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Middle East Reject Meals
on April 2, 2012
There are a few things to know about these and all other 'Military' MRE meals. First off, the true 'MRE' meals provided by the military are supplied 12-meals to a box, the same ones these are coming in, but they have two banding straps that seal the box, and on the outside of the box, there is a 'REINSPECT BY' date that is 3-years from the date of packing.
The next thing to know is that MRE Military meals are considered a 'non-restockable item'. That means, when troops go to the field in the States, or when their unit is issued MRE's in combat, those not used cannot be 'placed back into the stock system'. In other words, eat them, or dispose of them. This is to ensure that if they were left out in the sun, cooked out of their minds for days, that potentially bad ones aren't put back into the stock system for someone else to draw and get sick from.
Third, there are different color individual meal bags. Yellow are NATO civilian 'humanity rations', the tan ones are Military Issue, and there is a blue one that the UN used to draw. There are also colors for vegetarian issue.
This all said, I have eaten MANY MRE's, both in the Marines, and as a civilian. Unless can see the reinspect date, or I know the stocking and handling protocols of where they came from, I would be cautious of buying 'Military MRE's'. The biggest issue being that most 'surplus' MRE's that you are bidding on now are actually individual returns from 'non-restocks' from Reserve units that returned from overseas where they have old MRE's they can't issue, or that sat in the field too long. Just like old worn sleeping bags or dented gas cans, you are basically taking 'discarded food stocks'.
They are good food, they work well for their intended design, but you must ask yourself, if the manufacturer is in McAllen, Texas, and you cannot buy them on the open market in the 'new' state, then how are you acquiring them - and in what shape. If the dates are gone off the box, you have no idea if they are 3-years old, or 10...and how many times they cooked in the sun, before they got to you.
Take a pass, and look at new rations for the same cost.