Are MRES Good for You?
If you did not already know, MRES stands for Meals Ready To Eat, or as some people call them, ready to eat meals. These are not foods you would usually eat at home or at work. They are not your typical foods meant for everyday consumption. They are foods meant to be taken on camping trips, and moreover, for emergency survival situations.
They are foods you eat when you need something quick that provides you with necessary calories and nourishment for survival. No, they are not gourmet foods, but they will certainly keep you alive and kicking, which is their main point after all. These are emergency survival foods and food kits.
The Main Point Of MRES – Their Benefits
We have established that MRES are meant for survival, which is something that they do very well. Now, their main objective is to provide you with a certain amount of calories per day, ideally enough calories for survival. Yet, calories are not the only things which they contain, as most of them do come with some other nutritional benefits.
They will contain minimal vitamins, some fiber, and minerals too, but not enough to be considered healthy per say. In this case, purely for survival, especially for the short term, calories are what you need, especially if you need to find a way to get out of a disaster area, or something similar.
These are not foods meant for long term eating and a healthy diet, but for emergency survival needs. Now, they are good for you in the sense that they can keep you alive for months or even years on end.
In theory, they are definitely way healthier than eating old, rotten, or contaminated food, and are obviously much healthier than not having any food at all. The bottom line is that they will keep you alive, which is what you are probably looking for. It is not like you will buy a ready to eat meal kit to serve at your next dinner party.
There Are Differences And Varieties
We are not going to lie to you and tell you that that a ready to eat meal like this is healthier than eating fresh fruits and vegetables. That is something that anyone can tell for themselves. The point is that these kits are made to last for years or even decades. This means that only certain ingredients can be used for them. Carbs, powders, and freeze dried ingredients work well here, as they will not go bad.
Unfortunately, there is just no way to keep lean and real protein, like a steak, from going bad for decades on end, which is also true for fruits and veggies. This means that MRES have inherently less nutritionally valuable in terms of vitamins than fresh foods. However, once again, an MRES kit can keep you alive for months or even years, more than long enough until you can find fresh and healthy food.
Remember guys, these are emergency survival foods. Now, with that being said, they are convenient for camping, hiking, and fishing trips, as well as for emergency situations where you simply do not have access to other means of sustenance. The old rule of something is better than nothing definitely applies here.
Yes, they do have some nutrition to them, but calories is the main thing which these MRES aim to provide. Now, there are some differences from one kit to another. There are some out there, more expensive ones, which have higher amounts of minerals, proteins, and vitamins in them, but they will cost more. The drawback to MRES which have higher nutritional contents is that their shelf life will not be quite as long as the ingredients are more likely to spoil.
If you are preparing for a war or a natural disaster, then by all means get some MRES. We would absolutely recommend doing so as they are excellent survival foods. Heck, soldiers fighting wars often live off these products for months on end. Yes, they will keep you alive and healthy enough, but of course, fresh food is going to be healthier. When all is said and done, these are emergency foods and they perform their designed job of keeping you alive quite well. We just would not recommend living off them if you have other options.