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Delve into the History & Benefits of American MREs

Made in USA MRE meals have become increasingly popular over the past few years, as Americans look for ready-to-eat meals that are made right here in the United States. MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat, are portable, shelf-stable meals designed for those on the go, allowing them to stay fueled even when they don’t have access to traditional cooking facilities.

Whether you’re a traveler, camper, or prepper, having some MREs stored in your pantry makes sense. And now, with more and more American-made MREs on the market, it’s easier than ever to find a meal crafted with quality ingredients and maximum convenience.

In this guide, we’ll look at the advantages of Made in USA MREs, where to buy them, how to properly prepare and enjoy them, and more. So let’s get started!

The History of Meals Ready to Eat

MREs, or “Meals Ready to Eat” have been around for a long time. Although their exact origins are unclear, MREs have a rich history that dates back all the way to the Revolutionary War. During this time, soldiers needed a lightweight, nutritious food that wouldn't spoil quickly, so they relied on dried, salted meat and fish.

Fast forward to World War II – MREs as we know them today were officially born. In an effort to provide soldiers with an easily transportable food source, the U.S. Army created the first ready-to-eat meal packs in 1943. These meals consisted of canned meat, crackers, and other shelf-stable items that could be consumed without the need to heat them up.

After World War II, the U.S. military continued to innovate and improve upon their MREs, eventually creating the meals we’re familiar with today. By the mid-1970s, these meals had become a staple for both the U.S. military and outdoor enthusiasts who bivouac or camp for extended periods of time.

Made in USA MREs began to emerge in the late 1980s and early 1990s as commercial companies began selling American-made MREs. Today, there are dozens of MRE manufacturers in the US, providing consumers with a variety of meals to choose from. These meals range from classic staples like beef stew to more unique dishes like pork rib patties.

Thus, the history of MREs is a long one, spanning centuries and cultures. Most importantly, it stands as a testament to how a simple idea can be transformed over time into something as varied and useful as the modern-day MRE.

Types of Made in USA MREs

MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are designed to provide a durable, nutritious meal in the field, especially when traditional cooking methods are unavailable. Made in the USA MREs offer those same benefits, with the added perk of being produced domestically. Below we'll explore various types of MREs found in the US, discussing the differences between them.

Three Main Types of MREs

The three main types of MREs that are made in the USA are civilian, military, and commercial grade. Civilian MREs are available for purchase in many stores, or can be ordered directly from suppliers. They are often less expensive than military-grade MREs due to their slightly lower quality standards. Military-grade MREs, on the other hand, are created to meet the demands of the US military. As such, they are held to higher standards and are of higher quality. Finally, commercial grade MREs are created for government contracts or in anticipation of natural disasters. Like military grade MREs, they have to meet certain standards and must be produced in a manner that allows for shelf stability.

Content Differences

One of the primary differences between types of MREs is their content. For instance, civilian MREs typically contain items that are more familiar to civilians, such as macaroni and cheese, while military MREs may contain more unfamiliar meals such as chicken teriyaki or spaghetti with meat sauce. Commercial grade MREs typically contain the same items as military grade MREs but with fewer side dishes and dessert options. In addition, the quality of the ingredients used to make the MREs varies depending on the grade. Generally speaking, civilian MREs use lower quality ingredients and preservatives than military or commercial grade MREs.


Another difference among the three types of MREs is their packaging. Civilian MREs typically come in plastic or paper pouches, while military and commercial grade MREs are usually sealed in heavy duty plastic bags to ensure long-term durability. Additionally, the labels on civilian MREs are not as detailed as those on the other two types. Military and commercial grade MREs, however, always include detailed labels that explain storage instructions and nutrition information.


When it comes to Made in USA MREs, there are distinct differences between civilian, military, and commercial grade meals. These differences include content and packaging, as well as the quality of ingredients used. It's important to be aware of these distinctions so you can make an informed decision when choosing an MRE.

Benefits of Eating Made in USA MREs

When it comes to eating meals ready to eat (MREs), there are several advantages to opting for MREs made in the USA. From taste and ingredients, to nutrition and convenience, American-made MREs have a lot to offer that other brands may not provide.

Taste & Quality

American-made MREs have a distinct flavor and are made with quality, fresh ingredients. This is because the manufacturers use only locally sourced ingredients to ensure the freshest, best-tasting meal possible. Additionally, many MREs from the US feature unique flavors that you won’t find with non-American varieties.

Nutrition & Health Benefits

US-made MREs also offer superior nutritional value compared to international brands. Since the ingredients are sourced locally, the food is of a higher quality and more natural than other options. As a result, it is often healthier and contains more vitamins and minerals than other types of MREs – making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to boost their daily intake of essential nutrients.


Finally, US-made MREs are extremely convenient. The meals can be prepared quickly by any camping or backpacking enthusiast and stored in a variety of methods, such as a cooler, dry bag, or even a backpack. This means they can easily be taken with you on long hikes, camping trips, or other outdoor activities. Plus, with a shelf life of up to five years, you can stock up on US-made MREs and know they will still be edible even when stored for extended periods of time.

These are just a few of the benefits of choosing MREs made in the USA over other brands. Whether you’re looking for taste, nutrition, or convenience, these meals are sure to provide you with the sustenance and fuel you need for any adventure.

Where to Purchase Made in USA MREs

If you’re looking for where to buy Made in USA MREs, you’ll have plenty of options. You can find them both online and off.

For online purchases, there are many websites that specialize in the sale of MREs. Amazon is a popular choice, but you can also find MREs on eBay, Walmart, and other popular retailers. Look for the “Made in USA” label to ensure you’re getting an authentic product.

You can also find MREs in physical stores. Many outdoor and camping supply stores stock MREs, as do some grocery stores and specialty military retail stores. Again, make sure to look for the “Made in USA” label so you know for sure that you’re purchasing an American-made meal.

Tips for Shopping for Made in USA MREs

When shopping for Made in USA MREs, be sure to pay attention to expiration dates and other labeling information. Make sure the meal is still within its best-by date and that it’ll last through your expedition or food storage. It’s also a good idea to read customer reviews if available – these can provide helpful insight into the quality and taste of the product.

Also consider the packaging. Bulk ordering may be a more economical choice, but individual packaging can make the meals easier to transport and store. Finally, remember to look at the nutrition facts label to ensure the meals meet your dietary requirements, such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and more.


When it comes to prepping and cooking your MREs, there are few things you should know. Preparing MREs properly requires a bit of know-how, whether you plan on cooking them or not.

If you’re not planning on cooking your MREs, then all you need to do is add hot water. The contents of the MRE will heat up on their own. Once the MRE has heated up, it’s ready to eat!

If you want to cook your MREs instead, there are several options available. You can use an oven or even a microwave. If you’re using an oven, preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before placing the MRE inside. Cook the MRE for 20 minutes and leave it in the oven for another 10 minutes before taking it out.

If you’re using a microwave, first place the MRE in a bowl and cover it with microwave-safe film. Once covered, cook the MRE on medium power for approximately 4 minutes. Let the MRE cool off for another 5 minutes before consuming.

  • For non-cooking: add hot water and wait for MRE to heat up
  • For oven cooking: preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 20 minutes before letting it cool off for 10 minutes
  • For microwave cooking: cover MRE in bowl with microwave-safe film and cook on medium power for 4 minutes.

Poisonous Look-Alikes

With so many different types of plants, it can be hard to tell which ones are edible, and which ones are poisonous – especially when they look similar! It is a good idea to do some research before consuming any plant in the wild, and especially so for those that resemble Made in USA MREs.

When it comes to identifying plants, there is a variety of helpful resources available online that can provide insight on the different types and their characteristics. Consider even taking a class on the subject to gain more understanding about the local flora and fauna so you know what to look out for.

It is also always wise to use a reliable guide book with pictures and descriptions of potential poisonous plants in the area. This will help to ensure that you don’t accidentally eat something that could make you ill. Additionally, it may also be helpful to seek out an experienced forager who can share their knowledge with you.

When it comes to picking plants, it is essential to be sure of what you are eating. Look out for things like spines, hairs, leaf shapes, flower shape, and any other distinguishing features of the plant. These features should then be compared to a reliable guidebook or website to identify the species.

Another useful tip to keep in mind is to avoid picking plants from areas that have recently been sprayed with pesticides – these cannot be consumed safely. With this advice in mind, it's important to take all the necessary precautions when trying to identify different plants that may resemble Made in USA MREs.

Aftermath – How to Dispose of MRE Waste

Meal Ready-to-Eat (MRE) meals are a nutritious, complete dish designed to provide sustenance and nutrition to individuals on the go. While they are an ideal option for campers, hikers and those looking for a quick meal; they do produce waste that needs to be disposed of properly.

Here is what you need to know about disposing of MRE waste:

  • Open containers should not be disposed of in general trash. Check local regulations for appropriate disposal practices.
  • Never pour used cooking oil or grease down the sink or storm sewer.
  • Recycle plastic bags and containers when possible (check with the local recycling center for details).
  • Plastic bags and empty MRE pouches can also be burned. Be sure to follow local regulations when burning trash.
  • Never put MRE waste in a septic tank or an underground well.
  • If available, collect food waste to be composted at a proper facility.
  • In certain areas, businesses like local landfills, hazardous waste collection centers, and recycling centers offer waste disposal services.

Be sure to check your local regulations when disposing of MRE waste. It is important to ensure that MRE waste is disposed of responsibly in order to preserve the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions about Made in USA MREs

Meals Ready to Eat, more commonly known as MREs, have become an increasingly popular meal option among American consumers. With many people opting for MREs as their go-to on-the-go meal, it’s no surprise that questions are frequently asked about this convenience food. Here, we answer some of the most common questions about the Made in USA MREs.

  • Are American MREs safer than other brands?

    MREs made in America are generally just as safe as other brands. All products are produced in accordance with FDA regulations, so there is no added safety concern when opting for Made in USA MREs.

  • How long do Made in USA MREs last before expiration?

    Typically, MREs have a shelf life of around 5-7 years. However, it's important to check the expiration date before consuming any meal. Outdated MREs may not be edible.

  • How much do Made in USA MREs cost?

    This depends on the type of meal and the brand, but most MREs range from $3-9 per meal.

  • Are Made in USA MREs easily stored?

    Made in USA MREs are typically packed in tough and durable plastic bags, making them suitable for storage in almost all environments.

  • Can I heat up Made in USA MREs?

    Yes. Most MREs come with heating packs or meals already pre-cooked and require just a few minutes of heating up. Some MREs can also be eaten cold, depending on the meal.

These are just a few of the most common questions about Made in USA MREs. You should always read the label carefully, to ensure that you are properly informed before consuming any MRE product.

The topic of Made in USA MRE Meals has been explored thoroughly in this blog post. We have discussed the history of MREs, looked at the various types available to purchase from US brands, and outlined some of the benefits associated with these meals. We have also examined proper preparation methods, and touched on poisonous look-alikes that may be found in the wild.

Finally, we have answered the most frequently asked questions about Made in USA MREs and examined best practices for disposal. Through this exploration, we have seen that Made in USA MRE Meals are a convenient, nutritious, and tasty way to get your food on the go. There are plenty of options available to fit any budget or preference.

We hope you have enjoyed learning more about Made in USA MREs! Feel free to keep exploring related topics such as nutrition facts, cooking tips, and consumer reviews in the appendices section below.

Useful Resources for Made in USA MREs

When it comes to preparing and eating meals ready to eat, there are plenty of resources available. Whether you’re researching nutrition facts, trying out new cooking techniques, or looking for quality customer reviews, you can use these appendices to find the information you need.

Nutrition facts: Many companies offer detailed nutrition labels for the MREs they produce. These labels may include information about total calories, fat content, carbohydrates, and other nutritional facts. Having this information can help you make informed decisions about what type of MRE is best for you.

Cooking tips: Depending on your preferences, you can opt to prepare MREs either cooked or raw. To make sure your meals come out just the way you like them, there are a number of useful cooking tips available online. From crockpot recipes to microwaving instructions, you can use these tips to optimize your meal’s taste and texture.

Customer reviews: Quality customer feedback can be invaluable when considering which type of MRE to purchase. Read through customer ratings on various sites and look for any common themes or issues that may affect your decision. Doing so can give you a better understanding of how the product will perform and how it compares to others on the market.


When writing about Made in USA MRE meals, it is important to properly credit the authors and researchers whose work has informed our understanding of MREs. When you use a direct quote or opinion from a source, include the author's name and the year of publication. When citing sources, use APA format as much as possible. Additionally, make sure that any online resources are properly credited with a link-back to the original source.

FAQs About Made In USA MRE Meals

  • Q: What are Made in USA MRE meals?
    A: Made in USA MRE meals are self-contained, individual-sized meals that are ready to eat. The acronym MRE stands for Meals Ready to Eat and they were created by the US military as a way to provide nourishment to troops in the field.
  • Q: What types of Made in USA MREs are available?
    A: There are many different types of American-made MREs available on the market today. These include entrees, sides and desserts, as well as breakfast meals, snacks and beverages. Many manufacturers also offer vegetarian and vegan options, as well as low-sugar and allergen-free options.
  • Q: What are the benefits of eating Made in USA MREs?
    A: Eating Made in USA MREs has many benefits. These meals are designed to provide sustenance and nutrition, often with a long shelf life. They are usually tastier than other brands and contain higher-quality ingredients. Most Made in USA MREs are made with no artificial preservatives or added sugar, making them healthier alternatives.
  • Q: Where can I purchase Made in USA MRE meals?
    A: Made in USA MRE meals can be purchased both online and off. Many companies that specialize in MREs have dedicated websites where these products can be ordered and shipped. They may also be found in camping, survival and outdoor stores, as well as some grocery stores, convenience stores and Army & Navy stores.
  • Q: How do you properly prepare American MREs?
    A: Made in USA MREs can be eaten without any preparation in most cases, but they can also be prepared either wet (with boiling water), dry (without boiling water) or cooked. Prepare meal pouches according to the instructions on the packaging to ensure product safety.
  • Q: Are there any poisonous plant look-alikes for Made in USA MRE meals?
    A: Some plants that look like vegetables that are included in Made in USA MRE meals, such as evening primrose, dandelion and chicory, can be poisonous. It is important to be aware of the differences between these plants and the edible varieties used in MRE meals.
  • Q: How should I dispose of my Made in USA MRE meals?
    A: Proper disposal of MREs after usage is important. Do not try to reuse the pouch, as this could choke or suffocate someone and could contaminate food with toxins. Try to recycle the meal components if possible, such as the packaging and the aluminum lining inside the meal pouch.