Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) are fundamental survival food, no more or less. The goal of these meals is to prevent illness or loss of life from starvation and nutritional deficiencies during times where little or no food options are available.
To understand MREs, it is imperative to become familiar with different aspects of these meals. Read the following questions and answers to learn more about MRE food packages.
What is an MRE?
MREs are food packages, which have been processed to remain safe to eat without refrigeration. They contain any number of food items, a heating element, and other useful components.
Who uses MREs?
The intended purpose of MREs is for soldiers in the army. However, survivalists and adventurers also use the civilian version of MREs.
What is in an MRE?
There are different contents in an MRE because there are a variety of menu options. Some common meals include, Chili with Beans, Chicken Pasta, Beef Stew, and Pork Ribs. Side items and desserts are typically included with MREs. Additionally, there are frequent revisions to the MRE menu; therefore, the offerings may change.
Is anything else included?
In addition to food, an MRE typically contains other essential items for survival, such as toilet paper and matches.
Do MREs have an expiration date?
In general, MREs should last about three years. However, some can last at least 12 years!
Does temperature affect the expiration?
Yes! Temperature is critical when determining the longevity of MREs. For example, an MRE maintained at 50 degrees Fahrenheit may last for five years without going bad or sustaining damage. Conversely, the same MRE maintained at 120 degrees Fahrenheit may only last for a month.
Are MREs bulky or heavy?
When compared to their frozen or dried counterparts, MREs can be slightly bulkier and heavier.
How do you heat them?
An MRE package contains a flameless ration heater, which heats the food without the need for fire or electricity.
Are there different types of MREs?
Yes. Some MREs are designed specifically for the military, while others are for civilian use. Although both have similarities, there will be subtle differences between the military MREs and ones for civilians.
How heavy is each package?
An individual MRE package weighs approximately 24 ounces.
Where do you buy MREs?
MREs can be purchased from military surplus stores around the world. Additionally, many online vendors sell MREs, with the most common seller being XMRE.