MREs ~military food supply

Meals Ready to Eat
------------------------------------------------- Revised 02/05/2021
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Above Jack Rich of Black Scout Survival discusses MREs ~ 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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How much is an MRE?
MREs are expensive considering that much of the expense of
creating and MRE is in heating unit, packaging, condiments,
utensils and assembly. In other words, you get what you pay for:

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Meals Ready to Eat (the ins and outs):
Meals Ready to Eat (MRE)
Civilian Meals Ready to Eat

MRE's ~ should you stock them?
Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) are convenient, lightweight complete
meal kits that were first created according to the specifications of
the United States military. MREs were designed for war fighters
as individual field rations and they are available to civilians, but
are MREs worthwhile to stockpile?

MREs are ideal for a
Get Home Bag, and to store at home for
emergencies but they're not necessarily your bugout bag as they
do add quite a bit of bulk and the objective of your bugout bag is
to carry all the things you need to survive for the long term and
not just the next few days.

MREs ~ should you stock them?
Quick and ready nutrition, an MRE certainly has its place with
preppers, but it may not be the food storage solution for
everyone. For starters, they are on the expensive side, so not
every budget will allow.

What is an MRE?
Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) are high calorie prepared meals for
emergencies. First created by the U.S. Military as a food supply
for war fighters, MREs provide a hot nutritious meal to soldiers
anywhere, anytime. MREs are a convenient food option for
preppers too, because they are relatively shelf stable. They are
also waterproof, impact resistant, and hermetically sealed against
pests. Even so, they are costly, have limitations and they are not
for everyone.

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.

A typical MRE might 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 when you have an MRE:
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