Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below to read the answers to the most commonly asked questions.

What is the difference between dehydrated and freeze dried foods?

Dehydrating food is simply having the water content removed through low heat, modern air drying methods. During dehydration, the product will shrink making it up to 80% less bulky than “wet pack” foods, and 10-15 times lighter in weight. Freeze drying involves removing moisture through a space age freeze blasting method, then “super heating” it to cause all the water to vaporize into steam. This product does not shrink in size and keeps the original volume, thus requiring more storage space. Watch this video for more information about this.

What are some advantages of dehydrated foods?

The decrease in weight and volume during dehydration makes this an easy, space saving product to store. A one year reserve for two adults takes up about as much space as a refrigerator.

How is the food packaged?

Ready Reserve Foods’ are vacuum sealed in heavy duty, corrosion resistant steel cans with a double enamel coating. This special enamel helps prevent rust on the outside of the can, and the metal from being in contact with the food on the inside. The process of nitrogen packing creates an “inert” atmosphere by displacing the oxygen in the can with nitrogen. Oxygen enables any living organism to survive, be it bacteria, mold spores, or insects, and without it, none of these things can sustain life. Since oxygen is the #1 factor in the natural breakdown of food, it works against us. By packing our product in a nitrogenous atmosphere rather than an oxygenated one, we are eliminating both key factors that hinder long term food storage.

Does the nutritional value decrease during dehydration or packaging?

No. The only component removed from the food during dehydration is the moisture. Since oxygen is replaced with nitrogen inside the can during packaging, the natural breakdown of the food and its nutrients is reduced, which helps give our product the extended shelf life that we pride our company on. Watch this video for more information about this.

Why should I store food?

To be personally independent of the need to be sustained by outside resources beyond your control. Having a food reserve eliminates the worry of an uncertain future. It is “Peace of Mind.” There are many factors that can cause food shortages here in the United States and around the world. Major concerns over the global economic situation and terrorism (biological or even small nuclear weapons could be set off on our soil). Extreme weather conditions: droughts, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. can pose a threat. Gas & oil shortages push transportation costs up, up, up! Grocery stores completely restock their shelves every 2-3 days. Think what would happen if the distribution sources were disrupted. In the event that something does happen, you’ll be prepared to weather the storm.

Do you have samples?

Yes, we do. We have a “Sample Case” which comes with a selection of all food groups packaged in cans. This way you can see how easy and simple the products are to use. Check out details for the “Sample Case” in our store.

How long will the food last after opening a can?

If kept sealed with the plastic lids, it will stay good for up to one year in your pantry. Milk and eggs are the exception, with a shelf life of 8-10 months after opening.

How should I store my food supply?

Always store it in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight. The base of a closet, under a bed, or in a basement are ideal locations. Garages, attics, or metal sheds tend to get too warm during summer months and should be avoided when considering possible storage areas.

My food supply is old, how do I know if the food is still good or not?

Since there is no oxygen in the can for bacteria or mold to thrive, and the natural breakdown of the food is disrupted, the only way to check it is a harmless taste test. If the food has lost flavor or tastes bitter, then it’s time to consider replenishing your supply.

What is the cost comparison to store bought groceries?

For an average family of four, the cost of a one year supply of Ready Reserve Food is approximately 80% less than what would be spent at a supermarket throughout the year.

What are the rehydration guidelines?

Reconstitution of Ready Reserve Foods will vary with each product. For your convenience, each can is labeled with a recommended reconstitution ratio. Most foods can be rehydrated using cool water; however, others may require hot water and some cook time, as would store bought noodles. Many of our products are edible “as is” right out of the can, such as; fruits, TVP, and assorted vegetables. Once rehydrated, the foods may be used for meal preparation as normal.

What is the size difference of the cans?

Our product is packed in two different sized cans. The #10 can is about the size of a large store bought coffee container, and the #2½ can compares to a can of soup. If you filled them up with water the #10 would hold close to a gallon and the #2½ about a quart.

How much water should I store with my food?

The amount of water needed will vary depending on whether individual cans, or a pre-built unit was purchased. The units have a recommended amount that should be stored for reconstitution of your Ready Reserve Food supply. However this is based strictly on the amount needed for reconstitution only – it does not account for water that will be used for drinking and personal hygiene. We recommend storing a minimum of 1 gallon of water, per person, per day for these separate uses.

Does it take up much space?

Surprisingly little. A food reserve, for two adults, for one year takes up about as much as a refrigerator. This small volume is obtained by thoroughly drying the food. The equivalent of canned foods would take up about one-half of a normal size basement! You can easily store your food in a corner of your basement, in a closet, or under a bed.

What is T.V.P.?

T.V.P. is Textured Vegetable Protein. It is a soy based product used as a protein substitution, offering a vegetarian alternative to meat. T.V.P. proteins are certified Kosher.

Why are my cans bulging?

The cans are packed and sealed in a nitrogen atmosphere at an altitude of 1,049 feet. During delivery to the products final location, altitude changes can affect the can's internal pressure. This does not damage or effect the food in any way. The only thing that is happening is the pressure is expanding and contracting. There is no effect on the product, and it is not the product that is causing the cans expansion. As a test, Ready Reserve Foods took two different products up Big Bear Mountain (6000 feet). One was an empty can which was sealed and nitrogen packed, and another was a can of whole egg solids that was also sealed and nitrogen packed. The empty can popped at around 1,500 feet and the eggs popped at around 2,500. At 6,000 feet the empty can was bulging considerably, and the eggs weren’t too far behind. Why did we test an empty can? To prove that it was not the product but the pressure differential caused by the altitude that lead to the expansion. As we descended the mountain, both cans equalized and returned to their normal shape. If you’ve received your product and some of the cans are bulging, it is not due to botulism, but simply an elevation change.

How long does it take to receive my order?

We here at Ready Reserve Foods, Inc. pride ourselves on our quick turnaround time. We keep a small floor inventory to immediately fill current orders; however, we only keep a small amount to ensure the products freshness. You can be assured that the product you receive from Ready Reserve Foods is as fresh as can be. RRF continuously cans to keep our floor stock fresh and rotated. The lead time for orders placed is typically between 1-5 business days depending on the size of the order. If there is a backorder on a product, we will contact the customer to ask if they would prefer receiving the order in full or sending what is ready and shipping the backordered item when available. Depending on where the order is being shipped, the shipping time (once it leaves our facility) can range from 1-6 business days in the contiguous U.S. to 7-20 days for Hawaii and Alaska. Canadian orders vary due to customs requirements and usually take between 5-14 days. Most RRF customers receive their order complete within 1 week.

Are RRF products freeze-dried or low-heat dehydrated?

RRF only uses low-heat dehydrated products. Nutritionally they are equal. The reason RRF sticks to low-heat dehydrated products is because of the size difference. When a product is dehydrated it loses 75%-80% of its size, shape, and weight. When a product is freeze-dried, it loses the weight only but maintains the original bulk size and shape. For emergency food storage, volume size is an issue and low-heat dehydrated products are a great space saver while keeping a high nutritional value. Watch this video for more information about this.

Does RRF do substitutions on the pre-built Units?

Unfortunately we do not. We can substitute Butter for Margarine and vice versa. Substituting butter for margarine will add about $30 to the cost of the Unit. Other than the one substitution, RRF does not remove or add any other items. If this is a concern, please use the pre-built unit as a template and create your own by ordering a la carte.

Are RRF products Organic or contain preservatives?

Unfortunately, no. Due to restrictive requirements, we presently cannot claim to carry organic products. RRF gets as close to organic as possible, but because we are working with dehydrated goods, most of the fruits and vegetables do contain sulfites to prevent browning. The additive is applied before the drying process which leaves very little in the food. Most people who have sensitivities to sulfites are not affected if it is added before the processing.

Do you have to buy by the case?

No. All of our items are sold individually leaving you with the option to build your own unit as you see fit. This means you can buy 1 can or 300 cans, it’s up to you! This also allows you to add to your food storage as you can without being forced to spend too much.

Do RRF’s premixed items already contain the leavening ingredient?

No. In all of our years of testing and storing products, one thing is clear. A mixture cannot be stored with the leavening ingredient included. This causes the cans to bulge due to chemical reactions with the product and expanding pressure inside. All premixed products are specifically made with that in mind. Each product's label notes which leavening ingredient must be added. We do carry leavening ingredients such as yeast and baking soda which do not cause a problem when canned alone.

What determined the contents of the pre-built units?

All of Ready Reserve Foods prebuilt units were designed by a certified nutritionist to be a complete and balanced diet for the allotted time and people.

What does “pre-built” unit mean?

Units are built to order. We never build and store units before orders are placed. All orders are first come, first serve and are built accordingly. You can be assured that the freshest product on the floor is what your order will contain. “Pre-built” actually means pre-designed selection with nutrition in mind.

Do you do demonstrations?

Yes, we do. We do demonstrations locally in our area. If there is a larger demonstration for a group out of our area, we would be happy to work that out with you. Please contact us at 1-800-453-2202.

Is RRF the manufacturer or a dealer?

RRF is the manufacturer! Not a dealer! Buy factory direct at factory direct prices. We control the quality from start to finish!

Does the price include shipping?

No, it does not. We do not include the shipping on any of the products. For this reason, you get the best possible price on the food and preparedness items without being overcharged. Each order gets a custom direct shipping quote to ensure that you are only paying as much as you need to and not more! We work directly with trucking companies and small package companies (UPS and FedEx) to get the best possible shipping prices to businesses and residential addresses. RRF can ship all of the products to residential addresses. The shipping total does include the following unless otherwise noted:

Small packages 0-300 lbs (UPS and FedEx):
  • Residential delivery
  • Adult signature required

Larger Pallet size order 200-1500+ lbs (trucking company):
  • Residential delivery
  • Liftgate Service (no dock or forklift at destination)
  • Appointment/Scheduled Delivery (Trucking company will call to schedule a delivery appointment with you to ensure someone is at the location to sign and inspect the pallet)

Watch this video for more information about this.

What should I look out for when my pallet is delivered?

It is very important to take a moment before signing the driver’s paperwork to inspect your delivery.
  • The total case count of the shipment is noted on the bill of lading; please check to verify that all of these cases are present on the pallet before signing any of the driver’s paperwork. We take extra measures to ensure the integrity and accuracy of your shipment.
  • The integrity of the “Do Not Stack” cone on top of the pallet (white and red) which is strapped to the pallet with a heavy duty plastic strapping device
  • All 4 Corner Protectors on each side of the pallet (white) are present and in good condition.
  • Stretch wrapped in green plastic to ensure the privacy of your order. This also helps to indicate whether or not the pallet has been re-wrapped. Trucking companies only use clear stretch wrap. If you notice that the wrapping is clear, notify us immediately.
  • 4 – 5 colored Name & Address signs, one on each visible side of the pallet.
If any of these precautions are missing or have been compromised, PLEASE make note of this on the bill of lading and have the driver verify it as well. This will help us reserve our rights for a freight claim, if there are damaged or missing products. Please notify us within 5 business days of delivery with any damages and/or missing products. Also if there are any concerns please notify us as soon as possible.

Watch this video for more information about this: 8 Point Shipping Process

What is RRF’s return policy?

Damaged or defective items returned within 30-days of the original ship date will be fully refunded or replaced absolutely free of charge. All damages must be reported to RRF within 5 business days of delivery.

For returns or refusals within 30-days of the original ship date for any other reason than damaged or defective items, the customer is responsible for shipping the items to Ready Reserve Foods and the customer will be refunded the full order amount less a 15% restocking fee to cover applicable shipping costs to the original destination address.

Returns or refusals of items after 30 days from the original ship date will be issued in-store credit less a 15% restocking fee to cover applicable shipping costs to the original destination address and the customer is responsible for shipping the items back to Ready Reserve Foods if returned for any other reason than damaged or defective items.

What is RRF’s privacy policy?

We DO NOT share or disclose personally identifiable information with third parties.

Ready Reserve Foods

ORDER NOW (800) 453-2202


The Prepared Citizen's Guide to Emergency Food Supplies is full of great information for every responsible citizen who recognizes their duty to prepare their family in case of an emergency. Download this FREE guide in PDF format by simply clicking on the image above.

For more resources, be sure to watch the other family preparedness videos available here on our website.

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