That's a great question that we are asked often! So often that we've dedicated an entire blog post about it, which you can read about here.
In short, dehydration in its most basic form is heat and airflow. Products are placed on trays where warm air is circulated throughout the dehydrator to slowly dry out the food and usually removes between 90 to 95% of water.
Freeze-drying is a more complicated process as it involves freezing all food to a very low temperature, usually between -30C and - 40C; after this a vacuum is pulled and then the temperature within the machine is slowly heated up so that the moisture transitions directly from ice to water vapor without ever becoming a liquid. This process is known as submlimation.
No, absolutely not! We do not add any artificial preservatives to our food. Rather, our meals are naturally preserved by removing the two main culprits that cause food to spoil: oxygen and moisture. The freeze-drying process is what makes our food shelf-stable.
While we highly recommend using boiling water (especially if you are out in the backcountry using water collected from rivers/streams/lakes), the meal will rehydrate with warm water. If you are using warm water rather than boiling water, you may need to stir more thoroughly and wait a little longer for the water to be reabsorbed.
If you are using cold water, we suggest rehydrating your meal at least 30 minutes before you plan to eat so that the food has fully absorbed the cold water.
Yes, you do not need to wait the suggested time on the packaging! The times listed on the back of the packaging is our suggested time for the meal to be fully rehydrated.
The wait time can be skipped if you are using boiling water as the food absorbs boiling water almost instantly. If you plan to eat your meal immediately after adding water and you are not using boiling water, thoroughly stir. Some meals with grains may be a little extra crunchy if the water has not yet fully absorbed.
All allergens will be listed in the product description and on the back of each package. If you have an allergy that falls outside of the Big 8 (milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy), please reach out to us so that we can clarify if the meal contains that ingredient.
First, our meals are freeze-dried not dehydrated. While there is limited research specifically on freeze-drying technology, the research that has been completed shows that freeze-dried food retains an almost identical flavor, color, texture and nutritional profile to non freeze-dried food with some nutritional loss for water soluble vitamins (1) (2). Based on all natural preservation methods out there, freeze-drying will retain the most health benefits!
Second, we use no chemical preservatives or additives in our meals. Many other dehydrated and freeze-dried meals add chemical preservatives to make the food last longer. We do not believe in adding any preservatives and instead rely on our technology to naturally preserve the food by removing moisture and in our packaging to keep moisture and oxygen out of the food. We also add oxygen absorbers to every meal and vacuum seal each bag for added protection.
Third, all of our meals are crafted in small batches like you would cook at home. This means that we apply love and attention with a strict adherence to quality to every single batch. You can taste the difference in small batch versus meals that are made in large batches.
Fourth, we allow all produce to ripen and we preserve at the peak of freshness. We firmly believe that quality into the freeze-dryer directly correlates to quality out of the freeze-dryer and into the pouch.
We offer on a per request basis camping and backpacking meals for dogs. These meals are based off of a BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food). If you are interested in purchasing, please contact us for pricing. We require a minimum of 2 weeks notice in order to fulfill your request.
Because these meals are created on an ad hoc basis, we are able to cusotmize ingredients and protein sources.
Yes! While there is limited research specifically on freeze-drying technology, the research that has been completed shows that freeze-dried food retains an almost identical flavor, color, texture and nutritional profile to non freeze-dried food with some nutritional loss for water soluble vitamins (1) (2). When comparing freeze-dried to other preserved food, freeze-dried food most closely matches fresh food.
We use no chemical preservatives or additives in our meals, and we allow all produce to ripen before processing so that we can preserve at the peak of freshness. We firmly believe that quality into the freeze-dryer directly correlates to quality out of the freeze-dryer and into the pouch. You can taste the difference!
Yes! If you enter a Californian address you will see a free pickup option listed for San Francisco only. If you would like to pick up your order from us instead of having it shipped to you, please select that option. A member from our team will reach out to coordinate pickup.
We are a small, family run business, and we perform all of the manufacturing in house. Sometimes, it takes us a little longer than usual to fulfill your order, especially during peak summer months. Please allow up to one week for order fulfillment during peak season.
If your order has been marked as shipped, but there's been no actual movement on the package, please contact us in case your order has been misplaced by UPS or USPS.
We do not accept returns on any food item unless it is damaged or defective upon receipt. Not sure what to do with extra meals or food for a trip that got cancelled? Stick them in your pantry! Our meals have a long shelf life and taste just as good at home as they do when you are on the go!
For damaged or defective goods upon receipt, returns are refunded to the original form of payment or with product exchange only within 30 days of delivery. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org; include your order number, what items are damaged/defective, refund method, and we will provide you with a return shipping label.
We strive to complete each and every order perfectly; in the rare case that we fulfilled your order incorrectly, we will cover the cost of return shipping by emailing you a shipping label. Please make sure you contact us at email@example.com before returning as we are unable to reimburse shipping if you return the product and do not use a return label provided by us.
We utilize 3rd parties for shipping and thus are not responsible for lost items being returned to us.
Returns are refunded to the original form of payment or with product exchanges only.
Non-food items (such as clothing & accessories) are eligible for an exchange or refund within 30 days of delivery; the item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. Returns are refunded to the original form of payment.
Gift cards are not eligible for return or product exchange.
We all love saving a buck or two! Discounts/coupons are valid for a limited time only and are usually communicated out through social media or through our newsletter. We reserve the right to modify or cancel coupons at any time without notice.
All coupons issued are for future orders and cannot be applied retroactively. Additionally, discounts/coupons cannot be applied to the purchase of gift cards.
If you return any items purchased with a coupon, the coupon discount or value will be subtracted from the refund amount or product exchange credit. In addition, the coupon may not be re-issued.
We list any job openings on our careers page. However, if you do not see an opening and are interested in working with us, let us know! We are always interested in talking with neat individuals who are passionate about the food industry. Fill out our Contact Us form and tell us what you're good at and why you'd like to work with us.
We occasionally participate in exchanges with social influencers if you fit within our space and share our ideals! Definitely let us know you are interested and someone from our team will follow up! Submit a Contact Us form listing all of your social accounts.
We receive requests for sponsorship frequently, and while we would absolutely love to sponsor all of the cool stories that come into our inbox, we unfortunately have to be picky about who we sponsor and the duration of the sponsorship as we are still a small company.
That being said, we DO offer sponsorships if your story catches our attention. If you are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, share your story with us and what type of sponsorship you are seeking. The more details you provide us the better!
We do not support Amazon and have pulled all of our products from their platform. We have many amazing online partners, and we encourage you to shop directly from them to support the cottage outdoor industry.
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