August 23, 2010

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Review: Mainstay Emergency Food Rations

As part of the Disaster Prep series of posts, I talked about Food & Water.  In that post I mentioned buying Mainstay 1200-Calorie Food Bars which I refer to as “Emergency Rations” (ERats).  The problem is that a lot of people have a negative connotation of anything with the word “Ration” or “Emergency”.  One friend went as far as to say that he thought cardboard was a better option.  Since I had the ERats, I decided it was time to give them a try… and was I ever pleasantly surprised.

My first impression of the ERats was very favorable.  They are dry and crumbly, but smell and taste lemony, just as advertised.  To me, if you overlook the lemon (it’s sort of an aftertaste), they taste like chocolate chip cookie dough (sans chocolate).  I think they are really quite tasty, enough so that I spent the next few days snacking on the left overs (The entire 1200cal block didn’t get eaten all at once).

Since part of the disaster supplies are for my mother, I had her try some.  She thought they tasted like a lemon shortbread cookie, a sentiment that I can agree with.  She also thought they were quite tasty and I caught her sneaking a few more bits of the ERats before dinner.

The last guinea pig was Gibson, who originally said that cardboard was a better option.  He agreed that these new rations were much better tasting (than the old horrible ones).  He tried to eat an entire block (400cal), but did not succeed.  I think he could have, if we hadn’t had dinner earlier, but he said it hard to chow down the entire thing just like that.

The end vote is fairly good.  Everyone seemed to think the rations were at least decent (where as I rather like them).  If you don’t feel like sinking $100+ for Box of 30, you can buy them individually for only slightly more.  If you’re serious about having some extra food on hand, buy a single Food Bar/Ration and give it a try.  If you like them, then buy yourself a box.  The Ready Store also has a selection of 2400 and 3600 calorie rations (which are the exact same thing as the 1200cal pack, just more blocks packed together), but I prefer the 1200’s since the units are easier to find space for in say a backpack.