I started to store a tin a week – sweetcorn, beans, tinned tomatoes – and, over time, added cases of pasta, bags of rice, boxes of long-life meat and bottles of water. Most people keep a few tins in their cupboard – soup and beans, things like that. That’s what I’ve got in mine. It’s just that I’ve got 70 of each, stored in a brick outhouse that my husband converted.

Freeze-dried food is nothing new. As early as the 13th century, the ancient Quechua and Aymara people of Bolivia and Peru pioneered a form of the process by exposing potatoes to the freezing temperatures of the Andes overnight, then drying them in the sun. In 1937, Nestlé used industrial technology to create the world’s first freeze-dried coffee, and in the 60s and 70s, the US military shipped freeze-dried food rations to the troops in Vietnam.
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