Freeze Dried vs. MRE's?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Cougfan2, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Cougfan2

    Hillsboro, OR
    Well-Known Member

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    I have been thinking for a while about getting some long term food stores and am debating whether to buy something like Daily Bread, or Mountain House freeze dried products that require reconstitution with either boiling or cold water, or MRE's.

    I think the freeze dried, reconstituted products might have an edge on taste, but if a real SHTF situation, MRE's might be more practical.

    I only have experience with freeze dried/reconstituted products at this point.

    Any thoughts of those who have used or considered both?
  2. norseman

    st helens

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    I have used MRE's in the past, and I have a lot of freeze dried, dehydrated food storage. The main concern I've had with MRE's is there shelf life. Most of my freezedried foods properly stored lasts for over 30 yrs. I can't remember how long MRE's last, but I don't think it's over 5 years.
  3. The Duck

    The Duck
    Active Member

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    MRE's are for small periods of emergency use (i.e. forward ops). One can eat them everyday IF substituted with formal meals during off hours. MRE's are high in fat and extremely low in water and fiber; YOU MUST HAVE WATER to process these MREs in the belly or risk even more trouble.

    If you are planning on being a "scavenger" in a SHTF world, it would be a good plan to have MREs for travel and emergency situation where you have to defend in place outside of your homestead. For a prolong survival situation, you will need a more balanced nutrition plan, where in which the dehydrated or freeze dried foods would be a key role until you would be able to grow/scavenge/hunt your own.

    Go from there...
  4. Sun195

    Pugetropolis, WA
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    Just off the top of my head:

    Pro: don't need water to reconstitute, don't really need to "cook' them, portable (packaged meal)
    Con: taste varies, shorter shelf life, higher cost (than freeze dried), maybe not what you're used to eating (YMMV)

    Freeze Dried:
    Pro: cheaper (than MRE), much longer shelf life (although, foil-packed freeze dried is similar to MRE), better flavor (for some), more like "normal" food you might be eating now
    Con: some assembly required (you don't technically have to cook them - you can just add water. however, you usually need to prepare them somehow - while you can just rip-open a MRE), cost (more than some other options like beans, rice, oats, etc - although, more flavorful); not as portable as MRE
  5. knuckle Head

    knuckle Head
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    I have plenty of both, MRE's shelflife is officially - MRE Shelf Life but I have eaten them many year after the expiration dates and never got sick, the key is store them in a very coold and dry place, clsoe to freezing but above freezing, as atated about bug out and scavageing mres are great, eating when you do want to build a fire and or tryingt o stay low key they are great, sentry duty, hunting I thinking you get hte drift,

    Dehydrated and freeze dried are great for long term and feeding two or more.

    Alos look into datrex and mainstay emergency rations for just that emergency rations, great for keeping you going while hiking, bugging out, scavaging and stuff as well shelf life minimum of 5 years even when stored in avehicle or other place that hot,

    Variety is key, and vcariety helps to keep the spirits up.
  6. Roxy2711

    Vancouver, WA

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    We have MRE's in our GHB's and our BOB's, (and a few extras for family members just in case) but the majority of our food storage is freeze dried foods (Thrive from Shelf Reliance is the brand I prefer). I have eaten MRE's before and while they are a neat novelty for kids, but I think they would make you very aware that things are not alright and I would rather have as close to a home cooked meal as I possibly could if SHTF.

    Just my 2 cents :)
  7. Bob D

    Bob D
    Oregon, Cascades
    Well-Known Member

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    I "stumbled upon" eight boxes of MREs that were issued to my Co. for a Field Training Exercise and recorded as consumed, even though we had brought and cooked all our own food by platoon/squad for those three days. Since they officially no longer existed, they may have found their way into the back of my rig and entered service in my Survival Kits, bug-out bags, and car kit. the remainder being stored for later hypothetical use. :)

    The thing to remember is water. You can never have enough, and you need to replace it fairly often. MREs have a bit of liquid in them, but nowhere near enough to keep you alive. Both my autos have five gallons of fresh water in them at all times, preferably in sealed bottles.
  8. ericb

    Klamath Falls, OR
    Active Member

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    The MRE's are full of hydrogenated oils, preservatives, GMOs, artificial colors & flavors, etc. I would only consider them appropriate for short term use, long term use will translate into major health problems.
  9. M67

    NW Oregon
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    I served in the military for many years. When i joined the military we were still using old C ration stockpiles (many of which were dated to the early to mid 50's), before we were allowed to start using the, new MRE's.

    My daughters and i have used MRE's for hunting, camping, hiking, fishing, etc.. We all have enjoyed the Mre's for there ease of use and the varieties of food included in them.

    Pro: don't need water to reconstitute, don't really need to cook them, but it is nice to have hot meals. The varieties of items included, snacks, fruit, tp, matches, etc...

    Con: taste varies, shorter shelf life (especially in warm or hot environments) higher cost (than freeze dried), maybe not what you're used to eating, and bulky/heavy.

    Freeze Dried:
    Pro: cheaper (than MRE), much longer shelf life- even in hot environments, better flavor, better variety, more like the food you are eating now, easy to cook/heat. I use canteen cups with the canteen cup stove and heat tabs/liquid fuel to boil the water. Much lighter than MRE's.

    Con: some prep required ( as is the case with MRE's if you want your meal hot), if you don't mind cold food, just add water from your canteen.

    My sustainment pouches hold only 4 MRE's each, while the same pouches hold 10, 2 person Mountainhouse meals per sustainment pouch, and is much lighter.

    We have been using up our MRE's and replacing them with mountainhouse 2 person meals. We can carry much more food, with less weight and better nutritional value.

  10. geometro

    Active Member

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    After using both, it's good to have both types for several reasons mentioned already:

    MREs are faster to prepare, but have a shorter shelf life. More expensive than Freeze dried foods.

    Freeze Dried food is also lighter to carry, but needs water and more time to prepare, and has a longer shelf life.

    Going camping gives you a pretty good excuse to try both and see which one you like better...and rotate your stock somewhat.
  11. MarkAd

    Port Orchard
    Well-Known Member

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    Thrive has a great food rotation system. If your interested in a good home store plan let me and I will try to help you. I use the system and products.

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