The Evolution of MREs – Survival Emergency Meals Ready to Eat – Military – Commercial – Quality

Most of us know that we can survive for a few days without food and not as long without water. We know that we could live a little longer if we had minimal amount of survival emergency food. Although this is true, put on your thinking cap. Even though you may be alive, what will your condition be? What will the condition of your family be? We know that dehydration can start within a few hours on a hot day.

Ever since the Revolutionary War, our military has had some kind of meal ration for its troops. The ration was food for one day. These rations consisted of beef, peas, and rice. During the civil war, the rations were canned goods. Toward the beginning of World War I, the military switched to dried foods. They changed back to canned foods near the end of the war. Canned food rations were used through the Vietnam War. The Department of Defense started the development of the Meals Ready to Eat in 1963. They soon gained such labels as MRE “Meals, Rarely Edible” or “Meals Rejected by Everyone”. There was a problem with getting the military personnel to eat their entire ration. This caused loss of alertness and weight loss if used for any length of time. With this kind of reputation, would I ever think of creating an emergency food supply consisting of MREs? It would be very low on my list, if I had not tried one of the better creations of these meals made for today.

The military version has improved over the years. They made great progress toward removing past labels. They have different flavors, and come closer to meeting the dietary needs than in the past. They still are not something that I would eat by choice. The history of military meals is that the expense usually leads to a product that is not as good as it could be.

The non-military MRE is not always the best choice. In fact, some cheaply made MREs do not taste as good as their military counterparts. All is not lost. There are excellent MREs out there. They have a much better taste than in the past, and consider the health needs of an individual.

Who would you like to design your Emergency Survival meals? Would you like it to be the military, companies that make MREs for the government or, meals designed for Firemen, by Firemen? Why is this important? I can tell you of a true story that I observed personally. I was a Fireman at a headquarters Fire Station. At our Fire Station everyone was assigned a turn at being the cook and doing dishes. If a person was not an acceptable cook, his life was made miserable. He could opt out of cooking by trading with someone to cook for him and he would do his dishes, or he could pay someone who is a good cook, to cook for him. One of our firefighter recruits, on one of his first turns at being the cook at our fire station, made frozen fish sticks for the evening meal. I have eaten frozen fish sticks when I was young. They were a standby, when my mother had a busy day, and did not have time to make a major effort in the main meal at home. Although this was not a favorite, it was perfectly acceptable. At the fire station this was not so. It took this Fireman several years to live down this meal. When it comes to food, Firemen are fussy when it comes to what they eat. It has to taste good, and be filling..

There are Cheap, Military, and Quality MREs. Thankfully, the Quality food ration has been developed to the point that a good tasting meal is available. These meals are not full of filler items. Everything has a nutritional purpose and tastes good. The choice is yours. The planning is yours. Do you want to sit down choking down your meal when a good part of your world has come apart? Do you want a little pleasantness in the face of what may be happening in the near future?