If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably found yourself walking down the aisles of your local Honeyville store or surfing the pages of shop.honeyville.com and, when coming upon the TVP products, have asked yourself: “What is TVP, and why should I buy it?” Today, we’re going to discuss TVP and the what’s and why’s to this interesting and sometimes misunderstood product.

What is TVP?

TVP stands for Texturized Vegetable Protein. What does that mean, you ask? It means that this product is all vegetable. TVP is produced from soy flour. That flour is run through a special extrusion process and cooked under pressure and then dried. This creates a product that is 100% vegetable, but with the taste and texture of meat.

Though you may not realize it, you’ve probably been enjoying TVP products your entire life. The U.S. Food Nutritional Service programs have been using TVP products for years now in school lunch programs because of the health benefits and storable capabilities, which we will discuss further next.

What are the health benefits?

Freeze Dried Sausage (left) vs. Sausage Flavored TVP (right).

Let me answer this question with a comparison. Let’s say that you are looking at purchasing some canned sausage for your food storage and are trying to decide between Honeyville’s Sausage Flavored TVP and Honeyville’s Freeze Dried Sausage. When you look on the back of each can at the nutritional facts label, you’ll find that Sausage Flavored TVP has an impressive 8% dietary fiber and only 5% total fat, compared to Honeyville’s Freeze Dried Sausage which has 0% dietary fiber and 38% total fat. TVP, in essences, gives you a healthier product than regular freeze dried meats. As well as the health benefits, TVP products are Kosher approved.

Why should I use it in my food storage?

First off, TVP products have a shelf life of 5-10 years longer than Freeze Dried meat. Honeyville’s Freeze Dried Sausage, sealed in a #10 can, will give you a shelf life of 10-15 years, while Honeyville’s Sausage Flavored TVP, also sealed in a #10 can, will stay fresh for 10-20 years if kept in a cool, dry place.

Second, because TVP is a vegetable product, the cost is much, much lower than freeze dried meats. How much lower you ask? How does $20 to $30 less sound? You could literally buy twice as much TVP product for the price of one freeze dried product.

Should I use TVP?

With TVP, as with all food storage, it is all about choice. The biggest thing to keep in mind is whether you and your family would enjoy eating this product. Would you choose to eat it in place of a meat product? Perhaps you’d want to combine them, purchasing an even amount of freeze dried meats and the flavored TVP versions of those meats. The decision is yours to make, but with all the choices out there, it’s nice to know that at Honeyville, there is always an option!