The Nutritional Value of Your MRE
When in an emergency situation, you want to have the best nutrition possible to sustain you through anything you might face. There are many food storage options, but the biggest nutritional impact can be found in an MRE.
MREs were first used in the military as a calorie-dense meal that provides the energy from protein, fats, and carbohydrates that are needed to sustain military personnel through combat and other situations they might face.
Civilian MREs are packed with a similar amount of energy and nutrients in each meal. They typically contain more calories than other food storage options because they are meant to sustain you through any type of situation, whether that be backpacking through the mountains or surviving a natural disaster.
On average, an MRE meals contain 1,212 calories and the protein, fat, and carbohydrate content is proportional to a 2,000 calorie diet. Two MRE meals will provide you with the recommended daily allowance of calories, vitamins, and nutrients you need.
Many MRE manufacturers are moving towards making sodium reduced meals that don’t contain as much salt and use salt-free seasonings for their food. MREs are also fortified with vitamins and minerals like calcium and iron to ensure that you are receiving sufficient nutrients in your meal.
Good, Old-Fashioned Spaghetti and Meatballs
Let’s see how the nutritional value of an MRE stands up against a freeze dried meal and a homemade meal. We’ve gone and compared the calories and nutrients of an MRE Spaghetti and Meat Sauce meal with its freeze dried and homemade counterparts. This is what we found:
Serving Size: 261 g of noodles and sauce combined
Fat: 12.5 g
Sodium: 557 mg
Carbohydrate: 33.5 g
Protein: 25.3 g
Anything homemade is going to have the most calories, fat, and protein because it retains all of its nutritional value. So in that sense, homemade spaghetti is the winner here. However, it’s not the best food storage option for obvious reasons.
Serving Size: One 227 g wet pack pouch
Fat: 9 g
Sodium: 300 mg
Carbohydrate: 30 g
Protein: 16 g
The MRE spaghetti is the most similar to homemade spaghetti when comparing nutritional value. As far as storage meals go, it is high in calories, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. This option will provide you with the best overall nutritional value in any situation. Of all three options, the MRE spaghetti contains the least amount of sodium.
Freeze Dried Spaghetti
Serving Size: 1 ¼ cup 0r 51 g of dry mix (not reconstituted)
Fat: 5 g
Sodium: 760 mg
Carbohydrate: 31 g
Protein: 11 g
Freeze Dried Spaghetti is similar in calorie count to MRE spaghetti, however, it doesn’t compare in fats and proteins. When you’re in need of something that is going to provide you with energy to keep you going, this may not be the best option. The freeze dried spaghetti is also the highest in sodium content.