Zombie apocalypse or just stuck working late at the office, doesn’t matter which if you have allergies you can’t always hit the vending machine! If the military can produce a MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) surely I can find an AMRE!
I started by researching several of the existing MRE products available, a quick Google search will return a number of options. Allergy friendly products are made, but tend to be both expensive, and limited to avoiding single common allergens, such as Gluten Free Emergency Kits. Nothing met my dietary needs, and so I looked to the “prepper” community and found discussions on “prepping with food allergies“. What it all boiled down to was a dose of common sense;
Pack what you can and will eat, and pack enough of it
Taking that simple mantra I decided to list my criteria and see if I could make something that matched it. My criteria was:
- Be a meal replacement – Ideally 600 to 1000 calories per pack
- Off the shelf products – I don’t own a vacuum sealer
- 6 months shelf life – I didn’t want to be remaking them every couple of weeks
- Not require refrigerated storage – throw it in the car and forget it
- Be tasty – I’ve got to not mind eating it
- Be affordable – Ideally less than $6 per pack
Taking this list I started looking at what I regularly packed myself for lunch at work, combining that with a stroll around the supermarket looking at everything I thought might work and I ended up with these.
The contents are currently identical, and include:
- Jennie’s Coconut Macaroon (270 calories)
- Simply Fruit Roll (50 calories)
- Can of Wild Planet Skipjack Tuna (69 calories)
- GoGo Squeez Apple Sauce (60 calories)
- Ancient Harvest Quinoa flakes (1 serving, requires 1 cup of water, 170 calories)
- Wegman’s Fruit Strip (45 calories)
- 4 x Lifesaver Peppermints (60 calories)
Currently this comes out to 724 calories, about 20 grams of protein, and about 100 grams of sugar. A bit high on the sugar, and a bit low on the calories but a very good start. I intend to look at some corned beef and spam products to see if they meat my allergy requirements to switch out the tuna for different tastes and more protein.
Think about making an AMRE for your own dietary needs and make sure you keep your energy up when you need it!
Oh and preparing the quinoa flakes would normally require a microwave, but the pocket camp stove and metal mug I keep in an emergency bag in the back of my car would allow me to heat bottled water and prepare the flakes in a real emergency!
See, a little bit of preparation is all it takes.