Tuesday, October 6, 2015

All About Eden Valley Farms

One of the biggest problems I face with individual customers is their desire for long term pre-packaged meals.  Long term storage for meals are difficult; putting individual ingredients together with others that have varying shelf lives create problems.  Adding things like eggs or hydrogenated oils significantly decreases the options for long term storability, but these items are found in almost any meal like this.  Personally, I like to steer clear of them when it comes to my own long term food storage needs.  I like them for camping, 72 hour kits, and the convenience of having something to just add water to, but overall, they are not my primary source.


 Eden Valley Farms is a local food storage company that specializes in long term pre-packaged meals.    As I mentioned above, I am always very skeptical of these types of food.  I went and spoke to the owner, Brandon Scott, to get a better understand of what made his company different and how he was able to achieve his "25 year shelf life" rating.  This is my experience.

LOCATION
Eden Valley is located right off of State Street in Orem, UT.  You will quickly realize this is not your average company.  The sign on the door said closed, but the door was open.  When I walked in to ask if they were open the man shrugged his shoulders and said "sure".
It has very much a warehouse feel, and by no means is it anything like what I expected a legitimate food storage company to be like.  It is not inviting.  It is not tidy.   Let's just call it organized chaos.  Plastic garbage bags lining the floor full of ammunition were scattered all over his office.  The main room itself consists of nothing more than an old couch, fold out table, and chair.  When his gun isn't in his holster it is sitting on the table next to his laptop.  The owner himself is certainly a bit of a question mark.  

WHAT PRODUCTS DO THEY OFFER?
Though he carries a few different types of water filters and emergency first aid kits, his primary business is food storage.  He carries a variety of 12 breakfasts, 18 entrees, and a brownie and cornbread mix.
His product is all sold in individually packaged mylar bags, as shown to the left.  Claiming that in order to cut down on pricing, there is nothing fancy about his packaging.  No pictures, just a printed label of the ingredients and nutritional value.
Each package has a minimum of 5 servings.  It comes in a resealable bag, which I love.  Packages can be purchased individually, but most orders are done by the case.


FOOD OPTIONS, SERVING SIZE, AND PRICE PER CASE

Strawberry Cream of Wheat 200 servings $349.00
Multi Grain Cereal 200 servings $349.00
Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal 100 servings $229.00
Strawberry Oatmeal 100 servings $229.00
Apple oatmeal 100 servings $229.00
Apple cinnamon pancakes 150 servings $229.00
Buttermilk pancakes 150 servings $229.00
Blueberry pancakes 150 servings $229.00
Honey Whole wheat pancakes 150 servings $229.00
Chocolate Brownies 250 servings $369.00
Corn Bread -muffin mix 250 servings $349.00
Blueberry muffin-waffle mix 250 servings $349.00
Basic muffin-waffle mix 250 servings $349.00
bisquit-scone mix 250 servings $349.00
Mango Habanero Chilli 100 servings $229.00
White Bean Chilli 100 servings $229.00
Classic Chilli 100 servings $229.00
chili mac 100 servings $229.00
Irish Pub cheddar potato soup 100 servings $229.00
Couer d'lene  Potato Soup 100 servings $229.00
Baked potato soup 100 servings $229.00
Pasta Primevera 100 servings $229.00
Pasta Alfredo 100 servings $229.00
Stroganoff 100 servings $229.00
Chicken & Rice Pilaf 100 servings $229.00
Chicken Ala King 100 servings $229.00
Southern style Chicken Rice  100 servings $229.00
Enchilada Beans & Rice 100 servings $229.00
Mac & cheese 100 servings $229.00
lasagna 100 servings $229.00
Teriyaki Chicken 100 servings $229.00
Sweet and sour asian rice 100 servings $229.00

WHAT MAKES EDEN VALLEY DIFFERENT?
The following is information sent to me from Eden Valley after my visit.  I've personally gone through and highlighted what I like about them in bold.

Why Buy Eden Valley?
Provident Living means “Making provisions for the future”. Eden Valley Farms believes in Provident Living. You purchase car insurance, health insurance, life insurance, and homeowner’s insurance that you may never use and you’ll definitely never get a refund for. Why wouldn’t you purchase food insurance as well?

But why Eden Valley Farms? The reason is simple: we offer the highest quality, best tasting, and longest-lasting storable food on the market.

At Eden Valley Farms, we’ve overcome common food storage problems that our competitors simply don’t address.  Oxygen, moisture, and oil are enemies of your long-term food storage. Oxygen and moisture allow bacteria and mold to flourish, and oils break down, turn rancid, and spoil over time. We at Eden Valley Farms flush all of our food products with nitrogen before sealing them in heavy-duty industrial-grade poly Mylar pouches. Nitrogen dispels oxygen thereby eliminating even the possibility of bacterial growth, which could spoil your precious food storage.

Many of our competitor’s recipes contain ingredients with high moisture/water content- sometimes up to 20%! At Eden Valley Farms we ensure that all our recipes contain less than 5% moisture (ideally shelf-stable long-term storage food should contain less than 7%). We accomplish this by sourcing only the finest shelf-stable freeze-dried and dehydrated ingredients directly from reputable sources.

The chemical bonds of many common processed oils (like vegetable or canola) break down over time and turn rancid. This chemical breakdown spoils and destroys food. This is why Eden Valley Farms never uses processed oils or shortenings in its long-term food storage meals.
Eden Valley Farms uses only the highest quality shelf-stable tropical oils like Palm or Coconut Oil and only when our recipes call for it.  We never use hydrogenated oils, syrups or shortenings. Never.


Compare our competitors’ ingredient lists to ours. You’ll find that we use only the finest natural ingredients and never load our food with preservatives or chemicals like MSG or silicon dioxide. We use the finest natural flavors, spices, and sea salt, which make our food both healthy and flavorful.

At Eden Valley Farms we work shoulder-to-shoulder with our Food Scientists in order to craft the tastiest meals and to ensure that they will last up to 25 years on your shelf or in your basement. We never use middlemen. We own the manufacturing process from start to finish and we go directly to the source for our ingredients. This
enables us to maintain the strictest quality control and pass savings on to you that our competitors only dream of. We want to make sure that our food will be there to sustain you and your family when you really need it and if we wouldn’t serve it to our kids, we wouldn’t sell it to you.


Eden Valley Farms is simply the best on the market. We use no MSG; our products contain no trans-fats, no hydrogenated oils or shortenings, and are almost entirely GMO-free. All our recipes are low in sodium because we use only the highest grade sea salt, spices, and natural flavors. Our food is nitrogen flushed before being sealed in resealable industrial-grade poly Mylar serving pouches. Our food tastes like it came from your local farmer’s market. Eden Valley Farms is truly kid-tested and mother-approved.

Eden Valley is a one man band run by owner Brandon Scott.  Cutting out the middle man has its advantages in some areas, and some disadvantages in others:

THE CON'S:
There is a complete disregard and lack of organization going on here.  Going in to the store will most definitely give you second thoughts on if this is an investment you are willing to make.  
If I ever plan to purchase here again in the future it will not be done in person at the store.  It will be done online.  However, I feel it important to note my experience because I'm glad I got to know what I was getting myself into.

I have some concerns about food regulation and testing.  He claims that the majority of his products are all natural and organic, but he isn't legally allowed to promote them all as such.  He also isn't certified gluten free, which is an issue for some out there with dietary restrictions.  

Selection.  Eden Valley is a very small business, with a total of 40 food storage products.  I think it is great to supplement, but I would never consider this to be my one and only go to place for long term meals.  

Long Wait.  His in-house inventory consists mostly of the things I wasn't interested in: breakfast.  If you are hoping to get entrees, you are looking at a 1 - 6 month wait.  If this is something you were hoping to pick up the same day, this (at least not at the moment) is not the place for you.

Pricing.  The only way this company is worth it (in my opinion), is if you take advantage of the 40% off.  This can be done by either purchasing items on back order (meaning you have a long wait until your food arrives), or if you purchase in cases of 10 or more (meaning you have to spend a lot of $ to get a good price per product).  If you are just starting out or don't have a lot to spend, I would recommend getting the entree sampler, but beyond that, they are not a great choice for small purchases.  Best to go in on an order together with friends.

The need for supplementing.  I questioned him about how his products are the only thing he stores long term, with such a small variety and a lack of meats and proteins.  He mentioned that his food is easy to supplement with additional ingredients.  "Throw a can of chicken in the soup mixes, or add in some extra fresh veggies, and you can feed an army"!  Not that I don't think this is a good idea, but as with all long term pre-packaged meals, this is going to be the problem you will run into.  If he plans to "add some ground beef into the lasagna and you've got the best dinner ever", it isn't exactly a full package as far as I'm concerned.  You will still need to plan to add additional items.

THE PRO'S:
Pricing.  Keep in mind that this is also a con, so it depends on how you look at it.  I ended up purchasing a pack of 10 cases with 2 other individuals, which means we ended up getting our 5 serving entrees for just over $7 a piece.  This is an amazing price!  

Packaging.  From what I've seen, Eden Valley Farms has superior packaging compared to several of its competitors.  You can see and feel the difference.  Though I am still skeptical of the 25 year shelf life, in terms of long term packaging, this is the best that I have seen.  Nitrogen flushing has varying reviews on whether it is good for food or not, but there is at least one other company that claims their product is nitrogen flushed (and you can visually see that it is not).  This is not the case with Eden Valley Farms.

Quality Ingredients.  The owner really does pride himself on finding the best quality ingredients.  I am a big fan of non-gmo and natural, and he took the time to show and explain to me where he sources his food from, and how he manages to get great flavor without sacrificing nutrition.

Overall, just like everything else, there are things I both like and disagree with in terms with this company.  Personally, I wouldn't bank the majority of my storage needs on Eden Valley alone, but I am a big fan of variety and they filled a void in the pre-packaged meals area for me.

If you are the type of person who only wants ready made meals, this would be a great addition to add some shelf life and variety to your food storage needs.  If interested, I've included the contact information below.

CONTACT EDEN VALLEY FARMS
Brandon #801-668-7272
1145 N State St Orem Utah, 84057

OTHER FOOD STORAGE REVIEWS
If you have missed the other food storage company reviews, you can find them here:

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