Ameriqual Foods APack MRE Reviews
Ameriqual is the largest civilian provider of mres out of the three companies that produce MREs under contract for the U.S. military. While concentrating for years on providing the military with the best mre available, they finally decided to enter the civilian MRE market in 2006 with a meals ready to eat name brand: "APack Ready Meals". Furthermore, the civilian brand of the military meals ready to eat sold by Ameriqual do not contain chemicals and perservatives that are used in some other brands to extend the shelf life. This is very important for your health.
Because these civilian MRE meals are produced by the same manufacturer that produces the military's MREs you can be assured that you are getting a superior product. They are 100% self-contained, individually packaged in aluminum-lined polyethylene, and will store for a minimum of five years and a maximum of ten years under proper temperature conditions. Ameriqual foods A Pack Mres that are designed for the civilian market are almost exactly the same as the military mres for sale and where differences occur they are actually a bonus.
Although the military grade mre packs come with a stick of chewing gum and a hot salsa packet while the civilian versions do not, the food items of the Ameriqual Mre APacks designed for the civilian market are identical to what is inside the official military MREs and the only exception is the beverage mix which is added as a bonus to the civilian mre Apacks. The spoon included with the civilian ready to eat meals is a little different than the military MRE spoon since it is shorter and a little wider. Those who want to finish their meal faster are thus catered to with this additional bonus of a larger spoon.
Ameriqual Foods has eliminated the inclusion of a separate accessory pack along with each civilian APack and instead the spoon, moist towelette, pepper, and drink mix are included along with each apack mre. Because Ameriqual does not include a napkin in their package of ready to eat meals, you will need to have a package of napkins along if you want extra clean up options besides the moist towelette that you get. Some people like to hold their hot mre using a napkin so be sure and have those along with your supplies if you feel you will need it.
Ameriqual Foods is the only MRE manufacturer which has taken precautionary measures to protect the buyers of their mres from hazardous materials by inventing the salt water activated Flameless Ration Heater (FRH) which looks exactly like the riskier water activated military version on the outside. Because the standard FRH can be activated by regular water, it is considered to be a hazardous material. The activation by salt water only protects the activation of the heater by rainfall or by flood. Ameriqual is the only one who has protected the consumer in this way and they include a packet of salt water in each MRE package for activation of the heater when you choose to do so.
It is best to purchase them by the case and a case of APacks comes with 12 individual meals. There are usually six different menus in each case so you get two of each menu. The menus from Ameriqual appear to be established for now so every case should contain the same menus. Here are the six main entrees: beef stew; spaghetti with meat sauce; chicken and noodles with vegetables; chicken tetrazzini; pasta with vegetables and tomato sauce; and chicken with black beans and rice. Eating the same meal twice is not exactly taking up your cross and suffering and there is only one manufacturer of mres that offer twelve different meals but they have not been given as many positive reviews as Ameriqual and Sopakco have been given.
Here is some feedback about the Ameriqual mre from satisfied customers. Ian says: "As ex-military I can tell you that [these] MREs are much better than what we ate. This food is second only to home cooking." Another person bought all the several brands of mres and had all three members of his family taste each entrée and rate it on a four point scale: Check plus - very good, Check - acceptable to good, Check minus - I'd eat it, and X - I'd rather starve. He also had everyone rate the general quality of the MRE on the same scale. This includes the raw amount of food, the overall quality of the side dishes (if any) and the sides, and the overall taste of the sides and snacks. After eating MREs for the entire New Year's three day weekend the Ameriqual mre tied for first place with the Sopakco mre.
If you are not going to be purchasing these mres for just camping, hunting, or hiking and you want to purchase them for survival purposes then you want to be aware of the fact that during a multi-week disaster situation you will need to eat a variety of foods to avoid "menu fatigue" - you don't want to get so tired of eating the same thing over and over to the point that you just don't want to eat anything. Thus it's a good idea to include multiple types of entrees in your disaster storage for variety. You also need to remember that the U.S. government has stated that a person shouldn't eat MREs for more then 20 days at the time. Enter freeze-dried foods to the rescue.
So if you're planning to store more than three weeks worth of food you will want to include some freeze dried foods in addition to a variety of Ameriqual mre. You will also need some multi vitamins as well. Among the brands of freeze-dried food (which lasts up to 25 years) this writer found the highest reviews and recommendations were for the AlpineAire and especially the Mountain House freeze dried food. These brands get four and five star ratings pretty consistently by people who have actually eaten these freeze dry food brands. So when buying Sopakco or Ameriqual mre ready to eat meals, be sure and also purchase freeze-dried food packets which keep longer than mres and take less space than the mres. You need all of these for a well rounded survival plan and to avoid menu monotony and food diet fatigue.
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