MREs - military food supply

Meals Ready to eat (MRE)
Military food supplies

Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) are high calorie prepared meals
for emergencies.
Created by the U.S. Military as a food supply, MREs provide a
hot nutritious meal to soldiers anywhere, anytime. MREs are a
convenient food option for preppers too, because they are shelf
stable, waterproof, impact resistant, and hermetically sealed
against pests. Though they come with a flameless heater to
make the food more palatable, they don't even require
cooking.  Meals come with everything you need, including
condiments and utensils.

Meals Ready to Eat include:
  1. Entrée - varieties may include Beef Ravioli, Chili,
    Spaghetti, Meatballs, or Oatmeal).
  2. Side dish
  3. Dessert - a cookie, a brownie or a candy bar
  4. Bread and spread - peanut butter or jelly or cheese
  5. Cold drink mix - electrolyte drink mix
  6. Hot drink mix - cocoa, instant coffee
  7. Condiments - may include hot sauce, salt, pepper, sugar,
    creamer, gum, etc.
  8. Utensils (spoon napkin and a wet wipe, matches, toilet
  9. Flameless ration heater - activated by any type of water.
    In ten minutes you can have a hot meal like the one
    pictured below:

Advantages and Disadvantages of MREs
MREs aren't for everyone, but maybe they are for you! Here are
some of the features, both advantages and disadvantages so
that you can decide for yourself:

  • Bulky (disadvantage). Many preppers think MREs are too
    heavy for the bugout bag. The MRE boxes are bulky and
    weigh in at around 2 lbs each, and they may contain foods
    and condiments that you might not end up using. Even
    soldiers take apart the contents to make sure they are not
    lugging around food they don't intend on eating.
    Experienced backpackers won't even consider taking MREs;
    though they may be just the thing for car campers who
    don't want to cook. Backpackers opt for freeze dried foods
    because they are compact and light and they have the
    luxury of time to source water.

  • Convenience (advantage). Arguably the best reason to
    stock MREs is that they are convenient. Everything you
    need to eat the meal is self contained -- from food and
    heating to utensils. Some even provide you with toilet
    paper and wipes! In about ten minutes you can have a hot
    meal without cooking. You need only have a source of
    water to activate the flameless heater. It can be any kind
    of water (potable or unpotable).

  • Expiration dates (disadvantage). Unfortunately, MREs
    expire very rapidly - around 3- 5 years from date of
    manufacture. Freeze dried foods will have a much longer
    shelf life of around 7-25 years, which is why backpackers
    prefer freeze dried foods on their journey.

  • Durable (advantage). MREs are quite durable and this is
    why the military uses them as a food supply.

  • MREs are expensive (disadvantage). You can get a good
    deal if you look around. The MRE pictured above is around
    $129 for 12 meals.

  • Nutrition (advantage). MREs are high-calorie nutrition
    and have at least 100% of the daily allowance of vitamins
    and minerals, so you'll be ready for anything. You can't be
    a vegetarian

  • Safety (advantage). You will not attract unwanted
    marauders because of a campfire or smells of food wafting
    from your location. Because they come with a flameless
    heater, you also won't be attracting your location because
    of a light source. If you need to hide while you eat or
    defend your location, an MRE is an ideal food for your food
    storage system.

  • Heats with water (advantage/disadvantage). While
    you can heat your MRE with any kind of water (potable or
    unpotable) you must have a water source of some kind.

Beware that secondhand Military MREs may have been
discarded by the U.S. Military because they have expired or
become compromised.

Meals Ready to Eat (the ins and outs):

Now that you know a little more about the advantages and
disadvantages of MREs you can decide what is best for your
family or group. If curiousity has you, then you should take
advantage of the MRE pictured at the top of the page. You can
test one for a work time lunch and keep a few at your
workplace, just in case.

Happy endings...
Meals Ready to Eat are fun to try. Kids will be curious and you
can help educate them on your preparedness plans by testing
out a package. The kids will love the desserts especially.

Related articles...

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Meals Ready to eat
------------------------------------------------- Revised 03/11/17
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