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Dec 12

MRE Review: MealKitSupply.com

I was contacted by the good folks over at Mealkitsupply.com about a month or so ago, they wanted to know if I would like to review a case of their MRE’s.  Two thoughts immediately crossed my mind.  While I don’t consider myself a connoisseur of all things MRE I have no doubt easily eaten hundreds of these things over the years.  Secondly, I was very skeptical of their assertion that their version of MREs would be any different than the ones I have been exposed to in the military.  That in mind I accepted their offer and what follows is my review of their product.

Mealkitsupply MRE2

Mealkitsupply.com MREs

BEFORE we get started into the actual review, let’s remember what MREs are good for and why we as preppers should keep a few cases on hand.

  • Bartering.  Most people recognize MREs and know what they contain which makes them a great barter item.
  • BOB/GHB.  No cooking required means you can stuff them in your BOB or GHB and worry not.  Quick food which does not take up much space or weigh that much.
  • Food Storage.  While MREs do have a limited shelf life (5-7 years?) I do recommend incorporating some into your food storage plan.  They can compliment your canned food, as well as dehydrated and freeze dried food.

The above in mind let’s dive right in to the categories.  If you have followed this blog for more than a month you’ll know that I’m a big fan of bullet points.

Methodology

The case I was provided with came with 12 MREs.  There was no way I could eat all 12 MREs and side items so I decided to sample 4 meals.  I chose 2 meals which I had a liking for based on previous experience (with military MRE’s) and 2 which I generally despised in order to see how these meals stacked up.  I had the box stored in my garage so everything was COLD and I preferred it that way.  No frills, no spices or heater, just cold.  Most likely if on the move this is how most of us would “enjoy” these meals anyway.

Mealkitsupply MRE3

4 MREs chosen for taste test

Price

Price point is always important and when examining the cost of a case of Mealkitsupply.com MREs versus what is available from Campingsurvival.com, it’s really not that much of a difference.  Mealkitsupply.com MRE’s go for $129.95 plus free shipping and Campingsurvival MREs go for $119.95 without free shipping.  Close enough.

The Rundown

Lots of good things I noticed about these MREs when comparing them to what I’ve been used to over the years.

  • Easy to open.  Maybe I have girly hands but there have been times in the cold when the bag itself was very hard to open on Military MREs.  These bags pulled apart easily revealing all of their delicious treats inside.
  • Individual Contents.  What’s inside the MRE is listed on the outside of the bag which is awesome.  No guessing as to which bag contains a pound cake or skittles as everything is listed.  This also makes bartering for MREs between individuals much easier.  :)
  • Tear Open Tabs.  For some reason the tabs for tearing open the meals and side dishes on military MREs are located near the top of the pouch which means you have to dig into them vertically.  What a terrible mistake.  I truly like the fact that with these meals you can tear them open while holding them horizontally, it makes it easier to dump cheese in there!
  • Heaters.  The heaters in these MREs are great!  They have very simple instructions and are much larger than the military version. Instead of trying to stuff a meal down inside the bag you roll it up like a burrito and place a heavy object one top, much easier in my opinion.
Mealkitsupply MRE4

MRE Heaters

Taste Test

  • Pork Patty.  Lots of flavor, reminds me of the old ham slice but with more spice or a souped up Vienna sausage.
  • Hash Browns.  Not good.  At all.  By that I mean I took one bite and grimaced.
  • Spaghetti.  Not that bad, your typical spaghetti meal but with decent size meatballs.  I’m sure if I had heated it up and added cheese it would have been much more delicious.
  • Au Gratin Potatoes.  My first WOW moment.  When I opened the package cheese oozed out, and who doesn’t love cheese?  These were great which meant I ate over half the package.  Yummy.
  • Ratatouille.  Gnarly!  By that I mean abso-tively gross.  I knew I wouldn’t like this going in but I decided to give it a shot.  I had to choke it down but I’m quite sure if I were in a survival situation I’d eat the entire package and lick the interior lining.
  • Chicken with Noodles.  Another surprise.  OUTSTANDING.  Even though I was eating it cold the flavor was such that you probably couldn’t tell that this was not from a can of Hearty Campbell’s Soup.  It was literally that good and something that I enjoyed.
  • Fried Rice.  Awful.  Cold and just bad.  I once warmed up a package of Uncle Ben’s rice in the microwave and threw it out after trying one bite.  This was worse.

The Bottom Line

Here’s the deal, if you have a buddy that is willing to toss you a case or two of military MREs go for it, no need to blow your cash buying more.  However if you are in the market for some MREs for the reasons I listed in the beginning of this post I would highly recommend going with what Mealkitsupply.com has to offer.  You’ll be getting a fresh product backed by great customer service and at a price point comparable to what other companies are selling MREs for.  Stuff a few in your BOB and be ready just in case T-SHTF!

 

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2 comments

  1. The Maj

    MREs serve their purpose, as you mentioned here PJ and even though I stock a few cases, I have never been a huge fan. Most of it centers around their shelf life and is not really a knock against the meals themselves. Generally, the 5 to 7 year shelf life is for a storage temperature of 60 degrees or a little less and in many cases (unadvertised in most) the shelf life drops to months when the meals are stored in 90 degree+ conditions (like the interior of most cars during the summer months).

    Rotation becomes an issue for most people but that is also true for most perishable food stocks that do not have a 20 to 25 year shelf life. We generally rotate our stocks of MREs during our camping trips, fishing trips, etc. and so far it has worked, made things somewhat easier (packing, storage, exposure to the elements, etc). For some, rotation is practical and for some it is not. During the camping trips, my family is a captive audience and the options for “something else to eat” are limited. I could only imagine the response I would get if I announced “MRE Night” around the house when other items are readily available.

    Cost is also a pretty big factor when compared to other food stocks (even though all of it is expensive as far as I am concerned). At $10 to $11 per meal, it is not practical to try to stock a year’s supply IMHO.

    Now, there are some advantages to having MREs that you did not mention that will escape some preppers or others not as familiar with MREs. First, they are typically more balanced meals than other food stocks even though the sodium content tends to be on the excessive side. However, very few packaged meals are going to offer the variety within a single packaged meal that most MREs do (entree, bread/crackers, “sweet” items, condiments, drink mixes, fruit/side items, accessory packet, etc.). Second, most MREs are modular (packages within packaging) which allows the individual to consume portions of the single meal over several hours or even an entire day when time or the situation allows. I do not think I have ever consumed an entire MRE in one sitting and I would probably have to force myself to do so, even if I had all the time in the world. Finally, MREs are fairly easy to ration if it came to that – I.E. going with 2 MREs per person per day versus the 3 meals per day mentality or even 1 MRE per person per day in extreme situations. At typically 1,300 to 1,500 calories each (if you consume the entire meal) one MRE per day would definitely not be optimum BUT stretching (rationing) them out over time might buy you some much needed time until your situation improved or you could supplement your diet by scavenging, hunting, gathering, or fishing. Having a known number of calories per day for “x” number of days is better than wondering where you will get ANY calories or going days without food.

    So, it all comes down to personal preps and plans. For bugging out or getting home MREs are hard to beat IMHO. For bugging in, there are other options that fit better.

    Thanks for the review. I will definitely check them out when it is time to restock.

    1. PJ

      Maj

      Very valid points, thanks for helping to round out the article by covering what I missed. MREs are pricey but they are well worth it for the role they play in the prepper tool kit. I don’t think I’d ever be able to afford a one year supply but having 40 to 50 laying around is definitely doable.

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