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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review: THRIVE Food (Sponsored by Briden Solutions)

Dwight from Briden Solutions was nice enough to send us some samples of THRIVE food products that he sells. Besides the THRIVE food line and InCaseOf products, they list other items they carry such as;
  • 72 Hour emergency kits for home, office, vehicles, and custom kits for other needs
  • Unique food & water storage containers, including the 125 & 250 Gallon Super Tanker and Gamma stackable food storage units
  • Bulk food storage systems and products including organic and non-organic
  • Dry pack foods
  • Time based food storage packages - 1 month, 3 month & 12 months
  • Outdoor, survival, camping, hiking and preparedness gear
Visit their online store to see everything they have.

It's very refreshing to see a company, specifically a Canadian company, that is selling these products under the umbrella of practical preparedness, not fear-mongering end-of-the-world propaganda. I connected with Dwight through email and have had nothing but excellent service from him. Speedy replies and honesty - and I like that.

I had heard of THRIVE products before - specificcally when researching the MKS MRE packages we recieved. I didn't know what to expect when I had the package in hand, but soon after I opened it up I understood the attraction to this type of food storage system.

(Join our ongoing discussion regarding this review HERE.)

I think it's important to note that this type of product is marketed as a 'system'. You can buy shelving units designed for it's storage, entire meals that come canned in coffee-can sized containers.

I got 3 items to try. A packet of crystallized eggs, a tin of TVP Taco mix and a tin of Broccoli soup mix.

The thing that threw me off was the sound the tin of TVP made when I shook it. Sealed off, the mix inside rattled around like a maraca. I didn't know what to expect from a 'food' that could make that kind of noise, but was supposed to at least simulate a meat product.

We opened it up with our kitchen can opener. as soon as the seal broke open, a slight hissing sound released the odour inside the can. I'm not going to say it smelled bad, it just smelled. It kind of smelled like a mix between meat and armpits. I hate to put it like that - but that's what it smells like. I think it's a mix of spices creating that aroma.

The instructions - if you need to read them - are very simple. Boil some water and mix it up real well. I'd imagine most of the THRIVE products are like that. The Taco mix blended well, it soaked up the water and formed a meat-like substance in very little time. The smell didn't go away, but it wasn't that bad at all. We remarked that after a week without food - this would smell like heaven.

We tried the mix dry - it was just like bacon bits - my buddy even commented that it would make a good topping on a baked potato or a salad.

We dug in first when it was hot - without any supplement and without a chaser. It was good!

Even though I know it's not 'meat' in it's typical form, it sure tasted like taco mix. I told my wife that I could make a batch of this stuff and put it on a nacho spread and nobody would be the wiser.

After tasting it straight up, we dipped some chips into it with hot sauce - I would eat this as a snack. It's pretty good.

Cold, it's not bad either. It's not the greatest but in a pinch, it'd be an excellent choice.

The other thing I was surprised to find was the price of a single unit of this mix.  At 14 bucks per tin, I can see a definite value in this product. A lot of times survival sites overlook the value of preparing for a more common type of emergency. Let's say you lost your job - hard on cash - this could be a great food source for your family during a tough time.

Next we tried the broccoli soup. Even tasting it dry, we concluded that it would even make a good seasoning on it's own - hell, we were going to try to make a chip dip out of it. Past that, we added it to boiling water and mixed it in well.

Both my wife and buddy tasted the soup. They both really enjoyed the soup. It boasted a rich flavour and a nice thick texture. It looked, smelled and tasted exactly as you might expect from a soup like this.

Everyone who tasted the soup agreed that it was something that could be eaten on a regular basis. It's easy to see how a product like this could be split up into multiple packages for storage. You could easily split a can of this stuff into multiple packages and vacuum sealing them up in single serving packets for later. I understand that it has a five year shelf life when it's opened, but I would be worried about the can falling open - I guess maybe you could reseal the container with tape.

Next, we tried the eggs. This was an actual powdered food - and on the surface I wasn't very excited to try it out. After I thought about it, it's no different than pancake mix or any baking mix. We portioned enough into a bowl and added the right amount of water. It mixed well and cooked exactly like scrambled eggs.

We tried it soon after it was finished cooking. It tasted exactly like scrambled eggs and had the consistency to match. I'd buy this to supplement my food storage - even just to break the monotony of canned foods and pasta. It's good stuff with a decent shelf life.

You can find these products in the Briden Solutions store by following the links below. I'd recommend emailing them with any questions I may not have already answered in this review. It's worth the investigation - this stuff is really a decent buy, even just as a supplement to your existing foodstocks. I can see the value in this canned food as well for the struggling family. If you've come into a situation that is tight on money, these products could add some needed nutrition to your diet, with the quantity to stand above bargain bin canned goods.

Dwight was available to respond to a few questions I had - I hope this offers a little more information about his company and the products he offers.

Briden Solutions officially began in the summer of 2009. Much of our Emergency Preparedness knowledge and experience was developed in the 10 years leading up to that. After quietly guiding and coaching many through the maze of both Short Term and Long Term Emergency Preparedness products and strategies, an opportunity came to team up with some of the leading experts in the Emergency Preparedness Industry and carry our knowledge and guidance to even more people. We jumped on it.

We are a group of people seriously passionate about helping people become better prepared, and through our company, Briden Solutions, we are able to channel that passion. Our underlying goal is to teach and help as many others as possible to prepare themselves effectively and efficiently. We are Canadians ourselves – operating from beautiful Cochrane, Alberta, just 10 minutes west of Calgary. We know first hand how hard it can be to find quality supplies in Canada, and because of such, take great pride in helping our fellow Canadians get the supplies they need.

Why do we carry the Thrive line? In looking for food storage you will find that the majority of companies provide food storage meals. Pre-packaged, pre-seasoned, pre-everything meals in a can. Now I understand the efficiency gain in this type of thinking, but it only partially serves the emergency preparedness goal. What if when it hits the fan, I don't want to eat 30,000 servings of beef stew? Since the Thrive line is based on individual food ingredients, I can take several individual ingredients and make any meal I want, and the next meal, do the same thing, and create an entirely different meal. This helps to battle what is called 'appetite fatigue' - a real but fairly unknown bodily concern where after so long of eating the same item, no matter how hungry you are, your body will refuse it. So one can store the Thrive products with their amazing shelf life for long term emergencies, use them in daily cooking as the cans have a great open shelf life as well, or both. With the Thrive line, its like having a grocery store in your pantry, with items that won't go bad in a couple of days, and you can make whatever you want for a meal. Of course, the products are amazingly high quality, taste great, and compare very well price wise to fresh store goods.
Until August 15th, Briden Solutions is offering an exclusive deal to all CivilianSheepDog readers, any order of $100 or more will receive a free box of 50 Aquatab water purification tablets. Just place your order online on their website, and then email them with your order number and let them know you saw this deal here.



1 comment:

  1. I recently come up with a Ontario supplier.
    Providence Supplies
    Clinton, Ont.