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question about MREs

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posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 02:14 PM
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With the weirdness going on in the world today, I have started adding a few extra canned items and seasons to my shopping list for the expressed purpose of long term storage.
I started looking into MREs as well. As a former soldier, I know that a couple of them a day is more than enough substance, at least for me, and I could easily go a week on a case alone.
So, my question is, whats up with the future inspection dates? I was in the military and we did eat a lot of MREs in training and during Desert Storm, but I never had cause or reason to look at the inspection date.
I was looking on Ebay as well as a Surplus site and they list inspection dates ranging from 2009 - 2011. How is that even possible? Military MREs dont necessarily have a specific expiration date, rather it is affected by the storage methods. It is said that they stay well preserved for 1 - 10 years, commonly 3 at 80 degrees F.

Can anyone expand on the reasoning behind the inspection dates?




posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 02:25 PM
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It most likely came up like the warnings on everyday products like hairspray cans saying not to incinerate. Someone did something stupid, raised a lawsuit and caused them to put it there. Someone most likely ate a 30 year old ration that was somehow damaged and got sick.
If you keep them dry, I don't see how they could ever go bad personally.
I've ate some from my fathers 19 months in vietnam when I was younger and they tasted as normal as a ration could be expected too.



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 02:41 PM
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Well.unless I am grocery mistaken... I mean ' grossly' - they had no MREs during Vietnam ( these would have been 'K' rations, I believe ).

I personally wouldn't worry about the inspection date - but, you could be screwed financially if you buy MREs and they are no good. Again, I wouldn't worry.

I wonder why you would choose MREs in the first place. They are extremely heavy ( bad if you're mobile ). Lot of trash comes out of one... I would consider them only if my situation were stationary, or if I had a shortage of water.

One LB of lentils mixed with barley will easily feed you ( and is quite healthy ) for a day if you have vitamins on hand... just a point to consider. 1/2 liter of water and 1 hour and fuel is needed, though.

My situation demands something more lightweight...

I used to really appreciate the chicklets and the little bottle of Tobasco...



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 02:53 PM
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The inspection dates are for rotational purposes, they try to use the oldest on the shelf first, without the dates its harder for the supply to track when to use, especially in supply warehouses on base.
MRE's are good, very high in calories, but like one of the posters is that they are relatively heavy and are bulky, two alone would fill a rucksack needlessly, thats why in the military if you remember they were in the rear on the truck with the fatbodies.



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 04:36 PM
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Thanks for the replies. The rotation factor in a military storage facility didnt occur to me. It sounds like a pretty good reason.

I am considering MREs for the simple reason that they have a long shelf life in moderate storage and each one provides a filling meal (regardless of the blandness of taste). They are not being considered as a primary food source, rather an offset measure. I wouldnt plan to trek with more than 1 or 2, rather store them long term in the event there was a run on cash/credit and grocery.
Like I said, I am already stocking up on canned and dry goods, as well as seasonings. I already eat fairly simple, so I dont keep a lot of food varieties, which allows me to keep more of each item.
I am not being paranoid, rather preparing for the worst. I made my weekend plans by topping off on gas (plus 1 gallon jug), pulled out a couple hundred dollars and bought an extra bag of dog food. My fridge is currently full and my spirits are high.

(got offtopic on my own thread...sorry).

That is all my reasoning for considering MREs, just supplemental.



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 04:48 PM
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Yea, MRE's are a good quick fix, especially if your going to be scouting around for a day or two, the TP comes in handy....lol I don't know about you but the new ones are pretty darn tasty, ohh and you can make an MRE bomb(heater pack) to scare the hell out of your neighbors too.



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by Skelkie3
Well.unless I am grocery mistaken... I mean ' grossly' - they had no MREs during Vietnam ( these would have been 'K' rations, I believe ).


They had C rations in Vietnam. K rations were from WW2.


Originally posted by Skelkie3
I wonder why you would choose MREs in the first place. They are extremely heavy ( bad if you're mobile ). Lot of trash comes out of one... I would consider them only if my situation were stationary, or if I had a shortage of water.


MREs aren't heavy, unless you're carrying an entire case of them. You can break them down and strip out the stuff you don't need/want.



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 01:29 AM
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I've had MRE's before about 15 years ago.
If I recall correctly, weren't they very high in calories? 1 would be sufficient energy and nutrition to sustain a soldier in the field all day/night if needed?



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 01:39 AM
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Originally posted by bigdog36
I've had MRE's before about 15 years ago.
If I recall correctly, weren't they very high in calories? 1 would be sufficient energy and nutrition to sustain a soldier in the field all day/night if needed?


Yes 1 mre meets all the needs for 1 day In fact eating 2 per day you will actually gain weight. so you need 7 mres for 1 week and when i was in the military we used to cary 4 with us in our pack and still had plenty of room for other stuff as well as long as you didnt try to carry the tent, Poncho worked just as well.

[edit on 10/6/08 by dragonridr]



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 11:39 AM
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MREs do get inspected, but it isn't all that "invasive." Pretty much they take a random sampling from different lots, open them up, make sure the packages arn't swollen from botulism, seal them back up, and put them back in the boxes. If they find a swollen bag, the whole lot gets thrown out.

If you've ever opened an MRE and found that the boxes for the individual food items are sealed with white masking tape, that MRE had been inspected and returned to circulation.

Inspections of Army MREs are the responsibility of the Veterinary Corps- little known fact.



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 03:56 PM
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One thing that I should add is, most people forget that what ever you have saved up will NOT last forever, and that other means of sustenance must be thoroughly thought out. We not only should prepare for the wost by stocking up, but should also stock up on information on how to grow food and where the best places to grow food are. MRE's are good for starters but in the long run a self sufficient garden or farm is better.



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by 38181
 


To the OP, I dont know much about MRE's and how long they will last. Ive seen websites claiming upwards of 10 years under the right circumstances. I find them cumbersome and expensive considering all of the other options out there.

To 38181, I have a feeling if I put some Twinkies or Ho Hos up, they in fact, could last forever.



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 04:15 PM
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reply to post by 38181
 


You do bring up a good point. We are talking about short term here. Few people will have the storage space for 1+ years worth of MRE's for thier familes (even small ones) and the constant replacement will get expensive.

We have MRE's in our survival kit. I concentrated on main entree's and purchased far fewer of the side dishes or complete packs. If purchased in bulk you can get them for $2 each or cheaper.

We keep enough MRE's for 7 people for 21 days.

MRE have some distinct advantages:

Long shelf life (depends on temp etc) I figure 3 years for mine that are stored outside as we have mild summers in the SF Bay Area. I have them in blocks of 3 so every year I rotate out a block and donate it to the local food bank.

They are wet packed so you can eat them cold and without using water. They are pretty bad cold mind you but if you are at that point you should just be happy to have anything IMHO.

They are much cheaper than conventional Dehydrated foods. However, for kicks I purchased Costcos survival bucket and its not really all that bad of a deal either except being vegetarian.

In addition if you are going to go the MRE route you should diversify your stash as much as possible. Dried herbs, pepper, salt will all go a long way to making things more paletable. Also dried beans, rice, etc are all also nice to have to stretch things out. We keep about 100 lbs of Pinto beans vaccume sealed in containers and the same amount of rice. The vaccum seal keeps then dry and we have aluminum containers in case of rodents who can knaw through plastic in no time.



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 08:52 PM
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not sure if i'm going to add anything to your question at hand, but i've had class "a" MRE's last for several years and come out fine.

my first batch of MRE's (class "a") were originally intended to be used within my personal 2 year time frame. by circumstance, they finally got eaten at about the 6-7 year mark. (as they were buried in storage and out of sight)

we were hesitant of course, but they turned out fine. (weirdly enough)
the class "a" ones really aren't bad at all. and in a rough dust-storm camping environment
they were a treat. low effort and FAST.

[edit on 10/6/2008 by zooplancton]



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 01:59 AM
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MREs are only bulky when you don't know how to strip them...'rat****ing' them is the proper term, I suppose. But that does cut down significantly on their shelf life. Yes, they each have enough calories for a day. Yes, they can be eaten frozen. Yes, most do block you up. But, as an advantage over beans or rice or whatever substanance, bare-bones-starvation diet people are pushing, they don't require preparation. You can whip out a spoon, a heater pack, pour some water into it, cook it, and eat it while not even stopping. With rice and whatnot, you have to stop, unbury your stove, boil the water (you have water, right? Enough to spare for cooking AND drinking?) sit there, eat, put everything away, keep moving. Mobility will be key during a bug out situation.

DE



posted on Oct, 8 2008 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by DeusEx
MREs are only bulky when you don't know how to strip them...'rat****ing' them is the proper term, I suppose.


I was going to say that in my orignal post above, but probably would have gotten some blank stares if I said to "ratf**k" an MRE.

And another note to everyone: Don't eat the Charms!



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 09:34 PM
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There is a subtle difference between "stripping" an MRE and "ratf**king" one.

You strip one MRE to get rid of the extra 7 pounds of superfluous crap they put in them. You ratf**k three boxes of MREs to find one bag of peanut butter M&Ms.

Nothing like waking up in the morning, taking the tarp off your bustle rack to grab a Beef Enchilada for breakfast, and finding three weeks worth of MREs cut open and dumped back in the boxes.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 10:21 PM
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Originally posted by WhiteOneActual
Nothing like waking up in the morning, taking the tarp off your bustle rack to grab a Beef Enchilada for breakfast, and finding three weeks worth of MREs cut open and dumped back in the boxes.


Or opening your ruck and finding that someone swiped your good MREs and replaced them all, freakin' ALL of them, with tuna casserole.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 10:32 PM
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Man this takes me back to when we would barter with our MRE ingredients. You can definately cut loads of weight by field stripping them. They do have a bunch of junk in them. They plug you up which is a good thing in field exercises and they have lots of calories. I think most of them taste decent except the "four fingers of death." MREs will serve you well if you are planning on living off of them for a month or so but you will get sick of them quickly.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 11:03 PM
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Originally posted by SuperSecretSquirrel
I think most of them taste decent except the "four fingers of death."


Aww, come on, four fingers is a classic!

I remember coming back from deployment and checking my tanks for any live ammo that may have been forgotten or gotten sucked into one of the many mysterious places that the "turret monster" likes to hide your stuff. We had to disassemble the gunner's station as part of this process, and there, behind the panel, was the four fingers of death and a couple of those god-aweful Iraqi sodas shoved up into all the thermal imaging guts.

My gunner was super excited about the discovery and proceeded to eat the MRE. The sodas were saved for souvenir purposes.

This wouldn't have been bad if they hadn't stopped making the four fingers so long ago. I figure someone stashed that stuff during Desert Storm and somehow it had remained there since. I can't imagine how none of those components didn't break and need replaced in that period of time....

And +1 on staying away from the Charms. They're bad juju.



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