The MRE is a highly nutritious field ration bought by the United States for military purpose, for use in combat and field conditions where organized food facilities are not readily available. The main meals in the pouch comes pre-cooked in "boil in the foil" packets that can be warmed by immersing them in water that activates heating cells in the MRE pouch. MREs were first issued in 1981 on a limited basis and finally replaced the older canned rations when stockpiles were used up in 1986.
While vegetarian versions are in the system, the rations usually consist of a main meal such as stew or pasta with a high starch and protein content. Some versions have Mexican tortillas but usually crackers, candies and cookies provide the rest of the calories with powdered fruit drinks and instant coffee also being included.
If all the food in each MRE is eaten (including the condiment and coffee whitener packets) each meal contains about 1,200 calories, which is enough to keep an inactive adult fed for a full day. Because of the high physical demands placed on soldiers, three are typical issued per day with as many as four to five being issued on dismounted winter warfare operations where more calories have to be burned to keep the body warm.
Military individual field rations were used by the United States army and are found extensively in the area surrounding the Divide. The particular MRE's found in these military installations contains a boneless pork chop as the main course along with standard sundries. This food item is one of the few radiation free foods in the game, and its nutritional value in hardcore mode is amongst the highest found in any food, on par with the much heavier caravan lunch.
The MRE provides relatively low health restoration in hardcore mode, given its high nutritional value. However, its health regeneration is significantly better when used outside of hardcore mode.
Effects of Survival skill
+2 Hit Point or, +1 Hit Point in hardcore mode, -240 Starvation
+4 Hit Point or, +2 Hit Point in hardcore mode, -440 Starvation
+2 Hit Point or, +1 Hit Point in hardcore mode, -280 Starvation
+4 Hit Point or, +2 Hit Point in hardcore mode, -480 Starvation
+3 Hit Point or, +1 Hit Point in hardcore mode, -320 Starvation
+5 Hit Point or, +2 Hit Point in hardcore mode, -520 Starvation
+3 Hit Point or, +1 Hit Point in hardcore mode, -360 Starvation
+5 Hit Point or, +2 Hit Point in hardcore mode, -560 Starvation
+4 Hit Point or, +2 Hit Point in hardcore mode, -400 Starvation
+6 Hit Point or, +3 Hit Point in hardcore mode, -600 Starvation
At the Canyon Wreckage: on the left, there is a wooden board that says "Lonesome Road". In the duffle bag below this, there is an MRE.
If you leave Ulysses alive after the final quest, he will be at the entrance to the Canyon wreckage. You can ask him if he has recovered anything from the dust of Hopeville which will result in three MREs, amongst other minor loot.
The real-life MRE Menu No. 2 was boneless pork chop from 2000-2001. Menu No. 2 is currently Pork Rib. The resale notice was added in 2001. However, the bag design more closely resembles older MREs.
The real-life ZIP code of Mullins, South Carolina is 29574, while ZIP code 12490 corresponds to West Camp, New York. However, the real-life MRE supplier SOPAKCO is indeed based in Mullins.