NATICK , Mass., Dec. 31 (UPI) — The U.S. Army is seeking volunteers to eat its food, specifically a 21-day regimen of nothing but its military rations.The U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Mass., has put out a call for help in studying the effects of consuming what is called MREs, or meals ready to eat, the bagged and vacuum-packed food eaten in the field by Army personnel.It seeks information on “gut health,” how bacteria in soldiers’ digestive systems can be better served by improved MREs. Research will be used to improve the nutritional properties of the food.
I’ve gone two weeks on MREs, back in the 80s, when they were really terrible. Today’s MREs a much, much better tasting than those. And they have quite a bit more bulk and calories.
Let’s also not forget that some units that deployed early to Desert Storm, like the 82nd Airborne, also went a very long time on nothing but MREs.
The ideal is that troops get at least one hot meal, and preferably two, every day in a combat zone. It rarely works out that way. But the Army guidance is that troops should not subsist on MREs for more than 30 days.