People interested in obtaining MREs for camping, hiking, or emergency supplies often ask “Should I buy military MREs or are civilian MREs ok?” Up until 2005, that answer was always that military MREs were far better than most civilian alternatives.
The older civilian MRE did not contain as much food, had different or inferior components, and did not offer much variety.
But with the latest XMRE Meal Kit, those concerns no longer apply.
The calorie count of most civilian MREs is fairly close to the 1,250 calories in military MREs. For the most part, civilian MREs use the exact same components (food, spoons, heaters, etc.) as the military MREs. And even though most civilian MREs do not quite offer the same variety of 12 different meals per case, the variety and rate at which the manufacturers change their menus has improved.
Civilian MREs average around $90 per case while military MREs can be found on eBay for $50-$60 per case. Even though the civilian MREs may be more expensive, they have a couple of advantages over military MREs:
Consistent product quality – all military MREs start off with the same high level of quality that civilian MREs have but when you buy the military MREs from eBay, you have no idea about the conditions under which they have been stored or how they have been handled. You might save $20 per case with military MREs from eBay, but did those MREs sit in the burning hot Iraqi desert for 6 months? Were they submerged in the Katrina flood waters for weeks? If you are trying to supply your home with emergency supplies, you have to ask if you are willing to take that risk.
Reliable vendors – civilian MREs are sold from through reliable vendors. If you have questions or problems, you will have someone to contact. If you get a bad MRE that makes you sick, you have some place to go for recourse. With military MREs, you do not have these options.
As a result of earlier unauthorized sales to civilians, the Department of Defense requires that U.S. Government Property, Commercial Resale is Unlawful be printed on each case of MREs. Despite the disclaimer, there are no laws that forbid the resale of MREs, except by military personnel. Although the government has attempted to discourage sellers from selling MREs, auction sites such as eBay have continued to allow auctions of the MREs because the Department of Defense has been unable to show them any regulations or laws specifically outlawing the practice. According to a spokesman for eBay, “until a law is passed saying you can’t sell these things, we’re not going to stop them from being sold on the site.” While MREs are not prima facie contraband, the procurement and sale of MREs by military personnel for personal profit is illegal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 108.
An investigation done for the US Government Accountability Office determined multiple incidences where sellers on eBay may have improperly obtained MREs and sold them to the public for private gain. As military MREs are procured using taxpayer dollars, they are intended to be consumed by individuals from authorized organizations and activities. Consequently, “if military MREs are sold to the general public on eBay, then they are clearly not reaching their intended recipients and represent a waste of taxpayer dollars and possible criminal activity.” Further, MREs found on eBay are typically older and closer to their expiry date, having been sourced in “neighborhood yard sales” and “Marine base dumpsters.”
The recent growth of MREs listed on eBay has resulted in a government investigation of whether they were intended for Hurricane Katrina victims, and the news media nickname “Meals Ready for eBay.” Some cases are being sold from Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and other Gulf states affected by Katrina. The internal cost of a 12 pack case of MREs is $86.98 (approx. $7.25 a meal) to the government, much higher than what is actually paid to vendors. That said, MREs can be purchased by civilians directly from the contractors who supply MREs to the United States Government. These MREs are very similar to genuine US Government MREs, differing only in minor details (i.e. design of case and bag or type of spoon).
Flame less Ration Heaters are prohibited on commercial airplanes unless sealed in the original MRE menu bag, because cooking with them releases flammable hydrogen gas.
Advantages of adding MREs to your emergency preparedness supplies:
There are many emergency foods that are available for food storage but we would highly recommend having a few months to a year supply of MRE’s. Here are the benefits of MRE’s:
– Strong, individually air tight packages that can withstand abuse.
– Meals are ready to eat and don’t require a fire to cook. (Making a fire can be dangerous because it can give away your position and may not be safe or practical in all circumstances).
– They are light to pack and easy to carry if you need to stay on the move to avoid danger or get to a safe zone.
– They are designed to have a shelf life for up to 5 years.
– Other than the MRE drink powders, they don’t require using your drinking water to make edible. (Most powder or dehydrated foods will require you to use your drinking water to cook meals. In an emergency it will be very difficult to get enough water for you to drink let alone cook with.)
– You can buy MRE’s that come with heaters that heat up your food with no fire!
– MRE’s are designed to help you intake a good amount a calories to be able to stay working in the field.
– Current production of MRE menus have improved dramatically when it comes to taste and variety!
XMRE is an International Company that manufactures, assembles and markets shelf stable food products. XMRE possesses decades of combined experience in the prepared food industry and for many years has been a supplier to military, international organizations, governments, and institutions around the world. XMRE solutions are designed to serve both military demand and the increased demand from the civilian marketplace that ranges from preparedness, rescue, disaster relief, camping, fitness, hunting, and other outdoor sports..
The XMRE team is comprised of highly recognized experts in the retort food industry who are extremely knowledgeable in the area of food shelf life. The XMRE team also includes NUTRITIONISTS whose task is to ensure that the XMRE meals are packed with the appropriate nutritional value and are delicious to eat. All XMRE meals are manufactured in the United States are USDA/FSIS, and FDA approved. XMRE meals are manufactured under strict quality control using HACCP regulations to assure the XMRE product meets the highest standards in the MRE industry.
We specialize in high quality emergency preparedness, survival and first aid training and supplies.