ConsumerWatch: Putting Emergency Food Rations To The Test

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — There is a 99 percent chance we’ll be hit by a major earthquake within the next 30 years. When disaster strikes, there is now a way to feed your family for an entire month on less than $100.

Erica Arteseros, who heads San Francisco’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team has painstakingly stocked her emergency food supply. “For $6 a day I am sufficiently prepared, she said.” But most people aren’t as inclined to make special trips to the store or checking expiration dates and nutrition facts.

Leave it to Costco to sell an emergency food kit. The kit is a bucket that contains 275 individually packaged meals. The cost is about $80 and the food should remain good until the year 2030.

When we did the math, the kit has enough to feed a family of three for about 3 months at less than a $3 a day.

But we were skeptical on taste, so CBS 5 ConsumerWatch put it to the test in our newsroom and the results were surprising.

First, our intern Angela compared a store brought breakfast to the emergency food breakfast. The earthquake breakfast, including oatmeal, passed Angela’s.

But just how healthy is the Costco kit? CBS 5’s Allen Martin tried a few products during lunch. He first tested the Costco earthquake rice product. “It’s actually got a lot of flavor, it’s pretty good,” he said. He then compared it to Rice-A-Roni. “That’s very salty,” he said.

Checking the nutrition facts, Rice-A-Roni had 40 percent of the daily sodium allowance, while the rice in the earthquake kit had 17 percent.

When it came to nutrition, the earthquake kit came in first. Although the Costco kit was not as tasty, Arteseros said you need food when it comes to an emergency.

“I absolutely love the idea that someone makes a kit for people who don’t want to do it themselves,” she said. “If you procrastinating or thinking oh that looks really hard, it’s a really good solution to do.”

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • CGLaBelle

    Costco does not sell these..

    From the Costco web site: “We’re sorry, this product is not available. Product number: 11219554 ”

    I also checked stores in San Jose and had them check other stores. The folks at “merch pick-up” said this item is not showing as being on order for any of the stores.

  • CGLaBelle

    Correction Costco does list them on their web site.. but its $26K for a pallet (360 buckets)

    I found it on the Costco web site. Its a little too pricey for me..
    on the web site

    Cost is $25,999.99 a penny less than $26K (twenty-six Thousand dollars).. sure its a pallet. 360 buckets. Making it $73 a bucket. But they do not sell single buckets as far as I can tell.

    Food For Health™
    Emergency Food Kit Pallet

    These would have made great gifts.

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