Many people choose to add MRE meals to their store of emergency food. MREs are also popular with campers or outdoor adventurers who want a self-contained, higher calorie meal that's easy to carry. Are MRE meals right for you? Here are a few things you should know:
MRE stands for meals ready to eat. MRE meals originated in 1963 as military rations or meals for soldiers. Soldiers needed complete meals with lots of calories that were self contained and light enough to carry in the field (along with everything else).
MRE's have been in continual development over the years and the current ones now available usually contain about 1200 - 2000 calories per meal. They have a shelf life of 3-5 years.
Civilians can buy MRE's directly from contractors who supply them to the U.S. government. These are similar to the government MRE's, with a few minor differences.
Many people like to have a few MRE's in their survival food storage because of their high calorie content and long shelf life. They're also very popular with hikers or outdoors sports enthusiasts.
An MRE meal usually contains an entree, side dish, dessert or cnack, crackers or bread, spread like peanut butter or jelly, powdered drink mix, utensils, flameless ration heater, beverage mixing bag and accessories like napkin, matches and seasonings.
Some meals are sold without a side dish (making them cheaper) and some come with everything including a gourmet entree, gourmet side dish and extra snacks.
These meals are used especially for emergency natural disaster situations. MRE's were provided to the public during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ike. And after the earthquake in Haiti, you couldn't find a single MRE on store shelves.
MRE meals usually sell out after natural disasters - so it's too late to get them after the crisis happens.
MRE's are built to have a high calorie and high fat content (as that is what a soldier in high combat environment needs). Much more so than you'd find in a typical freeze dried meal.
And they would be appropriate for some emergency situations (like for rescue workers who need a lot of calories, hiking long distances and high stress situations where you naturally burn more calories.)
MRE emergency meals do contain some water so they can be heavier to carry than freeze dried meals. But they're still much lighter than canned food or other types of meals. And they're self contained meaning you don't need to buy (or add) anything else in order to be able to consume them.
You can buy MRE meals in single meals, as separate components (entree, side dish, desserts, drinks), in 3 day supplies, a month's supply or even a year's supply.
Overall Meals Ready To Eat give you several advantages and are great to have on hand for emergencies, camping trips or even to store in your emergency food storage. Just make sure you buy from a legitimate civilian MRE seller as it's illegal for a civilian to own military grade MREs.