Last updated on February 1st, 2019
MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) are US Military precooked ration packs designed to feed soldiers who are currently engaged in ongoing missions.
Just like regular meals, the military MRE is fortified with vitamins and minerals, enough to nourish and replenish the body.
Today’s MRE’s are a lot better than when they were first introduced! They’ve come along way since C-Rats. They are made with a very wide variety of foods and flavors – and are available for civilian use.
Why MRE Meals are good diversification
MRE meals are a good addition to part of one’s overall food storage preparedness and survival kit.
– They are excellent for portability and ease of use.
– They’re well purposed for travel. For example I typically keep several in my 72-hour survival kit in my truck (along with other types of emergency foods).
– MRE’s are great for bug out bags too.
To preserve the quality and freshness of these specially designed meals, the MRE is sealed inside airtight containment-pouches.
They are compact and lightweight, which makes them easier to bring along and can easily fit into the pockets of a backpack, survival kit, or even cargo pants.
Generally, these meals (not just a single packet, but a prescribed meal) contain an average of 1,250 calories. Typically they contain about 1/2 carbohydrates, 1/3 fats, and about 10% proteins.
MRE Shelf Life
MRE’s do not require refrigeration.
The shelf life of a military MRE is specified to be 3 years at a temperature of 81 degrees F.
However MRE meals will store well for 5 years (or much longer) under good storage conditions!
Note: Temperature is the most important factor having to do with general food storage shelf life. Here’s how temperature matters…
Although MRE’s can be eaten cold, some main course packets are designed to be heated using a flameless heater.
This would be an additional pouch packet designed to accept an MRE in order to heat it up. Simply add some water into the heater pouch (there’s a reference line for how much water) and slip the MRE packet into the heater pouch. Wait for several minutes (typically 10 – 15) for a heated meal!
Where to buy MRE Meals
From a survival & preparedness standpoint, MRE meals have their place in one’s overall food storage or survival plan. I generally have several cases on hand along with all my other diversification assets.
MREs can be purchased by civilians from distributors and contractors who supply MRE meals to the United States Government. These MREs are very similar to genuine US Government MREs, differing only in minor details such as the design of it’s case, bag, or type of spoon, etc..
Most major preparedness distributors sell MRE meals.
NOTE: MRE’s are not intended for long term regular consumption, week after week.
NOTE: You need to (should) drink lots of water when you’re consuming MRE meals day after day to avoid ‘binding’ (constipation). They may plug you up after longer term consumption.
NOTE: MREs are generally very high in sodium.
What are your experiences (stories, etc.) with MRE’s?