When a prepper is selecting a food for long term storage and preparation, they typically look to the military for inspiration. They see the military storing MRE's and other shelf stable food items in warehouses for years at a time. The problem is that copying the military in this manner and thinking the MRE's are good for long term sustenance is a dangerous mindset.
The first thing I want to cover is the idea behind the MRE and what it is is supposed to do for you. The history and point of the MRE is based on the concept started by the K Rations of WW2. The rations were supposed to be concentrated in vitamins and macro-nutrients to keep troops fed while they were behind enemy lines. But the rations were only supposed to be necessary for about a week or two. It was figured that more nutritious food would be available by that time. Later in the war, K Rations were a standard ration for all troops on combat missions since they were light, and nutrient-dense.
As time went on, the concept of providing troops in the field with efficient and nutrient-dense rations continued. Eventually the MRE was developed and seemed to be the best in terms of being lightweight, nutrient-dense, and generally flavorful. The problem is that the human digestive system is not that great at handling some of the concentrated foods that are in these meals. Most of the "MEAT" products are imitated meats made from soy and heavily laden with preservatives, salt, sugar, and other things that can really mess with your digestion. MRE's also tend to concentrate on some nutrients that give the body temporary energy and tend to lack nutrients that promote endurance and maintaining healthy body composition. Overall, MRE's are designed to provide extreme amounts of vitamins and nutrients that provide a quick fix to a body under heavy stress with a high caloric demand.
MRE's are not really designed to be used long term, but we see the effects on the body when they are used long term. After being used for over a month, your body can begin showing signs of malnutrition and vitamin deficiency. Your body can also end up struggling to absorb nutrients efficiently because your intestines get used to the quick and easily absorbed nutrients and heavily modified ingredients in the MRE's. Unfortunately, it is very common for people to consider MRE's to be the perfect prepper food of all time. They believe that it is palatable and has good nutrition. But they seem to be lacking in an understanding of what the body truly needs for long term survival and health.
I will talk about some options for preppers and eating schedules in a later article, but I just wanted to touch on the topic of why it is a bad idea to think that MRE's are the perfect long term prepper food. What do you think?
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.