Dear Mr. Latimer,
Having said that you have tried the home freeze dryer personally, I would like your opinion on a dilemma. If you could purchase Mountain House products at 70% off retail or spend the money on the dryer, which would you opt for? Thank you for your response and for all you and JWR do. – T.M.
Hugh responds: Without question, I would choose the freeze dryer, but cost has very little to do with this decision.
Practically all commercial freeze-dried foods have high sodium contents as well as other ingredients that we just don’t add to our own family’s foods. There is also a very limited selection of foods available for purchase. In order to use commercial products, we would have to alter our diets to match what the manufacturer produces. By freeze drying our own, we use the ingredients that we want and the foods that we like.
The Harvest Right Freeze Dryer is the most affordable option at this point for producing your own freeze-dried foods, but it is still a significant expense. If you are satisfied with the ingredients and selection of commercial foods and you can pick them up at significant discounts, there is no reason to purchase the unit, as the break-even point would be hard to achieve. If you want a wider selection or a selection more in tune with your existing diet, then it is just the ticket.
By the way, it’s been over a year since we ran the product review on the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer (about 18 months since I first had my hands on it), and with the exception of about six weeks of travel it has been running non-stop 24/7. I’ve worked that unit pretty hard, and in a few weeks we hope to have an update on our long-term experience as well as some maintenance tips. For those readers who have a unit, we would love to hear from you on what foods you are processing, especially if they are not ordinary. – Hugh