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How did you discover MREs?

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:09 am
I figured I would start this thread so that everyone could share how they discovered MREs and what it is about them that you like so much. I will put my story up which is a bit long and it is late and I have to go to bed, but I wanted to get it started at least.

I am looking forward to reading your stories!

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:38 am
by kman
I was a little late to the MRE party. I actually started getting into them *after* Y2K. Like a lot of people, I did a little preparing before Y2K but in my case, I mostly stocked up on canned goods. Then a month or so after Y2K came and went, I stumbled across someone's usenet post where they started talking about MREs. I don't know how I missed them in my earlier research but I did.

So I started trying to find out more about MREs. At the time (2000), there wasn't much information available on the web - what was there was mostly usenet comments from the mid-90s and a couple of pictures here and there on various web sites. I kept digging and slowly but surely I started putting together more and more information. And then I thought, "Hey, I should share this info" and was born.

But back to the question of why MREs at all, I guess it's a couple of things - a childhood fascination with MCIs and the fact that I love food you can just open up and eat. Maybe it all started with my first taste of Astronaut Ice Cream from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum - and seeing the exhibit of Astronaut food.

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:30 am
by Steve
My dad bought me a case of MRE's at an Army & Navy store for $25, been eating em ever since.

Eating Minestrone Stew right now for breakfast. Its pretty good.

Man - eating this stuff surely proves the people who design MRE's and such deserve... hmmm a new car or something. Yeah a new car. But I wont buy it, Oprah should!

Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:38 am
by jenndolari
Mine is a very wierd story.

About two or three months ago, my doctor got on my case about my weight. he had given me a specific diet plan to follow and when I DO follow it, I lose weight. But I'm also very very very forgetful. So when I forget my lunch or get bored with it (it's very bland) I'd end up running out to a fast food joint and ruining my diet. And I'm VERY forgetful.

So I started bringing frozen foods to keep in the freezer at work so at least I didn't go out and grab a Taco BelGrande. Unfortunately, people kept stealing my frozen food.

So while talking with some friends about finding some food I could keep in my truck that would last, a girl who had been in the military suggested MREs. I tried one, and it was just too too much food for me, and very high in calories. However, if I broke each MRE into two meals, I STILL wasn't eating healthy, but I wasn't eating a Huge Amount of Calories (about 600-700 calories per 1/2 MRE).

It's worked great so far. I've lost five pounds this month alone, and no one steals my lunch. :)

Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:55 am
Ok here goes my story. My father was in the Army Reserve here in Florida. As a youngster, around age 10, I always enjoyed watching war movies and dressing up like an Army man. Well, one day back in 1978 I think was the year, my father came in the house and told my brother and I to come out to the car. He opened up the trunk of the family car, which was a brown Monte Carlo by the way...LOL, and low and behold, we both saw all of these little brown cardboard boxes. My dad said they were called C-Rations. Well, there must have been atleast 25 of the little "babies" in there. Well, my brother and I spent about the next few hours ripping open the boxes and devouring the contents. The only thing that stopped us dead in our tracks was the dreaded FRUITCAKE. You did not dare open that. My mom and dad ended up eating enough FRUITCAKE to last them and eternity. I also noticed that we had the ones with the two cigarettes in the accessory pack, so it was neat being able to experience opening up and accessory pack and seeing the little box with two ciggies in there. Of course, who could forget that little P-38 can opener? Not I, Not I. One thing that I always remember about the MCI's, that smell that they had. I guess it was a combination of the cardboard, tin cans and the accessory wrapper that gave off that wonderful smell. I recently acquired a box of MCI's from an un-named source, to protect the innocent, but it just did not have the smell. Oh well, even though I cannot smell it I will always remember.

Oh, I almost forgot, why did I get into MRE's? Well, I noticed them one day back in the early 90's when looking in an army surplus store. I saw a dark brown bag and was told by the man that the MCI's were pretty much extinct and that this is what the soldiers were eating now. It was neat, but I still missed my old MCI's.

Fast forward to about six months ago maybe longer, when did we meet Kman? I stumbled upon and started talking to Kman about his site and had several questions about MREs and MCIs and he was very cordial and responded very quickly to my inquiries. He also told me what price was a good deal when buying MREs on Ebay and even sent me link to good auctions that were reasonable. So, I bought a couple cases of US Gov Spec MREs and one case of Sopacko civilian MREs to check out the differnces and I have been enjoying them ever since.

I guess as everyone has alluded to, it is just a fun thing to hold, open and eat! It makes a great lunch for when you are in a hurry or have to eat on the run. I look forward to many more years ahead of eating MREs and sharing stories here with the rest of you.


Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:38 pm
by kman
Hey Jenn - so how do you break up one MRE into two meals? Do you just eat half of eveything and save the rest? Sounds like that could get messy. :-)

I'm not sure how I would break an MRE up into lunch and dinner, but I think breakfast and lunch would be easy - just eat the crackers/wheat bread and spread for breakfast and then the main entree and dessert for lunch.

Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:50 pm
Breaking it up into two meals? Heck it is hard for me to not eat two MRE meals at once...LOL! Actually, and this is a bad habit, is I end up raiding another MRE for an item in there that I want to eat with my main MRE that I am eating. Say for instance I am eating an MRE with no wheat snack bread in it, well, I will just consult Kman's menu list and I will find an MRE with the bread and cheese in it and "raid it" for those precious contents and then I end up with some orphaned components from an innocent MRE. Oh, there should be a law against that...LOL!

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:10 pm
by paul heath

First post here. Great website.

I first tasted the MRE in college on a ROTC FTX. It was the dehydrated pork parry and I ate it dry. Wow, those first MREs were something else. LOL. I would buy them for camping and taste testing when the new menus come out.

Most unusual ration I have tatsted - the east german survival bars ( the NVA called them (Atomic - keks).

I did not last in the ROTC, but, later in college I actually did a paper on military rations. It remains one of my hobbies.

BTW, ebay Germany has some really great NATO rations all the time for sale.

Paul Heath

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:56 pm
by kman
Hi Paul. Welcome to the forums!

You know, I've heard of people eating those dehydrated pork or beef patties dry, but I just can't imagine it. Then again, I guess if you're hungry and don't have the time to rehydrate those things, dry and crunchy is better than nothing, eh?

I actually have a few of those MREs laying around somewhere. One of these days I'm going to get around to trying one.

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:06 pm
by kman
And BTW Paul, that's a good tip on finding NATO rations on ebay. If you can read a little German and/or French, try searching these sites for "ration", "rcir", or "einmannpackung":

And as always, if you need some help reading the sites, just start here:

and let the fish do the translating for you!