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#144847 - 08/19/08 11:48 PM Sun Meadow self heating meals
CJK Offline

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 525
Loc: FL, USA
I was at work (EMS)(T.S. Fay) and my employer provided 3 boxes of 'meals' for us should we need them. They were Sun Meadow brand. www.sunmeadow.com Since the date was 12/08 we decided to try one of them....I didn't have breakfast and was short on food so I figured not only could I get a meal but also try an item I'd never had before.

My partner opened the box and in it were 2 'large' cans. One labeled 'Beef Stew' and the other 'Chicken and Pasta'. You have to 'puncture' the 3 holes with the provided 'pin'. Also open the top to stir occasionally This allows the air in and the heat to be generated. 7-9 minutes...hot food. First thing we noticed was that the 'inner can' was a 'normal' size soup can. The outer can looked huge at first..... until you see the inside can....Next thing noticed....it didn't get hot. Not even warm.......

Ok....holes punched. Food stirred.....smell and YUK!!!!! My partner was brave enough to try it. I will quote him....,"I've had dog food that tasted better." I smelled it.....I can honestly say I was nauseated by it.....

Ok lets try the 'anti-oxidant'energy chews......also horrible....the canned orange juice (bluebird brand) was good. Slight bitter taste but may be the metal can it was in. The raisins were ok.

Has anyone else ever had them? What are you experiences with them......We never opened the chicken and pasta...

#144864 - 08/20/08 01:32 AM Re: Sun Meadow self heating meals [Re: CJK]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
OK, I have a simple rule. This is based on knowing a lot of EMS and fire folks.

If you guys say "yuck" or anything similar when you smell it, it isn't getting near my mouth. Thanks for the warning.

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#144865 - 08/20/08 01:44 AM Re: Sun Meadow self heating meals [Re: ironraven]
kd7fqd Offline

Registered: 08/07/05
Posts: 359
Loc: Saratoga Springs,Utah,USA
Funny you should mention Sunmeadow, one of the guys I work with in the ER is an avid hiker and so he thought he would "try" Sun Meadow foods for the hike (long story short) he said his dog wouldn't even eat the stuff.

EDC: Samsung Galaxy Note 2,DR PSK, Swiss Army Champ, Leatherman Blast
My Blog emergencybobs.wordpress.com

#144873 - 08/20/08 02:55 AM Re: Sun Meadow self heating meals [Re: kd7fqd]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
Good survival food is supposed to taste & smell bad, that way when you get hungry some night you are not tempted to eat it…..

Mind you I don’t personally follow this rule…

You can run, but you'll only die tired.

#144876 - 08/20/08 03:24 AM Re: Sun Meadow self heating meals [Re: CJK]
jasond Offline

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 52
Loc: North Carolina
I can't say that I have had the emergency food from Sunmeadow that you are writing about, but I have had some of the shelf-stable(?) meals that were mostly like canned lasgna and other things of that type and they were not too bad. The only thing is the food that I have eaten of theirs are items anyone can go pick up themselves they just package it up in a nice little meal for you. We ate many of these pre-packaged meals while I was in Iraq the last time. Some are crap some are not so bad.

#144919 - 08/20/08 01:27 PM Re: Sun Meadow self heating meals [Re: CJK]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Interesting concept, too bad they taste bad...

#144925 - 08/20/08 01:52 PM Re: Sun Meadow self heating meals [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Ian Offline

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 176
Loc: Scotland
I have never heard of Sunmeadow.

The concept is British perhaps thirty or more years old and is now manufactured here in the UK by a company who trades as Hotcan. (Do a search for Hotcan) I have used them professionally for years for feeding firefighters and did have a batch that did not heat, I returned them and the replacements were fine, just a bad batch. The owners of Hotcan have changed a few times over the years, I expect because even though it is a good idea few people buy them often enough, once they were marketed as ideal for the city type who did not have time for breakfast!!

When you pierce the top you burst a bag of water which drains into quicklime in the space between the cans. This causes an exothermic reaction which heats the meal, normally to boiling, at least far too hot to touch the bare can.

The contents in the UK are very good flavour and quality with a wide choice, I have never had one I did not enjoy if a little short in the amount of what someone active in the field wants to eat.

They are great for hot snacks for emergency workers, quick, simple and you can get a few more hours work out of them before having to stop for a real break.

Probably OK for emergency stores but are expensive for the amount of food in them, better a few cans and an external cooker.

For hiking pretty useless, expensive, heavy and generate a lot of waste to get rid of.

Edited by Ian (08/20/08 01:53 PM)

#144945 - 08/20/08 04:14 PM Re: Sun Meadow self heating meals [Re: CJK]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077

The Hotcan promo video here shows how this self heating technology works.


As you can see it looks like any standard can contents can be 're-manufactured' into a Hotcan or Sunmeadow Hotmeal.

From your experience it sounds like Sunmeadow have sourced some pretty unedible food can contents to begin with.

At the end of the day, I have not come across any self heating food that works satifactorily whether it was a Hotcan or MRE heater compared to the efficiency of a conventional gas cartridge stove heater and pot. Even a Hexistove/mess tin or alcohol stove would be my next choice over any self heating food system.

You would probably be much better of with some conventional supermarket cans, which are at least edible (some can even be quite tasty) and heat them up in a pot or mess tin with some boiling water.

Hmmm. British Army 24hr ORP Beefburger and Beans and Coffee. laugh

#144956 - 08/20/08 05:47 PM Re: Sun Meadow self heating meals [Re: NightHiker]
philip Offline

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I've eaten Heater Meals for years. They're a good thing to have around when you can't cook a meal for whatever reasons. I'm 61, and I find the portions too small when I'm active (camping, for example).

I've got a list of meals that require little or no cooking at

My issue with many of them (including military MREs) is that each portion includes just about a whole day's worth of sodium, fat, and calories - and Heater Meals do not. A day's worth is fine for active young people, but I just don't want that much since I eat three meals a day.

The companies I list offer a wide range of foods, including kosher, gluten-free, vegan, and so on.

#145396 - 08/22/08 09:05 PM Re: Sun Meadow self heating meals [Re: philip]
CJK Offline

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 525
Loc: FL, USA
I've had heater meals....they are pretty good. I was just 'fortunate?' enough to get to try the sunmeadow brand without having to lay out the money for it.....I'm glad I didn't pay good money for that....

I just figured that I'd post the info to see if I had a 'bad' meal or if it was just a bad meal...period. It seems it was the latter. Hope this helps people.

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