What is TVP? When it comes to food storage, many people don’t think much farther from the staples—wheat, honey, instant milk, etc. And although having these basics is a great way to start preparing for emergencies, in a real disaster when people will have to use their food storage, these few ingredients may not be enough to sustain the health of all those in the family. It’s better than nothing—but people need more than just the minimum. It’s also important to have things like vegetables, fruits, and protein sources. TVP, or textured vegetable protein, is one of those protein sources that would be great to have around in a disaster. It is made by taking the fat out of soy flour and it can be bought and cut into all different shapes and sizes. Although TVP is made from soy, it is not the same as tofu. Where tofu is spongy and sometimes too-soft, when TVP is cooked in hot water for ten minutes, it develops a fibrous, slightly elastic texture that is very similar to meat. TVP is also completely tasteless, and because it must be rehydrated, it will easily take on any flavoring it is cooked with. One of the major advantages of TVP is its versatility. As mentioned above, it can be sold or cut into big chunks or smaller flakes and granules for easy cooking. And while it doesn’t have any flavor on it’s own, there are many different varieties of TVP, so people don’t even have to worry about flavoring it. TVP is also completely safe for vegetarians or vegans, so cooking with it will mean that no one has to worry about the meal they are eating. There are also health benefits in addition to the great versatility TVP has. Regular meat is fatty—even the lean kinds. TVP is a great substitute that contains just as much protein as meat, but much less fat and other unnecessary or unhealthy elements. TVP cooks faster than meat, and it doesn’t have to be fried or grilled, which reduces the risk of consuming carcinogens while eating meat. Textured vegetable protein is also lower in calories than regular meat, just because it comes from a vegetable, rather than an animal. It also has low cholesterol content; as many people know, this is quite high in meats and can be very dangerous for someone’s health. TVP, like all food storage, can be stored for much longer than its competitors. If bought in a typical package at a supermarket, TVP can last for well over a year. However, thanks to the special technology emergency preparedness businesses like The Ready Store employ to prolong the life of their food, the shelf life of TVP can be up to 30 years. This means that there will always be a meat substitute around, whether people choose to use it because of a disaster that prevents them from shopping or cooking, or if they’re just tired after a long day and need a break. It also means that people will save money. TVP helps people to save money in more ways than one; the first and most obvious is that TVP is simply cheaper per pound than most meats. For example, ground beef (which is one of the cheapest kinds of meat around) costs approximately $2.00/lb. or more. TVP, on the other hand, only costs about $1.50/lb. It’s often less than that if people choose to buy in bulk. It also takes a very long time to ruin, so there is no danger of eating rancid meat or having to throw out bad meat after only a week or two. The second way TVP can save people money is a little less obvious. When people purchase meat at the store, they are paying per ounce of raw meat. Raw meat contains juices and water that will cook out of the meat when they use it, which means that they are paying for a lot less meat than they think they are getting. TVP is also sold by weight at the time of purchase. However, because TVP is dehydrated soy flour, its weight actually increases when it is cooked. This means people are actually getting more for their money when they purchase textured vegetable protein. TVP is a very healthy food that can be use in many different recipes to replace meat without anyone noticing the difference. Some great examples of where to use TVP include casseroles, tacos, lasagna, soups, and chili. Recipes for this unique meat substitute can be found online, or in specialized cookbooks. Besides just being used during emergencies, textured vegetable protein is a great solution for anyone who is on a Kosher, vegetarian, or gluten-free diet. It also frees people from
worrying about contracting a disease from their meat. TVP has a very low water and bacterial content, so there is no way for viruses like E. Coli to survive. The low cost, high protein content, and versatility make TVP a great choice for anyone looking for a meat substitute. It cooks quickly and will take on any flavors put into the pan with it, and itâ€™s virtually free of disease and will last a very long time. While textured vegetable protein is a lesser-known but excellent addition to anyoneâ€™s food storageâ€”or even just to their pantry.