By Guy Dumas
Napoleon Bonaparte said, “An army marches on its stomach.” Since the beginning of large-scale warfare, armies have tried to puzzle out the best way to keep the troops reliably fed. (Military logisticians are still called “bean counters” for this reason.) The current answer to this challenge is the Meal Ready to Eat, or MRE.
Each MRE is an individual meal in a bag. Each meal consists of an entrée, a side dish, a dessert, crackers or bread, spread (cheese, peanut butter, or jelly), and a powdered beverage mix. You also get a plastic spoon, a matchbook, toilet paper, a moist towelette and seasonings. The package sometimes includes a flameless heater to warm the meal.
While actual military MREs are available through retailers or online sources such as EBay, commercial options are also available and may be more convenient and reliably fresh. For example, BePrepared.com offers a three-day version and a one-week supply.
Why should you choose to store at least a few MRE’s?
- Each meal is calorie dense and nutritionally robust.
- Cooking is not necessary.
- Additional water is not necessary for preparation.
- Preparation is not necessary.
- They are easy to pack and easy to store.
- When the power goes out, cooking can become a challenge. It’s nice to have a good no-prep option to eat for that first meal while you are managing all the new challenges.
- During an evacuation, a MRE makes a good meal-to-go option.
A box with a week’s worth of MRE’s easily stores out of the way in a closet or under a bed and provides a little peace of mind; no matter what’s going on, you can know that a meal is only a moment away.