What You Should Know About Military Surplus MRE Meals


Civilian meals vary more in ingredients and options than military MREs, plus they have longer shelf lives. Unfortunately, however, civilian survival food packs may lack some items – like toilet paper. Choose the best mre for sale.

MRE meals are field rations designed for consumption on the go and are produced by various government contractors. With long shelf lives and flameless heaters included, MRE meals provide convenient nutrition on the move.

MRE History

Military rations have undergone significant change over time. Individual combat rations were first introduced in 1942 with the K-Ration, consisting of three separately boxed meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When replaced by the Meal Combat Individual (MCI) in 1958, it had already become widely disliked among soldiers; its subsequent rerelease in 1975 marked the introduction of MREs – significant advancements that offered greater variety, portability, and taste enhancement compared to earlier field rations.

Since its initial introduction, the MRE has undergone continuous evolution, adding new entrees to existing menus, providing more options for special diets, offering flameless ration heaters and biodegradable packaging for non-edible components, as well as improved graphics to make its contents more appealing. Furthermore, humanitarian missions, as well as outer space missions, have utilized MREs extensively – having them put through rigorous trials under the most extreme conditions possible.

MREs are popular with a range of civilians, such as ex-military personnel, outdoor enthusiasts, and those concerned with emergency preparedness. Sold through both traditional surplus stores and online marketplaces, it is recommended to carefully research suppliers regarding issues like volume savings, shipping charges, food safety standards, and shelf life before purchasing MREs.

MREs have developed to meet the demands of today’s ever-evolving food supply chains. Conceived to be eaten and repacked anywhere between -601F and 1201F temperatures, MREs offer soldiers worldwide an efficient food solution. Additionally, they must be easily transported via air and land transportation modes, be safe to eat at all times (from battlefields to remote villages in developing nations), and be nutritious and simple to prepare. MREs are packed in insulated cases equipped with heating elements. Their manufacturer employs an experienced design and engineering team of nutritionists and engineers, producing them at the U.S. Army Natick Research, Development, and Engineering Center based on research conducted by the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Military Nutrition Division, and Office of Surgeon General research teams.

MRE Menus

Military field personnel needed a system that could easily store their meals while also maintaining the taste and nutrition of their food, so MREs were designed with this in mind. Over time, they have continued to be improved; for instance, in 1990, flameless ration heaters were added for hot meals without adding weight, inedible materials like spoons and napkins were replaced with biodegradable ones; more entrees were included up until 24 were offered by 1998!

MREs are designed as the primary operational rations for the U.S. Armed Forces, so their construction must be as resilient and reliable as possible. Their packaging has been engineered to withstand rough environments, while their meals include nutritionally balanced contents – on average, 1250 calories per meal. With proper storage conditions, they have been known for the last ten years.

MREs are manufactured by various government contractors in the U.S. and labeled with a Julian Date Code that indicates their month, day, and year of production. MREs also feature “packed/inspection dates that indicate which meals are included within their case as well as menu codes that specify their type.

When purchasing MREs online for sale, it is crucial that buyers can identify between authentic and counterfeit versions. A genuine MRE bears a printed statement that reads, “U.S. Government Property; Commercial Resale Illegal.” This warning serves as a safeguard against stolen MREs being sold off illegally as commercial commodities.

Counterfeit MREs do not carry this warning, and while they may look legitimate from the outside, there are often telltale signs they are fakes. A counterfeit MRE may have a low-grade plastic coating that is easily scraped off with your fingernail; ensure you purchase only from retailers who guarantee the authenticity of their products before making your purchase.

MRE Storage

MREs should be stored in an excellent, dark location with low moisture levels for up to five years, depending on their temperature of storage. Freezing them may damage both the packaging and contents of MREs; for this reason, it’s wiser to purchase them from reliable vendors that provide similar menu choices or those certified by the government to meet quality standards.

Military Ration Envelope (MRE) meals were initially designed for military operatives on the ground and intended to be eaten cold, changing both their shelf life and the ingredients used within them.

Survivalists and preppers alike often shop online to buy MREs. But it’s essential to keep an eye out when shopping this way: some vendors sell older MREs than they claim; it may have fallen off a truck, been marked for destruction but kept instead, or been bought and then resold later on the second-hand market.

Watch out for vendors that claim their MREs are new but have an expiration date that’s only months or years away. This can be misleading; always double-check the Julian date code of any product you buy (for instance, 11/24/96 would be written as 0124/96).

Many are unaware that you can purchase MREs directly from the U.S. Military and use them for emergency food storage purposes. You can even have them delivered right to your door at an economical price! MRE Star, Meal Kit Supply, and U.S. Army Food Service all manufacture military-grade MREs, which make a fantastic choice when planning for a potential disaster situation.

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