I like the list. I have new ideas.
Any idea how long MREs last on the shelf?
3 years at room temperature. Cool storage with little to no temperature fluctuation and they will last 4 years. Add a year if refrigerated. Add roughly years or so if frozen for certain menus. Some of the items do not freeze well though.
That is just a guideline however. Only the most perishable items start to go bad in those timelines. I have eaten them 8 years old from normal cellar storage. I wouldn't touch the cheese spread at that age but the crackers and peanut butter seem to last forever. The beef dishes and non poultry pasta dishes last a long long time. I probably wouldn't try some of the poultry or pork much past 3 years unless refrigerated. People have admitted to eating them 10-15 years old.
Modern MRE's do not store nearly as well as the old ones. They are designed to be rotated. Modern menu items don't seem to store as well as old menu items either. If I had to pick from and unknown box I am grabbing the beef stew or spaghetti with meat sauce every time. Those were some of the first things used. Unfortunately the really good long storage meals are all expired and out of production. There may be some that are still good if they were cellar or refrigerator kept. They could go 10 years at room temperature.
I ate a cracker from the bomb shelter tunnels here in town. It was from the late 60s to early 70s. It tasted just like the wax paper it was packaged in.