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Can Civilians Purchase Military Mres

How-to Eat Like a Marine in the Field

This is a question that pops up from time to time in prepper discussion forums.

Technically speaking, it is illegal to sell military MREs to civilians for several reasons. However, you might still find a few listings on eBay and other similar websites. Its hard to get a hold of many MREs at a time, but getting one or two is relatively easy.

But even though the selling of military MREs is technically illegal, donating them is almost entirely unregulated . With that said, you can ask a relief agency or go to an organization such as the Salvation Army to see if they have any supplies left.

If thats out of your reach, then know that civilian-grade MREs can be just as effective as military MREs as long as you store them properly.

Both are made with the same packaging process and sterilization methods. Military and civilian MREs lack any dubious or toxic preservatives. They are stored using time-tested methods that dont involve the addition of anything else other than the classic recipes.

What Are The Benefits Of Mres

MREs offer outstanding variety MREs represent the culmination of centuries of effort by various governments to supply their soldiers in the field with livable rations during wartime . The MRE itself first appeared during the 1980s and has since undergone numerous revisions and improvements. One of the most obvious improvements is in the sheer variety of dishes you have at your disposal today, from chicken, pork and beef dishes to rice or pasta, vegetable stew, fajitas, chili, smoothies, crackers and more. These taste a lot better than hardtack.

MREs have a long shelf life MREs wont last as long as freeze-dried food . That much is a given. But they do not force you to use water either, which can be important in the event of a natural disaster when potable water may be hard to come by. And while MREs may not last 3 decades like some freeze dried foods, they are no slouch in the shelf life department. Many will last up to 5 years.

Most MREs can be eaten hot or cold, negating the need for a stove In the event you and your family need to evacuate, or you are facing a long period without electricity and/or gas, MREs are the perfect food choice as they are pre-cooked and can be eaten as is right from their container. So, whether you are in an evacuation shelter, bomb shelter, or simply on the road looking for a safe haven, you still have nutritious, tasty food to eat. Stove or no stove.

How Are Mres Packaged

The MRE as we know it today resulted from an evolutionary process that started centuries ago and continues as you read this. One of the most important steps forward in MRE evolution occurred in the post-Vietnam era when heavy, impractical cans were replaced with vacuum sealed pouches .

Eliminating the can greatly increased portability by reducing weight. Many think it also helped improve taste by eliminating the metallic overtones some foods acquired when sitting in cans for long periods of time.

The vacuum-sealed, thermo-stabilized, laminated pouch provides outstanding food safety without the need for refrigeration. The pouch is also much easier to open than cans ever were and does not produce the sharp, dangerous edges that result even from the pull-top lids you find on soups and other canned food today. These pouches are also subject to rigorous field testing to make sure they will not be compromised by continued jostling.

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When To Replace Your Mres

No matter what storage you use, there will be a time that youll have to give it up and replace your MREs. Some indicators that its time are:

  • When the MREs have been in extreme temperatures
  • If the bag is damaged or swollen
  • Once its five years past the manufacture date
  • The center circle of the time-temperature indicator is no longer lighter than the outer ring

No matter what you intend to use them for, youll likely find yourself asking how long do MREs last. The variables of temperature and different answers can make it confusing, and the unique codes for manufacture dates dont help ease the process.

So long as youve taken care of your MREs, you can count on them for at least three years, and five years is a safe bet. Many MRE users will say even ten years is a safe range, so long as you dont mind the diminished taste. In the end, its a matter of figuring out what youre willing to put up with when you eat.

If the situation is an emergency, having something to eat could be much more important to you than how it tastes. Even so, you can feel free to replace your MREs whenever you think the time is right, be that right at five years or after. Just be prepared for what evers in the package you may find yourself pleasantly surprised.

How Long Can An Mre Last

Case of 12 MRE Emergency Food Variety Beef Chicken Ration Ready Long ...

Because of all variables that can affect an MRE, the answer to How long do MREs last? isnt as simple as determining when the average expiration date is . Often, projected expiration dates are earlier than actual food spoilage, and MREs can be no different.

The standard of an MRE lasting for an average of five years comes from evaluations based on not only how long the food is still edible for, but also how it tastes over time.

Like with canned food products, an MREs quality of taste will decline the longer it is in storage. The nutritional value will drop, as well. However, that doesnt mean an MRE is useless once its passed its estimated expiration date. Many MRE users have reported that they could eat MREs that were ten or more years older, though the taste wasnt anything to write home about.

Considering MREs are pretty much emergency rations, youre likely not going to be eating them for taste. The older an MRE is, the fewer vitamins and other nutritional value you can expect, but an old MRE can still provide calories to survive on if straights are dire.

Most entrees and desserts will hold up quite well over time, though some other portions may not do so well. Some of the more notable foods that deteriorate in older MREs include:

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Are Mres Still Good After The 3

The 3-year expiration date on an MRE is the date when you inspect the MRE packaging to ensure that it is still sound and protecting the food. The expiration date is the best eaten by date. The flavor and nutritional value of the food may start to decline after the expiration date.

The shelf life of the MRE is three years at 80 degrees F. However, cold storage facilities can extend the shelf life before distribution. Combat Logistics Support Agency

When purchasing Military-grade MREs, you have no way of knowing how MREs have been stored.

How To Store Mre

MRE manufacturers do not include expiration dates on their products like standard food you might find in a supermarket does.

But MREs still have an expiration date.

Its just that the product is designed to be packaged, so it sustains for a long while, and this means theres no date stamped on the package of when it will expire.

The risk of spoilage is always present when storing food.

The military has researched and developed methods for MREs to be held in the worst temperatures without spoiling or degrading over time, so you can rest assured that your case will last a few years before it needs replacing.

The recommended storage temperature for the best quality and most extended shelf life of MREs is between 50° F with no relative humidity.

This means you should keep your food away from heat sources like stoves, ovens, microwaves, fireplaces, and sunny windows.

The best way to do this is by storing the case inside another container that will protect it from moisture and help maintain cooler temps.

You can use Tupperware, bread boxes, and more to hold them so long as they are airtight.

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Things To Keep In Mind When It Comes To Mres

Buy from a reputable source Its important that you buy your MREs from a reputable source and not from someone who found some old MREs in their basement during spring cleaning. When buying online read reviews, especially those from verified customers.

If there is no date stamp give it a pass MREs are not the kind of thing that are fine one day and trash the next. The expiration date is important, though, because it provides a general idea of when you should think about replacing the product.

Dont worry if you dont have a way to heat them Most MREs are precooked and can be eaten as is right out of the pouch. Some may taste better if theyre warmed up a bit, and those will typically come with their own water-activated heating elements.

Pace yourself If the SHTF and you are forced to break out the MREs make sure to pace yourself. Remember, these meals are designed to feed soldiers in the field who typically eat 3 of them per day. It is likely you and your kids can get by just fine on 1 or 2 MREs each per day. This will ensure you dont run out of food before the emergency passes.

There is a right way to store them MREs dont require refrigeration. But that doesnt mean you can just leave them lying around anywhere. Leaving your MREs in a hot room dramatically reduces their shelf life from several years to as little as 6 months. Always store them in a cool place out of the sunlight.

How Long Will Surepak Meals Last

2020 Colombian Campaign Ration Ready to Consume MRE Review Meal Ready to Eat Tasting Test

Sure-Pak Meals can be stored for up to five years based on storage temperature. This is known as shelf life. Shelf life may be extended if stored in a cool temperature. Heat may shorten shelf life. Freezing is not recommended as it may damage the seal on the pouches used to package the entrees and side dishes, causing them to spoil. Temperature Shelf Life*

  • 70° Fahrenheit 5.5 years

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Mres Can Save You During Emergencies

When emergencies occur, everything stops working right.

Roads could be rendered impassable which means you wont be able to access the stores.

Depending on the type of emergency, power could be disrupted for many hours and sometimes days.

This means that any food youve stored in the fridge will spoil quickly.

If you dont have ready to eat meals, youll have nothing to eat, and if emergency teams dont respond fast, people could potentially starve to death.

This is where MREs come in handy.

They can help you and your family cope during times of uncertainties.

These ready to consume meals are ideal for civilians as well as military members, especially those that live in areas prone to earthquakes and hurricanes.

Captain Daves 12 Military Mre Entrees

The final entry on our list of best MREs comes from Captain Dave. Theres nothing terribly exceptional about these particular ready meals. Except that they arent really ready meals. Theyre ready entrees. And thats fine because not everyone is down with some of the peripherals you get in a typical ready meal. And by that we mean folks often pass on the snacks, coffee and fruit drinks. Instead they eat the entree and push away from the table.

If you want to have some basic backup food in the house in case the SHTF, these military-style entrees from Captain Dave will fit the bill. Maybe the best thing about them, , is the variety. Everything from Turkey Chili, to Beef Tacos, to Pasta Marinara, to Lentil Stew and many more. Comes with their own water activated heating element too.

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Heating Mres In Boiling Water

  • Fill a saucepan about half way with clean water.
  • Heat water on a stovetop or burner, bringing the water to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium/medium-high .
  • Remove the MRE pouch from the outer cardboard box and place MRE retort pouch into the boiling water.
  • Heat MRE pouch in water at a slow boil for several minutes .
  • Remove the saucepan from the heating source and carefully pour the water out of the pan to safely remove the MRE pouch. Caution: MRE Pouch and water will be HOT!
  • Carefully cut open the MRE pouch and the contents are ready to eat!

How To Properly Store Mres

Military Use Mre Meals Read To Eat for Army and Emergency Situations(id ...

There are a few things that you can do to make sure your MREs last as long as possible:

  • Store them in a cool, dry place. MREs are designed to withstand high temperatures, but storing them in a cool, dry place will help to prolong their shelf life.
  • Avoid exposure to sunlight or extreme heat. While MREs can withstand high temperatures, exposure to sunlight or extreme heat can cause the food to degrade more quickly.
  • Keep them away from moisture and water. Moisture and water can damage the packaging of an MRE and lead to spoilage of the food inside.
  • Inspect your MREs regularly. Check for signs of damage or leaks in the packaging, and be sure to eat any foods that show signs of spoilage immediately.
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    Q What Is The Shelf Life Of Mres What Are Mre Storage Recommendations

    MREs are quite sturdy and durable. The MRE pouches are designed to withstand rough handling conditions. They are easy to store in a pantry, basement, closet, etc.

    The shelf life of MREs is totally dependent upon temperature storage conditions: The lower the temperature the better, but above freezing. Freezing is not recommended .

    Can You Eat A 20 Year Old Mre

    While MREs were designed to be durable and long lasting, there is a limit to how long they will stay fresh. After the aforementioned five years, the quality of the food begins to decline, and it is no longer recommended to eat them.

    However, there are some people who say that they have eaten 20-year-old MREs with no problems. While it is possible that the food inside these older MREs may not taste as good as it did when it was first made, it should still be safe to eat assuming the package has not been damaged and the food has been kept in a cool, dry place.

    If you have old MREs that you want to use up, there are a few things you can do to make them more palatable. Adding hot sauce or salsa can help boost the flavor of bland meals. You can also try adding fresh fruits or vegetables to give the meal a fresher taste. Finally, heating up an MRE will often make it taste better than eating it cold straight from the package.

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    Why Should I Include Them In My Emergency Food Storage Plan

    Meals Ready to Eat are convenient, self-contained, and require no refrigeration. They include an entree, side dish, utensils, condiments, dessert, and napkin, plus pouches and flameless heaters for preparation. The flameless heater allows for on-the-spot cooking with no gas, electricity, pot, pans, or cooking utensils needed. Its pretty slick, really.

    As another layer of food security, they provide a backup to your backups for almost any emergency or disaster, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, and so on. You get the picture.

    The Illegal Sale Of Military Mres

    2017 Chilean 24 Hour Combat Ration MRE Review Meal Ready to Eat Taste Test
    • In 2006, the GAO investigated military-grade MREs being sold on eBay. Some of these meals were diverted from the relief efforts for hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
    • A member of the Georgia National Guard is being investigated for obtaining MREs through unauthorized or improper means and selling them for personal gain.

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    Using The Mre Flameless Ration Chemical Heater

    • Remove the MRE pouch from the outer cardboard box.
    • Follow instructions on the MRE Heater.
    • Slide the MRE pouch into the plastic sleeve of the Heater.
    • Add approximately 1oz of water to the Heater and place the Heater into the cardboard box. Note: The chemical reaction will begin the heating process immediately upon adding the water.
    • Place the cardboard box at a 45-degree angle by resting it against a firm vertical surface. Allow the MRE pouch contents to heat for several minutes .
    • Carefully remove the Heater from the cardboard box, then carefully remove the MRE Pouch. Items will be HOT!
    • Carefully cut open the MRE pouch and the contents are ready to eat!

    Lojo Surplus Genuine Military Mre

    These military issue MREs are perfect for any emergency and long-term survival, but also for hiking and camping activities. Every meal is 1250 calories in average, which can be enough to sustain you for hours, or even a whole day.

    Every vacuum-sealed package contains a meal , side dish, bread or crackers, snack or dessert, powered beverage, basic seasonings, utensils, and napkin. There is chicken burrito bowl, beef stew, elbow macaroni, meatballs in marinara sauce, and many more to choose from! 10+ year shelf life guaranteed.

    to read more reviews and compare prices.

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    Q What Is The Difference Between Civilian Mres And Military Mres

    There are several reasons why you should buy commercially-packed Civilian MREs vs Military MREs:

    • Civilian MREs have known storage conditions . We recommend always buying from a known distributor/dealer .
    • Civilian MREs are distributed by known, legitimate dealers . We are an authorized distibutor of Sopakco Sure-Pak 12 meals.
    • There are no restrictions on sales of commercially-packed Civilian MREs, while Military MREs are government issue and the military considers the commercial resale of Military-issue MREs as illegal.

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