Gizmodo Taste Test: Is Surviving the Apocalypse Worth Eating This Food?

Everybody's dead. Maybe it was nukes. Maybe it was zombies. There's nothing left to eat. Except this stuff. Thousands of servings of freeze-dried food, designed to last for years. What's it taste like? Is it worth living anymore?


Shelf Reliance's Thrive line of freeze-dried foods is designed to be edible "for years to come." If the $800 Costco package with a year's worth of food—that's 5,011 servings—doesn't meet your standards, Shelf Reliance will even calculate just how much food you need, based on how many mouths you need to feed and for how long. And it's staggering how many foodstuffs Shelf Reliance has converted into immortal iterations of themselves, ready to be re-hydrated in case of the apocalypse. Or really wicked munchies. Bacon, "yogurt bites," mangoes, chocolate chip ice cream bars. Vegetable risotto and curry chicken. Pancakes.

"The food is actually really good," Shelf Reliance founder Steve Palmer promises.


"Wow," says a visibly disturbed Ryan Sutton. "This tastes like carpet." It's beef that I'd reconstituted with hot water shortly before he arrived.

I have tastebuds. I can taste things. But I'm no professional. Which is why I called Ryan, who eats delicious and expensive food for rich people as perhaps New York City's last anonymous restaurant critic for Bloomberg and the price hike. The beef is just the beginning. There's still chicken, pineapples, carrots, peas and more left to taste.

But I'll spare you the suspense. If you intend to ride out the apocalypse and plan to do so with Shelf Reliance's fine wares, stick to the fruits, veggies and pancakes. They are good. Basically anything that didn't breathe, bleed or poop once upon a time. Freeze-dried pineapple is awesome, even. The mushy, spongy texture makes it seem like some experimental Asian candy. But stay far away from the meat. It's food science fiction. Gone horribly, horribly wrong.


Or better still, take Ryan's advice: If you know the apocalypse is coming, there's a lot better way to spend $800. Bourbon, for instance. It lasts a real long time.

Video by Woody Jang



Dr.Nemmo and his time-travelling submarine

It's not the zombiepocalypse the only worry you must have. I lived the 8.5 earthquake in Chile, which happened on a Friday night. I restock my fridge on Saturdays, so it meant that after the earthquake we didn't have any bread. Or diapers for my kid. Supermarkets remained closed for a week, trying to sort out all the stuff that fell to the floor and avoiding lootings. Lesson learnt, now I keep a vault with flour, canned food and honey, and from time to time I change it. Next big earthquake should be in 23 years, so I'm going to be prepared.

In America you had Katrina, and there's a chance of another big earthquake coming next. Not mentioning hurricanes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks, hail, snow, pirates, alien landings and ninja sneak attacks. So it's better to be stocked.