Plenty of you reading this have served in the US Armed Forces and are all too familiar with the old MRE’s (meal, ready to eat). Plenty more have run into them during disaster operations or when someone pulls one out of a bag when out camping. The content of these sealed pouches has changed quite a bit in the last two decades, let’s take a look at what a company like Meal Kit Supply has done to bring MRE’s to the top of the food chain.
For those who aren’t too familiar with MRE’s, a brief primer. These are fully cooked meals, sealed in retort packaging to drastically extend shelf life without refrigeration. These aren’t dehydrated meals that require boiling water to transform back into an edible product, these are meals in a bag that can be eaten cold or warmed up with the included heating pouch. The packaging is robust and rugged having been designed for military use. They have an advertised shelf life of 5 years, though I’ve eaten them at around 8-9 years old with no ill effect. MRE’s generally have an entrée, side dish and a few tertiary items to chew on. The US military has fielded some truly infamous variants (five fingers of death) but spent the last few years preceding the new millennium finding ways to improve the meals in both nutrition and acceptability.
Immediately after my first deployment to Afghanistan I headed off to Ranger school. 2 days after graduation, I was on a plane headed towards our forward operating base, preparing to invade Iraq. That was a whole lot of months where I was eating MRE’s every…single…day. Morale is affected a great deal by basic creature comforts like FOOD, so imagine my joy when I cracked a case of MRE’s and found something other than the same 24 options we had become so intimately familiar with. Now I’m looking at two cases of MRE’s from Meal Kit Supply and I can see how good it has all become.