Many of the items you buy either in a store or on-line have a shelf life assigned. Those expiration dates are clearly marked and we can feel confident that the products we buy are safe and in serviceable condition based on the product labeling or can we?

If you buy a carton of milk and the use by date is next week, you know it's good until then, but if you grab the carton for your cereal and you pour out what looks like bad cheese, you know you're passed that use by date or the milk was likely stored improperly. While each of us the responsibility to store items properly at home, how the storage and care of a product was managed before we buy the item can greatly alter the shelf life and is something you have no control over. So, what can you do to be sure what you buy is good?

When we purchase something, we are placing a large amount of trust towards the merchant. If the grocer we choose sells bad cheese that's supposed to be milk too many times, they will lose trust and customers.

Trust is what we are Rocky Mountain Readiness strive for  every day. Many of the items we provide have shelf life's, some like body armor might surprise you, and we take great care to ensure what you buy from us has been properly stored and cared for so your products are safe and serviceable. We are building trust.

That can't always be said. A great example is when buying surplus MRE's. Army testing and standards say that MRE's have a 5 year shelf life and that is what is on each case you might pick up as surplus or from a dealer. However, that date is greatly impacted by how the items was stored. To achieve that 5 year maximum shelf life, those MREs have to be stored at 60 degrees F. If they are stored at near 100 degrees F, the shelf life drops to just 3 months and that impact of shelf life applies at varying degrees at all temperatures in between. A 100 degrees F in storage might seem unlikely to achieve, but we do a lot of trade shows and often times we see cases of MRE's in closed trailers waiting for a show. It's hot in there and it's unlikely surplus MRE's are stored in climate controlled environments at other times. So, be sure you can trust where those MREs come from.

The same can be said of freeze dried foods. The labels will usually place the shelf life at 10 to 25 years, but read the fine print because temperature can greatly reduce the amount of time that food will retain its nutritional values.

Even body armor lists a shelf life based on how it is handled and stored. Many other tangible goods do as well. Know your suppliers. If you can't really trust them, you might look for another.

So, how can you trust us? We have spent years developing personal working relationships with manufactures to ensure what you buy from us is either the freshest possible in the case of food or as close to being just off the assembly line as possible for other products.

We know MRE's type meals and freeze dried foods are an important part of our customer’s emergency plans or for those road or camping trips. While we do store MRE's and freeze dried foods, we only do so in quantities we can move. If we've had it too long, we don't sell it and everything we do store is done so at or better than the manufactures standards. For MRE's type meals, we deal directly with our great manufacturer Chef 5 Minute Meals and often times have our customer orders shipped directly from the processing line to our customer’s front door ensuring the freshest quality and longest shelf life possible. Your family’s safety is our biggest concern. The same goes for our freeze dried items and other core products. 

The bottom line, if you buy from us you are getting the freshest items with the longest shelf life possible. We know that without your trust we have no business. Get to know where the things you buy are coming from. When it comes to health and safety issues, it matters and it should matter to those who you are placing your trust.

Thank you,


(Don is the owner of Rocky Mountain Readiness. He spent 45 years in DoD and has extensive working knowledge of supply chains).







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