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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review: Meal Kit Supply MRE's Part 4 of 4

Well, it's been a while since part 3. No real good reason for that... life is bigger than the internet I suppose. Yet, here we are. I'd like to wrap this series up by doing a couple of things - I'd like to review the final MRE provided by Meal Kit Supply, and I'd like to do a quick comparison to those readily available civilian alternatives. I'm not going to go into great detail regarding the alternative options; this is a Meal Kit Supply review, not a Army Surplus review.

And here we are, the final episode in a four part series dedicated to the review of Meal Kit Supply MRE's. I've grown accustomed to the staples of this product. The lemon-lime juice, the instant coffee... My wife always takes the hot chocolate before I can even think of getting to it.

This last MRE of four sent to me by the staff at Meal Kit Supply had a few things we had not yet gotten to sample. The first thing I wanted to try was the cookie... my wife was at a baby shower today and I had to take advantage of this opportunity; dessert before dinner!

On opening the package, for the first time out of any of the MRE contents, I heard the 'whissssssp' of the vaccum seal breaking. Immediately I could smell the sweet cookie. I didn't know what to make of the description - "pan coated chocolate discs"... just means candy coated chocolate chips. The best way I can describe this cookie is to compare it to those 'Mr. Christie' cookies I used to get as a kid. Good stuff - and would be a nice treat on the trail. Really flaky, something I didn't expect out of an MRE.

Next I opened up the crackers. Not much to say here at all. Look at them more as a 'foodstuff' than an actual supplement to a meal. Tasteless and crispy, but they get food in your belly.

Tasteless, yes. But when you open up that cheese-spread... that's better. Easiest comparison to make here is to something along the lines of 'cheese whiz'. It's a little stronger though. Perhaps that has something to do with the 'fortified' labeling on the tube.

I followed direction and kneaded the tube before applying a generous amount to my crackers. I was happy to find that the spread was not 'greasy' as I can often find off-brand cheese spreads to be. Again, stronger than regular 'cheese-whiz' and tasty.

Next, I opened up the first of two included entree's. I had Mexican Rice and Chicken with Dumplings in this package. In all honesty, I wasn't hyper to try the chicken with dumplings. My mind, again, ran into the field of 'what MRE's look like'. I had envisioned a baggie of grossness - and was afraid to ruin my admiration for actual dumplings.

I am happy to report that the chicken and dumplings pack was not terrible. Actually - it basically just tasted like a cream of chicken soup. I couldn't distinguish any difference between the 'dumplings' and the rest of the mush in there, but I am fine with that - it tasted good and my wife would be happy to know that I even ate the 'peas'.

The mexican rice was exactly as I expected it to be. It's the same kind of mixture you'd find in an Uncle Bens Express type of rice mix. It had a little bit more zip though, and people who are sensitive to hot foods might get a little fussy over this, but I didn't call it 'hot' - I practically drown my food in Franks on a nightly basis; I like a little bit of kick.

And with that - I think we're safe to say that this review series has finally come to a close. Meal Kit Supply was kind enough to supply us with a few of their products for review. I dealt directly with customer service, who were helpful and nice to provide sheepdog readers with a limited time coupon for cases of MRE products.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Meal Kit Supply MRE's are not just 'survival food'. Most of the food we tested was really good to eat. Nutritious and cost-effective for those on the run or otherwise disabled from food storage of larger, bulkier products. It's an all-in-one food solution for the hiker, camper, worker or preparedness-minded individual.

Feel free to contact me directly with any questions about my experience with the company, the product or otherwise, the review process. We were not paid or 'reimbursed' in any way for doing this series of reviews. We're non-partisan and non-biased - hopefully you've found this helpful and informative. Meal Kit Supply has earned my personal seal of approval; quality products at a competitive price.


A quick look at the competition...

I feel it's my responsibility to give a contrast here. Some kind of comparison. Granted, I won't be going into any kind of detail about these products - I just want to bring in some competition. These products are readily available by a number of sources at this time. I found the IMP at my local army surplus store. I also found the Mountain House meal there.

The prices are relative - but the quality is not. Some major problems I had were as follows:

  • Mountain House meal requires boiled water - in some situations this is just not possible. I don't care what gear you're humping - if you don't have a water source, you can't boil it; that's why they're called emergencies.
  • I couldn't find a date of manufacture on the surplus meal - the guy behind the counter said... it doesn't matter; in terms of long-term storage, I personally need at least a posted best-before date, qualified by the factory directly.
Now - I'm sure that fresh IMP's are tasty - but why risk it?

Lastly, the bread in the IMP, as compared to Meal Kit Supply's MRE - was NOT good at all. In fact, it tasted sour and I immediately stopped eating it. Wheat Snack Bread - now that's a treat.

Again - I don't want to review these products, just simply to state some observations I had when comparing them directly to Meal Kit Supply MRE's. And yes, of course I'm leaving some things out - the focus here is on Meal Kit Supply.


  1. The guy behind the counter was right in my opinion. Those things last almost indefinitely, They won't taste the best but I was always instructed that regardless of age they would always be edible.

    I've eaten some that had to be at least 9 years old.

  2. The "03" is the year of manufacture if that helps...