I have a friend…he works for a major world government. He has access to some of this government’s equipment. And I occasionally get my hands on this equipment.
Now, I’m not going to rat him out, so stop asking me “guy-in-black-suit-with-a-suspicious-bulge-in-your-coat.”
maybe he’s just happy to see me
My “friend” got me a dozen MREs.
If you’re new to survival training or unfamiliar with how the military eats, MRE stands for Meals Ready to Eat and are the current standard issue for active military out in the field.
MREs come in a wide variety of food types. They even have vegetarian options for the hippie soldiers out there.
I have never eaten a MRE and decided it was about damn time that I tried one. Now, you may be thinking, “when am I ever going to eat an MRE being that I’m not in the military nor do I have any friends in the military.”
And the answer is, you probably won’t. There are many places that sell civilian MREs, and they are ok, but I wanted the real deal.
So I cracked one open and gave it a taste test.
MRE – Meatloaf with Onion Gravy and Mashed Potatoes
It will do anything for love, but it won’t go bad.
What’s in the MRE:
- Packet containing meatloaf in onion gravy
- Packet containing mashed potatoes
- Packet containing plain white crackers
- Packet containing apple jelly
- Packet containing a mint chocolate chip cookie
- Packet containing 2 large tootsie rolls
- Packet containing hot chocolate powder mix
- Packet containing salt, BBQ seasoning, moist towelette, napkins, ice tea mix, gum and a book of matches
- Packet for heating beverages
- Flameless heating element
As you can see, they fit a lot of stuff in this little pack
It’s full of packets!
Inside of the packets…MORE PACKETS!
How does it work?
Well, they make it simple. Basically, you can eat the food right out of the packet, or if you have the time and are feeling a bit fancy, you can heat up the food and forget that you are field deployed and may have to cap a fool or two.
To heat up the packets, you open up the heating element pack, drop in the packet you want to heat, pour in a little bit of water and due to the magic of science, you get a good amount of heat off of the heating element
Actually, it’s a bit of magnesium and salt. See, when magnesium and salt are exposed to water, they begin to oxidize. Oxidation creates heat. If you create a rapid oxidation process, you get a lot of heat. And that’s basically what’s going on here.
Once you have placed the packet into the other packet (like a delicious Russian doll) then you put it back into the cardboard box it came in and then you wait.
After about 10-12 minutes, your packet is ready. Open up and enjoy.
Of course, while you are waiting, you can munch on any of the crackers/cookie/candy that comes with the MRE.
even soldiers like cookies
What ever it is I think I see, becomes a Tootsie Roll to me. Time for my pills.
How Does it Taste?
See, I used to sneak my grandfather’s old K-rations when I was a kid. That stuff tasted like week old butt-holes. I kinda expected the same quality from the government.
But this is a step up.
The meatloaf tasted more like a TV dinner salisbury steak and the mashed potatoes tasted like the instant mashed potatoes you get out of a box.
The crackers were very plain (no salt on them) but the apple jelly made them palatable.
The cookie was actually pretty damn good…and big.
The hot chocolate was about Swiss Miss quality.
Even the iced tea mix wasn’t too bad. Like Lipton instant mix.
And if you don’t know what a Tootsie Roll tastes like, then I pity your childhood.
So I put it on a plate, big whoop, wanna fight about it?
- MREs last a long time – over 5 years if stored properly
- About 1200 calories per MRE, well balanced between protein and carbs. Also packed with vitamins.
- Not too shabby on the taste. Kudos military.
- Fairly bulky. You’re not going to carry around 5 days worth. They are like food bricks (in size, not weight).
- With this MRE, I had 2 packets to heat (Meatloaf and the Potatoes). The heating element didn’t last long enough to fully heat both (you have to heat them one at a time)
If I was in the field, these would be the best things ever. It really isn’t bad and better than most freeze dried foods out there. On my next outing I’m going to just eat MREs and see how my energy levels balance out, but considering the nutritional values, I think I would be fine.
If you ever get the opportunity to get a few MREs, I highly suggest it.
And if any of my fans happen to also work for a large government and want to accidentally ship me a few MREs…Well, let’s just say I will forget to return to sender.