Meal ready to eat (MRE) is a light weight package used as military ration by the armies of many countries. The meal is used in combat zones or other situations where field kitchens or other preparation facilities are not available. The nutritional value is suitable for a combat environment where the soldiers burn athletic levels of calories! The bagged menu items are also used in similar civilian situations like camping, fishing, hunting, white-water rafting, mountain climbing, etc. It has been also provided as emergency food or even as a standard meal during times of the day when facilities are not open.
The main purpose of the military ration is provision for soldiers’ extreme caloric needs while in a continuous moving environment; useful when stopping for prolonged periods of time can be hazardous. Each meal contains different nutritionally balanced ingredients for a variety of flavors required to prevent morale issues caused by bland food. Each package provides you about 1200 calories and is intended to be eaten for a maximum of 21 days. Fresh food must be used after 21 days. The packages maintain nutritional value with a minimum shelf life of three and a half years at 27° C! Best storage at 10° C which bears 5 year shelf life.
Stories abound warning how bad these things taste. It’s really not true. For example: peaches in a package are squishy and not dehydrated; the flavor is still in the package though it might appear unappetizing. Suggested combinations are eating crackers with peanut butter, mixing the chocolate with the coffee, and carry small bottles of hot sauce as a traveling spice cabinet. There is a whole range of different menus available to avoid boredom. Choose your MRE according to your choice and situation… or trade with your buddy!
General contents include:
- Main courses include many options like chili with beans, Beef Stew, Chicken w/Egg Noodles & Vegetables, Beef Taco, Chili and Macaroni, Meatballs in Marinara Sauce, beanies and weenies and a lot more. Members can choose from up to 24 entrées. Ham and potato in a creamy sauce is a famous dish. The ham used in it is lean, not chewy and with a ham texture. Ham in the form of a solid block also used in another menu with water juice and smoky flavor. Tuna with noodles are the main constituents of another meal with small amounts of mushroom, celery and green peas just add a little flavor.
- A side dish may include fruit or a dessert, applesauce or mashed potatoes
- 2 Crackers also known as biscuits are included in the ration pack in the form of 4” square and with a grain or wheat taste. They are stiff and crispy. They have the combination with the peanut butter. Or a wheat bread with some sort of fruit preserve.
- Cheese spread, jelly or, peanut butter.
- Powdered beverage mix: fruit flavored drink, cocoa, instant coffee or tea, sport drink.
- A plastic spoon is the only utensil included
- Beverage mixing bag
- There are many accessories in the package like chewing gum, water-resistant matches, toilet paper or napkin, Seasonings, including salt, pepper, and sugar, creamer, and/or Tabasco sauce.
You don’t need to cook or heat these things up, you can eat them right out of the package but the People who love to have their stuff heated up, there is flameless heater in the package too. Just fill the heater bag with a little bit of water until it goes to the fill line. Wait for a minute to heat it up and insert your main course into the heater and prop it on a rock or other convenient non-flammable item and after roughly ten minutes, the meal will be steaming hot, and ready to eat or burn your fingers. Careful!
The package is plastic reinforced foil and vacuum packed. It comes with indentations, and is like uncontrolled opening of a bag of potato chips if you are not careful. Use a knife on it. The spoon isn’t quite that long, and it is best to open the package horizontally for much cleaner eating. Always keep the outer wrapping in order to dispose the waste or keep for preserving articles of interest.
MREs are a good food alternative in emergency situations. In each military ration pack is enough food to get you through the day if your survival depended on it. Be sure to consume only small portions if this is your situation.
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