This review is a result of my purchasing and trying various case lots of foods from the mentioned food manufacturers and types. None of these manufacturers donated or gave me any product. Additionally, the MRE’s (meals ready to eat) tested and tried were from civilian manufacture, government contracted agencies and I did not sell or buy these no profit or design outside of testing was intended.
Among preppers and survivalist types there are definite lines drawn over what gun, caliber and food type is best. Even when someone presents direct evidence to support their approach, the vast amounts of anecdotal evidence available online tend to quickly outweigh the truth. Something I have attempted to do is give facts and evidence whenever possible or necessary and always relate my experiences with as much scientific method as I can.
With food, this is actually quite easy to do, IF the tester has a laboratory. I will be including a few external sites whose research or results were similar to mine. I do want to note that I ate for one week on each of the mentioned types and fed my family them as well.
First on the block is Augason Farms meals, for each of these I am going to go over them in as ordered an approach as possible. Beginning with taste, Augason Farms is one of the better tasting long-term survival type foods available. The seasoning was quite good and not overbearing, each meal was rather small in comparison to Mountain Houses servings, however, without an ability to test the caloric count I can only say that I survived a week with no ill effects and very little issues digesting.
If I find this one on sale I do buy it regularly to add to the stash. The average lifespan for Augason Farms is 15-20 years and they do a good job of adding value to the packaging in the form of additional information. My only negative was the use of flavorings over the real thing with chicken and beef. I really enjoy the Mountain House approach to using small bits of protein/meat depending on the meal.
Next is Wise Foods, honestly, I have two 72 hour single person packages left from my foray into Wise Foods and because I paid good money for them I refuse to just throw them away. Yes, Wise Foods is really that bad, it is amazing just how bad prepackaged freeze-dried or canned foods can be, these taste about as good as a Korean or Vietnam War MRE and do not offer much energy. I felt drained regularly over the course of the week and Wise Foods was one of the few sampled that sadly my family would not even finish.
I am glad I did not buy more, I would not recommend Wise Foods at this time, they need to really look into their packaging and flavoring process. As an avid canner and dried and frozen foods preparer myself, the only reason for what fills these boxes is apathy on the part of their QC and or a desire to extend profit margins over quality. Both things that will destroy a company long before it allows for any substantial profit to occur.
Lastly, the Mountain House brand food line. I have been enjoying Mountain House foods for a few years and absolutely do enjoy them. The week I used this brand only, my family also enjoyed the food. There were two recipes they have that caused some hesitation initially, however, NONE of the meals were rejected out of hand like Wise Foods were.
Serving size is very good, in fact, being a fat old broken down man now, I couldn’t have finished my serving if I wanted too. The eggs and biscuits and gravy were really good, very similar in flavor and texture to what you would find at IHOP or a similar establishment. My one issue was the meat, I understand the need for smaller pieces to make it easier to prepare and store. I would love to see a bit more per package, for the price I don’t think that’s asking too much.
Now MRE’s or Meals Ready to Eat, something that several different companies provide to the United States military and federal relief services that are designed to provide high energy and solid bulky nutrition replacement in a small, lightweight easy to pack and durable packaging system. I have known a few old marines and even some army that actually enjoyed the taste, honestly, I’ve tried production lots from as far back as Vietnam War (date made) and haven’t yet found one that was tasty.
I will admit that they work VERY well at the duties assigned them. This being said, my family does not like many of them. This being said modern MRE’s are actually not bad, though I still prefer French and Polish versions far more! Modern MRE’s actually do have some really neat little additions that make them worth adding if you can find a good price.
However, be aware, unless you are buying from an approved vendor commercially; you are not actually supposed to have them as “military surplus”. Many of the rations being sold on eBay are in fact stolen or in some cases re-purposed by unscrupulous supply types.
There is my quick review and suggestions regarding long-term survival foods. My favorites personally run as follows, Mountain House, Augason Farms, MRE’s and lastly any other brand and than Wise Foods.
- Investigation: military Meals, Ready to Eat sold on eBay 2006
- Punitive Articles of the UCMJ
- Wise Food storage is full of air?
- Mountain House Headspace Report
Free the mind and the body will follow…