Avoid Wise Company freeze dried foods

Discussion in 'Food' started by WhisperInThePine, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Wubba lubba dub dub Supporter

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    My girlfriend and I went backpacking in the Gila Wilderness this last week. It's an incredible area and we were planning on 4 days in the backcountry and about 40 miles.

    Unfortunately, we had bought Wise Company 7 day meal pack at Walmart ($86). We thought this was a score, with 32 servings, it came to $2.39 a meal. We of course didn't take every meal for the four days. We had the first serving after walking in 5 miles and setting up camp. We both went to bed with terrible stomach cramps, fortunately we had packed in a small supply of Tums. Breakfast the next morning caused us both stomach pain again. My girlfriend was curled for an hour on her sleeping pad. Tums again to the rescue, but after a long visit to the bushes by both of us. By this point we had tried three different meals (two the night before, one for breakfast) and all had made use very ill, and dig *several* deep cat holes.

    As these made up the bulk of our food, breakfast and dinner, we decided not to wander further into the wild and cut short our trip. We hiked back towards the trail head and found a nice grove of ponderosa near the West Gila River and set up camp a mile and a half from the trailhead and ate our lunches for food. We hiked out the third day in the morning.

    So I have to recommend avoiding these meals. They seem to have favorable reviews, but there's apparently an issue with quality control. Eat at your own risk.
     
  2. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    I'd contact the company with your lot number. Could have been a bad batch. I'd also contact Walmart and let them know to see what they'd be willing to do for you. I know it won't replace a lost trip, but you could recoup your funds and maybe get a bad product (either bad lot or just altogether) off the shelves.
     
  3. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Wubba lubba dub dub Supporter

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    I went back into walmart but without a receipt, they wouldn't refund. I have since found the receipt, but it sounds like we won't get a full refund because we ate a few of the meals. I tried arguing that I wouldn't be returning it if it was bad, and to discover it was bad we had to eat a few meals. I'll try again when I return with the receipt.
     
  4. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    You may have to go further up the chain and talk to the about selling a product that's making people sick.
     
  5. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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    I certainly hope you are both back to normal, health wise after this. It could be a bad batch, but it's also possible they just didn't agree with you both, as terrible as it sounds. Packaged meals can play hell on digestion, I can speak from experience. I always try to duplicate my meals 2 weeks before a trip if I'm packing something I haven't had before. Unfortunately this becomes quite pricey but has paid for itself by not having issues on the trail. Keep us updated on what you find.
     
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  6. kihnspiracy

    kihnspiracy Tracker

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    Wise meals are high in sodium and they are made out of TVP. Textured vegetable protein. No real meat in them. I tried them once. I think I would rather eat cardboard.
     
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  7. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Wubba lubba dub dub Supporter

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    Knorr pasta sides, instant potatoes, mountain house, and backpacker pantry have never bothered me. I just put in an order of Mountain House pro packs for deer season. The fact that we had three different meals, and they impacted two people makes me think it's a quality issue.

    I will contact Wise Company to let them know and give them the lot number.
     
  8. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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    Sidekicks and all that kind of stuff tears my insides apart. I stick to MH and Alpineaire now. My thinking behind it possibly not agreeing with you is the fact that tums helped settle your stomachs. In my head, if it was food poisoning, tums wouldn't have a lot of effect. But I definitely agree that when a few different meals effect 2 people the same way, something fishy might be going on. Hopefully you get some hard answers instead of "we'll look into it".
     
  9. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    Thanks for the warning.

    Few years ago, I ate some freeze dried food. A few hours later (when trying to sleep in my sleeping bag) I had to puke. It was just a little bit of fluid but a VERY concentrated orange color; not natural looking at all. Looks like my body did not like the food coloring.
     
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  10. riokid87

    riokid87 Scout

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    Did you add water to these and was the water from the same source or container?
     
  11. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    There's a YT guy and his wife that do camping/backpacking food reviews and I seem to remember one of the meals making both have cramps later on. I guess it pays to try it ahead of time. Too bad your trip was cut short.
     
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  12. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Sorry that happened to you. We watch what we eat very closely. I had a heart attack and quadruple bypass 15 years ago and most packaged meals are waaaaaay over the sodium content for me. We do have freeze dried meals in our kits and pantry, but only have after reading a lot of packages and getting ones that were lower in sodium.

    JohnP
     
  13. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    Wise freeze dried meals were an everyday staple for me when I hiked the AT in 2015 and the PCT in 2016. Never had a problem, I would take them again.
     
  14. WY_Not

    WY_Not Supporter Supporter

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    And make sure you speak loudly when doing so. Make sure that others around you hear the "selling a product that's making people sick" part. :16:

     
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  15. haunted

    haunted Guide

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    cant find it but i swear i read about a recall of them fairly recently i think due to bad a lot of bad TVP. Textured vegetable protein i could be wrong but you might see if your googlefoo is better
     
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  16. haunted

    haunted Guide

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    did just find this thou ;

    [​IMG]
    Wise Foods Recall
    « on: February 24, 2014, 07:12:47 PM »
    I received an email from a company that handles Wise food products. There is a recall on Wise Company Hearty Wholesome Egg Crystals, made by Nutriom LLC. The production run was produced between February 28, 2013 and February 8, 2014 and affected several other brands other than those sold by Wise Company. Wise products affected by this recall are stamped with lot codes C2613-BWF and D0913-BWF.

    Links to Nutriom, LLC’s Press Release: http://www.nutriom.com/#all-natural-egg-crystal

    Link to USDA Press Release: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal...-archive/archive/2014/recall-015-2014-release


    You can call1-888-773-2195 to learn how to receive a full refund or send questions via email to: recall@wisecompanyus.com
     
  17. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Wubba lubba dub dub Supporter

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    I returned to walmart and was given a full refund.

    I have started communications with wise company. They're responsive so far.
     
  18. HannahT

    HannahT Firebug Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Sodium is crazy in packaged stuff! I'd be interested to know which you've found that are lower.
     
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  19. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    I know you didn't ask, but I really like the freeze dried meals from Packit Gourmet (www.packitgourmet.com). I've had plenty of Mountain House as well, but Packit Gourmet is really tasty. Shelf life is much shorter than MH though. Too bad your trip was ruined due to the food. Definitely a good reminder to not bring or eat anything untested when in the backcountry.
     
  20. Hoof

    Hoof Former Genius Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I have eaten Wise products for 5 or 6 years with no problems and recommended it to many.
     
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  21. Jim L.

    Jim L. Guide

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    Check to see if there is sorbitol in it. It took me a bit to tremember the name of this viscious stuff. This was one of those non-saccharin sweetners that was used as a "sugar free" sweetner.

    Sorbitol is used as a Hospital grade laxative. For those folk having an intestinal proceedure done and need an "everything must go!" type cleansing, this is one of the things given.
     
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  22. Jim L.

    Jim L. Guide

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    Check also for "Olestra", a fat substitute. Wise manufacturing may have used this and the above mentioned sorbitol as a means to reduce carry weight in the food (also in your gut).

    We all remember the debacle that occured with low fat "Olean" potatoe chips. Or what about sugar free gummi bears?
     
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  23. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Supporter Supporter

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    If you're changing your diet to something different than normal, it is "Wise" (pun intended) to test a meal or two at home PRIOR to heading out to the trail to see how the alteration may effect your digestive system.

    I'm not saying whether you have a tainted lot or not. Only testing could determine that for sure. But there other possibilities than a "tainted lot" of food. That said, I've been called a "garbage disposal" because I'll eat some things others will not eat with no ill effects.

    Just a consideration to anyone who plans to alter their diet significantly for camping trip. Test your new, different food at home BEFOREHAND to see how it agrees with your individual digestive system...just like you test a wood finish on a small, inconspicuous area or scrap wood FIRST to see how it looks before covering the entire workpiece. We all read the wood finish can label and follow those testing directions every time...right? Sure we do... Haha!

    Hope you guys recovered ok, whatever the cause was.
     
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  24. Prairiewolf

    Prairiewolf Supporter Supporter

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    I think that I have one of those package deals from Wise in my basement. I don't think that I want to even test it now.
     
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  25. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    I wouldn't worry about using Wise freeze dried foods, I used to do a lot of spur of the moment fishing, hunting, and week end camping trips and kept my conversion van stocked with gear, clothing, and freeze dried foods so that anytime the mood struck and the time was right the wife and I or just me alone could just head for the woods on a moments notice.
    Before there was Mountain House styled backpacking foods so readily available my choice was surplus Viet Nam era MRE's, the early ones weren't as tasty as some of todays offerings, but they were pretty good, and back then were more affordable than they are today.
    Now, like most campers and backpackers I rely on a lot of off the shelf super market foods like Knorr's and other brands of processed foods that have decent shelf lives and are pretty tasty when prepared right.
    I've found that I prefer "survival" foods from Patriot Foods over Wise Food, I find them easy to prepare and they taste more like freshly prepared foods than Wise brand, but either one works well when you're hungry and need a quick meal in the bush.
    It's good to remember (if you're a bean counter) that when you are using pre packaged processed "camping or survival" foods they are not designed as health foods, they are designed to replace those salts and those calories that the average person expends while hiking and doing other outdoor chores such as making camp, cutting firewood, and constructing shelters, so, if you're worried about exceeding daily requirements of salt, fat, and sugar, perhaps those types of meals are not your best choice.
    Personally I don't sweat over that kind of stuff, I've a friend of mine who is constantly warning me about the dangers of processed trail foods especially Ramon noodles, Spam, and Hormel Chili, my reply to him is always the same, "eat your granola and peanut butter sandwiches or Tofu kabobs and I'll worry about what I put in my mouth".
    In my life I've seen folks that worked hard, played hard, drank and smoked, and otherwise abused themselves live to be a hundred years old and others that never smoked or drank, kept fit in the gym regularly and ate nothing but health foods and vitamin supplements, and died early from all manner of illnesses.
    I figure my time is going to run out someday but until it does I'm not going to clutter what time I have left with worry about what I eat or what I cook my food in, "life is much too important to take it seriously" that a quote from me, feel free to use it anytime.

    I guess I went off the tracks a bit, sorry about that, IMHO Wise has been around for fairly long time and has a pretty good reputation for quality, my guess is that as has been said already, you probably got a bad lot, that's no reason to badmouth or run down a good company.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  26. EternalLove

    EternalLove Guide

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    I have had no problems with Wise freeze dried foods. That said any number of problems can arise when it comes to food and camping. Perhaps it was improperly stored before you bought it, was a bad batch, or who knows.

    I think you take a bigger risk when you order a drink at a restaurant with ice where the person dips their hand in to get the ice. "Oh, we use a scoop". As the wet rag they're holding drips muck down their wrist.
     
  27. Woodcarver

    Woodcarver Tracker

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    [QUOTE="Moe M., post: 4088844, member: 20026"
    Personally I don't sweat over that kind of stuff, I've a friend of mine who is constantly warning me about the dangers of processed trail foods especially Ramon noodles, Spam, and Hormel Chili, my reply to him is always the same, "eat your granola and peanut butter sandwiches or Tofu kabobs and I'll worry about what I put in my mouth".
    In my life I've seen folks that worked hard, played hard, drank and smoked, and otherwise abused themselves live to be a hundred years old and others that never smoked or drank, kept fit in the gym regularly and ate nothing but health foods and vitamin supplements, and died early from all manners of illnesses.
    I figure my time is going to run out someday but until it does I'm not going to clutter what time I have left with worry about what I eat or what I cook my food in, "life is much too important to take it seriously" that a quote from me, feel free to use it anytime.
    [/QUOTE]

    If you want to live this way it is fine, but as someone who counsels people on the importance of diet and exercise i can't stress enough how important it is to eat healthy, fresh, non processed foods (organic if possible). Your friend is right and really has your best interest in mind. Even if you live to be a 120 years old you would live healthier and better with the right food and exercise. Not trying to be offensive just want to state the facts for anybody else who might be reading. Many, many of the health problems we see today are due to the American processed food diet. Peace and I wish you the best.
     
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  28. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    Most gummies contain Carnauba wax - car wax. May not cause the runs - or may.
     
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  29. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    Is there a Pyramid Scam tied to Wise Food Buckets?
     
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  30. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    If you want to live this way it is fine, but as someone who counsels people on the importance of diet and exercise i can't stress enough how important it is to eat healthy, fresh, non processed foods (organic if possible). Your friend is right and really has your best interest in mind. Even if you live to be a 120 years old you would live healthier and better with the right food and exercise. Not trying to be offensive just want to state the facts for anybody else who might be reading. Many, many of the health problems we see today are due to the American processed food diet. Peace and I wish you the best.[/QUOTE]

    I agree with you in general, but I don't believe we were discussing the dangers of a regular diet of unhealthy processed food, I think the topic was about the quality of a company that markets food primarily designed for and purchased for long term storage, survival, or in this situation, as a light weight, compact, and easily prepared backpacking food.
    What I don't think we were talking about were the dangers of an unhealthy diet, as an outdoorsman I have had the need to carry and use processed freeze dried foods such as MRE's and Mountain House type meals when carrying an ice chest and fresh produce wasn't possible, back fifty or so years ago I carried tinned foods like baked beans, processed meats and canned fish products, when more lightweight and less perishable foods became available it was a blessing for people like myself who had to depend on easy to carry and quick to prepare tasty foods.
    That said I take pride in being a handy guy in the kitchen, I'm the family cook, most of our foods are fresh from the market, garden, or butcher, my cooking methods are always healthy and where ever possible little fats, salts, and sugar are used.
    All that aside, I'm going to go out on a limb here an assume that you are a nutritionist of some sort, so you probably can't help preaching the merits of a healthy diet, which is a good thing most of the time, but not all of the time.

    Wishing you and yours the best as well.
     
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  31. JAY

    JAY Guide

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    I get my freeze dried, and dehydrated food products, for the most part, from EmergencyEssentials.com, (be prepared). Most of their products come in #10 cans and need to be broke down into smaller portions. I find they have great products. It's a Mormon company, based in Utah.
     
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  32. bgf

    bgf Scout

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    I felt like a cheap pretender eating Knorr and canned/dried meat/fish, then to assuage my guilt I bought a mountain house breakfast. Never again. It didn't make me sick, but my normally healthy and omnivorous appetite was suppressed to point I would have thrown most of it out had I not been raised to never waste food!

    In general, I can feed myself for 1/3 the cost of prepackaged "backpacking" food, at roughly the same carrying weight, and, with experience, more consistently palatable food...at least no surprises!

    How was the flavor of the Wise meals?
     
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  33. blind & lost

    blind & lost Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Pretty much my philosophy, and MY choice.
     
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  34. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Wubba lubba dub dub Supporter

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    Wise Company never responded after the initial email.

    My comments still stand. I lived off mountain house pro packs this last hunting trip (4 full days) and had no issues. Though the chili mac and beef was disgusting. Seems like I got a bad batch with others stating they have never had an issue. None the less, I will not purchase again. As I said, it was not just me that was affected, but my fiance as well.
     
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  35. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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    Once you've been soured on a food product, doesn't matter who says what and how many times, if you're like me, you will never buy it again. Good news is you still have plenty of choices out there.
     
  36. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    Maybe so, maybe not, as I got older I've developed a sensitivity to foods that have lingered too long at room temp, I have zero issues with home cooked foods, but more than half the time I eat out in resturants I end up with stomach distress, and it doesn't take long to kick in.
    The one and only time I've ever suffered from food poisoning was on a camping trip, before arriving at the camp ground the wife and I decided to stop at a McDonalds on way and avoid making supper while setting up our camp, the wife had a Fish sandwich value meal, I had a had one of those Big Mac value meals, a couple of hours later I was laying on my cot in our tent praying that my death would be quick and merciful, after about an hour of that suffering I was finally able to up chuck and soon was feeling a lot better, I think it was the mayo based sauce that was bad.
    I can't say that I went right back to ordering a Big Mac again, but eventually I reneged and have eaten them occasionally since without getting sick.
     
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