cheese. “When the soups arrived I opened the boxes to try one out, and when I read the label I saw that it was best if used within 18 months of purchase!  If I had stored those soups away for the future as I had planed, that wouldn’t have been much of a bargain by then.”

Checking back and reading the online ad, my friend saw that, sure enough, that expiration information had been available to her, but it had not occurred to her to look that closely before she made the purchase. After all, this was a company that specialized in the sale of food for long-term storage. She had no reason to think any of the products they sold her were intended only for immediate consumption.

Freeze Dried Banana Slices

“I could have bought these same packages of soups at the grocery store without having to buy so many,” she laments, “So now I have about two hundred servings of soup I’m going to have to feed my family within the next few months or it’s all going to waste. And oh, by the way, we already tried it. It isn’t very good.”

I told my friend she isn’t the only one who got stung by not carefully reading all the information about a food storage product before clicking the “buy it now” button. I made a similar error once, though the consequences of my inattention were not nearly as dire as hers.

I had seen an ad on a food storage site for “Honey Dipped Banana Slices,” which certainly sounded intriguing. I decided to buy a can and try them out. Good thing I didn’t buy a whole case, because these banana slices are not just dipped in honey. They’re dipped in a paste made of honey and sugar, of all things.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with combining dried fruit with a little sugar, as long as the sugar used is pure, unrefined cane sugar. Although just as high in calories as refined sugar, at least cane sugar, when properly processed, can still retain some nutritional content. But this label did not read “cane sugar.” It’s just regular old white sugar, the kind four out of five dentists do not recommend. And now I’m beginning to wonder about the source of this sugar/honey mixture. For all I know, its provenance is as dubious as the current slew of dangerous imports I warned about in my previous post.

As if that sugar discovery wasn’t disconcerting enough, the ingredient label also lists “coconut/vegetable oil.” I don’t even know what that’s telling me. Do these banana slices contain a combination of coconut oil and vegetable oil, or is it coconut oil or vegetable oil? It’s perfectly acceptable to prepare dehydrated bananas with coconut oil; that is a necessary step in the dehydrating process for bananas. And coconut oil is good for you. But I don’t want to eat bananas that have had vegetable oil poured on them. It can’t possibly improve the taste. It’s just a cheap substitute for coconut oil, a way for the processor to cut corners and bilk the unwary consumer.

I really like dehydrated bananas, but in order for them to taste good and last for decades, they have to be properly prepared and packaged. I was first introduced to dehydrated bananas a few years back when I opened my first pouch of EfoodsDirect Tropical Fruit Medley. This was a product I  could not get enough of, and after snacking my way through an entire case of it, I ordered another and had to hide it from myself or there wouldn’t be any left of that one, either.

In that fruit medley you will find no sugar whatsoever, and certainly no no cheap vegetable oil. When you read that label you find banana slices, coconut oil, pineapple dices, mango dices, and papaya dices. Nothing more, not even the unnecessary “natural flavorings” added to that can of pseudo-honey banana slices I got from the other guys. EfoodsDirect knows how to do it right, so artificial flavorings and added sweeteners are not in the package.

Want to try something really amazing? Try the freeze dried banana slices offered by EfoodsDirect.  I’m a real fan of their dehydrated bananas that come in the Tropical Fruit Medley, but these freeze dried slices are a completely different experience. Since all the moisture has been removed, what you are left with are full-sized banana slices with a light, fluffy, slightly crunchy taste. This is my wife’s favorite snack, so I guess I’ll soon have to be hiding these too before she eats them all gone. Since these bananas are freeze dried, none of the flavor is lost, and no coconut oil is needed in the processing of them. You get the taste of real bananas in the form of something akin to a light cookie/candy combo.

The best part is this: If you’ve stored these bananas against the day when real bananas may no longer be available and you find yourself with a hankering for the real thing, all you have to do is soak them in water for 30 minutes and voila! fresh sliced bananas, just like the ones you knew before the apocalypse.  I reconstituted a handful of these banana slices recently and ate them with my Cheerios. Just like Mom used to make.

Of course, you can also add these banana slices to fruit shakes and recipes, so they’re more malleable than dehydrated bananas. (You don’t have to soak them if you’re using them in a smoothie or recipe; just toss them in the blender and they’ll be ground to banana powder.) So there are two ways to eat these slices: right out of the pouch as a light and crunchy treat, or reconstitute them back into regular bananas.

Unlike some storable food processors, EfoodsDirect does not play games with their ingredients. When you purchase a product from EfoodsDirect, here is what you won’t get: You’ll get no hydrogenated oil, no GMO, no MSG, no added hormones; nothing except good, high quality food. And here’s a huge bonus: EfoodsDirect is the only company in the industry whose products are certified Kosher.

After reading the list of unhealthy additives contained in that can of so-called honey-dipped bananas I foolishly bought, I pulled out a pouch of the bananas I got from EfoodsDirect and read that label.

Guess what’s in there? Just Bananas.

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