We have been puzzled as to the availability of freeze dried foods of late, but we finally might have gotten our answer. Sara Reardon (Feb 1, 2011) wrote for Science Insider and shared what she uncovered. FEMA is buying up food storage for 420 million meals! She writes, “.. the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a request for information (RFI) to vendors last week for 140 million meals ready to eat (MREs) for a projected 7 million survivors in the event of an NMSZ earthquake. Then they pulled the request, saying it was a bureaucratic error.” You can still view it at the link, but it does say “cancelled.”
So, at about $10 per meal, we’re looking at a total of around 1 1/2 billion dollars. That’s a lot of food and a lot of tax payer money.
It looks like this food is in preparation of a possible earthquake in the greater Mississippi area called the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ). However, later in her article she mentions talking to USGS officials and puts the purchase for this purpose in question. They said “their 2008 hazard map is still current. The risk, he said, is "small, not negligible, but certainly not what you'd be buying meals for."
So are they, or are they not buying up meals?
Another article in a more obscure site called the Beaufort Observer (a Tea Party publication stated that a major provider of these dehydrated meals has cut off 99% of their dealers and distributors in order to meet the FEMA demand. Now where they got that information, I don’t know, they didn’t cite their resource.
That said, if the above request by the government is still active, though hidden, and if the manufacturers really are scrambling to provide the huge order, then the supply of dehydrated foods to us regular folks would most definitely be impacted.
Kinda makes you go hmm….