Discovered some old food bars

Was doing some gear swapping from one vehicle to another and, naturally, discovered a few things I had forgotten about. Most notably, these:

20150809_111508Everyone is familiar with those ‘lifeboat ration’ bars that come in a brick of 3600 calories, right? Well, turns out they make smaller size ones as well. The USRDA of pretty much everything is based on a 2000 calorie a day diet. It would take five of these things to equal that recommended intake. Interestingly, five of these bars is actually fairly compact and while I would hate to have to subsist on them for any length of time they would certainly beat starving to death. Someone on one of the forums decided to try eating nothing but those Mainstay/Datrex bars for a week and see what would happen. I can’t find the link but he was less than enthused about the experience.

But, hey, something you can stick in your pack and not worry about for several years is kinda handy. As I said, it definitely beats eating the upholstery. I’ll be folding some small pouches of Mountain House into the vehicle kit just in case. A small Esbit stove and a canteen cup are already in there so that’s half the battle towards having a ‘real meal’. MRE’s work too but theyre just too darn bulky and heavy.

6 thoughts on “Discovered some old food bars

  1. So did you eat the thing? I’ve got some 7 year old MRE’s that have been riding around in my trunk through as many years of Midwestern seasonal temperature swings. I just replaced with fresh, but can’t decide whether to pitch the old ones or actually bust one open and try it. That may be too great of risk for me to take in the name of science, though.

  2. We keep some Ramen packs handy for meals. The sodium is good for summer time heat, the hot for cold weather (south Texas, NOT Montana winter cold, just add lava :^) Meat or veggies can be added to these packs for bulking up, its quick and easy, long shelf life and INEXPENSIVE to boot. Not very healthy but neither is starving so I’ll take my chances.

    I have some of the Datrex bars, but haven’t tried them. Weirder yet is the Minuteman ‘canteen’ with survival tabs. I bought that back in 1990 – I doubt they are even edible now.

  3. These apple cinnamon ones are not horrifying.. like the lifeboat rations of old.
    Nothing i would want to eat for a long time, but they are not bad, kind of like a huge hard cinnamon cracker.

    Peter, the old MRES are probably fine, I have eaten some that were in my vehicle for about 4 years in the Nevada heat out here and they had not gone bad. I rotate mine out every 8 or so months now.

    • Thanks! I’ll rotate the old ones out, but still keep them on hand. If I don’t consume them personally, I suppose that’s the kind of thing that can be used for barter or charity in a grid-down scenario.

  4. Peter: I came into possession of some MREs almost old enough to vote. I’m pretty sure they had been kept under mostly-benign temperatures. I’m always up for a cheap adventure (not counting the medical costs) so I ate ’em. For various values of “eat”, that is. The ravioli was ok but the chicken in salsa was gross. The fruit was inedible as were the coffee with creamer. The applesauce would be palatable to a starving person although they would insist on sharing so they wouldn’t have to eat all of it. The super-vacuum-packed crackers made a decent spoon. Chiclets lasted about 30 seconds; I presume they were supposed to be green . Tabasco in cute little bottles appears to be immortal despite an official shelf life of five years. I hope this helps.

  5. I’m going through some out-of-date Mainstay bars, eating 1 of the 9 sections each morning for breakfast. The lemon flavor goes well with coffee. Shelf life of 5 years, but these are closer to 10, and still moist; sort of anyway.

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