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Investigating The MRE Meals Craze

November 2, 2018
MRE meals

Have you been hearing more and more about MRE meals as of late? Are you left in the dark as to what they even are or what the acronym means? Allow this cursory investigation to shed some light on the subject!

1 – What Does MRE Even Stand For?

MRE stands for “meals ready to eat”. It applies to field rations generally used by the military for survival. (MREs have also been handed out to help with emergency aid in disaster recovery situations.) The food itself is contained within pouches that can be easily heated if necessary, and the food is technically kept fresh even without refrigeration. A wide variety of foods, snacks, desserts, and mixtures for different beverages and refreshments are in production. Similarly, packaged heating implements that rely upon chemical reactions upon the addition of water are often included with meat or other dishes that require heat.

2 – Who’s Buying MREs?

Despite their association with the military, MRE meals have also been made available to the public through various means. With that, their popularity has only grown over the years. Many survivalists that stock up in case of emergency events ever strike have long done their best to stockpile MREs. In recent times, however, they’ve become more of a general curiosity than many people try on a whim simply to see what the fuss is all about. Thanks to social media and other facets of the internet, MREs have become something of a social phenomenon that a gradually growing number of people have felt they simply have to give a chance. It’s mostly the bandwagon effect in full display, but it’s all in harmless fun.

3 – What’s The Quality Of The Food Like?

The assumption of most is that MREs won’t be palatable given their nature. It’s a bit odd eating foods such as mashed potatoes or Salisbury steak out of a pouch that you’ve just heated with water. Drinking water or evaporated milk from the same kind of source seems similarly odd. As it turns out, many that have tried MREs have indeed confirmed that some of the food can taste a bit strange. Within the context of their intent, however, many agree that the food is “not bad” overall. As you may expect, some dishes are more successful than others.

4 – How Easy Is It To Prepare MREs?

Since they are designed to be prepared even in the direst of survival situations, MRE meals are actually quite simple to prepare. Each pouch includes instructions on what must be done and whether you need a heater or water. Most foods that do require any level of preparation will come along with anyone you might need. When it comes to dishes that must be cooked in a heating pouch, they’re usually done within 10 minutes or so.

5 – Are MREs Actually Safe?

MREs are completely safe to eat in theory. You must consider the source, however, as well as the age. Stamps that show you when the product was first packaged should be easy to find on every pouch.

The only real potential downside is that the dishes are packed with quite a lot of calories and sodium. You have to remember that this is food to help provide enough fuel to keep people going even if they’re in the midst of dire situations. This isn’t something you’ll want to casually eat if you intend to veg out on the couch afterward. With that in mind, make sure you use any MREs you come across responsibly!

6 – Where Can MREs Be Purchased By Civilians?

MREs are available at a number of locations, and they’ve only become easier to get given their growing popularity. One of the first go-to stops for MREs is at your local military surplus store. Most cities have at least one. You can usually find crates full of various MREs that you’re free to purchase and try as you wish.

Beyond that, there are also quite a few online stores offering MREs. You have to be extra careful when purchasing online, however. Use your best judgment and look up reviews for any site before you purchase!