MRE Information



MRE or “Meals Ready to eat” are military style food rations.

There are two categories of MRE, military MRE and commercial MRE.

Military meals ready to eat are made for the US military and the armed forces of other countries.

They are sometimes sold on eBay but there is risk there as the military considers this illegal as they want to discourage theft of their property. There is also risk as the age and storage conditions the MRE experienced before you bought it will be unknown perhaps even to the seller. Besides risk you should also consider shipping costs which online retailers may charge less than $15 where eBay sellers sometimes charge a lot more for shipping and “handling”.

The main difference between military and commercial MRE is calories and sodium levels.

Military MRE has high sodium content as they are intended for short term on the go use. Military MRE has 1250 to 1300 calories whereas until recently commercial MREs had less. Some commercial MREs have only 700 calories.  MRE Star’s commercial MREs now have average of 1,100-1,300 calories.

Some reasons why they are a popular choice for survival food;

  • MRE’s paks are a complete meal with main course, side dish, crackers with spread, dessert, and a powdered drink mix.
  • MRE packs last 4-10 years depending on storage temperature, longer than most canned food.
  • They are pre-cooked and in a pouch “ready to eat”, nothing needs to be added
  • Usually you buy MRE with flameless heaters so you can eat your meal hot (cold is ok too)

You can best use MRE for emergency situations where you “are on the go” . Also if you do not want to waste time cooking or do not want the hassle of bring cooking equipment with you. MRE’s are the most convenient survival food choice.


Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center, Inc.