Emergency Meals Ready to Eat Foods
Today's MRE food or better known meals ready to eat are prepackaged food pouches which can be stored and transported easily. Emergency programs are currently using these food pouches as a solution for immediate food requirements. They are also been used successfully for camping, backpacking or other outdoor activities where food supplies may not be available.
These pre-packaged foods are being used for military field maneuvers, specifically because these pouches are lightweight and provide the nutrients necessary for soldiers. They eliminate the need for the old can k-rations and the pouches don’t require a can opener, lightening the load. The pouches are designed with multiple layers of plastic and aluminum, making them easier to store than the cans. There are two levels of product grade for the meals ready to eat; one for commercial grade pouches and one for military packages. Consumers purchasing these food packages should look at the labels to ensure the packages are for consumer use only.
Technology has made the pouches able to sustain a longer shelf life, making MRE foods a valuable addition to survival or disaster preparedness kits. Families are now including these food pouches meeting the industry stats that suggest families should be prepared to sustain themselves for at least 72 hours in case of an emergency. The reason for the 72 hours is that local or national emergency response times will vary depending on the location and the severity of the disaster.
The meals are designed to provide nutrients and can be heated within a few minutes. The packs include entrees, snacks and condiments for consumption. Menu items available are cheese and crackers, cheese tortellini meal and pound cake as a dessert. If you happen to be a vegetarian, there are meals available for those with this lifestyle or food requirements due to health conditions. These are meant to sustain a person’s nutritional needs temporarily and should not be used as an ongoing method of eating.
Precautions should be taken when the pouches are stored in fluctuating temperatures. For example storage at 70 degrees will maintain a shelf life of approximately 8 years. As the temperatures increase the shelf life decreases. MRE food pouches share industry guidelines for fresh produce which establishes a date that commercial food can be sold to the public for safety measures.