How Nutritious Are MREs?


MREs are the Meals Ready to Eat that you need when you are deployed or training. They are also the best option that you can pick at the commissary when attending a date. In short, they are the modern rations that deployed members have been relying on for a decade and played a significant role in their development to what we have today.

Indeed, the delicious MREs that we enjoy today have come a long way since they were first invented to offer food solutions to military personnel on the battlefields during World War I, II, and the Vietnam War. Since then, robust research and development have seen the meals improve significantly, showing a clear understanding of operational mission performance demands and performance-oriented nutrition.

Current MRE Canada Nutritional Standards

Today’s MRE Canada is the best because they are designed, prepared, and packaged to meet nutritional needs and satisfy customized preferences both for the military and civilians. The Combat Feeding Directorate is tasked with developing and improving these meals to maximize performance and boost health. The food technologists make developments on MREs based on three factors.

1. The first factor that they consider is the acceptance and feedback that people provide about the meal.

If MREs don’t get desirable feedback from the consumers, they are cut back. However, the feedback plays a significant role in developing desirable concepts to create new food items and flavors.

2. The second factor that food technologists consider is the nutritional content of the MREs.

All MREs must meet the required food standards based on Army surgeon general and scientific evidence. Remember there are Nutrition Standards for Operational Rations (NSORs) that require all rations to provide a set amount of macronutrients, minerals, and vitamins that combine to achieve optimal performance and improve consumers’ health.

These standards are designed to meet your activity and nutritional needs. Notably, an MRE provides about 170g of carbohydrates, 50 g of fat, 1300 calories, 45 g of protein for the energy you need in your body. Balancing these nutrients is also important to ensure that all body systems work properly without overload or deficiency. All these nutrients are combined in one pouch and packaged to ensure that they maintain these nutritional contents for a long time. It would be hard for you to make these balances with your everyday cooking since you may not understand what ingredient has what amount of what nutrient. However, with MRE Canada, you know what you are eating and can control your food intake according to your preference.

3. The third factor that makes MREs’ nutritional value exceptional is their shelf stability.

MRE production items are usually tested and proven to make high quality products. In this case, the production items should make MREs ensuring that high-quality and nutritional content don’t degrade too quickly. Therefore, the meals should maintain their nutritional value that meets consumers’ needs over the entire shelf life.

The standard minimum shelf life of these meals is more than five years at room temperature, around 70 °F. The extended shelf life means that you can stock the MREs in your home and avoid rushes witnessed when there are shortages. Besides, you remain assured that you can get the required nutrients at any time you want as long as you have the meal with you.

The long shelf life is also helpful in combat situations as service members get the nutrition they need and sustain performance even when deliveries delay. Therefore, whenever you see a new type of MRE in your nearest store, rest assured that it has passed all these three criteria and is fit for consumption.

The Role of Leading-Edge Technology

It is never an easy task to meet all these criteria, and it requires fine production and advanced technology. For instance, for an MRE to have that long shelf life and still maintain the taste and nutritional content, it must undergo robust food science processing and packaging techniques.

Notably, the best way to extend food shelf life and still maintain nutritional value and taste is to package it in a way that will prevent exposure to moisture, light, and oxygen. These agents are known to deteriorate the food and its nutritional value quickly.

Leading-edge technologies are providing a breakthrough for scientists to improve shelf life. Besides, the same technology adds more nutrients to the MREs, such as omega 3 fatty acids found in some seed oils and fish, and are crucial for metabolism.

However, you know the fishy taste-dislike among many consumers, and such an addition would most likely end up in with some fishy taste. Of course, no one would want to eat fishy chicken. In-depth analysis and technological intervention will eventually solve this issue, among others.

It is worth noting that the nutritional value of MREs also depends on you as the consumers. It would be best if you took control of your nutritional needs when at home or outdoors. Understanding MREs is an important component of performance nutrition hence the need to learn the nutritional content of certain rations and what you need to consume to maintain health and energy.

One of the best ways you can acquire this crucial information is by going through what’s written on the packages before purchasing or opening them for consumption. You can also conduct additional research regarding MREs to decide what you need and what you are getting. All these efforts will help you make the right nutritional choices and ensure that you are on a balanced diet.

The choices you make will also be determined by the activities you are engaged in; if you are a sportsman who eats MREs while exercising, you would probably go for a different menu compared to a lactating mother who just delivered a newborn. Generally, MREs are nutritious; you only need to get the best fit for you.


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