MRE's and survival food

MRE's and survival food

This is a discussion on MRE's and survival food within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Just something I'd thought about for a while. I'm not one of those survivalist nuts that thinks the world is going to end by plague, ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    MRE's and survival food

    Just something I'd thought about for a while. I'm not one of those survivalist nuts that thinks the world is going to end by plague, nuclear war, asteroid impact, etc. But there are always possibilities that might make food difficult to come by for a short period of days to weeks. Hurricane Katrina or the recent disaster in Japan are good examples. So I've been thinking maybe I should stock up more on some non perishables. I don't want to can or vacuum seal anything myself. I'd be afraid I would do it wrong and wind up with botulism or something. I've seen that you can buy MRE's on eBay, but they are kind of expensive. But on the other hand, I was wondering what some good alternatives might be. For example, beef jerky (and all of the variants) will store for years and there are lots of little fruit cups you can buy that are sealed in their own little pudding-style cups. That would give you protein and some basic vitamins. Also I've seen that places like Academy and Cabella's stock "camping" food that is pre vacuum sealed and freeze dried meals. I've never tried any of it, though. Hormel also makes those "compleats" meals for about $2.00 a piece. I've tried several of them. They range from horrible to edible, but none are particularly delicious.

    Why do I care what they taste like, you might ask? Well, since most of these products have a shelf life of a few years, I figure the best way to keep it all current is to actually eat it from time to time to cycle the old stuff out. So, just wondering if any of you guys have any suggestions on this.

    Water is certainly not a problem, we drink lots of bottled water around here, so we always have a few weeks supply of that on hand.
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Buying stuff with survival in mind is a little bit different from everyday eating. Beans are a good source of protein. Rice keeps for quite awhile. Canned soups, etc will last. If it's something that you don't ordinarily eat and it's getting close to the expiration date, donate it to a food pantry. A hungry person somewhere will be happy to get it.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    What? You say people who prepare for disasters are NUTS, and then you ask for their help finding you some food?

    Wow.
    SpencerB, OD*, vn6869 and 2 others like this.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    What? You say people who prepare for disasters are NUTS, and then you ask for their help finding you some food?

    Wow.
    Yeah, but you're a good kind of nut Bark'n. Not the kind squirrels chew on or anything.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    Distinguished Member Array RevolvingMag's Avatar
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    I can get MRE's here for around $6-7.50. Try your local army/navy surplus stores. Also, like Gene said, rice keeps well for long periods. Rice, and dried beans; you'll be set for months. Especially with some dried (not necessarily jerky) beef. If you have one nearby, Aldi has cases of water (24, 12oz bottles) of water for less than $3. I used to get my fiancee three or four at a time when I would go visit her in the dorm.
    "Rock and load, lock and roll... what's it matter? FIRE!!"

    "Gun control means hitting your target every time."

    Please take everything I say with at least one grain of salt- I am a very sarcastic person with a very dry sense of humor.

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    What? You say people who prepare for disasters are NUTS, and then you ask for their help finding you some food?

    Wow.
    No.. Surely you know the kind of nut I'm talking about.. I knew some folks a few years back that had devoted an entire room of their home to storing food and other supplies. They said they had enough to keep their family going to several years. I've heard of other people creating radiation proof bunkers and stocking up on all kinds of antibiotics and stuff. One guy I used to know kept one of those luggage container things on top of his minivan stocked to the top with all kinds of supplies. He believed the rapture was due any time (and I guess he wasn't sure if he'd qualify for it) and he planned to be ready to take his family to the hills and live off of what was stored in that thing.

    I'm not talking about that.. I'm just talking about having a "few" essentials that would last a family of 3 for a couple of weeks with no electricity or running water. Nothing fancy.
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array tangoseal's Avatar
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    I have like 2 pallets of MRE. Yup Cases of 12 each x like 40 something cases. Im set for 25 more years give or take. Do I think the world will end. YES. How? Dont ask me. Religious way yes but not a place for this forum. But Im looking for a cave that no one knows about in the local flora casually as well to stuff my self in during the fallout of whatever happens.

    So you should take survival seriously. Do you take your government's word that you will always remain safe and free and without harm? If you do then dont ask for help here because chances are you wont need the food anyways.

    Now I wasnt saying you do. Im generally speaking to the public with the above comment.

    For you I would recommend looking at freezedried camping foods. They cost more but they have an intense shelf life. They retain most all of the nutritional value the way they are prepared. I would also consider buying non genetically modified plant seeds. The ones that will re-seed that you can harvest, winterize, and then replant year after year to feed your family. Now the 1000's of rds of .223 or 9mm or whatever the heck you stock pile will be used to defend that same crop of food from the vultures and pigs of society that managed to somehow survive the end trying to steal from you. Since there will be no formal law in place you need to think out side of the box and even maybe want to get a way to generate heat, clean water, etc...

    I wouldnt recommend stockpiling large amounts of water rather stockpile the means to purify and utilize even the most disgusting corpse filled pond scum water. Whats better 1000 gallon tank of clean potable water until it runs out or 100 filters that can filter 1000 gallons of water each? Think outside the box.

    If you have a budget of $50 every 2 weeks to buy one box of choice ammo (never to be shot) and 1 or 2 items of survival supply, i.e. food, water filter bottles, matches, lantern crap, whatever you can think of. Guess what after the next 10 years of doing this and nothing happens you will have a massive stockpile to live on and never have to worry again if you plan and hide it properly. That is how I do it. Im not nuts and go buy 25000 rds of .223. I just get a box and place it in a special place every week. Just one box of 20 rounds. But I can tell you that after doing that over the last 3-4 years now I have several thousands of rounds. Several.

    Okay maybe the cave part was a joke haha. But if I actually do find one I might consider it though.
    "I believe that the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms must not be infringed if liberty in America is to survive." - Ronald Reagan

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array RevolvingMag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene83 View Post
    Yeah, but you're a good kind of nut Bark'n. Not the kind squirrels chew on or anything.
    No.. ....the kind that chews on the squirrels....
    "Rock and load, lock and roll... what's it matter? FIRE!!"

    "Gun control means hitting your target every time."

    Please take everything I say with at least one grain of salt- I am a very sarcastic person with a very dry sense of humor.

  9. #9
    Member Array MikeNice's Avatar
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    Check out Wise Company LLC. They make stuff with a shelf life of 25 years. Then you can pick up some beans and rice to go along with it. You will still need a good multi vitamin to keep everything in balance, plus water.

    You can get everything for a single person to last thirty days for under $500. That includes a camp stove and fuel for cooking.

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    Member Array vn6869's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    No.. Surely you know the kind of nut I'm talking about. .. . and he planned to be ready to take his family to the hills and live off of what was stored in that thing.

    I'm not talking about that.. I'm just talking about having a "few" essentials that would last a family of 3 for a couple of weeks with no electricity or running water. Nothing fancy.
    What you are talking about is what FEMA, the Red Cross and other agencies have been trying to get across to people, to had a 72 hour supply of food, shelter and water available. Which by the way has been changed lately to 7 days worth. After Katrina, it was shown it would take over 72 hours to restore services.
    RomeoZulu and Naufragia like this.

  11. #11
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    Check out the RESPONDER options at efoodsdirect.

    Super long shelf life & they taste good. 15 Years but, stored in a COOL place it's actually longer than that.

    Here is the link:
    Responders - Shop

    Also go here to their Frequently Asked Questions page:
    http://www.efoodsdirect.com/FAQ.aspx


    You can really "make a decent filling meal for two" even out of their soups by adding cooked rice.

  12. #12
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    I don't know QKShooter, He may not want to deal with eFoodsDirect once he finds out they are Long Term Preppers!

    I have tried their food. Pretty tasty stuff. Just so people know, they are all meatless meals. They use TVP (textured vegetable protein) as a meat substitute.

    Not that there's anything wrong with it. They have reasons for doing so. It helps give their food 25 year storage capabilities, helps maintain quality control, and TVP is easier for the body to digest properly. Especially for people in stressful situations like during a natural disaster, or "the rapture!"

    I have some of their food stockpiled along with various other things like freeze dried and canned fresh vegetables in order to have a variety of food sources.

    It just kind of rubs me the wrong way when people sit there and slam those who prepare for emergencies, (whatever their reason) and then in the same breath, ask for their help. Like, "Oh, I just realized (for the first time) if I lose my electricity for 10 days during a winter storm my family is going to have a tough time... But I'm not a nut case like those other preppers! But where do you get your stuff, and what do you recommend?" It just shows poor form and a lack of respect for others.
    OD*, JDE101 and Inspector71 like this.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  13. #13
    Member Array Steve666's Avatar
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    Wink MRE's (Meals Rejected by Ethiopians)

    At the risk of getting ragged for my sense of humor, here goes:

    "I had a date the other night at my place. On the phone the day before, the girl asked me to "Cook her something she's never had before" for dinner. After many minutes of scratching my head over what to make, I finally settled on something she has DEFINITELY, definitely had never eaten before. I got out my trusty case of MRE's. (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) Field rations that when eaten in their entirety contain 3000+ calories in each meal.
    Here's what I made: I took three of the Ham Slices out of their plastic packets, took out three of the Pork Chops, three packets of Chicken-a-la-king and eight packets of dehydrated butter noodles and some dehydrated/rehydrated rice. I cooked the Ham Slices and Pork Chops in one pan, sauté in shaved garlic and olive oil. In another pot, I blended the Chicken a-la-king, noodles, and rice together to make a sort of mush
    that looked suspiciously like succotash. I added some spices, and blended everything together in a glass pan that I then cooked in the oven for about 35 minutes at 450 degrees. When I took it out, it looked like, well, ham slices, pork chops, and a bed of yellow poop. I covered the tops of the meat in the MRE cheese (kinda like Velveeta) and added some green sprinkly things from one of my spice cans (hey, if it has green sprinkly things on it, it looks fancy right?
    For dessert, I took four MRE Pound Cakes, mashed 'em up, added five packets of cocoa powder, powdered coffee cream, and some water. I heated it up and stirred it until it looked like a sort of chunky gelatinous crap, and I sprinkled powdered sugar on top of it. Voila anger Pudding.
    For alcoholic drinks, I took the rest of my bottle of Military Special Vodka (yes, they DO make a type of liquor named "Military Special"...it sells for $4.35 per fifth at the Class Six) and mixed in four packets of "Electrolytes - 1 each - Cherry flavored" (I swear, the packet says that). It looked like an eerie Kool-Aid with sparkles in it (that was the electrolytes I guess... could've been leftover sand from Egypt).
    I lit two candles, put a vase of wildflowers in the middle, and set the table with my best set of Ralph Lauren Academy Series China (that stuff is EXPENSIVE... My set of 8 place settings cost me over $600 on sale at the Lejeune PX), and put the alcoholic drink in a crystal wine decanter.
    She came over, and I had some appetizers already made, of MRE spaghetti-with- meatballs, set in small cups. She saw the dinner, saw the food, and said "This looks INCREDIBLE!!!" We dug in, and she loved the food. Throughout the meal, she kept asking me how long it took me to make it, and kept remarking that I obviously knew a thing or two about cooking fine meals. She kind of balked at the make-shift "wine" I had set out, but after she tried it I guess she liked it because she drank four glasses during dinner.
    At the end of the main course, when I served the dessert, she squealed with delight at the "Chocolate mousse" I had made. Huh? Chocolate what? Okay... Yeah... Its Chocolate Moose. Took me HOURS to make... Yup!
    Later on, as we were watching a movie, she excused herself to use my rest room. While she was in there, I heard her say softly to herself "uh oh" and a resounding but petite fart punctuated her utterance of dismay. Let the games begin. She sprayed about half a can of air freshener (Air Freshener, 1 each, Orange scent. Yup. The military even makes smell-good) and returned to the couch, this time with an obvious pained look. After 10 more minutes she excused herself again, and retreated to the bathroom for the second time, I could hear her say, "What the hell is WRONG with me???" as she again sent flatulent shock waves into the porcelain bowl. This time, they sounded kinda wet, and I heard the toilet paper roll being employed, and again, LOTS more air freshener.
    Back to the couch. She smiles meekly as she decides to sit on the chair instead of next to me. She sits on my chair, knees pulled up to her chest, kind of rocking back and forth slightly. Suddenly, without a word, she ROCKETED up and FLEW to the bathroom, slammed the door, and didn't come out for 30 minutes.
    I turned the movie up because I didn't want her to hear me laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my cheeks. She came out with a slightly gray pallor to her face, and said "I am SOOOOOO sorry. I have NO idea what is wrong with me. I am so embarrassed; I can't believe I keep running to your bathroom!!"
    I gave her an Imodium AD, and she finally settled down and relaxed. Later on, she asked me again what I had made for dinner, because she had enjoyed it so much. I calmly took her into the kitchen and showed her all the used MRE bags and packets in the trash can. After explaining to her that she had eaten roughly 9,000 calories of "Marine Corps Field Rations" she turned stark white, looked at me incredulously, and said "I ate 9,000 calories of dehydrated food that was made 3 years ago?" After I admitted it, she grabbed her coat and keys, and took off without a word. She called me yesterday. Seems she couldn't **** for 5 days, and when she finally did, the smell was so bad, her roommate could smell it from down the hall. She also told me she had been working out nonstop to combat the high caloric intake, and that she never wanted me to cook dinner for her again, unless she was PERSONALLY present and supervising.
    It was a fun date. She laughed about it eventually and said that that was the first time she'd ever crapped in a guy's house on a date. She'd been so upset by it she was in tears in the bathroom, while I had been in tears on the couch.
    I know... I'm an ------- but it was still a funny night!"
    Steve
    An armed society is a polite society

  14. #14
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    Steve666, people would be more inclined to read your story if you broke it up into a couple of paragraphs. Trying to read a page of words all strung together without any breaks is hard on the eyes.

    But good story.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  15. #15
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    Even if you do not normally eat a lot of beans, rice, etc. Stock up on them.
    They are the inexpensive "stay alive" foods that will prevent you from having to boil up and eat your leather shoes.

    Buy a lot of beans, rice, 1 or 5 minute oatmeal etc.

    Buy a vacuum sealed bag of Oxygen Absorbers - they are always on Ebay.

    Buy some Mylar Bags - they are also always on Ebay.

    Do not unseal the Oxygen Absorbers until you are able to use almost all of them. Once you open the bag they start to work immediately and you need to use them pronto AKA really fast for them to be most effective.

    Quickly toss one Oxygen absorber into each Mylar bag - then fill the bag...then toss in another one - get rid of as much free "air" in the bag as possible & seal the bag.

    If you don't want to invest in a Mylar bag sealer then you can fold the bag opening over & use Foil Tape. It helps to have 4 hands when you're ready to get started.

    If you just want to get started then buy the one gallon bags.

    There are also some "off the shelf" things that will keep for a very long time & that you can pretty much disregard the printed "Expiration Dates" Nature Valley Granola Bars - Dehydrated Mashed Potatoes -

    Yoder's canned meats have a really long shelf life.

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