Meal Kit Supply – Review of MREs

by Shane White

MREs or Meals Ready to Eat are an excellent addition to any food preparation plan. They are similar to canned foods, but are packaged in a way to provide balanced nutrition and longer shelf life.

Meal Kit Supply was kind enough to let me try some of their MREs. They sent me an entire case, but I will pick out five meal kits of the twelve that are included as an example of what you would get. Packaging is broken down into individual components in a larger bag (typical of many MREs). Manufactured dates are clearly marked with the Julian Calendar system to help you determine its shelf life (I had to look this up. The first number is the last digit of the year and the last three digits are the date so 3017 would be January 17th 2013). The expiration dates are indicated on the box in months and are dependant on the temperature they are stored at. The lower the temperature, the longer they will last.

The large package opens easily without tools by pulling the top opened. In fact, another nice thing about the MREs is that everything you need is included in the kit. The only thing I did have to provide was something to put my coffee in.

I was initially concerned about the hydrogen odor that is a byproduct of the ration heaters, but it really isn’t bad. I wouldn’t recommend cooking it at the office (because of the smell) , but other than that you can cook it basically anywhere where you can set it down that can handle the heat that the heater puts out. I do suggest getting something heavy to put on it(like a rock) if you are not watching it or the heater packet will expand and stop touching the food you are trying to cook. As an alternative to the heater, you can boil some water and put the entree in the boiling water until it feels done.

Vegetable Lasagna

The Vegetable Lasagna meal kit is a vegetarian meal with a total of 1180 calories (not including sugar and other condiments) consisting of:

  • Vegetable Lasagna (1 serving @ 210 calories) Heats up well in ten minutes when following the instruction on the Ration Heater. The lasagna tasted pretty good. I was a little surprised to find beans in it but it worked. I think the included pepper sauce would have been good in it. Salt and pepper is also included for those who use them.
  • Zapplesauce (1 serving@ 130 calories) Zapplesauce is applesauce with maltodextrin added for extra performance. It can be sucked easily from the package. It tastes like sweet applesauce.
  • Crackers and Grape Jelly (1 serving of Crackers @ 180 calories and 1 serving of Grape Jelly @ 70 calories) The crackers were broken but hey, we are all survivalists right? We can handle it. The crackers and jelly tasted like I expected crackers and jelly to taste like.
  • Orange Electrolyte Beverage Powder (1 serving @ 90 calories). This tastes exactly like Tang to me.
  • Fudge Brownie (1 serving @ 320 calories). The brownie was just ok. Not great and not bad. It is good and chocolaty. I am not sure of the consistency of it. The aftertaste is good though. Eat this last and wash it down with a cup of hot coffee.
  • Cocoa Beverage Powder (1 serving @ 180 calories). This is very chocolaty and actually pretty good.
  • Instant Coffee, Creamer & Sugar, Condiments. I prepared the coffee with the instant coffee and added the two packets of sugar and one packet of coffee-mate. You should find a way to heat the water if you like hot coffee. Coffee is nothing extraordinary, but it is coffee and coffee is a wonderful thing.
  • Spoon, Moist Towelette, Napkin, Hot Sauce. I liked the taste of the pepper sauce.

Apple Maple Oatmeal

1240 calories total for the kit (not including sugar and other condiments)

  • Apple Maple Oatmeal (1 serving @ 200 calories). Tasted a lot like apples lightly sweetened (presumably with maple). I thought the texture was a little gooey, but it did taste good so that made up for it.
  • Zapplesauce
  • Crackers and Peanut Butter (1 serving of Crackers @ 180 calories and 1 serving of Peanut Butter @ 250 calories) Tastes like peanut butter and crackers.
  • Brown Sugar Toaster Pastry (1 serving @ 210 calories) This is basically a Pop Tart.
  • Fruit Punch Electrolyte Beverage (1 serving @ 90 calories). Tastes like Kool-Aid
  • Cocoa Powder Beverage (1 serving @ 180 calories).
  • Instant Coffee, Creamer and Sugar
  • Condiments, Spoon, Moist Towelette, Napkin

Beef Ravioli in Meat Sauce

1350 calories total for the kit (not including sugar and other condiments)

  • Beef Ravioli in Meat Sauce (1 serving @ 290 calories). The ravioli was pretty good. I enjoyed it.
  • Potato Cheddar Soup with Bacon (1 serving @ 140 calories). In a survival situation, I am getting the soup. I like the soup. Good stuff.
  • Crackers and Cheese Spread (1 serving of Crackers @ 180 calories and 1 serving of Cheese Spread @ 180 calories). I actually like this. I am a fan of cheese and crackers and this hit the spot.
  • Lemon Lime Electrolyte Beverage (1 serving @ 90 calories). This tastes good as well. It tasted familiar to me but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it tasted like. It was good.
  • Chocolate Pudding Desert Powder (1 serving @ 290 calories). This actually takes about an hour to prepare with water so if you are running from zombies, you may want to start mixing and go. After it is ready, you need to eat it quickly. I am guessing because it is a dairy product.
  • Cocoa Powder Beverage (1 serving @ 180 calories).
  • Instant Coffee, Creamer and Sugar
  • Condiments, Spoon, Moist Towelette, Napkin

Chicken Fajita

1180 calories total for the kit (not including sugar and other condiments)

  • Chicken Fajita (1 serving @ 210 calories). Good tasting.
  • Fried Rice (1 serving @ 210 calories). I recommend mixing the rice with the fajita mix. some of the rice is kind of dry and clumped so this will help.
  • Tortillas (1 serving @ 220 calories)
  • Orange Electrolyte Beverage (1 serving @ 90 calories).
  • Spice Pound Cake (1 serving @ 270 calories). This tastes pretty good.
  • Cocoa Powder Beverage (1 serving @ 180 calories.)
  • Instant Coffee, Creamer and Sugar
  • Condiments, Spoon, Moist Towelette, Napkin

Pork Sausage Patty

1180 calories total for the kit (not including sugar and other condiments)

  • Maple Flavor Pork Sausage Patty (1 serving @ 240 calories). Tastes Good.
  • Hash Browns with Bacon (1 serving @ 220 calories). Tastes pretty good. Could use some salt. Good thing it is included.
  • Wheat Snack Bread & Grape Jelly (1 serving of Wheat Snack Bread @ 180 calories and 1 serving of Grape Jelly @ 70 calories). The bread was just ok…not what I expected. It was better with the jelly. I assume this is a shelf life thing.
  • Strawberry Toaster Pastry (1 serving @ 210 calories). It’s a strawberry Pop Tart.
  • Fruit Punch Electrolyte Beverage (1 serving @ 90 calories).
  • Cocoa Powder Beverage (1 serving @ 180 calories).
  • Instant Coffee, Creamer and Sugar
  • Condiments, Spoon, Moist Towelette, Napkin

I feel that MREs are an excellent part of your food storage plan because of this. As with most survival foods, you still need water in the preparation of most of the items, but one of the advantages with an MRE is that not everything needs water. Every package has something like cheese and crackers, pop tarts, or something similar that will give you the quick energy on the go that you need. Another advantage is that every package has close the the 1200 calories that you need to keep you alive, or you can have one in the morning and one in the evening if you are keeping active. Also, you can eat the meals, and keep the snacks and other drinks to snack on as you move through the day. On a negative point, keep in mind that MREs have a shelf life that is shorter than the 25 years that freeze dried foods claim. They are significantly longer than regular canned foods. This company claims 60 months stored at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 18 months at 100 degrees Fahrenheit and also lists other storage lives in between which is still pretty good in my opinion.

Overall, I would recommend products by Meal Kit Supply. Everything tasted good, was fresh and also very easy to prepare. Ideal for keeping a case in your basement or a few in your bug-out bag.

See our Survival Food Page for more information on Emergency Foods.

4 thoughts on “Meal Kit Supply – Review of MREs

  • July 15, 2013 at 11:50 am
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    My only beef with the MRE's from mealkitsupply is that they don't print the contents of the MRE on the outside of the plastic bag. The only way you can find out what's in the package, without opening it, is to go to the website and look it up. Even then, it's a little hit and miss. The entre and side are consistent, but the other contents can be different than from what's listed.

    Reply
    • July 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm
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      The packages I received had all the nutritional information on each package.

      Reply
  • July 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm
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    I don't know if the magazine is available in your location, but Vol.1 Issue one of "Off Grid" just hit the news stands here. It is pubished by the same people who put out "Recoil." One of the articles dealt with U.S. Meals, Ready to Eat and their civilian counterparts. The article dove tails with your own posting.

    Reply
    • July 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm
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      I have not seen this article. I will be sure to look for it.

      Reply

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