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Author Topic: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)  (Read 1207 times)

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Offline Vellys

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Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2017, 10:09:50 PM »
Also this and this are interesting. Since all you need is enough fuel to bring water to a boil this kind of thing could expand your cooking options greatly. I know this is still off the scale of what your thinking is. This kind of option would be something likely to use for an entire community rather than small scale self-use.

Offline Shores

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2017, 01:34:28 AM »
The ones I eat only need water! And they're creamy and delicious! And have different flavours.



I went to check them out again and they're a local brand. I haven't tried the pepper crab one, going to look out for it in my grocery store.

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #27 on: September 17, 2017, 10:15:38 AM »
The ones I eat only need water! And they're creamy and delicious! And have different flavours.



I went to check them out again and they're a local brand. I haven't tried the pepper crab one, going to look out for it in my grocery store.

Very interesting, although I have never seen these in Norway. I am particularly interested in the size of them. Could I talk into writing a review on one of those tiny bags, contents and nutrition and so on?

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2017, 11:31:22 AM »
We still haven't gotten to lunch, but first: a possible solution to the biscuit/crackers issue. As mentioned earlier there is a need for something bread-like to eat; it's carbs and fiber and filling. The thin biscuits I have found until here have not been well suited for our purpose. Another option I have looked into is hardtack, which has a problem in that it is sold in fairly bulky packages. Nor am I entirely enthusiastic about their hardness.

Here is however one variation I found which may prove more useful. "Wasa Fiber Balance". Kindly let me know if you can find a similar product in your own stores.


This cost me about 1.5 USD. The package is about 2/3 the size of the usual Wasa crispbread packages which helps with the size issues. It's a whopping 29% fibre but although it looks about as edible as a welding mat I found it not only tasty but nowhere near as hard to bite as the usual types of crispbread or hardtack. If I was more than usually hungry I'd eat this even without any kind of spread. It seems to be flavored with sesamy seed and oat flakes. I think we have a winner here - right now I am sitting here eating this as snacks. Not because it is healthy, just because it is tasty.

Close up, per 100 grams
Wheat germ: 27 grams
Grain rye: 57 grams
Oat grains: 13 grams
Sesamy seeds: 8 grams
Salt: less than 1 gram
Total weight is 230 grams, equalling 780 calories!
This translates to about 7% fat, 42% non-sugar carbs, 29% fiber and 12% protein. Healthy as an early morning. Storage is set to about six months, which I think is a very conservative estimate. I still have a crate of crispbread left over from an event 7 years ago and when I open some of the packs the bread inside is still edible and tastes all right.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 11:37:12 AM by Captain Maltese »

Offline Shores

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2017, 11:35:43 AM »
Very interesting, although I have never seen these in Norway. I am particularly interested in the size of them. Could I talk into writing a review on one of those tiny bags, contents and nutrition and so on?

Sure! I'll do one once I manage to buy one from the grocery store. I keep having to buy other things most of the time, so my hands are usually full. These aren't on any of the online delivery portals yet, unfortunately!

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2017, 11:39:17 AM »
Sure! I'll do one once I manage to buy one from the grocery store. I keep having to buy other things most of the time, so my hands are usually full. These aren't on any of the online delivery portals yet, unfortunately!

I think the name in the US is simply "Wasa Fiber".
http://www.wasa-usa.com/products/crispbread/fiber/

Edit: whoops, I thought you referred to the crispbread haha!
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 11:40:32 AM by Captain Maltese »

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2017, 07:11:02 AM »
Nations often have their own favorite spreads. England has various jams. USA have spreadable cheese and more importantly peanut butter. Here in Norway all of that is available, but one of our biggest spreads are liver pate.


Stabburet Liverpate is a classic food staple here, and is sold in cans of varying size and price. The one you see here is only 22 grams and is sold in packages of six for about 3 dollars, so 50 cents per box. The pate is actually just 31% pork liver; the rest is water, other pork meats and fats, rape seed oil, oeat meal and even anchovies, etc. 19% fat but a whopping 10% protein. Good stuff for a hungry belly and a weary body. Obviously one of these in your MRE isn't going to be a main ingredient but it tastes great on bread and on crispbread too. I am adding these to the morning meal at least.

The really important part however? Expiration date is December... 2022. Those little guys have five years of storage longevity, and that is just the official number.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 07:12:29 AM by Captain Maltese »

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2017, 11:02:25 AM »
Okay, better take an updated look at the breakfast meal since some new items were reviewed, before moving on to the lunch pack. I'm skirting the cost for the moment and focusing on the calories count. As mentioned earlier the ideal seem to be around 1200 calories. For this meal, having access to warm water or not decides if there are going to be any warm drinks. The rest of the meal does not require any.

Main accessories:
- 1 big zip lock bag to contain all of the food items and other items
- 1 small zip lock bag for the non-foods
- 1 plastic spoon
- 2 dry small napkin for all cleaning/bathroom purposes

Drinks:
- 1 tea bag (requires warm water): 0 calories
- 1 instant coffee/creamer/sugar bag, single cup (requires warm water): 90 calories
- 1 ice tea bag (makes a liter of juice): 300 calories

Solids:
- 1 package of crispbread: 780 calories
- 1 22-gram box of liverpate: 10 calories


Bah. Clearly this is not a satisfying meal even if the calories add up. There's more crispbread than needed, the ice tea portion is huge, and nowhere near enough spread. Suggestions anyone?

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2017, 02:57:15 PM »
Okay, so I am not completely blank. Two options I have is a just-add-warm-water porridge thing, and your typical cereal/energy bar. But who wants porridge for breakfast?

Offline Shores

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #34 on: September 20, 2017, 07:55:31 AM »
Porridge is delicious! I eat a salty one though. I understand people eat sweet ones overseas.

We also have instant porridge here:



I've also eaten cup ones:

« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 07:56:47 AM by Shores »

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2017, 11:22:06 AM »
Let's take a look at energy bars. I happen to have a whole box of them here. The whole box cost about 3 dollar some time ago, and I doubt I can match that but it makes an example. What I cannot find is any pictures so the product may have been renamed or replaced. Let's just call it Exhibit 1?

This product is declared to be a banana/chocolate protein bar. There's picture of a banana on the outside. The Best Before date is 24th February 2016 and I have had several over the last few days; they do taste banana and while they don't exactly melt in my hand these bars go down easily enough. I honestly can't say I noticed any chocolate. One interesting claim on the packaging is that this bar works best AFTER working out. Which makes sense since a weary body craves protein. But it also means that such bars are best suited for lunch or dinner, rather than breakfast.

Data:
Weight: 60 grams
Protein: No less than 20 grams, which is very high for any given product.

Contents:
Soy protein: 50%
Glucose syrup
Glucose fruit syrup
Sugar
Dried banana: 5%
Dark chocolate (made up of lots of stuff): 5%
etc

Nutrition per 60 gram bar:
A whopping 225 calories
fat: 3.5 gram
carbs: 27 grams
protein: 20 grams
Fiber: 3.1 grams
Etc

All in all an excellent snack, energy wise. Even when these bars were brand new the taste was not exactly a feast, but I am fine with that because if I am not hungry I should not be stuffing down anything this rich.

Online Oniya

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2017, 12:35:18 PM »
Soy protein bars are available in a lot of places, from singles at quick-marts to larger multi-bar packs at groceries and specialty stores.  Frankly, the ones at the specialty stores (GNC or local equivalent) seem terribly over priced, and I suspect that the quick-marts also have a 'convenience markup'.  Luckily, the multi-bar packs are usually individually wrapped bars.

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2017, 02:49:35 PM »
That's interesting; I didn't know soy was the typical ingredient in these protein bars. Are there other types in normal sale?

Edit: Ok, I did the obvious and checked with Wikipedia. Excerpts:

Protein bars are nutrition bars that contain a high proportion of protein to carbohydrates/fats.

Protein bars are targeted to people who primarily want a convenient source of protein that doesn't require preparation (unless homemade).[1] There are different kinds of food bars to fill different purposes. Energy bars provide the majority of their food energy (calories) in carbohydrate form. Meal replacement bars are intended to replace the variety of nutrients in a meal. Protein bars are usually lower in carbs than energy bars, lower in vitamins and dietary minerals than meal replacement bars, and significantly higher in protein than either.

Protein bars are mainly used by athletes or exercise enthusiasts for muscle building.

----

I know about a variety of bars but was unaware that they split into energy bars, meal replacement bars and protein bars. Now I need to get back to civilization, find me a food store and try to find at least one of each. I don't even think I have HEARD of 'meal replacement' bars before.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 02:54:30 PM by Captain Maltese »

Online Oniya

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2017, 03:17:24 PM »
I think soy is a common 'protein' ingredient, simply because meat-based protein tends to have preservation issues.  Also, soy tends to work better if you're going for a 'sweet' as opposed to 'savory' product, just in flavor profile.  Whey (powdered) is another one that I see in the 'fitness oriented' protein supplements.  Not sure what the shelf-life is on that, but the fitness stores do sell the whey powder in pretty large containers for adding to smoothies and such.  Meal replacement bars (typical brand 'Carnation Breakfast Bars') and drinks tend to be marketed to the weight loss community, although sometimes they can be used to supplement normal food consumption.

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2017, 03:55:56 PM »


For comparison's sake I am presenting Exhibit 2, a military energy bar known as Soldier Fuel and formerly as the Hooah Bar. If I understand correctly this is often present in American military rations. US military MREs are not supposed to be sold on the open market, a law which apparently is not that heavily enforced. But I find these bars on Amazon so I guess they are fully available. I have not had a chance to taste it. But the data are available.

Taste: Peanut butter
Weight: 65 grams
Protein: 10 grams
Packaging claims that the product is full of vitamins a electrolytes and is also gluten free. That is nice.

Quoting Wikipedia: In 2004, D'Andrea Brothers LLC licensed "HOOAH!" for commercial sales, and the company started marketing the bar to the public in 2004.[4] The energy bar is now named "Soldier Fuel" instead of HOOAH!, and provides 270 to 280 calories, 10 grams of protein, 8 or 9 grams of fat and 40 grams to 42 grams of carbohydrates.

Comparing this bar with the previous one, the Solder Fuel is even fuller of calories but leaner on the protein. It is twice as fat and 50% more carbs. I am frankly not sure how how to compare the actual products.

Calorie King offers this table: http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-sports-bars-peanut-butter-energy-bar_f-ZmlkPTEzNTk4MA.html

There is no argument against this being a very effective calorie source. I haven't found data yet on those vitamins it claims to have. But is it a decent breakfast? I am slightly in doubt because of the heavy carbs and fats. Then again, 65 grams is not a lot. I may be a little prejudiced though, because everyone who posts tests of US MREs report that it sits in their stomachs like a sack of wet concrete. Here it would be nice to have feedback from someone who is actually familiar with the product.

Online Oniya

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #40 on: September 22, 2017, 05:21:02 PM »
While I haven't tasted that particular bar, I would say that most of the protein bars I have tried (usually by accident) tend to be very - 'thick-tasting'.  It's not a casual snacking sort of mouth-feel, but something you have to consciously finish.  They definitely require something to wash them down, and you aren't going to mistake it for a granola bar after that first bite.

Offline Vellys

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Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2017, 10:26:07 AM »
I don't know if you've seen this or this, they may give you ideas for a jumping off point.

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2017, 12:50:41 PM »
I don't know if you've seen this or this, they may give you ideas for a jumping off point.

Interesting links. MRE Depot seems to favor stuff in metal cans. Big cans. Those seemed best suited for running an entire kitchen unit, and frankly seemed a bit pricy - but an American can judge that better than me. There certainly was nothing wrong with the life expectancy of the food. What I did find to my liking was the 1st generation heating units which broke down to a low per-unit cost. Same with the beverage drink mix straws which look a lot more practical than the big bags I have located so far. The various first aid pouches they offer are technically outside the MRE issue but they are nice - pity the cheapest ones are empty, while the filled ones are expensive enough that you could buy one for the same price in a store. All in all, you can shop there and probably not get screwed but it's not a moneysaver. If I lived in the US where shipping is low I might have bought a couple of items. Worse, none of the goods they offer give you any nutritional data whatsoever.

Wisefood sells large boxes with many portions but in many cases no individual wrapping. Worse - they have more popup ads than a porn site and they are even offensive. Avoid!

Offline Vellys

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Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2017, 08:47:02 AM »
Wisefood sells large boxes with many portions but in many cases no individual wrapping. Worse - they have more popup ads than a porn site and they are even offensive. Avoid!

 :-[ I did not notice that when I went but I did more of a quick in and out like a thief in the night.

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #44 on: September 26, 2017, 09:41:15 AM »
I finally made it to my primary grocery store again yesterday. I returned home with six different bars and five different instant porridge packs. Combined that's enough calories to drive an 18 wheeler truck several miles, so I am not going to test it all at once - but at least I can read the wrappers. My respect to SteveMRE1989 for having the iron constitution it takes to eat this kind of stuff on a regular basis.

For now I am focusing on the bars. As posted earlier, bars are divided into a) energy bars, b) meal replacement bars and c) protein bars. However the stores seem to have no need to tag their products in the same way and not many of the manufacturers either. Of the six products I found today, three were in the cereal section, two in the crispbread section and one in the candy section.

Here's one I did in some detail:
Semper Soft Oat Bar; Cocoa
Price: 1.7 USD
Just 30 grams, but 117 calories
Gluten free, lactose free, and vegan.
Contents: Mostly oats and raisins, plus oil and fruit juices. Only 2% cocoa.
Best before date: 17th July 2017?! Ten weeks before I BUY it?!
Taste: It doesn't taste half bad really. What it mostly taste of is raisins though; my tongue detected no trace of the cocoa it brags of in its name.
All in all: an impressive amount of calories for such a small package. But it doesn't fill the tummy any more than a couple of of grapes. And with a high price and a storage time comparable to fresh fruit this is no likely winner. I could get a big box of raisins for the same price.


Recap:
Exhibit 1: "Elite Nutrition". Protein bar. Price 0.30 USD per unit (sold in packages of 10). Taste: Banana. 225 calories. Weight 60 grams, of which 20 are proteins. Appears to be a cereal bar. Actual storage time seems good. Brand may no longer be available on the market.
Exhibit 2: "Soldier Fuel". Energy bar. Price 2 USD per unit (sold in packages of 10). Taste: Peanut butter. 280 calories. Weight 65 grams, of which 10 are proteins. Storage potential unknown.
Exhibit 3: "Semper Soft Oat Bar Cocoa". Energy bar. Price 1.7 USD per unit (sold singly). Actual taste: raisins. 117 calories. Weight 30 grams, of which 16 are carbs. Storage potential: none?

And now:
Exhibit 4: "Wasa Sandwich Whey Cheese". Meal replacement bar - I think. Price 1.30 USD per unit (sold singly). Taste: brown cheese. 165 calories. Weight 36 grams, of which 15 grams are carbs and 8 grams are fat. are proteins. This product is simply two pieces of crispbread with brown cheese between. Scandinavian cuisine, but also extremely common. Stated storage time is six months. Since it is crispbread it does fill the tummy.
Exhibit 5: "Wasa Chocolate & Hazelnut". Meal replacement bar, type cereal. Price 1.30 USD per unit (sold singly). Taste: Nutty, really. 135 calories. Weight 35 grams, of which 20 are carbs. Storage stated to be 3 months. What primarily bugs me is that the tiny 'nuts' are hard to chew. If I am not sure if I have a nut or a small rock between my teeth I spit it out before it is too late.
Exhibit 6: "Wasa Almond & Cranberry". Meal replacement bar, type cereal. Price 1.30 USD per unit (sold singly). Taste: unknown as yet. 135 calories. Weight 35 grams, of which 20 are carbs. Storage stated to be 3 months. Same consistency as the previous.
Exhibit 7: "Go'Morgen Cranberry & Yoghurt". Meal replacement bar. Price 2 USD per unit (sold singly). Taste: unknown as yet. 190 calories. Weight 45 grams, of which 20 are carbs. Storage stated to be about 9 months.
Exhibit 8: " New Energy". Energy bar. But then why is it in the candy section? Price 2.15 USD per unit (sold singly). Taste: cocoa. Actually this one is very tasty. 190 calories. Weight 45 grams, of which 28 are carbs. Stated storage: 6 months. The brand has been on the market for decades.
Exhibit 9: "Karen Volf Musli Bar". Meal replacement bar, type cereal.. Price 1 USD per unit (sold in packages of 4). Taste: It lreally do taste cocoa. 92 calories. Weight 25 grams, of which 15 are carbs. Storage: one lousy month? I do have to add that this product is the best looking of all the bars I have seen so far. Was the product three times bigger this might be a contender,r

I could go on looking for bars in the shops in the area but I think we have enough data to make some conclusions.
- all of the bars above are too small to constitute a meal alone. At least for an adult in an emergency situation, which is the stated scenario.
- prices are mostly between 1 and 2 dollars. But weights are between 25 and 65 grams, although the volume varies more because of the contents than because of size.
- the cereal alternatives are fairly heavy on carbs from grain and fruit, making them healthy alternatives. What puzzles me is the low storage capabilities. Are they erring on the very safe side, or does the fruit elements make them short lived?
- The "Soldier Fuel" is the clear winner in the calories list. It is also one of the two heaviest bars and judging by the picture, also one of the bulkiest. And the fattest. It is the closest to constituting a full meal by itself. Does any of you guys know if it can be bought in stores in 15-packs, or is that an online-only option?

Based on all of the above, I think I would be happy to find a meal replacement or energy bar in both my breakfast and lunch MRE. They are not going to be enough energy alone for the next four hours, but are easy to pocket for later if the main part of the meal is sufficient, and if you cannot find the warm water needed for the main part then the bar means you will not be empty bellied until the next meal. Best of all is that weight and size is fairly small.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 06:14:48 PM by Captain Maltese »

Offline NiceTexasGuy

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #45 on: September 26, 2017, 02:07:49 PM »
Wow, thank you Cap'n M for making this thread.  I confess I haven't read everything yet - sometimes it's difficult for me to stay focused, and if you'll pardon the (almost) pun, that's a lot to digest.

Basically, I wanted to make a post to thank you, and to make this easier to find and follow.  Meanwhile, I'll try to make a little contribution - though it may not be much of a contribution, more like a trip down memory lane.

It's been a while since I was in the Service - like Gilbert and Sullivan's modern major general, my military knowledge was only brought up to around the beginning of the century.  I remember there was always one guy in every group who would have a bottle of hot sauce - usually Tobasco.  Before the US went with the kevlar ballistic helmet "system" we had the old steel pots which were suitable for cooking.  Sometimes the guy with the tobasco sauce would collect contributions from everyone, mix it all together in his steel pot to cook, and dish out his masterpiece to all who contributed.  That certainly alleviated the boredom.  I think the hot sauce is included in the package now, and I think I just revealed my age to everyone.  (Hope the youngsters will still want to play with me.)

I also remember how nice it was when MRE's replaced the C-rations.  The new MRE's were great, really, up until the point where you realized you were tired of them, then they were horrible.  Good to keep developing new meals.

Keep in mind that everything in the meal didn't require heating or even reconstitution with water if you were hungry enough, but with that comes the risk of dehydration (and constipation) if you're not drinking enough water.  And the rule of thumb is a person can survive 30 days without food, but only 3 days without water.  That varies greatly with climate and activity level.  Eventually the hunger subsides, but it does bad things to your body.

And oh yes, MRE's are packed with calories, because of the likelihood they'll be consumed in the field where physical activity is going on.  At the same time, one might only get two a day instead of three, which is fine because most people won't eat an entire meal in one sitting anyway, and there's always left-overs.

A tactical consideration to remember, metal cans you discard might be used to make weapons... especially by an enemy without a lot of technical assets.. anything from packing a can with explosives to using the metal for arrow head, spear tips, etc.  But then again, you can do the same thing.

Again, thanks for the thread and I look forward to studying it whenever I get the chance.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 02:15:43 PM by NiceTexasGuy »

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #46 on: September 26, 2017, 02:46:06 PM »

Woah, nice to see you around Tex! You are probably not the only one on E who has first hand experience with the C rations but you are the first one I have met. Your input will be highly appreciated. This thread aims to design a home made MRE for emergency purposes, modeled on the military and aid organizations MREs, that can be created entirely from grocery store items with a minimum of work and money per unit. The end product model would then be able to be quickly and cheaply mass produced by the hundreds, maybe thousands, by a small crew for giving away to those in need, preferably needing nothing more advanced than warm water added. 

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2017, 07:09:25 AM »
Well. Breakfast seemed the right time to get started on the selection of instant porridge. I will cover at least the first one in detail.

Exhibit 1: "Axa Oats Porridge With Blueberries". Price: 1.42 USD which is the highest price of the instant porridge samples I have bought so far.
This particular product comes with a cup and a little folding spoon. Just pour in hot water to the mark and wait a minute. So far, so good: it means that you need no extra utensils. The product can also be eaten with cold milk.

Contents: They call it instant porridge. What this product really is, is a few spoonfuls of extremely cheap cereal. The blueberries on the picture looks big and delicious and many. In reality, there is about five pinhead-sized blueberries in the entire package and they are hard, dry and tasteless.

Data, per box:
Weight: 50 gram, of which 30 are carbs. There are also about 9% fiber, 6% fat and 6% protein
Calories: 180 - not bad
Storage: Stated to be 8 months, but frankly this completely dry and very well sealed box is probably going to keep the contents good for several years.

Taste: slightly inferior to warm glue. I got two spoons in and had to add sugar or find something else to eat. Jam, honey or even just more salt would have made this more edible.

Overall: The best parts of this product are that it fills your tummy, and comes in a very handy cup. The contents are very healthy, nutritionally good, and will not clog up your digestive system. The other side of the coin is that the box is very voluminous for an emergency ration, and the meal itself is very uninspiring. All of that could have been rectified with a bag rather than a box and the taste could so easily have been made more interesting, and such products are out there. This test will be the benchmark but I will be looking for better solutions.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 07:20:50 AM by Captain Maltese »

Online Oniya

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2017, 11:27:17 AM »
Instant hot cereals with fruit do tend to have that problem.  A better solution would be to have a packet of dried fruit (even just raisins, which you mentioned earlier) on the side that could be consumed separately or with the cereal.  Most dried fruits work fairly well with oatmeal, and the ones that are intended for 'out of hand' trail snacks plump up nicely - with the notable exception of dried bananas, which taste like lightly sweetened poker chips.  If you thought the nuts in the Wasa bar were bad...

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #49 on: September 28, 2017, 03:49:22 PM »
Here we go with another instant porridge test. I need fewer hobbies. This time the big difference is the package. The "God start" (literally Good Start in Norwegian) is one of the house brands of Rema, one of the three big grocery store chains.


Exhibit 2: "God Start Oats Porridge With Oat Brans". Price is just 0.82 USD, making it the cheapest of all alternatives I am aware of. But you need to bring your own spoon and cup - but the same can be said about coffee. Like the previous sample, you can eat this with warm water or cold milk.

Contents: Oats. Literally the cheapest cereal next to sand. But it doesn't pretend to be anything else either. With just a little salt or sugar it does improve in taste. A little.

Data, per bag:
Energy: 243 calories! That is very good.
Weight: 65 grams. That's a third more than in the first sample and somehow, the small portion increase makes a more filling meal. After eating this one I felt full. That didn't happen with the 50 grams one. Of the 65 grams, 38 are carbs. The rest is mainly protein and fiber. Healthy as a free rabbit.
Storage: States 7 months or so, but I would eat this after a decade if it is stored dry and dark. That bag is sealed plastic and can probably withstand some wetness.

Overall:
It is almost half the price of the cup type yet contains a third more food, and takes rather less volume and is less awkwardly shaped. I would take this on a hiking trip without blinking. Adding a spoon of jam or honey or butter or some sugar would be enough to upgrade this from edible to decent tasting. But most of the competing porridge products come in the same type of bag, some have the same amount of food, and some of them are supposed to taste something. I will sample at least one more brand before doing a lineup.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 08:35:12 AM by Captain Maltese »