03 September 2008

Mr.E meat

My first experience with an Army-style Meal, Ready to Eat or whatever they're calling them now, came just a couple of weeks ago, but it came thanks to Hurricane Ivan back in 2004. That hit Pensacola, my old hometown, and I pretty much spent four or five straight weekends driving down there to help with post-hurricane cleanups on my dad's and brothers' properties. We were without power and water for the first couple of weekends, and the Red Cross issued us gallons jugs of water and as many MREs as the could.

Since Jenn and I were driving home to air conditioning and running water, we left that stuff down in the danger zone — with the exception of two meals: one marked meatloaf and one marked jambalaya (which was the closest to a vegetarian one we had).

That sat in the cupboard until our Cumberland Island camping trip a couple weeks back.

We're assuming, of course, that they were fairly new meals in 2004 and not, as we suspect, leftovers from Gulf War v.1.0. But either way, they were at least four years old — and they were still good.

I was also amazed at the quantity of food in there. And, not so surprisingly, old Skittles taste just like new Skittles.

Ye Olde Wikipaedia has some pretty interesting history on the meals, but best is their list of insults that soldiers have concocted for them, including: "Mr. E," "Meals Rejected by Everyone," "Meals, Rarely Edible," "Meals Rejected by the Enemy," "Morsels, Regurgitated, Eviscerated," "Meal, Ready to Excrete," "Materials Resembling Edibles," and even "Meals Rejected by Ethiopians."

My other favorite thing about them was the propaganda-lite on the packaging itself, urging soldiers to eat the whole meal and also proclaiming "Nutrition: A Force Multiplier!"


Maggie&Bandit said...

We heard the meatloaf was more like "loaf" ....

Jenn said...

It was Spamtastic.