Thrive Life, for those who aren’t familiar, is a Food company (based on the direct sales model) that specializes in freeze-dried foods. There is a wide variety of individual foods available, as well as meal kits comprised of pre-measured ingredients.
I’ve signed up because I wanted access to the foods for myself (and that’s my link, so if you choose to order, it helps me), and I thought I’d address the two biggest questions I had when I first heard of the company and went to investigate further.
Are Thrive Life Foods Healthy?
It depends. I know; helpful, right? Seriously, though, it does depend, both on the food and on your frame of reference.
The vast majority of the foods are individual, whole foods, freeze-dried at their peak freshness, so they’re wholesome options. This is especially true of fruits and vegetables, which have often degraded in quality by the time they reach our supermarkets “fresh.” And, frankly, some of these items are simply not available — or not widely available — other places. I have, for example, been looking for freeze-dried fruits for a while (and they were the first thing that got me looking at Thrive Life more closely).
There are some foods available from Thrive Life that I would not likely consume as a routine thing. The quality of dairy changes when it’s dried (although I suspect not so much when it’s freeze-dried rather than heat-dried). So I would rather consume fresh dairy. This is especially true when I have access to raw fresh dairy.
However, these are very helpful to have on hand for emergency purposes (and all emergency stores should be rotated regularly — as in, eat and replace them occasionally!), and they’re handy for making mixes.
A few ingredients are items we just don’t eat at all: iodized/processed salt, white sugar, shortening (ugh) powder, white rice & pasta. Read labels on sauces & grain products, because some are enriched with synthetic vitamins (e.g folic acid). (Honestly, this is a real bummer. There are a number of products I won’t/can’t use now that I would use if only they didn’t artificially fortify them. But “nutrients” like folic acid and cyanocobalamin are toxic to those of us who have sub-optimal enzyme production. )
So the bottom line is that there are a number of Thrive Life foods that I would not rely on for everyday meals, but many of those I would/will still use for particular purposes or in particular contexts. It’s always wise to read labels and think through what you’re eating and why.
Are Thrive Life Foods Cost-Effective?
It depends. Again, context matters. What the cost of food is like where you are makes a difference (since Thrive Life’s prices are the same for all of us, regardless of where we are in the country). Which food you’re buying makes a difference. And the context in which you’re using it makes a difference.
If you’re looking at buying a can of the Thrive Life seasoned Chicken strips vs. a package of chicken breasts from your supermarket’s meat department, the meat from the supermarket is definitely going to be less expensive — unless meat is a lot more expensive where you live than where I live.
But there’s a convenience factor to the Thrive Life chicken, because it’s freeze-dried. I already pay about $4 for 7 oz. of pre-cooked chicken strips at the supermarket when I want that convenience — and I still have to keep it refrigerated (or frozen); it isn’t especially portable. And I definitely can’t keep it in the pantry for a year, to eat when the power goes out. (Unopened, Thrive Life’s chicken will store for up to 25 years.)
As I mentioned with regard to the first question, some of the products are simply not available through more conventional sources — like the variety of freeze-dried fruits.
And there’s the matter of waste. I can buy fruits and vegetables for less at the grocery store or farmers market. But taking celery as an example…nobody in my house likes celery. We use small amounts sometimes in recipes, but no one will eat the rest. So I’ll buy a whole stalk of celery (because that’s really the only way to buy it), and then most of it will rot. With the freeze-dried produce we can reconstitute only what we need, so the rest doesn’t have to go to waste.
So just as with the question of healthfulness, I’ll use different products differently. The chicken strips are not likely to replace my cooked-fresh chicken for everyday meals, because that just isn’t cost-effective for me. But they’re a great option to have on hand for last-minute meals where we’d otherwise pay to eat out, for occasions when the power is out, for taking out and about town (or on longer trips), etc.
Other ingredients, like fruits and veggies, I’m likely to use on a near-daily basis.
Just consider each item on an individual basis.
Thrive Life — Is it Healthy? Cost-Effective? is a post from: Titus 2 Homemaker
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