Though pre-packaged, long shelf-life foods meant for survival have come a long way since the days of the C-Ration, MREs and even freeze-dried foods are generally no one’s first pick for what’s on the dinner menu tonight… or really any night. If you would rather have an MRE than a home-cooked meal, you have never had my mother’s chicken fried steak. Either way, MREs and other similar survival foods are convenient and easier to store than barrels of beans and grains or a year’s worth of #10 cans.
MREs made for civilians are very close to the same our military eats—packed with calories soldiers absolutely require when expending so much energy in the field. That’s one reason why MREs are popular with preppers and survivalists. It’s naive to think during a disaster or nation-wide catastrophe that you will be sitting on the back porch sipping a cold iced tea enjoying the forced break from the office.
No. Instead, you will be busy trekking to a safer location or chopping firewood to maintain a fire for cooking, heat and boiling water. You will need to eat more than you normally do. Your life now will look positively sedentary compared to what it will be like and you will need the extra calories to sustain.
A case of MREs includes 12 full meals sealed in individual packages. Each meal consists of 1,400 calories and comes with one main entrée, one side dish, drink powder mix, dessert, instant coffee, cookies, crackers, various condiments and an MRE heater. The MRE case comes sealed in a cardboard box, a little smaller than a standard medium-sized moving box. Weighing 24 pounds with the food in it, the box measures 17.5 inches long, 10 inches wide and is 15 inches tall. If space is an issue, the box will easily fit in a closet or on the floor in your pantry.
Stored properly, MRES will remain shelf stable for five years. However, I know people who have stored and eaten MREs older than that with no repercussions. Three cases of MREs will feed a family of four for three days or two people for six days. Priced below cost at $30.09, the Voodoo family meals case equals $2.50 per meal. There is no other survival, long-term food that you can get for cheaper.
There are plenty of reasons why stockpiling food is a good idea. Regardless if you identify or not as a prepper or survivalist—natural disasters such as tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes that knock out power, accidental house fires, flu outbreaks and even unexpected job loss can find you with a need to have food that requires no refrigeration or city utilities to cook.
No longer just regarded for the doomsday preppers, more than three million Americans are preparing for disasters and emergencies. Besides smaller forums and preppers’ groups, there are many huge and even global organizations dedicated to preparedness—FEMA, WHO, the CDC and The American Red Cross to name a few.
We frequently write posts regarding survivalism and prepping—offering tips and tactics for the beginner to the most experienced stockpiler.
Here are the top five Shooter’s Log posts regarding emergency food and food storage
Introduction to Stockpiling Non-Perishable Food for Novice Preppers
If you are just beginning to stockpile emergency supplies, no one expects you to build a year’s supply of food over night. The seasoned prepper knows it can take months to build up a decent supply of non-perishable foods for long-term storage. In “Introduction to Stockpiling Non-Perishable Food for Novice Preppers,” Lisa Metheny helps those just starting out to determine which foods and how much of each to buy. Further, she offers suggestions on how to create enough space to store them.
Having a three-day supply of non-perishable food is all well and good for when a storm knocks the power out, but what happens during a total societal collapse? We’ve all seen the Hollywood blockbuster disaster movie. It is not far-fetched to believe people will be brutal in their fight for survival. Hardcore pre-planners already know—not only do they keep mum about their preps, but also they know how to hide supplies from the possibility of aggressive scavengers. In “Caching Food,” I describe ways to hide food both inside and outside the home from hiding in plain sight to off-site storage solutions.
Building a Year’s Supply of Food Storage
For those ready to be more serious about storing emergency food, this article provides the first stepping-stones to building up a year’s supply of food for survival. Listed in this post, you will find the where, why and whats of survival food storage—including a short list of recommended foods to store and how long they will last.
Written by a veteran, “MRE, Meals Rejected by Enemy” discusses how to read your MRE’s expiration date. Ex-Air Force service member Robert Clopton offers his in-the-know advice on MRE dates, which ones to buy and which ones to avoid. Have you ever wondered which MRE would make a soldier choose hunger over eating? You will have to read this expert’s advice on how to buy MREs to find out.
How to Properly Store #10 Cans
There is a correct way to store your emergency food supplies. Though long-term, non-perishable foods are packaged in ways that keep the food good for decades, varmints are persistent, as is the Southern Texas heat and humidity, and if you do not store your emergency food properly, you can ruin the food in cans, freeze-dried foil packages and MREs. In “How to Properly Store #10 Cans,” I detail how to correctly store your emergency food supplies in seven easy-to-understand steps.
Do you have tips and tricks to share with others on storing survival foods? Tell us in the comment section.