For individuals who place a high value on being prepared, Meals Ready to Eat is a basic necessity. Better known as MREs, these are compact and sealed packages that contain complete meals, ready to eat at any moment.
But you are probably wondering about the taste, seeing as the concept of MREs was initially made popular during the Second World War. What could it have possibly tasted like back then? Or more specifically, what do they taste like now?
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about Meals Ready to Eat, including the “taste” evolution they have undergone over the years.
They Are Still Used In The Army
If perhaps you were wondering whether MREs are still good enough to be used in the army, they are. In fact, it’s because of the way production and packaging have evolved that MREs taste a lot better, and they can be heated to taste even more delicious. Okay, maybe delicious is a strong word, but when in survival mode, these packages are like food to a king.
What Is In An MRE?
As a matter of interest, the average person should consume about 1,200 calories on a daily basis. Now, in an environment where you are more exposed to the natural elements and you need to be more physical, you are going to require more calories consisting of protein, fat, vitamins and carbohydrates. This balance should also be found in an MRE. To break it down, expect:
– The main meal that is fully cooked
– A side dish
– A healthy beverage
– A nutritional spread (typically peanut butter) along with bread or crackers
– Candy and/or dessert
– Seasoning packages and other accessories (sugar, cream, utensils)
All in all, one package should fill you up pretty good.
How Long Can They Be Stored?
This is an important question all prepared individuals are asking, and the answer is between 3 and 5 years. However, this is the shelf life when the MRE is stored in an ideal environment. This is also the recommended time period to consume the MREs in.
While this is the safer route to take, when stored in a place where the weather and temperature stay consistent, and there aren’t any pests around, the shelf life can go past 5 years.
You should also take note that aging will influence the taste as well as the nutritional value of the MRE.
Can People With A Special Diet Eat Them?
Naturally, you are going to look for MREs that fit your diet and lifestyle the best. And when in a survival mode, a little bit of something extra that is dangerous to your health might not matter as much.
But when consumed on a continuous bases, that little bit of extra can turn into a problem. So, when you stock up, pay attention to the ingredients and nutritional value.
Rotate Via A Date Code
It is mandatory for an MRE to come with a 4-digit code. It is also referred to as the Julian Code, which is simply the date of production. The first digit indicates the year while the last three digits tell you the day.
This code is very important if you are going to rotate stock efficiently, so make sure your MREs have it.
Always Sample First
Okay, this is more of a suggestion before making any purchases, and it’s very important if you are about to make a substantial investment in survival preparedness.
Sample a few MREs first and give each at least 24 hours to settle. Take notice of aftertastes you don’t like, and whether you got everything you needed from the MRE in the first place.
Choose Between Military And Civilian MREs
If you don’t know already, there are two main types of MREs. One is specifically for the military, and the other is more geared towards civilians who want to be prepared. And as mentioned earlier, the development of MREs has been quite significant, resulting in many more options to choose from.
Do You Need Anything Else To Eat An MRE?
No. You won’t require anything else once you open an MRE pack. All the food that needs to be cooked are cooked, and you don’t need to start any type of fire. This really makes them great when you don’t want to draw attention to your surroundings, or if you simply can’t get a fire going in the first place.
Although, if possible and the situation isn’t too dire, consider heating the meal first. Even though it can’t change what’s inside, it will most likely taste better.
Are They Worth Investing In?
Having a solid and nutritional meal during an event where food is nowhere in sight is always a good investment. In other words, if you take preparedness seriously, you can’t go wrong with a few MREs stored away.