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#196726 - 02/27/10 04:22 PM Canned meat field test
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
I continue to tweak my 30 day home food and water cache, and I always keep a supply of canned meat in this cache. While some of the canned meats I tried were only a step above dog food, I figured that if Spam was good enough for our fighting men in WWII, it's certainly good enough for my cache. I was at the store last week replacing the tuna we had consumed, and I spotted a variety of Spam that I had not noticed before. It was Spam Oven Roasted Turkey. I bought a couple of cans and took them home to try. I sliced off some right out of the can, and it was pretty good. It had the taste and texture of chopped turkey coldcuts, a little salty but not bad. I chopped 2 ounces of it into 1/4" cubes and pan fried. I had to add a little canola oil because no fat was rendering out of the meat. Once the cubes were browned, I added two beaten fresh eggs and scrambled them together as I would do with dryed eggs. The result was very good; a dry texture with no significant salt taste. A decent breakfast for about 300 calories. Two ounces of this meat has 80 calories, 9 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, and 520 mg of sodium. This is far superior to ham-based Spam and similar canned meats. It comes in a stackable aluminum rectangular can with a ring pull top, and no side or bottom seam. It has a 3 year shelf life. I am going to rotate out most of the ham-based meat from my cache and replace with the turkey.
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#196727 - 02/27/10 04:27 PM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
I can't say I have done any field testing of turkey Spam, but my wife got some by accident one time and I have eaten it. Its not bad. I prefer the regular Spam to turkey Spam though, and as turkey goes, i would just as soon have regular turkey, but for canned meat it is pretty good.

Its kind of a funny story. We write our grocery list on a white board in the kitchen. I wanted some turkey and some Spam so I wrote both on the board. My wife apparently thought I wanted turkey Spam and that is what I got.

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#196731 - 02/27/10 04:47 PM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: ILBob]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7416
Loc: southern Cal
Spam was a staple back in my student days and it worked. I don't regularly consume it now because of the high fat and salt content - qualities which make it quite useful in a survival context. I have some cans lurking in my stash, but I believe they are the classic formulation.

My father ate Spam during WWII, and he never stopped commenting about the experience, which was preferable, but just barely, to starvation. He understood that the only way they could quit eating GI chow was to win the war.

There is another alternative that I have come to like a lot - Tanka Bars. These are dried buffalo meat and cranberries - essentially a low fat pemmican. They come in a 1 oz bar. I like them for situations where weight is important and you want something with protein and taste to mix with the usual energy bars.

They are produced on a reservation in South Dakota and have formerly been available only locally. I just now saw that they can be purchased through REI - $2.80 a bar, with a 20% discount if you buy twelve (a full box). That's the bad news; they ain't cheap.

I am a satisfied user - no commercial affiliation with the product or any sellers.
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#196737 - 02/27/10 05:59 PM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Turkey spam is basically just turkey loaf in a can. *shudders*

Although if you can find a little can of cranberry jelly, dressing, mashed potatoes and a small jar of turkey gravy, you have a bug in stash thanksgiving dinner that you can make pretty easily and with fairly little in the way of heat. Might not be the big meal, but if you've got something to be thankful for...
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When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#196743 - 02/27/10 06:35 PM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: ironraven]
philip Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Spam as art:
http://www.cieux.com/bm/source/agedspam01.html

This may be the best use of it.

I've added spam to mixed vegetables to get a one-bowl meal, but I don't really recommend it.

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#196746 - 02/27/10 07:10 PM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: philip]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
I actually use the canned chicken from Costco all the time in salads and pasta as well as keeping several packages in reserve. It's really pretty darn good! They sell it in packages of six 12.5oz cans. My dogs love it too!

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#196762 - 02/27/10 11:05 PM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: rebwa]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Being a picky eater is not a favored survival trait.

Historically many survival foods, until recently they weren't generally considered special 'survival' food, more like what was left to eat after a long voyage or trip, were bland. Often barely eatable. Sometimes by design.

Hard tack, lifeboat crackers, military survival rations, are pretty far below normal fare for flavor and texture. This discouraged binging and helped conserve them for when you were really hungry.

I maintain a good supply of tuna, corned beef, Spam as both turkey and ham, salmon, kippered fish, and I know I'm forgetting one or more others but you get the idea. IMHO they are all good.

It is interesting that we refer to them as dog food. Many of the canned dog and cat foods are essentially what goes into products intended for humans. Many brands come off the same lines in the packing plants and go into identical cans. The difference being the label.

It also has to be noted that out ancestors simply loved canned meats, and canned foods in general. Sometimes depending on it before standards and technology justified their faith. The Franklin expedition of 1845, attempting to find the NW passage, heaped lead poisoning from improperly soldered can onto suffering brought by scurvy, extreme cold, and ultimately starvation. The canned foods were quite the innovation and even though the lead hurt them the crews survived for longer than they might without them.

A grand but tragic story of endurance. Read more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin%27s_lost_expedition

Of course it wasn't just poor technology that caused problems. Before the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 food handling and industrial canning operation had few standards and industry did pretty much as it pleased. During the Spanish-American (1898) war far more soldiers died of food poisoning than enemy action.

Anyone interested in food standards without government regulations might read "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclare. Free at:
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/140

Also available at any decent bookstore or library.

Some of out changing attitudes toward canned food has been the availability of refrigeration. If you wanted meat before canning was developed you dried and/or salted it. Even then moisture and heat would cause it to mold. Settlers and armies often resorting to transporting meat on-the-hoof. Ships often left port with live cows and pigs, complete with feed and provisions for manure removal.

Canning meant you could store food for years. Last I looked most of the meat packing companies say that as long as the cans are intact and not bloated their meat products don't have a expiration date. The date stamped on the can is usually a 'best if served by' date. The meat remains safe to eat long after that. Flavor and nutrition might suffer, particularly if the can is stored in the heat, but I have eaten ten year old corned beef and found it to be only slightly lacking in flavor. Other canned foods might not last as long and typically take on a tinny taste.

IMHO references to canned meats as dog food is primarily a commentary on the changing role and treatment of domestic animals. Working dogs would be fed, Inuits and shepherds typically set aside dedicated meals for their animals, but it is only fairly recently that most domestic animals got much more than scraps from the table. Dogs and cats were expected to glean food from the trash or hunt to make up up the difference.

The disdain for canned food is primarily a result of both man moving up and becoming jaded in our tastes. This is entirely understandable as we have prospered, fresh food is made easily available, and we increasingly treat domestic animals as pets and children instead of working animals.

Canned meat remains a mainstay for long term storage. Things get rough and that can of Spam you turned you nose up at might start looking good. In the mean time I kind of like a little corned beef or Spam sliced and browned in a skillet.


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#196765 - 02/27/10 11:38 PM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Art_in_FL]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7416
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL


Canned meat remains a mainstay for long term storage. Things get rough and that can of Spam you turned you nose up at might start looking good.


I have eaten fire rations (at the time C rations; now fire rats are MREs) with relish and gusto several times while on a fire line. Circumstances really do affect the decision about what tastes good.

What is interesting about the development of emergency rations (MREs) today is how good the present stuff is, even consumed in non-emergency situations.
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#196784 - 02/28/10 02:26 AM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: Art_in_FL]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
Being a picky eater is not a favored survival trait.


I like spam. I just don't like turkey. Too much l-trip for someone who is habitually sleep deprived. *laughs*
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#196785 - 02/28/10 03:04 AM Re: Canned meat field test [Re: ironraven]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Adaptability is great but everyone has limits.

Canned tripe is either slightly ahead of, or slightly behind, cannibalism. Depends on who we are comparing it to. Some people are more appetizing than others.

I would say it is expensive dog food but by the time we are down to canned tripe ... we will have eaten the dogs.

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