Watch: Testing Humanitarian Daily Ration


Watch: Testing Humanitarian Daily Ration

The Humanitarian Daily Ration (HDR) was developed as an emergency relief food that can be air dropped into affected zones. They are like a standard issue military Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) pouch, but are bright orange.

Since the HDR was designed to be a relief food, it is meat-free. There are no animal products of any kind in the meals. This is so the HDR will appeal to the widest possible range of religious and cultural beliefs.

The Humanitarian Daily Ration is put together by the same company that makes the MREs for the United States military, which is the Wornick company.

Unlike the MRE, the HDR does not include a heater.

Besides the main entree, the pouches are silver.

Long spoon is included.

Content Examples:

  • Crackers
  • Vegetable crackers
  • Short bread
  • Fig bar
  • Peanut butter
  • Strawberry jam
  • Herb rice
  • Beans and rice

The main entree is labeled, “Food gift from the people of the United States of America.”

MRE and humanitarian daily ration
MRE next to humanitarian daily ration main enrtree

My first exposure to the Humanitarian Daily Ration was after Hurricane Rita when the National Guard was handing them out at a relief area. You would drive through a line, someone from the National Guard would ask how many people were in your family. Depending on how many people were in the family determined how many cases of MREs or HDRs you got. Everyone also got a case of water and a bag of ice.

I thought the meals tasted rather bland. Then again, they are meant to be delivered to people who were hungry.

Would I recommend someone buy an HDR? Sure. Buy a couple, open them up, and see what you think. There is no way I would stockpile the HDR as a main prepping food.

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