Twelve Reasons Not to Store MRE’s


I am not a big fan of MRE’s, although I must admit I have a few in my storage.  MRE’s have some good sides.  The U.S. Military uses them to provide the the nutrition and energy, they need to survive in most  conditions.  Because they are a complete meal in one bag, they are very convenient in a emergency.  If you have the military ones you will even have the ability to heat your food.

The newer MRE’s have a shorter shelf life than the older one.  On the internet, you will see two different shelf life temperature charts.  If yours are newer, use the one with the shorter shelf life.

Twelve Reason not to store MRE’s

  1. They are expensive. I just saw them for sale on the internet for $7.20 each, plus shipping.
  2. They are not very tasty and have a limited menu
  3. Their shelf life is shorter than freeze-dried and dehydrated food.
  4. They are heavy compared to freeze dried or dehydrated foods
  5. They are bulky; they take up a lot of room in your pack.
  6. Because they are low in fiber, they often cause constipation.
  7. They are high in fat and sugar.
  8. They are low on water content. You need to drink water with every meal.
  9. They have very high sodium content.
  10. They are subject to damage from freezing.
  11. Many of the MRE’s on the market are low quality civilian knock offs.
  12. They will not stand up to high temperature as well as freeze dried or dehydrated foods
The new shelf life chart
These are not complete military MRE's, although they probably have some military componants
These are not complete military MRE’s, although they probably have some military components

If you decide that you need MRE’s in your storage be careful where you buy them.  I know people who have purchased them off internet auctions sites and have received MRE’s that obviously had not been stored under the best conditions.  To buy MRE’s go to a company that sells one manufactured by one of the Military suppliers.  They will look like a military MRE and not be in a clear bag.  Be careful there are a lot of scams out there.

See also  Enemies of Food Storage


A Must Read
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

2 thoughts on “Twelve Reasons Not to Store MRE’s”

  1. I will totally agree with your 12 step plan on the disadvantages of MRE’s, with that said I do like them for my 72 hour bag. More than just a couple of Mountain House (or similar) “quick meals”. They are a lot more complete (spoon, TP, S&P etc.), They will provide quite a bit more nourishment than just a MH, and the military ones have a heck of a good “heater” with them. I would suggest that anyone using MRE’s in the pack to strip them down, get rid of “most” of the packaging, and remove the “stuff” you don’t want (like the coffee, I don’t drink coffee). I also agree that I would not use them for the long term storage. 1 case should do anyone for a disaster situation to get home with, or to a safe place.

  2. An alternative to MREs for short-term, emergency individual meals or for mass feeding in public shelters are Heater Meals. The following information is from their website. I keep a mixture of these and military LRP-CW rations from Freeze Dry Guy in my preps. When purchased in case lots cost is competitive with MREs, see:

    “….Civilians do not require the high calories, high sodium, high carbohydrate diet of a soldier. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” detailing the daily Estimated Calorie Requirements for Each Gender and Age Group. HeaterMeals provides entrees for a wider array of dietary needs. Of the six varieties of HeaterMeals Entrees, two are reduced-sodium heart healthy entrees, one HeaterMeals EX meal has only 3 grams of sugar, there are also vegetarian entrees. Compared to MREs and other emergency shelf-stable meal options, HeaterMeals offer 35% to 70% less sodium content. In public shelter feeding situations, the age of those being served may range from children through senior citizens. An MRE is simply not suitable for feeding all segments of the population, but there is a HeaterMeals variety for almost everyone…”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top