I had the same experience with freeze dried when I started backpacking. It just went right thru me, and felt like I was getting nothing out of it in terms of nutrition and even calories. Fortunately, I discovered this when my trips were only 2 or 3 days long, and I just said no more freeze dried meals for me. A couple of friends of mine from Iowa did a 6 day backpack a few years back and all they took was freeze dried. Their experience was the same and they reported that they felt themselves getting weaker and weaker over the 6 day period.
The thing is if you take food that has most or all of the water out of it, you end up needing to carry only about 1 to 1.25 pounds of food per person per day. Lots of possibilities: quick oats for breakfast with butter and brown sugar. lunches: crackers of various kinds, nuts, dried fruit, bars, dried hummus (our coop carries this in bulk). bagels keep for a couple of days if you want bread instead of crackers. dinners: fortunately our coop carries cooked and dried black beans, lentils, split peas, all in bulk. We add minute rice, or corn tortillas that we dried ourselves in a very low oven or even in a hot car for the black beans, and a little bit of fresh veggie, say a quarter of a carrot, a clove of garlic, even fresh green beans. Instant mashed potatoes is another good one. So we've found it's possible to eat and eat well in the backcountry without resorting to freeze dried prepared dinners. And without paying a weight penalty.
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Most gas is caused by undigested food reaching the intestine. Freeze dried food which is not properly re-hydrated will reach the intestines without being properly digested (broken down) in the stomach. The enzymes in the intestine will start forming gas when this food reaches it. Many times people just don't give freeze dried food long enough time and/or enough water to properly re-hydrate. Thus gas results.
I use freeze dried food quite often and have no issues with it as long as I let it re-hydrate properly. I make my own meals with the stuff. I get #10 cans of freeze dried foods and assemble meals with the stuff.
Different foods re-hydrate at different rates, so be aware of that. I have found that turkey takes a long time to re-hydrate properly but chicken seems to do nicely. If I have to error, I always error on the side of too much water rather than too little. I can always drain water off. The same applies to dehydrated foods and meals as well, longer times and more water are best for good re-hydration.
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