Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: meals ready to eat

MRE VS Freeze Dried: Which Is Better For Stockpiling

Mountain House freeze dried pouches

MRE VS Freeze Dried, which one do you stockpile for a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation? Personally, I have uses for both. My food stockpile contains an assortment of MREs, freze dried 7 year pouches and several #10 cans of Mountain House freeze dried food.

When my buddies and I go on our annual camping trip on the Angelia River, I usually bring 7 year pouches for my main entree, and a couple of MREs for assorted snacks.

Lets discuss the various good and bad points of both. First, lets talk about MREs, and then freeze dried food.

MREs – Meals Ready to Eat

Something that is very important to my family and I is sodium content. My wife has high blood pressure, and my dad has heart issues. While stockpiling food, it is important to take special needs into consideration.

This is a partial list of sodium content to various MREs I have in my stockpile.

  • Beef ravioli in meat sauce – 1,080mg
  • Beef Stew – 850mg
  • Beverage Powder, Grape – 150mg
  • Beverage Base Powder, Lime Lime – 20mg – 150mg
  • Beverage Base Powder, Orange – 20mg – 150mg
  • Cappuccino, Mocha – 0mg
  • Cappuccino, French Vanilla – 0mg
  • Cinnamon Imperials – 12mg

For the full list, visit this article about sodium content in MREs.

Stockpiling MREs Meals Ready to Eat For SHTF

MRE, Meal Ready to Eat

Are MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) good to stockpile for SHTF? MREs are a good grab and go meal – what could be easier then just grabbing a full meal, stuffing it in your backpack, and your ready to go. The outside package is pretty tough and puncture resistant. MREs are the kind of thing that you can cram into the bottom of your pack, and you don’t have to worry about them leaking, or getting a hole poked in them.

MREs are high in calories and have a high sodium content. As an example, the Spaghetti with meat sauce has 810mg of sodium. If your in the military and having to hump your pack 25 miles at a time, or in good physical shape, 810mg of sodium might seem like nothing. But for people with underlying health conditions, overweight, high blood pressure, 810mg for 1 meal can be a lot of sodium.

Their high price and their suitability to high temperatures makes me add them to my “do not stockpile” list. I like to keep 4 or 5 cases on hand. Currently I think I have about 9 cases,,,, something like that.

My first experiences with an MRE was back in the early 1990s, when one of my buddies got out of the military and brought some MREs home. My first impressions were, this MRE thing sounded pretty cool. Before I started taking MREs on my hiking/ camping trips, I mostly brought noodles or canned goods.

Storing MREs

Awhile back I posted a video on youtube about storing MREs. Lets just say that some of the comments are either really funny, or really sad – depending on how you look at it.

It all started when a buddy of mine cleaned out his food stockpiles and gave me about 8 1/2 cases of MREs. Not being the one to pass up free food preps, I gladly accepted the MREs and loaded them up in the SUV. On the way home my wife and I decided to get one of those plastic shelving systems from a local big box mart.

One side of my sons closet was cleaned out, the shelving system was assembled and the MREs were put on the shelves in order to when the test / inspect date. The ones dated in 2011 were put on the bottom, the ones dated in 2010 on the second shelf up from the bottom, and the ones that your supposed to test were put on the third shelf up from the bottom. Some backpacks / daypacks were put on the very top shelf.

The following video is the one that I posted on youtube.

Sodium content of MREs

For people with high blood pressure, the sodium content in MREs is an important consideration. Before you stock up on MREs as a survival food, first take a look at these numbers.

Beef ravioli in meat sauce – 1,080mg
Beef Stew – 850mg
Beverage Powder, Grape – 150mg
Beverage Base Powder, Lime Lime – 20mg – 150mg
Beverage Base Powder, Orange – 20mg – 150mg
Cappuccino, Mocha – 0mg
Cappuccino, French Vanilla – 0mg
Cinnamon Imperials – 12mg
Cinnamon Scone – 310mg
Cheese Spread (fortified) – 300mg
Cheese tortellini in tomato sauce – 840mg
Cherry Blueberry Cobbler – 170mg
Chicken and Dumplings – 240mg – 820mg
Chicken Fajita – 980mg
Chicken Fajita Filling – 700mg

MRE VS Mainstay Meals

There is an interesting thread in the forums about MREs VS Mainstay Meals. Both types of meals are good for what they are designed to do. Its not a matter of which one is “the best”, its which one fits your needs the best.

MREs – have a short lifespan, especially if they are stored in a shed, or somewhere where it gets hot, say above 90 – 100 degrees. I think its something like 1 day over 100 degrees takes 1 month off the life expectancy – but dont quote me on that.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018