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MRE Meals Ready to Eat

MRE Meals: Made to Feel Like Home

by admin on January 2, 2010

Many people who have never served in the military have MRE meals to thank for providing them with much needed nutrition during natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. You may be wondering what exactly is in the meals, ready to eat. We decided to take the mystery out of the MRE foods by giving you a more in depth look of the contents.

A sampling of an individual menu selection may include: French onion soup, savory biscuits, chicken pate, rice, fruit cup, orange drink powder, hot chocolate, candy, cookies, chewing gum, condiments, Tabasco sauce, and napkins.

The MRE survival food that is standard-issue to soldiers in Iraq now is available in Army ration packs for civilians. Besides military ration packs being sent to disaster victims, the food for survival can be taken along as camping food when backpacking in the wilderness.

The MRE meals were a long way from the gumbo, crayfish, and Cajun cuisine Louisiana is known for, but to those stranded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the military ration packs became a timely lifesaver. The high-calorie packs are generally issued for the military and contain enough food to last one person 24 hours.

Emergency meals offer All-American classics such as sloppy Joes, chili w/ beans, and beef stew as well as for the more adventurous palate, choices like spicy penne pasta and cheese tortellini. The doctor recommended daily consumption on average is 2,500 calories for men and 2,000 for women. Each military MRE contains up to 4,000 calories and was created to provide a burst of energy burst to young people involved in active duty.

Displaced victims of a catastrophe warmly welcome the ration packs. The calorie bulk of the ration packs are designed as emergency food to tide survivors over for a couple of days until help arrives. While sustenance is the highest priority in such desperate circumstances, MRE meals have underwent major renovations since the 1960s. To reflect the more palatable eating habits of today, some of the old freeze-dried dishes have been replaced with tastier alternatives.

Opening your MRE meals for the first time, you will be pleasantly surprised by the vast amount of food that had been outfitted into the plain brown box. Breakfast comes in the form of cheese omelets, sealed in a foil pouch, while lunch is chicken and herb pate served in a can along with crackers. There are plenty of snacks selections to keep up your strength including cookies and candy. Drinks include a powered hot chocolate and orange drink.

In designing the new ration packs, researchers found that familiar branded items helped make consumers feel more at ease, which is a significant morale boost to troops serving over seas and survivalists here at home. The extras such as candy and chewing gum are much appreciated during stressful times especially with helping to console frightened children. Act now in stocking up on emergency meals by clicking on the compare prices icon to the right to provide your family with MRE meals made to feel like home.


Meals Ready to Eat: For an Extended Engagement

by admin on December 11, 2009

Military MREs are meals ready to eat provided to the armed forces for decades and also made available to civilians. Sopakco is one of the American companies contracted to provide the survival food. The emergency food was developed for combat soldiers when they were in the field. The MRE survival food is precooked and does not need water added.

Besides emergency meals with a long shelf life, the Wornick company provides great tasting military MREs that can be used for camping food or backpacking food. The packaging of meals ready to eat is described by users as flexible cans which are manufactured using multiple plastic film and aluminum foil. The packages are durable, rugged, easy to store, and have an extended shelf life.

Emergency food offered by such companies as Ameriqual is not freeze dried or dehydrated foods which usually requires water to be added prior to eating. MRE foods are meals ready to eat immediately without the addition of water needed.

No additional cooking is necessary before the main entrees the company MREStar offers such as chili with macaroni and beef stew can be eaten. Heating any of the MRE meals is optional and may be served unheated directly from the pouch. Typically, most survivalists prefer to heat their emergency meals when given that option.

MRE meals in unopened ration packs may be warmed up in several of the following ways:

  • Heat the army rations in a pan of warm water for up to 10 minutes.
  • Place the pouch in direct sunlight.
  • Put military MRE inside your clothing so that body heat warms the food.
  • Lay MRE foods on a warm surface to absorb the heat.
  • Meals ready to eat may be heated using flameless heaters that are available with some MRE foods.

Most products are packaged in standard military colors of plain green and brown to provide low visibility to the troops which is an added bonus in the woods for hunters, campers, and hikers as well.

MRE meals are intended to be used as survival food for an average of 10 days or less. Many troops during Operation Desert Storm ate the food for survival 8 weeks straight and more! Changes resulting from this experience included shelf-stable bread, high-heat-stable chocolate bars, and flameless ration pack heaters being developed.

In 1994, after manufacturers deduced that commercial packaging increases acceptance and consumption, (wonder if they talked to Grandmas!) less generic looking packages were designed. Additionally, ration packs were made easier to open and biodegradable spoons were included to make MRE foods environmentally friendly.

In 1997, the entree selections were increased to 20. In 1998, the number of choices was raised to 24 of which that same amount stands today in 2009. In addition, four vegetarian MRE meals are now on the menu.

Be prepared for an extended engagement whether the events are planned family excursions or real life emergencies! Click to the right for meals ready to eat deals that will stand the test of time.


Today’s military MRE meals - the butt of jokes for American soldiers since the Revolutionary War - have so improved since then that today’s ration packs supply the forces with food that is not only nutritious and packed with energy, but quite tasty. The four companies which lead the field of shelf-stable foods with their innovative packaging technologies and stabilization processes are Ameriqual, Sopakco, Wornick and MREStar.

As Napoleon Bonaparte observed, “an army travels on its stomach,” an acknowledgement that soldiers need food that sustains them not only physically, but keeps their morale up as well. From 1775, when colonial soldiers had to forage for some of their own provisions, through World Wars I and II, and the wars in Korea and Vietnam, a need to reduce the weight of field loads moved the military food from heavier cans to dehydrated meals with up to 24 entrees, even Kosher and vegetarian selections. Each of the MRE meals provides about 1,200 calories and is self-heating.

Ameriqual Group services not only the US Department of Defense, but major branded food companies as well, producing a full range of flexible and semi-rigid containers for these companies’ use.

In addition to aiding troops stationed overseas, Sopakco has long worked with the government to bring MRE meals to areas devastated by natural disasters, including the millions of Texas victims of Hurricane Ike.

The largest supplier of individual and group rations to the U.S. and international troops, the Wornick Company also supplies MRE to humanitarian and disaster relief agencies

MREstar services private organizations around the world, as well as supplying emergency rations for the DoD/DLA, Defense Supply Center in Philadelphia.

Meals Ready to Eat are also available for civilian use, in military surplus, camping and outdoor stores. The U.S. Government and the Red Cross both advise families to have the resources to survive 72 hours after an emergency situation or natural disaster which makes MRE meals, with their long shelf life, a great choice. Backpackers and campers purchase them because they are easy to carry and to prepare. Why pack a stove if you don’t have to?

Thanks to companies like Ameriqual, Sopakco, Wornick and MREstar, these convenient and portable MRE meals, which were once nicknamed “Mr. E” (mystery) “meals rejected by the enemy” and “meals rarely edible,” soldiers and civilians alike can choose from such entrees as pasta with marinara sauce, chicken and dumplings or beef stew, side dishes like applesauce, snacks, and beverages including lemonade and fruit punch.

As good as home cooking? Pretty darn close. Do you think you could tell the difference? Browse through this site to learn more about the innovative ways MRE meals may soon find their way to your dinner table! And click on the right to compare prices and get the best deal possible!