MREs vs. High Protein Bulk Emergency Food

When it comes to emergency food, the debate over MREs versus more traditional high-protein bulk emergency food rages on. With the increasing popularity of meal kits and other pre-prepared meals, what are the benefits and drawbacks of each option? In this article, we’ll explore the differences between MREs and high protein bulk emergency food, so you can make an informed decision when deciding which type of emergency food is right for you.

What Are MREs?

MRE stands for “meal ready to eat”, and they are the original form of emergency food. They are usually packaged in individual portions, and contain a variety of items such as crackers, peanut butter, tuna, and beef jerky. The contents vary from brand to brand, but all MREs are designed to provide substantial nutrition even without access to water and cooking facilities. Additionally, MREs typically have a long shelf life, making them a popular choice for emergency preparedness.

What Is Bulk Emergency Food?

Bulk emergency food typically consists of larger quantities of high protein freeze-dried or dehydrated foods, such as grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Unlike MREs, bulk emergency food requires additional preparation before eating, often involving boiling water and adding it to rehydrate the food. This type of emergency food also offers longer shelf lives than MREs, lasting up to 25 years if stored properly.

Nutritional Content

MREs: Generally speaking, MREs offer more flavor and convenience than bulk emergency food. Most brands contain at least one full meal with 500-800 calories per package, along with carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. However, MREs tend to be higher in sodium content than their bulk counterparts.

Bulk Emergency Food: Bulk emergency food can provide more complete nutrition than MREs, with higher levels of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Many brands specialize in vegetarian and vegan options, and many products are organic and non-GMO. However, these products tend to be more expensive than MREs, and may not offer the same flavor variety.

Storage Requirements

MREs: MREs can typically be stored for up to three years in a cool dry place. Some brands claim to last up to five years, depending on conditions.

Bulk Emergency Food: Bulk emergency food usually lasts much longer than MREs, sometimes up to 25 years under ideal storage conditions. It should be kept away from direct sunlight, high temperatures, and moisture.

Cost Comparison

MREs: Most MREs cost around $2-$4 per meal, making them a budget-friendly option for emergency food.

Bulk Emergency Food: Bulk emergency food tends to be more expensive, with prices ranging from $2-$6 per serving depending on the size and quality of the product.

When comparing MREs and bulk emergency food, it's important to consider your needs and priorities. If taste, convenience, and cost are your primary concerns, MREs may be the best option for you. On the other hand, if nutrition, sustainability, and longevity are important factors, bulk emergency food may be the better choice.