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Davis Journal

Will your food storage really last for 25 years?

Sep 09, 2022 10:01AM ● By Becky Ginos

CENTERVILLE—For many years now food storage has gone hand in hand with emergency preparedness – the big question is how to do it. Marcello Surjopolos has spent thousands of hours doing research to find the best products that will last the longest. Surjopolos will share his knowledge as a presenter at the South Davis County Preparedness Fair Sept. 17.

“The most important things are food and water,” he said. “Everything else like heat, sanitation, light and shelter could be created if need be but if you don’t have food and clean water ahead of time you won’t be able to find it at the store.”

Surjopolos is the owner of the Food Depot, the largest emergency preparedness retail store in Utah. He also owns Puravai Emergency Water (the longest lasting emergency water in the world), Ready Harvest foods, and is the creator of The 7 Prep Steps (the most streamlined emergency preparedness program in the industry).

“We know what is going to last and not last,” he said. “Things like mylar pouches and pre-made meals, could you live off that for a month straight?”

Look at third world countries, he said. “They have figured out how to sustain their body with things like beans, rice, and potatoes.”

However, don’t use regular beans unless they are rotated, said Surjopolos. “They harden over time. You can’t eat those in 30 years. That’s the first problem, the second problem is what to do with them. The third problem is they’re so hard people try to soak them overnight and then use a pressure cooker. They’re using fuel that they should be using for their home.”

He suggests cooking the beans before storing them and using parboiled rice rather than regular rice. 

Another staple that people complain about is powdered milk, said Surjopolos. “Have you ever had clumped milk? It’s horrendous. I’ve worked to find milk that you can mix with cold water.”

Surjopolos has five food killers: heat, oxygen, moisture and light. “I’ll cover the fifth in my presentation,” he said. “That’s how you can judge any company is by the five food killers. If they don’t take care of those, the food will not last.”

Some food storage companies advertise that the food has a 25 year shelf life, he said. “One had pancake mixes but those don’t last, it goes bad after a couple of years. You’ll have exploding pancake mixes. Some companies are going for the quick sale with cheap products.”

People buy food storage but then never test it, said Surjopolos. “If it went bad 20 years ago you won’t find out until it’s too late and you need it.”

Good emergency foods are more expensive than regular food, he said. “If you don’t have the right food you will die. You have to be a realist. It’s expensive because it’s better.”

There’s also shortages, etc, Surjopolos said. “There are things I couldn’t get for months and months. I had 88,000 pounds of wheat but when I went to the supplier for more they were sold out.”

People don’t see that, Surjopolos said. “Buy it before it gets worse. Get prepared and buy it while it’s cheap because it will get a lot more expensive.”

Surjopolos said people who see his presentation either love him or hate him. “They don’t see it and don’t want to believe it. They want to do what’s comfortable. Those who love me are willing to be uncomfortable to prepare for emergencies the right way. They need to believe the science behind food and the science behind water to make an educated decision.”

The South Davis County Emergency Preparedness Fair will be held Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Megaplex Theaters at Legacy Crossing, 1075 W. Legacy Crossing Blvd., Centerville. λ