Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday (98) = Picture of Emmy - Military Style & All About MREs

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine from high school was stationed for 2 months at a US base in Frankfurt. He was responsible for loading and unloading military planes from war zones. He saw a lot of boxes of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), and even gave us a box of his own rations as a gift. Since I don't have to eat them, I think they are quite fun. And so do the kittehs.... check them out:


It's when you open them that they get really fun. The kittehs can play with the empty bag, and I can check out the contents.


This one happens to be Menu #19 Beef with Mushrooms from 2002 (the menus are improved yearly and apparently this wasn't a favorite since it is no longer produced). In addition to the main course, you also get a side of yellow and wild rice pilaf, crackers and strawberry jam, cocoa beverage powder, oatmeal cookies, a plastic spoon, a flameless heater (that's the green thingie under the spoon), and a packet with hot sauce, salt, pepper, chewing gum, moist towelette, coffee powder, creamer, sugar, matches, and toliet paper/napkin.

MREs have an official lifespan of anywhere from 1 month (say in the hot desert sun of Iraq) to 10+ years (say in the cool expanse of my basement), but some say as long as the individual components aren't damaged, the practical lifespan is a very, very long time. In fact, in Justin Cronin's upcoming THE PASSAGE (which I reviewed during Dystopian February), people are eating and enjoying MREs 100 years after manufacture (this is fictional of course).

Find out more about MREs, including people doing taste tests on 20+ year old MREs, at MREInfo.com. It's really a fascinating site!

Anyway, now you know what books are taking about when they mention troops eating MREs.

25 comments:

Library Cat said...

During the aftermath of Hurrican Ivan on the Gulf Coast, we ate MREs handed out by the Navy. Overall, not so bad when we had no electricity or grill - I opened my front and back doors to tree limbs of giant pines, thankfully no real damage to the house. We certainly appreciated the candy!!

Library Cat said...

BTW, the cat pictures are beautiful as always.

bermudaonion said...

It looks like Emmy and Finn are giving it their seal of approval.

Sandy Nawrot said...

My best friend's husband is ex-military and has these things around. My son and their sons are always begging to eat some of them. I think they are horrid looking, but I guess if that is all you had to eat, you would make peace with it. Who would think that cats would find it interesting?

Liz said...

aww! beautiful kitties!

Britt said...

I personally like the tiny tabasco bottles they put in there! I handed out cajun-themed x-mas gifts one year and used them as a decoration on the bow! Of course, I didn't have the heart to tell my family they were getting left-overs from my Gustav MRE's!

Anonymous said...

They really aren't too bad. Joshua has brought them home before for us to try. One of the main dishes was ravioli. The heat pack was really interesting to use. It gets really hot!
Rachelle

Kathleen said...

My friend who served time in the military in Kuwait said that some of these weren't actually all that bad. But I guess if you get hungry enough you eat what you are given! Your cats sure look cute posing by the MRE!

Zibilee said...

I have always been curious about these, so thanks for sharing the information and photos! I am not sure that I would like to eat one, but I am sure that if that was all that was available, I would! I wonder if your kitties would eat them if they had the chance?

Staci said...

They are so cute!!

Lorin said...

My husband - always the boy scout - bought MRE's off a website (that one, maybe?) for us to keep in our earthquake emergency kit. I hope to God we never need to eat them, b/c they look nasty!

Nymeth said...

It's so strange to think of those little plastic bags turning into a meal! Though not for Emmy and Finn, who seem to sense that the noms are close at hand :P

Darlene said...

Emmy and Finn are certainly interested. lol. I think these meals are so cool - the way they're a meal in such a small packet. Hey, you never know when you might need these.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I wanted a taste test. I think you all should try one out for next week.

alitareads said...

I can't imagine eating food 10-20 years after being produced! Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Cats are always inquisitive about anything in a box or sack. Rascal is always trying to get in the huge trashbag that Marilyn takes out on Sundays. She actually gets in the bag.

Rhonda

Mama Bookworm said...

Your kitties are so cute! I’m seeing cute cats all over the blogs today.

I’m not a fan of MREs at least not the ones I’ve tried. My hubby’s favorite is Chicken w/ Salsa.

Steph Su said...

Lenore, every time you mention The Passage you have me more and more eagerly anticipating its release. And now I think I know what my next WoW post will be on...

MREs are so fascinating! I went into an outdoor/camping store a few weeks ago and spent a good half hour on the food packets alone. Weird to think that a whole meal could be contained within a vacuum-sealed cube.

Lily Child said...

I am soooo addicted to these pictures!!! :D

Sas (Squishy133) said...

Emmy and Finn are looking gorgeous as per usual! What type of cats are they?

Have you ever eaten a MRE yourself? Do they taste alright (by that I mean did your gag reflex kick in at all during the consumption process)?

Heather Zundel said...

And here you had me looking forward to them trying to eat those things. Are the cake mixes really tradeable? I've heard people save those up to trade like money.

Michelle said...

Where in Frankfurt? I ask because my husband was stationed just east of Frankfurt, and we lived there for three years. We definitely want to go back.

I actually miss MREs! We always had some lying around, and my husband would get so excited about some of the contents. He definitely had his favorites. They have made some major improvements in the taste department since I first tasted one in 1997. I just like opening them up and seeing what is inside. It is always a surprise!

Serena said...

Don't you just love how curious cats can be?!

Janicu said...

I went to college with a big ROTC program and so I've tried MREs.. I think the desserts and the little bottles of tabasco were my favorite parts. :)

food solutions said...

You could certainly slurp down some of the MRE Entrees on the move. Might be a mess, but Chili with Beans, Sloppy Joe, etc. could definitely be eaten cold, out of the corner of the pack. Some of the Entrees are in bigger chunks that wouldn't be conducive to eating that way. The First Strike Rations are hard to come by -- they are purely military issue, and to my knowledge aren't readily commercially available. ration MREs meals ready-to-eat