Part of readying yourself for emergencies is stocking up on non-perishable and ready-to-eat meals. If you are not familiar with MRE, the acronym stands for Meal, Ready-to-Eat. They are self-contained standard field ration for the United States military.
While MREs have always been known as military food, they are also available for civilians during emergencies, such as natural disasters. As the name implies, they are pre-cooked and require no preparation before consumption. While MREs are not the only ration, they are the most common.
While selling MREs is against the law, you might still find them being sold on sites such as Amazon. While it sounds tempting to order MREs from online stores, you must exercise some caution: they are most likely rejected batches that may not be good for you.
You don’t have to risk yourself purchasing MREs illegally. You can get genuine MRE food kits manufactured by the same food manufacturing companies that supply to the military. In addition, you can buy MREs from other food manufacturers that adhere to the same military standards.
You can add MREs to your emergency food pantry, in addition to the usual canned goods and bottled waters. From a lot of MRE advantages, we’ll name just a few:
- Individual MRE entrée is pre-cooked and ready to eat.
- No preparation or cooking required.
- It can be eaten hot or cold straight from the pouch.
- It is easy to store.
- It is easy to transport in the event of an evacuation.
- Shelf life is typically up to four to six years.
- It is a complete meal in one package.
- No opening utensils required.
- No dishes to clean up.
We know you are curious about the flavor – what do MREs taste like? Do they taste bland or do they taste over-seasoned?
Opinions vary from those who have tried MREs. Just like canned food, you either like them or you don’t. But here’s a general take on MREs – they taste pretty similar to canned food. Many people say that they love eating MREs a lot that they even have them for lunch several times a week.
Yes, we need sustenance to survive during disasters. And while you can get by with eating the same stuff all over again, there are times that you can’t help getting tired of them and looking for some variety. Fortunately, manufacturers of MREs are constantly developing new recipes to bring various flavors and textures. So, good news for you – you can find MRE meal flavors in different types.
Many people cannot help comparing MREs to canned goods. Despite those less-than-pleasant associations, MREs are actually favored by disaster management folks and preppers alike due to their high-calorie content and long shelf lives. And, to be quite honest, MREs really don’t taste bad at all. And you will be pretty delighted by the variety there that you can actually create your own MRE menu. And just like a regular menu, an MRE menu has main meals, desserts, snacks, and beverage.
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the combat support agency of the US Department of Defense, releases the menu listings. Since 1998, the DLA has been releasing 24 MRE menus every year. If you’ve seen those MRE menu listings before, you can see how different and varied they are. Here are some of the MREs meal flavors, taken from its official 2021 menu listing:
Main meals and entrées:
- Chili with Beans
- Shredded Beef in Barbecue Sauce
- Spaghetti with Beef and Sauce
- Chicken Chunks
- Beef Taco Filling
- Santa Fe Rice and Beans
- Beef Strips in Tomato Sauce
- Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
- Beef Stew
- Chili and Macaroni
- Elbow Macaroni in Tomato Sauce
- Cheese Tortellini in Tomato Sauce
- Mexican Rice and Bean Bowl
- Mexican Style Chicken Stew
- Chicken Burrito Bowl
- Maple Pork Sausage Patty
- Beef Ravioli in Meat Sauce
- Jalapeno Pepper Jack Beef Patty, Grilled
- Au Gratin Potatoes
- Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions in Marinara Sauce
- Lemon Pepper Tuna
- Beef Goulash
- Southwest Style Beef and Black Beans with Sauce
Snacks and candies:
- Vegetable Crackers
- Pepperoni Pizza Cheese Filled Crackers
- Italian Bread Sticks
- Dried Raisins
- Toasted Corn Kernels
- First Strike Bar (various flavors depending on the menu)
- Nut and Fruit Mix with M&Ms
- Peppermint Candy Rings
- Teriyaki Beef Sticks
- Pretzels Nuggets, Honey Mustard and Onion
- Cherry Twizzlers
- Barbecue Protein Puffs
- Cheddar Cheese Filled Pretzels
- Dry Roasted Peanuts
- Recovery Trail Mix
- Smoked Almonds
- Salted Caramel Marshmallow Crisp Bar
- Recovery Trail Mix with Beef Jerky
- Chipotle Tortillas
Breads, cookies, pastries, desserts:
- Cinnamon Bun
- Chocolate Chip Toaster Pastry
- White Wheat Snack Bread
- Chocolate Pudding
- Cherry Blueberry Cobbler
- Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Vanilla Pound Cake (trans fat-free)
- Multigrain Snack Bread
- Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake (trans fat-free)
- Whole Wheat Bread, Mini-Loaf
- Maple Muffin Top (trans fat-free)
- Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie
- Patriotic Sugar Cookies
- Marble Pound Cake (trans fat-free)
- Oatmeal Cookie
Jams, jellies, preserves, and spreads:
- Cheddar Cheese Spread
- Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Spread
- Applesauce with Raspberry Puree
- Peanut Butter
- Apple Jelly
- Blackberry Preserves
- Grape Jelly
- Applesauce with Mango and Peach Puree
- Strawberry Preserves
- Chocolate Peanut Spread
- Bacon Cheddar Cheese Spread
- Mayonnaise (fat-free)
- Chunky Peanut Butter
- Apples in Spiced Sauce
Condiments, sauces, and other flavorings
- Barbecue sauce
- Hot Sauce (extra hot 4x)
- Maple Syrup
- Powdered Hot Sauce
- Spice Blend
- Crushed Red Pepper
Beverage base (just add water):
- Grape Beverage Powder (carb-filled)
- Chocolate Hazelnut Drink Powder
- Tropical Punch Beverage Powder (carb-filled)
- Fruit Punch Beverage Powder (carb-electrolyte)
- Orange Beverage Base (sugar-free and carb-electrolyte varieties)
- Tropical Blend Fruit and Vegetables Smoothie
- Hot Beverage Bag
- Lemon Lime Beverage Powder (carb-filled and carb-electrolyte varieties)
- Sugar-Free Beverage Base
- Chocolate Protein Drink Powder
- Lemonade Sugar-Free Beverage Base