Each meal typically contains around 1,200 calories in a 13 to 18oz package. An individual MRE contains a main course, crackers, cheese, peanut butter or jelly spread, a dessert or snack, cold beverage mix & coffee, an accessory packet, a plastic spoon and a flameless ration heater for heating the main course or for use with coffee. The typical MRE is capable of lasting more than 5 years at room temperature.
I definitely wants me one of them flameless ration heaters. Check it out:
Requiring no external flame or heating mechanism, the flameless ration heater uses a chemical reaction to create boiling heat instantly. Drop the flameless ration heater into the original MRE packaging, wait a few minutes and enjoy a piping hot meal.
Tempting. Like anything built for the miltary there is some, shall we say, markup: each meal costs 8 to 12 bucks. What do they taste like? The author says they’re edible but gives few details. (The folks at Hiking HQ, many of whom are current/ex-military, have this topic covered. Bottom line is that MREs can be OK in the taste department but are really too heavy for backpacking compared to freeze-dried or dehydrated meals).