The Last Retreat
Brent is a real estate agent who has used his considerable wealth to become a true king in the castle. In a twist that seems dramatic even by Doomsday Preppers standards, he promises to give executor status of his million dollar trust to his children pending their performance in a day at the castle. But enough about that, let’s get on to the nutritional consequences of his plan.
The perils of Old MREs
At the end of a hard day’s work, Brent and his clan dig into some 12 year old MREs. With an official shelf life of 3 years, this puts them at 9 years past expiry. Although Brent claims to have eaten them once per year, is this really a safe option to feed your children?
As the food that feeds our soldiers, MREs have been researched extensively by the US army. Given that an extended shelf life would make things considerably easier from a logistical perspective, we can assume they are trying to maximize it. Strangely enough, the tests conducted on MREs were based not on nutrition, but taste. With these parameters, a recommended expiration date of 7 years past the date of manufacture. This is also assuming proper storage at a temperature no higher than 60 degrees farenheit.
What would happen to the nutritional value of MREs past the date of expiry? Due to the wide variety of foods contained within it is difficult to give a conclusive answer. Claims have been made about canned ham lasting indefinitely, but other studies have suggested degradation of the usable amino acids in protein over time. Even SPAM does not recommend eating past the recommended expiry date.
There are some very brave people who like to try this sort of thing. But again, this brings us back to taste and is no indication of nutritional values. Aside from performing a biochemical assay on the food within we can’t conclusively tell whether the nutrients contained within are actually making it into your bloodstream. For my money, I would invest in something a bit more sustainable.
Electricity and the EMP
One of the interesting things about Brents plan is the inclusion of solar panels. At face value, one would assume electrical equipment to be vulnerable in the event of an EMP. However, most solar photovoltaic units are equipped with bypass diodes which would prevent them being fried in the event of a EMP strike.
The children have a difficult time assembling the solar panel. Maybe they should have gotten one from IKEA. Regardless, they seem to have a well thought out source of renewable energy. In order to maintain the use of their devices in the event of an EMP, they have chargeable batteries in all forms of voltage from 9V all the way through to 120V. A system like this is miles ahead of the gasoline crowd and even the biodiesel types.