MRE Star Review

MRE Star Review

The term MRE “Meal Ready to Eat”, AKA “Meals Refused by Ethiopians” is a rather generic term. And just because its in a brown plastic bag and labled MRE does not put it at the same level of Military issue MREs. The Authentic Military MRE have come a long way. Back in the day I remember the classic Beans and Franks were “Not for Flight Use” nor was the Ham and Egg Omelet… During the Gulf War we avoided these like an occupy wallstreet protester avoids a shower and going to work. The current Military MREs are not bad to say the least. They are well thought out and one with two quarts of water is enough in an average environment to survive. In the Desert more water is required and in the Arctic more calories are needed.

Current Military MREs rock especially the ones with the little Tabasco bottles…These for lack of better words spice up the meal and have been used with a pinch of feezedried coffee between the cheek and gum to keep one awake. That said, the biggest problem with issue Military MREs is they are like an Airline Flight Attendant…You simply do not know where its been and how long its been mishandled. MREs from the desert have a shelf life of only a couple months…Been there and done that. Desert MREs have been consumed well past their expiration and the ones that went bad were mostly obvious. Once you open them the smell is rather foul to say the least. Some were not so obvious and one might have better odds eating the two day old shawarma from the local vendor.  The Fruit Cake however may have a longer shelf life than Twinkies but this would be a debate on par with who is hotter Ginger or Mary Ann. Overall Shelf Life is directly related to storage conditions and temperature.











We chose MRE Star to evaluate for two primary reasons. First they are produced under the same standards as Military Issue MREs. Second, and perhaps more important each box is labeled with an obvious date of manufacture so you know how long your ration is good for. Another reason to choose these over the EBay MREs is FEMA, Red Cross along with other NGOs use these on a regular basis.

My first impression was where is the Tabasco, Toilet Paper pack and Matches? That said the pouch is an improvement over the Military version as it can be opened without a knife. Each bag has 1100-1300 calories and includes a Main Meal, Snack Mix, Drink Mix, Dry Fruit, Cookies and Condiment pack with coffee or variations there of.

The Heater Pack is simply outstanding. Just add a little water to activate, place the entree in the pouch and the pouch back in the entree box. 15 Minutes your meal is warm. For winter camping this welcome heat can be placed in your jacket until the campfire is going.

Taste testing was done by myself and my kids. Taste was exactly on PAR with current issue MREs and my kids thought they were better than their school lunch…Hope the First Lady does not find out my kids are smuggling these into school…The heater pack was the lunch room entertainment and my daughter easily traded the cookies for a juice box. The powdered drink mix was also easily traded and the Fruit Mix was shared.

Personally I like these for camping and hunting. They are convenient and not overloaded with calories. For a grab and go bag they rock and have a few in mine just in case stuff hits the fan and one needs to bugout in a hurry. Their 10 year shelf life limits them as serious preparation food. I don’t see the wisdom in investing thousands for an emergency food supply only to rotate it out every 10 years. That said if stored under ideal conditions their useful life should be longer and their main entree tastes as good as Hormel or canned entrees. Their taste is a tad better than the Wise Food but not enough to forgo the 25 year plus shelf life Wise Company offers. Wise Company food actually tastes pretty good and given the shelf life is still our first choice for emergency food supply.

I can honestly recommend these for what they are. Good tasting, convenient and relatively inexpensive at $6 bucks a pop. Just make sure you don’t purchase second hand ones stored in desert heat or from a supplier that will not confirm the date of manufacture.

Rick tried the following MRE for lunch to see how it would fare and was quite impressed with it. He would have been happier if he would have thought of using the salt packet for his personal tastes.



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