11/17/12

Product Review: Commercial MREs

These Things Have Gotten Better!

I recently received a sample case of MREs from www.MealKitSupply.com to review for you, and so far I am pleasantly surprised.

As a bit of history, MREs came to the military in the mid 80s, with a rather limited choice of menus that were also of limited taste.  By the early 90s and Desert Storm, the quality had gotten better, and there was a larger variety in the menu, but most people still weren't real keen on them.  A common joke was that MRE stood for "Meals Rejected by Ethiopians." In the late 90s, as folks were stocking up for Y2K, they started including water activated heaters in each MRE pouch.  Sometime after that, it became illegal to sell military MREs on the civilian market.  You can still find them every now and then at the gun show, and if you have access to the military commisary system, you can buy them there.  That law brought about "civilian" MREs, that are typically componants from military suppliers packed slightly differently and thus legal for sale.

The MREs from MealKitSupply come very securely packed in a heavy cardboard box with the packing date encoded (mine was from mid-February 2012) and the box menus printed on the side.

Some initial observations:
  • The heaters are different than they used to be.  I don't recall ever using the old heaters.  IIRC, it was a pouch with some sort of metal sheet in it.  You put water in it to activate the heater, then put the MRE entree pouch inside of it in the water.  With these new ones, they have a fabric thing with a dozen small pouches of some material.  You just put in a couple of ounces of water, then wrap the heater pouch around the entree pouch.
  • There is a much wider variety of meals, especially with the addition of breakfast foods, and different deserts and sides.  No more freeze dried blocks of pears or "gorilla cookies."
  • The accessory packs no longer include two "chicklets" or the little packs of toilet paper.
This morning I had:
  • Apple Maple Rolled Oats - the idea of oatmeal was a lot more appetizing than the old 90s era ham omelet - I used the heater and it worked like a champ - it smelled delicious - I dumped it out of its pouch into a bowl and it looked funny, but once I stirred it around a bit, it looked like oatmeal that even a grandmother would be happy to serve - it tasted great
  • Zapplesauce - applesauce fortified with maltodextrin - consistency and flavor was just like some good old Motts or White House applesauce from the grocery store
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie - it was about 3.5 inches in diameter and tasted just as good as a Chips Ahoy or other similar store bought cookie
  • Wheat Snack Bread - this was a new one for me - 20 years ago, you could sometimes get ahold of a piece of MRE white bread that was sort of like stale angle food cake, but other than that, it was crackers in the MREs - this bread was sort of like a Pepperidge Farms sandwich thin, perhaps a little denser - it wasn't great just out of the pouch, but would probably be really good toasted up with some butter on it
  • Crunchy Peanut Butter - this stuff was good!  The old MRE peanut butter spread was not too great, but not too bad either, kind of like generic discount bin peanut butter - this new crunch peanut butter was really tasty - I spread it on the bread
  • Cocoa Beverage Powder - easy to mix with a few ounces of water and shake up in the zippered pouch - pretty good flavor, a little gritty, but not bad at all
  • Fruit Punch Electrolyte Beverage Powder - I'm not a big fan of Gatorade and the like, but this was easily an equal to it - much better than the old generic "kool aid" type drink powder that MREs used to have
The entire meal was about 1,300 calories, so in a very active breakdown situation, three meals a day would give you plenty of nourishment, and the case has enough for four days.  In a hunker down and shelter situation, just one or two meals a day would keep you going.

Tomorrow I'm having a pork sausage breakfast and another selection for lunch, and will give you another review.

Check out www.MealKitSupply.com and you can click on either the US or Canada button to get information on buying their MREs in either country.


Revolution on NBC

We don't get local network channels on our DirecTV, so we watch the TEOTWAWKI drama, Revolution a few days later on Hulu.  Did you see it this past week and catch the homage to The Road when they showed the half-buried grocery cart in the beach sands of Galveston, Texas?

3 comments:

  1. This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

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  2. how about a complete rundown (with pics) of your generator set up.did you use an electrician.im thinking of some kind of dog house close to the house to permently store the genset. any ideas, links ect imsgc78@verizon.net

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  3. I love these too!

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