It seems like I see many people that I encounter on the internet and in real life storing MRE’s. Now MRE’s like most things, have both good and bad sides. They are designed for military operations. Because of this, they are high in calories and well packaged. They are available in a variety of menus and the taste is ok. For conventional military units they work well. However, the military also stocks food like LRP’s (Long Range Patrol Rations) for special operations. The biggest pro that I see is that they are always ready to eat.
The down side to MRE’s is one they are expensive. I checked prices on the internet today and found the military MRE’s from about 85-100 dollars a case of 12 meals. They are cheaper ones that are knockoffs and contain some civilian products. These are often misrepresented as military rations. MRE’s are heavy and bulky even when stripped down. They are low in fiber and high in sodium. They can cause constipation.
Shelf life is also another big down side, as MRE’s have evolved over the years the shelf life has gotten shorter. The industry standard for the shelf life of MRE’s has been cut in half. The latest chart shows that the MRE’s have a shelf life of 36 months stored at 80 degrees. MRE’s have always been quite temperature sensitive. At 120 degrees, a temperature that can easily be reached in the trunk of a car in summer, the shelf life is reduced to 1 month.
MRE’s are made for young healthy men, who are physically active. Young children and older people will not fare well on them for periods longer than a few days.
Now Let’s Discuss Options to MRE’s
Suppose you were to purchase one case of MRE’s. That gives you 12 meals, allowing yourself 2 a day you have 6 days worth of food. Now supposing that you paid 85 dollars for the case, what else could you have purchased with the money.
If you went to the LDS Dry Pack Centers, you could have purchased the following in #10 cans.
- One case of Pinto Beans 31.2 lbs cost $28.20
- On case of rice 34.2 lbs cost $21.60
- Two cans of powdered milk 8.2 lbs cost $17.20
- Two cans of dry apple slices 2 lbs cost $11.40
- Three cans of oats 8.1 lbs cost $ 7.50
This gives you 83.7 lbs of long-term storage food for $85.90 the cost of one case of MRE’s. This food all has a minimum of a twenty-year shelf life if stored under reasonable conditions. These cans contain approximately 102,000 calories. This would provide you with 2000 calories for 51 days. That is a big difference from the 6 days the MRE’s would provide. Here is a link to their prices. http://bit.ly/19vsZSt Now I am not necessarily suggesting that you buy from this site, but look at all your options.
For the same or slightly less money, you can buy Mountain House bug out buckets, that last for twenty-five years and are lighter in weight. Other than, for convenience or maybe a special op I can see no reason to buy the current MRE’s.