Extreme minimalism Monday: Bucket o’ food

The extreme minimalist used to be a vocal advocate of once-a-month cooking. That came to an abrupt end when I let him tag along with me to Costco a few months ago.

We did our shopping separately and agreed to meet up at a specified time and location inside the store. He never showed, so I went looking for him.

I eventually found my friend standing open-mouthed in childlike wonder as he beheld an aisle end cap stacked high with five gallon buckets that held the promise of an even better solution to the “food problem.”

Each bucket contained an emergency food supply with 275 servings inside. At $115 per bucket, my friend realized he could eat for an entire year on less than $500. Tears swelled up in his eyes when I mentioned he could probably also get rid of the refrigerator in his apartment.

I tried to discourage him. I reminded him that people need variety in their diets. He rebuffed me by pointing to the bucket’s list of contents:

  • 30 Servings – Potato Bakon (Note the “k.”)
  • 25 Servings – Corn Chowder
  • 25 Servings – Ala King
  • 25 Servings – Cacciatore
  • 25 Servings – Western Stew
  • 45 Servings – Whey Milk
  • 25 Servings – Blueberry Pancakes
  • 25 Servings – Barley Vegetable

For obvious reasons, my wife and I now make a sport out of coming up with excuses for avoiding his dinner parties.

22 Comments for “Extreme minimalism Monday: Bucket o’ food”

  1. posted by Eric on

    “With a 20 year long shelf life, this kit is perfect for the preparation of natural disasters such as hurricane, tornado, earthquakes or even a camping/hunting trip.”

    Yes, if your camping/hunting trips can be described as a natural disaster, this is probably perfect for you!

  2. posted by Damian on

    I was kinder hoping for a blow by blow description of the foods within when I read the RSS header. Oh well. Onwards!

  3. posted by AntEater on

    I haven’t laughed this hard at work (lunchtime) in a long time.

    Yes, a review of the “meals” would definitely be in order.

  4. posted by Betsbillabong on


  5. posted by Jennifer on

    Ew. Especially “ala king.” Notice there’s no chicken in there? Ugh.

  6. posted by Ailene on

    It wouldn’t be bad to have on hand in the case of an emergency. I mean, if I had to evacuate and only had time to grab a couple of things, I could grab this bucket and feed my family of 4 for a month! It might not be the most appetizing thing, but at least we’d be alive.

  7. posted by Bill on

    The only problem is that most of this food is the “add hot water” kind. If you don’t have an adequate supply of potable water in an emergency situation, it’s not gonna be very good.

  8. posted by Melinda on

    Um…. eww.

  9. posted by missdona on

    I like how Costco puts it under the heading of “prepared gourmet entrees”


  10. posted by gillian on

    I was in cadets as a teenager, and on camping trips we took IMPs (Individual Meal Packages/Packets) instead of real food. Because we didn’t consider them real food. There was a rumour that at a training camp for new armed forces recruits the only food available was IMPs of “ham omelette” flavour, and these recruits just stopped eating because it was so gross. I can believe it.

  11. posted by Karen on

    Oh that’s so awful! We humans haven’t evolved to ever eat that way. I think you need to grab your friend and take them along to a decent Farmer’s Market. Or abduct them and take them to a mediterrean country – those people REALLY know how to enjoy food, how to spend the most pleasant HOURS of your life on it, eating it, cooking it, sharing it, as well as being incredibly healthy. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Surely your friend has pleasant memories of food his parents/grandparents used to make? Old family recipes?

  12. posted by Sapna on

    eeeeks its unbelievable . Please help your friend . It is impossible to survive with such a diet . It worse than pet food. I think your friend must have a very low self esteem or he would not abuse himself like that

  13. posted by stacy on

    I know someone who does that once a month cooking. can you imagine being her kids? all their meals are planned out each month ahead of time, this is what you will be eating, and this is how much you will get, period.

    as for the bucket o’ food, reminds me of those buckets of food pellets they feed lab rats. If it came down to an emergency situation, think I’d rather dig up the daylilies and edible weeds in my backyard…

  14. posted by monkey on

    i’m hoping the emergency provisions are better than eating monkey chow

  15. posted by Ailene on

    Lol, monkey chow! ๐Ÿ™‚ We keep a bunch of water in water bottles on top of our fridge in case our water has to be shut off for an extended period of time. We just use the bottles from Apple juice, Gatorate, etc… Don’t have any in my car though… like I said… in an emergency… I’d eat this, and choose not to starve… I don’t know what weeds are edible, and I’d rather not have a surprise of diarhhea to deal with in an emergency from eating a non-edible weed! Eek! But if I knew what weeds were edible… I’d eat them… so long as I didn’t own a dog.

  16. posted by Gloria on

    Oh, I wouldn’t mind having one of these around. Particularly during cramming/exam time when I have no time to cook. And I like campings too, so it won’t be too bad. However, having it everyday for 275 days….ugh.

  17. posted by Andrea on

    Not only do the contents sound completely unappetizing, but the container looks suspiciously like a recycled joint compound bucket. Mmmm!

  18. posted by Cliff on

    As a regular MRE “victim” after Katrina, and an avid camper, I can say that some brands and styles of freeze-dried foods are actually quite tasty. Just depends which one you get. Hunt around. The powdered blueberry cobblers are nearly all very good; anything with chili powder is almost inevitably very bad; and “oriental” stir-fried vegetables with chicken in brown oyster sauce are all almost identical to what you get in an American-style “Chinese” restaurant.

  19. posted by Cliff on

    PS — “MRE” = “Meal Ready to Eat”

  20. posted by mritz03 on

    For anyone actually considering consuming something like this, let me recommend a little reading – “The Omnivores Dilemma”

  21. posted by Benny on

    Is your friend a minimalist or a tightwad? There is a difference.

  22. posted by Steven on

    In the last months of 1999, a couple we knew were convinced that the Y2K turnover might just might be disastrous. The decided to lay in a supply of food for a few weeks. We found this out when we to visit and they were taste-tasting samples. Yuk.

Comments are closed.