MREs or meals ready to eat were originally developed for the US Military in order to feed their soldiers on the battlefield. The US Army had been doing extensive research on ready to eat meals for many decades. The latest MREs were born as a result of this extensive research. In the 1980’s, the US Military Research Laboratory took the lead in further developing retort pouches – which was an upgrade to their field ration program. In fact, the field ration program was based on less workable technologies such as canning and free drying food items. The retort pouch gave away to the popular meals ready to eat or MREs of this day and age. The same research labs went on with their research in order to upgrade the taste and nutrient content of MREs to what it is today. Over the past three decades, the US Military has been dependent on MRE full meal kits for almost all their operations. This article answers the question of – “Are MREs or meals ready to eat safe?”
During the past decade or so, MREs have been commonly used for disaster relief operations other than in the military. In fact, MREs have become quite popular with campers, hikers, survivalists, and disaster relief workers across the country during this period of time. The television coverages of Hurricanes Katrina, Irene, and Sandy, have made MREs a household name in the United States. In fact, emergency teams were praising the part played by MREs during their disaster relief operations. That is how meals ready to eat became extremely popular with a broad category of people in society. Today, civilian MREs are even more popular than military MREs in the United States. That is why you should consider opting for meals ready to eat if you are a survivalist of working in the disaster relief field.
Civilian MREs are specially made for outdoor activities such as backpacking, camping, mining expeditions, scientific expeditions, and any other outdoor activity where food is a priority, but no cooking is available. MREs can help you a lot under such circumstances. That is why you should be opting for high-quality meals ready to eat on the market. Millions of MRE full meals have been produced and consumed to this date. These packages solve one of life’s most pressing issues – hunger. In fact, MREs are extremely valuable when you have no way of preparing your own food or purchasing them from a food store.
On the other hand, you can consume the contents of an MRE without heating it. If you want to enjoy a hot meal, most of the MRE packages come with flameless ration heaters or FRHs. You only have to add a few drops of water to the FRH and heat the contents of the package. It isn’t essential to heat the contents in the package before consuming them. But if you prefer a hot meal, there is provision for that also. That is why you should be investing in a high-quality brand when buying meals ready to eat or MREs.
The shelf life is one of the most important components of an MRE package. The long shelf life is a real advantage to buying MREs. In fact, an enormous amount of research has gone into producing the retort package and determining the exact length of time and exact conditions under which it is safe to store the package. The shelf life of the package will depend on the temperature where the pouch is stored. The pouch will easily last for more than 5 years when it is stored between 50-70F. On the other hand, the shelf life of the pouch will decrease when it is stored in temperature conditions. That is why you should be concerned about the temperature of the environment when storing MREs for future use.
The average meals ready to eat or MRE contains the following food items:
- Entree – This is the main course which is beef stew, spaghetti, or any other items depending on the brand of the MRE.
- Bread or cracker
- Side dish – Mashed potatoes, corn, rice, or fruits
- Dessert – Pound cakes or cookies
- Spread – Cheese spread, jelly or butter
- Candy – Skittles, M&Ms, or Tootsie Rolls
- Hot Sauce or seasoning – Some MRE pouches have these items
- Beverages – Dairy shakes, Tea, cocoa, coffee, or Gatorade-like mixes
- FRH or flameless ration heater to heat the meal
- Accessories – Sugar, creamer, spoon, salt, pepper, matches, chewing gum, and toilet papers
Each MRE package contains an average of 1,250 calories to 1,300 calories. In fact, there are other packages with different calories values for the benefit of the customers. More than 51% of these calories come from carbohydrates, 13% from proteins, and 36% from healthy fats. There is also 1/3 of the Military Recommended Daily Allowance of minerals and vitamins in these packages. In fact, three MREs are ideal for a whole day’s worth of meals for the average person.
An MRE is fully ready to eat just as it is. But some people prefer to heat the contents of the pouch before they consume it. That is where the flameless ration heater or FRH comes in handy. The contents – whether cold or heated – can be consumed out of the wrapper with plastic utensils provided with the package. The package has instructions on how to prepare the meal before consuming it. These are some of the most important things to consider when choosing a high-quality meal ready to eat or MRE on the market. Make sure that you do the necessary research and choose a quality brand when buying civilian MREs on the market. That way you will get a quality product at an affordable price. Your extensive research is very important in this regard. There are many online e-commerce sites where you can buy quality meals ready to eat at affordable prices. Compare these products before you pick the right product for your needs.
Are MREs Or Ready To Eat Meals Safe?
Meals ready to eat or MREs are wholesome and sanitary food. Hence, they are incredibly healthy compared to most of the other freeze-dried food items on the market today. On the other hand, MREs are a safe option compared to having contaminated food or no food at all. In fact, since there is no single metric for “healthy” in the food industry, all food is considered healthy and safe unless they are contaminated or poisoned in some way.
MREs do exactly what they were meant to do. An MRE provides a very high density of calories in a form that is quite easy to move around. The package can stay edible for a much longer time without any refrigeration. The shelf life of an MRE will depend on its storing conditions. If you store it in a temperature of 50-70F, it will easily last for more than 5-7 years. There are cases where MREs have lasted for even 10-15 years with the right storing conditions. That is why MREs have become so popular as one of the best survivalist foods on the market today.
On the other hand, MREs come in a wide variety of food choices – whether you invest in a military or civilian MRE. This will help stave off menu monotony. A package will provide between 1,200 to 1,400 calories to the user. In fact, 2-3 MREs are more than enough to provide the necessary nutrients and energy for a warfighter to sustain combat operations. In that sense, MREs are extremely healthy – whether you buy a civilian or military MRE on the market.
On the other hand, MREs are not to be used for long periods of time. In fact, an MRE would sacrifice a lot of fiber in order to become calory dense. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of the human diet. They are important to get the necessary amount of fiber. But MREs don’t provide these items in the packages. Even though MREs are much safer than starving or eating contaminated food, you shouldn’t strive to live on meals ready to eat or MREs.
If you have to survive on MREs for a much longer time, you should be aware that MREs are calorie-dense – which means they have a lot of calories to survive during combat and disaster situations. Hence, you will have to adjust your lifestyle to suit the calorie content of the meals ready to eat or MRE. Also, they contain a higher content of salt compared to normal food items. Salt plays an important part in improving the shelf life of the MRE package. You should drink enough water to compensate for the high level of salt in the package. All in all, MREs or meals ready to eat are quite safe to consume as a survivalist food.
The aforementioned article answers the question of – “Are MREs or meals ready to eat safe?”