Now, frankly, I don’t think there is an impending apocalypse of any sort; certainly not in my lifetime. Nor am I particularly interested in living in a world without Internet access and fleur de sel. Rebuilding civilization just isn’t among my interests. However, there are people who not only believe disaster is imminent, but are preparing for it with such vigor that NatGeo has dedicated a television show to them: Doomsday Preppers.
If you haven’t seen the show (which has its season premiere at 8:00 p.m. tonight on NatGeo, the National Geographic Channel), the premise is that for each episode, producers interview people who are preparing for whichever disaster they believe will befall them, asking what they’ve done to survive the aftermath. Then “experts” analyze the preppers' plans for food, water, shelter and security, and rate their overall preparedness. It’s kind of hilarious. But informative as well, because while I don’t believe end times are near, there are some good tips on being prepared for short-term survival in the wake of a tornado or earthquake, both of which are very real possibilities here in the mid-state.
But possibly more interesting than the show are the ads that run during the show and the show’s sponsors, many of which involve survival food and food storage.
The one that caught my attention despite my finger pressed firmly on the fast forward button was for Wise Company’s “gourmet emergency meals.” Because if you’ve survived some major electromagnetic pulse (for example), you should — by all means — treat yo’self to a hearty tortilla soup rather than just eating whatever didn’t get broken or busted in your pantry. For me, that would be the prunes and stale crackers that keep getting pushed to the back of the cabinet. No treat at all.
All joking aside, Wise Company has put great thought and care into their products and packaging. The standard lunch and dinner entrees are vegetarian, with the option to add separate packages of freeze-dried meats. They also come in easy-to-open mylar pouches that are lightweight and do not require a can opener. This type of packaging — according to preparedness “experts” quoted on the show — is less susceptible to damage and ruination than food stored in cans and glass jars. The one weakness in the Wise Company plan is that you will have to use precious water reserves to reconstitute your meals. So you better go ahead and stock up on dehydrated water, too.