The concept of battlefield Meals, Ready-to-Eat, or "MREs" for short, has not changed much over the past six hundred years. MREs are carried aboard UNSC vessels for use on the battlefield. A conventional MRE contains a single meal, consisting of pre-cooked food which has been vacuum-sealed into plastic containers or pouches so as to prevent spoiling.
These MREs are designed so that the contents remain edible for months, or even years, if need be. MREs are typically used in areas of combat where constructing a kitchen facility is not possible, or practical due to time or safety constraints. Each Single Occupant Exoatmospheric Insertion Vehicle stores a number of MREs for the landed ODSTs.
The opinion on MREs was generally negative, with many individuals expressing distaste for the food carried in the packs. Senior Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez believed that the MRE packs, while nutritionally dense, was one of the most foul-tasting substances known to man. Although, he claimed that MRE packs were still better in taste than special forces emergency bars. However, the honey hazelnut-flavored protein bar was often considered desirable.
MREs have conventionally contained a number of food items, and there are usually dozens of different meals and variations so that not every MRE contains the same meal. This is so that soldiers may have a variety in their diets while in a hostile area. The contents of an MRE provided approximately three thousand calories, enough to keep a soldier properly nourished.
Some of the materials that could be found in an MRE may include:
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