Frequently Asked Questions
Freeze-dried vs dehydrated… what’s the difference?
Great question - there is a BIG difference.
Our meals are 100% freeze-dried. Freeze-drying removes moisture through sublimation, NOT evaporation. The food is frozen at very low temperatures in a vacuum chamber, and the frozen water turns to vapour without going through the liquid phase. The food maintains its shape like it’s frozen in time, and the moisture is removed. Our meals also rehydrate much more quickly (5 mins) because the food maintains its structure and just sucks up the water, and they return to their original texture when prepared. Freeze-drying also maintains the vast majority of nutrients and vitamins, and can achieve a lower moisture content which makes it more lightweight.
In contrast, dehydration involves applying heat and steady airflow to evaporate the water. The food shrinks and can become hard and tough, and can be chewy after rehydration. Rehydration also takes much longer (10-30 mins), and the heat used in the process creates a greater loss of nutrients.
Freeze-drying is a longer process and takes more time to dry. But good things take time, and we’re putting in the extra effort to bring you a premium product.
If you’ve tried dehydrated meals before and weren’t a fan, you’re going to want to give our freeze-dried Feasts a try. We eat these even when we’re not in the backcountry because they’re that good, and super convenient.
I’m not doing keto, can I still eat these?
Absolutely! Our meals are for everyone. Instead of using rice, pasta and potatoes, we pack our meals with just the good stuff: meat, vegetables, and cheese. These ingredients cost us more, but give you a much better bang for your buck. Plus, protein digests slower than carbs, giving you more consistent energy for longer. You really can’t go wrong.
Tons of carb-lovers enjoy Flat Out Feasts. We’re just making great food with great ingredients, for great adventures.
Why are your meals one serving, when most other brands are two servings per pouch?
Each of our meal pouches are 1 REAL serving. We don’t pretend it has 2 servings like other meals on the market because quite often they really don’t have enough for two hungry people, and most people eat the whole thing as 1 serving. So we don’t mess around - our Feasts are 1 proper serving, and are satisfyingly filling.
If you compare the nutrition content of a Feast vs another brand, you'll likely find that our Feasts have the same (or higher) amount of calories in our single serving than another brand's two servings combined. Our protein content is usually much (much) higher as well.
If you don't mind the carbs, you can always add an instant noodle or rice to your Feast and make it 2 servings! Why pay a premium for these ingredients like you would in other dried meals when they're already readily available, shelf stable, and cheap from a grocery store.
That's what we're all about: No Fluff. Just the Good Stuff. ;)
Do you use preservatives in your meals?
Nope! We don’t use them, and we don’t need them. The freeze-drying process is what makes our products shelf-stable. It removes moisture to such a low level where bacteria and microbes can’t grow.
We also don't add any sodium for the purpose of preservation - only a bit for spice. See more details about sodium under Nutrition.
What is the shelf life or expiration date of your meals?
We recommend enjoying our meals within 2 years of purchase. We expect they have a much longer shelf life than this as most freeze-dried food does. However, as a startup we have not yet had the opportunity to do long-term shelf life testing.
We use high quality ingredients and no preservatives in our meals, and keep in mind that proteins (meat) and fats are much harder to preserve long term than rice or pasta. Store meals in a cool dry place for optimal shelf life.
Our meals are so tasty, we think you’ll have trouble resisting them for too long ;)
Please note: the number imprinted in the pouch seal is not an expiry date, it's a production lot code. We don't have a best before date right on the pouches because we continue to extend the shelf life as time goes on and we test them each year. If you need more information, send us the lot code and we can identify the production date.
Do you add sodium? How much sodium is in your meals?
We don't add any extra sodium in our meals for the purpose of preservation. We only add a bit of salt for spice in some of them - between 0 and 3/8 of a teaspoon per pouch (not a lot).
The rest of the sodium content in a meal is naturally present in the meat, cheese, and vegetables. For example, cheddar cheese has ~644mg of sodium per 100g. Chicken has ~78mg of sodium per 100g. Ground beef has ~93mg of sodium per 100g. (These are wet weights, prior to freeze-drying.)
Each of our meals has between 530mg and 1090mg of sodium per pouch. Check out each product page for full nutritional details.
Are your meals gluten-free?
None of our meals contain ingredients that have gluten, however we're not a certified gluten-free product.
As a small business, we are using a shared commercial kitchen space, and out of an abundance of caution we have not labeled our meals as gluten-free. We do hope to do so in future.
All the ingredients we use are listed on the product pages, and we produce in small batches by hand. The only things not specifically broken down in the ingredients are the spices & herbs. We make our own spice mixes with no additives, from individual dried and powdered spices. In our Cajun Jicama & Pork Skillet we use dried marjoram leaves, and on that product label it says "may contain wheat".
Depending on your dietary and health needs, you can decide if our meals would be a fit for you! If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to contact us.
How to Prepare
How do I prepare a meal?
It’s super easy - all you need is hot water. Each bag has preparation instructions:
1. Tear open the top of the bag, and remove the oxygen absorber.
2. Add the specified amount of boiling hot water into the bag.
3. Stir well and seal the bag.
4. Let stand for 5-7 minutes. Stir well, and enjoy.
Our freeze-dried meals rehydrate very quickly compared to dehydrated meals because the food maintains its structure, is more porous, and isn’t shriveled up (see Freeze-Dried vs Dehydrated above). It doesn’t need to be cooked - it just sucks up the water and looks almost exactly like it did before being dried. It also maintains its original texture and, of course, its amazing taste.
How much water is needed per meal?
The amount of water varies per meal, from ¾ cup to 1¼ cups, and each bag has preparation instructions. Feel free to adjust the amount of water to your preference. It’s always better to start with slightly less - you can always add more, but you can’t take away!
Shipping & Where to Buy
For more information about shipping, please visit our Shipping page.
Please note: we are only able to ship within Canada. Because our meals have meat in them, we can't ship to the USA until we have different licensing for exports.
Where can I find you in store?
Order direct on our website to get Flat Out Feasts to your door, or check out our Find Us page to find us in store!
Have another question? Get in touch!
We're really friendly! :) If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Contact page, and we'd be happy to help.