So, you've reached a point where you've decided to become more "survival" conscious. You want to put yourself in a position where you can possibly survive the harsh elements of nature, and you've read that one element of survival comes in the form of an MRE. But what are they exactly, and how long do MRE meals last? You might even wonder what it tastes like?
If you want to have all these burning questions answered, just keep reading.
The Specifics Of MRE Meals
MRE meals were originally created as a way to keep soldiers fed while on the battlefield. They were introduced during the Second World War, and over the years, the "recipe" got better. MREs developed to have better-tasting meals in better packages, along with a longer shelf life.
The current packages issued by the US Military will always feature a balanced and nutritional balance of foods, snacks, and beverages. And yes, they taste a lot better than they did back in the 80s. The packaging has gone from a metal can to smartly layered pouches, and the options of what you can get have increased dramatically.
Basically, an MRE meal is already cooked, flavored, and ready to eat cold. Of course, you can heat the meal for added taste, but when you don't have the means to do any cooking, an MRE can quickly fill you up.
How Long Do MRE Meals Last?
It's obvious that MRE meals aren't going to taste as good a fresh food, and this is mainly because these are meals meant mainly for survival. But it's their lifespan that has everybody talking.
The amount of time you can store an MRE meal depends on several variables. These include the place where you store it and the temperature at which it is stored. When stored in a safe place with a consistent temperature of 80 degrees, you can expect the MRE to last at least 3 years.
But what if you store it at a different temperature, for example, in a colder place? If this is the case you can extend the use of the MRE to 5 years. In fact, there is a special chart available, created by the US Military, and it specifies how long an MRE will last when stored in certain conditions.
The big question is whether you can eat an MRE that's been safely stored for 10 years? And what will happen to the taste and nutritional value over time?
There are people who have no problem making use of a 10-year-old MRE meal, but you should definitely expect a different taste and nutrition value. Also, some MRE meals simply won't make it that long. These include things like cheese spread and juicy fruits.
As a tip, once you start stocking up on MRE meals, you want to pay attention to the dates they were manufactured. Every MRE should come with a clear date, which you can use to organize and stock in such a way that rotation doesn't become a problem.
So, the better the conditions you are able to store the MRE meals in, the longer they are going to last.
The Difference Between Civilian And Military MREs
If the idea of storing up long-lasting and nutritional meals is stimulating your interest, then you need to know something about civilian and military issue MREs
. Those from the military are not allowed to be sold. In other words, you need to get them without using your credit card.
Then, there are civilian MREs available. These are made open to the public, and they are not created by the military. Instead, they imitate the technology to bring you meals ready to eat right to your door.
Aren't All MRE Meals The Same?
Unfortunately, not all civilian MREs are created equal. Some are going to taste better while others can be stored for longer periods. This means that you will have to do some testing before you stock up on a specific brand of MREs.
Keep in mind, if the situation calls for it and you have to survive on an instant meal, don't you want it to taste better than cardboard? Take the time and personally test different MREs. From there you can make a list of your favorites and begin storing.
What About MRE Heaters?
If you prefer having heated food, heaters specifically for MRE meals can be purchased. As you can imagine, the heater is based on a simple chemical reaction, which can heat an entree in about 10 minutes. Even with the heater, the process is made to be simple and straightforward.
Do the taste testing, compare the shelf life of different civilian brands, and compare prices that are comfortable for you. And after you have all the information you need, you can start preparing for survival.