What Is An MRE Anyway?

What is an MRE? For survivalists and military personnel, this particular amenity is a must-have. It can determine the survival of a person if SHTF situations kick in.

However, many are still oblivious to what MREs are and what function they perform. In this guide, I will have to elaborate the very essence of MREs and why everyone, even those that are not preppers, must acquire them. Let's get started.​


What Is An MRE?

MRE is just a shortened term for "Meals Ready to Eat." In the terminology of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), MREs are typically known as 19FD-01-IRATs. The IRAT here simply means "Rations, Immediate Deployment.”

When all of these things are given, it is easy to conclude that MREs are food rations that have been self-contained and package. They are made to serve US military and police personnel when food and water sources are scarce or unavailable. But today, even ordinary individuals can purchase this kind of amenity.

It has to be noted that MREs are the most advanced form of food ration that exists in the world today. Most of the countries today don't implement the same level of intricate processing and packaging of their food rations as MREs have. MREs, on the other hand, have high stability. That means that this ration has a high shelf life and has good resistance against spoil-causing elements such as water and heat.

Most of all, MREs are ready to eat, just as its name suggests. There's no need for you to cook or prepare them. Once you have opened the ration, you can already consume whatever is in there. Such a feature is advantageous if there are no cooking facilities that are available or accessible. You don't have to worry about contamination either as they have been processed to eliminate such kind of worries.

Because MREs are originally intended for soldiers and combatants on the field, these particular food rations contain a lot of energy. It is not an exaggeration when I say that a single MRE is enough to sustain your body with the daily nutrients and vitamins that it needs. One MRE is enough to sustain a person throughout an entire day.

There are various MREs that exist in the US market today. You can fully trust those that have been manufactured by companies that are contracted by the government to make the authentic US military MREs. You just have to do a little research when it comes to the background of those commercially-sold MREs so that you can assess their quality.

An MRE can contain three courses. Basically, an entire course should contain at least 1,200 calories. That amount of calorie is enough to meet the energy demands of your body, especially if you are doing extensive activities.

The entire course of an MRE typically includes a side dish, cracker or bread with jelly or peanut butter spread, dessert, an entrée, and electrolyte beverages. Furthermore, an MRE can also contain a variety of condiment, ration heater, spoon, and napkin. All the essential items and ingredients for a sumptuous meal are present in a single MRE.

Why MREs Have Long Lifespan​

Why MREs Have Long Lifespan​

It has been noted in a separate article that I have made that the shelf life of MREs is not short. If the condition is proper and favorable, MREs can last for up to five to ten years. Despite this fact, it has been known that MREs do not contain any artificial preservatives.

So how can they last so long?

MREs are using a specialized packaging or most commonly known as retort packaging. Specifically, a retort package is crafted from an ultra-durable and rugged composition which is made of polypropylene, polyester, and aluminum foil. This unique combination enables the pouch or packages to seal off any sterilized foodstuff for extended periods.

Retort packages also embed the MREs with a strong container. They are extremely resistant to water and impact. They are also droppable to high distances of up to 100 feet. Moreover, these containers can protect the food ration from contaminants and pests. In short, you can say that MREs can withstand severe punishments.

Because of these capabilities, MREs are the first choice for relief workers, rescuers, and responders. They are the most reliable food source when things go wrong along the way.


MREs are needed amenities. That's one conclusive thought that we can derive here. These days, disasters and calamities can strike you unexpectedly. If you can't prepare for them, then your survival won't sink into a minimum. You should bring MREs even on your camping trips aside from your normal delicacies. It could utterly save your life.

Now that you know what MREs are, you can already discern their value and importance. Always consider investing in them as they have a long shelf life.

That's it for now. If you have some questions or suggestions, feel free to ask me in the comment section below.​

What Is An MRE Anyway?
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