MRE Comparisons

Discussions about US MREs and other US rations
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Kays1968
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MRE Comparisons

Post by Kays1968 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:15 pm

Consuming rations and watching reviews, I find it fascinating how different the menu items can be for the same year, but different packing companies. Recently, though, I stumbled across the same menu, same year, same packing company, but extremely different components. So, a few days ago I watched a Gundog review on a Sopako 2018 Chili Mac menu #10. The day before I had taken this same menu to work with me, a 2018 Chili Mac menu #10, also packed by Sopako.

His menu:
Chili Macaroni
Italian Breadsticks TFF
Jalapeno Cheese Spread
Chocolate Protein Drink
Cherry Blueberry Cobbler
Oatmeal Cookie TFF
Accessory Pack A

My menu:
Chili Macaroni
Vegetable Crackers
Jalapeno Cheese Spread
Carbohydrate Electrolyte Beverage Grape
Beef Snack
Spice Pound Cake
Crushed Red Pepper
Accessory Pack A

So, it got me to wondering, has anyone put together some information/comparison/spreadsheet on the variations of meal components from the same years, or even the same packing companies? I'm tempted to fall into this rabbit-hole, because it interests me, but I wanted to see if it had been done already before I lose my mind.....

-Zed

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Smitty
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Re: MRE Comparisons

Post by Smitty » Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:31 am

Hmm, that seems like they put all the components of Menu 23 - Pepperoni Pizza into a Chili Mac. Pure conjecture but it seems like a mistake.

I certainly would be surprised if they substituted things willingly since the contract documents are pretty specific about what goes in what.

To date, I’ve only seen double pack items, or boundary conditions (I had a very early 2017 dated beef stew with 2016 components...but chalked that up to being natural)

Go on brave soldier! A pursuit of a question should never be hampered.
All the best, Gents.

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Kays1968
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Re: MRE Comparisons

Post by Kays1968 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:45 pm

Smitty wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:31 am
Go on brave soldier! A pursuit of a question should never be hampered.
LOL... thanks for the vote of confidence :wink: :wink: :wink:

To that end, I peeked into that rabbit-hole, searched a few more reviews for the 2018 Chili Mac, and discovered that the components nearly matched the menu I had, with some minor variations on flavor of pound cake, packing style for the beef snack (large or small overpack), and packaging of the red pepper (inside the accessory pack, or loose in the bag). Still, the differences in gundogs version are pulling me in....

hic sunt dracones

-Zed

Robin heum
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Re: MRE Comparisons

Post by Robin heum » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:35 am

I remember getting 3 wheat snack breads in a single Mre, can't remember the menu though. I wanted to make a post about it but i forgot:(

Not sure if this is the right topic for it but i wanted to say it:)

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carlosflar
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Re: MRE Comparisons

Post by carlosflar » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:31 pm

Robin heum wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:35 am
I remember getting 3 wheat snack breads in a single Mre, can't remember the menu though. I wanted to make a post about it but i forgot:(

Not sure if this is the right topic for it but i wanted to say it:)
US Army: A soldier cant survive on bread and water alone!
US Aquisitions corps: What if we just give him a lot of bread?
I have Spanish rations permanently, feel free to ask :!:
Interested in: International rations,medical items, emergency kits and other
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RockyRaab
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Re: MRE Comparisons

Post by RockyRaab » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:03 am

Some time ago, I reviewed two TOTMs with very different contents. It's down in "Other Ration Reviews" someplace.

Edit: Found it. Back in 2015 I wrote this: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5813&hilit=tale+of+two+totms
Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

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rareauldmealtimes
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Re: MRE Comparisons

Post by rareauldmealtimes » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:25 am

I think it's totally a good question to ask and something that should be explored! So many times in MRE's I'm expecting one side or item but actually have another. I'm sure they are trying to build to spec but I imagine there is some definite substitution on things due to just the manufacturing process. For a small sample test. Maybe choose a MRE menu that is still really available like a 2018 something or other. And have volunteers post production dates, manufacturer or contents in a post. Would be cool to see a sample size turned in and see the results.

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MrFahrenheit
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Re: MRE Comparisons

Post by MrFahrenheit » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:41 am

Robin heum wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:35 am
I remember getting 3 wheat snack breads in a single Mre, can't remember the menu though. I wanted to make a post about it but i forgot:(

Not sure if this is the right topic for it but i wanted to say it:)
I once got 2 beef pattys in an 2008-9? Menu 8 but no Mexicn mac n cheese, was chuffed I got 2 pattys but kinda gutted I didnt get my Mac n Cheese which was one of my all time favorite sides.

Thats was such a great menu.
I came, I saw, I ate some rations then fell asleep amongst the clover.

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Kays1968
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Re: MRE Comparisons

Post by Kays1968 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:08 pm

It's interesting seeing the reports of mistakes, mis-packs and substitutions. For the little bit of effort I've put into this so far, I'm finding a whole lot more variation than expected. It seems that the effort put into maintaining consistency just isn't there, and that leads to some interesting surprises. Having worked for and with government entities at various times in my life, this doesn't really surprise me. Actually, I would find it more shocking to see any kind of high level of attention to detail where a government contract is concerned.

The nice thing is, this leads to some interesting results when putting together comparative data. I've started working on a spreadsheet using three different US menus from 3 different years.. It's a little unwieldy at the moment, and needs both refinement and a LOT more data before any useful interpretations can be made, but I'll have fun messing around with it for awhile and see where it goes.

I love hearing the reports on packing errors. Thank you for those replies, and the contributions to this thread.

Enjoy the weekend, and stay safe!

-Zed

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