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Expired MRE's?

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I've got a couple cases of MRE's from the early 80's. For emergency use, how important is the expiration on MRE's? Would the meal portion be spoiled?
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I don't know how old those "C"'s you have are but during jungle training in Panama in 1971 I ate some from 1943 that were just fine (if you don't mind what they were like even when new). The ham, pork and beef all tasted like spam, but we never had any problems. Everything else in them was like any other "C"'s I ever ate. I think if you lived on those for long enough they could bury you after death with no embalming and you'd be mummified.
So if C-Rats could last 28 years why in heck do they put expiration dates of three or four years on commercially canned soups and other foods? Is it for purposes of taste or is there a racket going on to keep the production lines going?
 
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