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MREs: The Best and Worst Components

Diet & nutrition 101
Diet & nutrition 101
March 11, 2020
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When it comes to the mystery (Mr. E.... MRE...) meal, everyone has an opinion on which is the best and worst. We decided to change it up by taking an office poll for best part. These parts have proven to be as valuable in the field as a place to sleep. Here's what they are, in no particular order, and why:

  1. Jalapeno cheese- Let's be real here, there are three reasons you trade to get the jalapeno cheese specifically. Either you want to make your "meal" taste better, you solely eat the cheese with the "bread" option, or you need to stop yourself up to avoid using the portashitter.
  2. Peanut butter- This one is right up there with the cheese option, although most people grab this one for the protein aspect. Not to mention, nowadays in our newfangled military, there is a chocolate peanut butter that you can basically trade for light duty, its that coveted.
  3. Tabasco sauce- Oh Tabasco, how you make even chicken a la king slightly edible. Plus, if you're in a tight pinch and need a pepper bomb.... there's a way...
  4. Tiny "napkin"- Over the years we have heard many debates over this tiny little white piece of "paper" within the MRE. Is it a napkin or is it a small square of toilet paper? You know you've used it for both. You can only use so many socks....
  5. Mixer bags- These clear plastic bags seem to be pretty versatile in the field. Sure you can mix your "electrolyte beverage" in it, but we typically see these baggies stashed away for a rainy day. Literally. They're commonly used to prevent maps, hand guides, or in today's military- cell phones, from getting wet.
  6. "Chiclets"- Once again, many debates happen over this little pack of "gum" provided in every brown bag. We have heard claims they are a laxative, and you wouldn't be too far off. The main ingredient is xylitol, which is supposed to be a sweetener, but really it helps what the cheese prevents...
  7. The sweets- Throughout our entire poll, most answered "nutribars, pound cakes, muffin tops, the candy" and so forth. Even our 90s vets answered the "track pad" which was apparently some form of oatmeal and chocolate chip dessert. Desserts must be sought after to balance the saltiness acquired in the field.
  8. Spoon- Hello little plastic multitool of awesome. Spoons are used for MUCH more than eating in the field. How else would you splint a broken appendage or dig your hasty foxhole?! (Wait, did we just date ourselves?)
  9. Coffee grounds- Look man, the military runs on caffeine. When push comes to shove, these little grounds are used like dip. If you are a little less desperate, the aforementioned "paper" might be used as a coffee filter while the water gets heated. There are some creative ways to get that caffeine hit with the included packet.
  10. Matches- First of all, waterproof matches. Second, especially if you eat MREs, who isn't some sort of pyro? (We'll wait...) Matches are always a good thing and sometimes there's a smoker who forgot their lighter and is willing to trade something good for these puppies.

We are 100% sure there are other parts to the MRE that have proven their value, this is just a list around the office. After all, an honorable mention was the strawberry milkshake.... does anyone else really drink those?Drop a comment with your favorite MRE part, and why, in the comments!

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