Review of MRE from Meal Kit Supply

 

MRE

MRE from Meal Kit Supply             All photos by Bernie Carr

I received samples of MREs from Meal Kit Supply for review.   I have tried other MREs in the past, so I have something to compare this.  The package I tried was the Vegetarian Ratatouile.  It included the following:  heating unit, Vegetarian Ratatouille entrée, Au Gratin Potatoes side dish, cracker and cheese, strawberry banana shake, lemon lime beverage mix, condiments, and spoon.

MRE contents

I set up the heating unit according to package directions.  All you have to do is open it, and add about 1/2 cup of water to the bag, up to the line indicated.  You then wrap the heating unit around the entree and side dish according to the photo illustration.  It was very easy.  Then you place a weight on top of it.

MRE Heating Unit

Activated MRE Heating Unit

I felt the heating unit activate as soon as I placed the weight on it.  The whole thing started puffing up and you hear a sizzling sound.  The weight was about to fall off so I removed it when the unit got very puffy.  In about 10 minutes, both the entree and side dish were warm.

I also prepared the strawberry shake.  Just add water to the powder and shake.  It took a bit of shaking to mix it properly, but here is the result.

Strawberry shake with MRE

Strawberry shake included with MRE

Once the meal was warm I transferred them into bowls.

 

Meal Supply Kit MRE Au Gratin Potatoes

Meal Supply Kit MRE Au Gratin Potatoes

Meal Supply Kit Vegetarian Ratatouile

Meal Supply Kit Vegetarian Ratatouille

Now for the taste test.

  • The potatoes had a good texture, and had a creamy cheese taste.  It was comparable to name brand packaged au gratin potatoes.
  • The vegetarian ratatouille was actually pretty tasty.  It had vegetable pieces and sauce was flavorful.
  • The strawberry shake tasted similar to Nesle’s Strawberry Quik; I think kids would like it.

All in all, I thought the MRE from Meal Kit Supply was fresher tasting than other MREs I have tried in the past.   Prior to this sample, I have never finished one; in this case I actually ate the rest of it as my lunch.   (Please note Apartment Prepper has no financial interest in Meal Kit Supply.  I review these samples so I can pass information along.  Food storage quality varies greatly, so it is best to research your choices prior to making a decision.)

Their website is www.mealkitsupply.com
(http://mealkitsupply.com/us/pages/en/ – the US site).

The site has a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page that had some good information.  Here is an excerpt:

What is the shelf life of your MRE’s?
5 Years, assuming they are stored at 55°F. If stored at a higher or lower temperature this can be shortened or lengthened based on the test results below :
Sustained Storage Temperatures °F Estimated Shelf-life (in months):
120° 1 month
110° 5 month
100° 18 month
90° 30 month
80° 48 month
70° 66 month
60° 84 month
50° to 33° 96 month
Can MREs be frozen?
Yes, MREs can freeze. When frozen may require more careful handling to avoid damage to the packaging. However, we do not recommend freezing them. For more information contact us at http://www.mealkitsupply.com/us/pages/en/Contact
Are the meals full of preservatives?
The meals are preservative free. By fully cooking the meals and sealing them in three layer retort pouches that are thermal stabilized maintains the nutritional goodness, full flavour and natural juices which result in the prolonged duration shelf life without requiring refrigeration.

Lastly, are some important points they wanted you to be aware of:
- Shipping is included in the $129.95 price (a case of 12)
- Their MREs are made from 100% US Military food components (the same
ones used in Military MREs)
- Meal Supply Kit MREs are very fresh (they are currently taking pre-orders for
January production MREs)  This explains why this sample tasted fresher than other ones I’ve tried)
- They pack more items/components into their MREs than any other commercial MRE
They ship to both the U.S. and Canada.

 

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MRE and Food Storage Questions Answered by FreezeDryGuy

Please see my previous MRE post to find out how these questions came about.  To find out the answers, I reached out the Freeze Dry Guy website and sent an email.  Apartment Prepper has no affiliation with Freeze Dry Guy- I just wanted to see if they would be kind enough to provide some information.  They were.  Here are the questions and responses I received from Mr. Jason:

First, an introduction:  My name is Mr. Jason and I am the Director of Special Projects for Freeze Dry Guy.  I would be happy to answer the questions you have about MRE’s.  My experience with MRE’s and survival in general comes from over 20 years of experience as a Soldier, Government Contractor, Police Officer and Disaster Management Specialist.  My video resume is available on the Freeze Dry Guy web site.

http://www.youtube.com/FreezeDryGuy

Question # 1.    What is the REAL shelf life for MREs:  For example, if the box indicates Expiration date= 6/1/2012, how much longer will it be good for?  The box is kept indoors, in an air conditioned room, around 75 degrees.

Answer:  If you have a box of Military grade MRE’s and the expiration date is 6/1/2012 then I would start to rotate them out.  The expiration date is based on the best care condition, kept in a cool dry place out of the sun.  However, I would not throw them out if you have room to store them.  You can always use the old MRE’s packets as barter for other things like fuel or medical supplies in a pinch.

 Question # 2.    What are the ideal conditions for MRE storage, for maximum freshness?

Answer:  The ideal condition would always be cool dry place out of the elements.  This will give you maximum storage life.

Question # 3.    I opened a package of MRE, the label indicated “Penne Pasta with Veg Sausage”  When I opened it, the product was actually “Veg Patty in BBQ sauce.”     Is this mislabeling a common occurrence with MREs or was this just a fluke?  

The mislabeling is a not common but it does occur more often with the civilian aftermarket version of the MRE than with the Military issued.  Most aftermarket MRE’s are made out of the country so the quality control is not at the same level as the “made in the USA” stuff.

 Editor’s note:  My batch was “military issued”  To find out what the other MREs contained, we opened the packets and found all to be correctly labels.  This must have been a “fluke.”

Question # 4.  The same package also included a packet of Clam Chowder – can you place 2 food packets in one Heater only one can be  heated?

You can heat more than one item at a time, if they can both fit in the heating bag, but they might not be a hot as if you only heated only one item.

Question # 5.  What would be your recommendation for the most efficient food storage for apartment dwellers who usually lack space? 

My recommendation for long term storage in a limited space would be freeze dried food.  Freeze dried food has the longest shelf life and because there is no water in the package, it is the lightest weight and takes up the least amount of space.

Question # 6.  What would recommend for “bug out bag” food?

Bug out food….I would recommend simple, lightweight foods that require little or no cooking or prep time.  MRE’s are excellent for that.  Just keep in mind their limited shelf life and rotate your food accordingly.  Freeze Dried food is also very handy, light weight, portable, and has a much longer shelf life, but you will need water to rehydrate it.   As a rule you should, at least once a year, go through your bug out bag and replace batteries, update med’s, check equipment, and just make sure everything is still good to go.

Question # 7.  I find that  canned foods can be bought with coupons, but that usually does not apply to freeze dried or dehydrated foods.  Would appreciate any advice regarding how to get the best deals in food storage for apartment preppers.

The best way to get freeze dried food is to shop around and find a company who can deliver the highest quality food made in America, at the lowest price and offer free delivery anywhere in the continental United States.  A company known for its outstanding customer service, and is committed to excellence, a company that offers monthly money saving specials on their products, and has established buying clubs for their customers to help offset the cost of storing food. If only we knew a company like that…  www.freezedryguy.com

 

 

ReadyMade Resources is a trusted source for your preparedness supplies:

 

 

 

See What’s Inside an MRE (Meals Ready to Eat)

Two years ago, we bought a few MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) as part of our food storage plan.   Because they come with a heating unit, MREs offer the convenience of being able to eat a hot meal in an emergency.  They also stack well in a small space. Later on, I found out about LRPs which are lighter and more portable than MREs, and stocked a few of those as well.

We noticed the expiration date on our MREs was 6/1/2012 so we decided to start rotating them.  The expiration date is not a firm date, it is more of a guideline.  However, you should always be aware of what’s coming up to expire in your food storage pantry to avoid problems later.

I thought I’d post about what I found in my MRE so I took photos.

The MRE included lots of items:

  • Veg Patty in BBQ Sauce
  • Clam chowder
  • Heating unit
  • Crackers and cheese spread
  • Shortbread cookie
  • Condiments such as tabasco sauce, salt, pepper
  • Coffee and creamer
  • Spoon
  • Tootsie roll

What I found curious was the packet was labeled Penne Pasta with Veg Sausage, but inside the package was “Veg Patty in BBQ Sauce”

The heating unit included instructions on how to use it.  All you have to do is add about 1/4 cup of water (to the line indicated)  insert the entree into heating unit, lay it down diagonally on an incline and allow it to heat.  I only heated the packet with the veg patty as I wasn’t sure whether the clam chowder would heat up.  I boiled water on the stove and warmed up the clam chowder packet in the boiling water.

The heating unit got very hot after a while.  After about 10 minutes, the food packet was ready to eat.  Here is what everything looked like:

Veg patty in bbq sauce

Clam chowder

Now it’s time to taste it.  I tried the veg patty first.  It was okay, but not something I liked very much.  However, if you are hungry and out in the field I bet it would seem a lot tastier.  The clam chowder was another story- it was actually pretty good.  I thought it tasted better than the average canned soup, and had lots of clams.  With all the food included in the MRE, the whole meal was pretty filling.  I saved the crackers and cheese for later.

Writing this article brought up some questions about MREs and food storage in general.  I’ll find out and will post about this in a few days.

 

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