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Another Portland Blog

Friday, March 03, 2006

 

An all new Flickr photo set: What Soldiers Eat

For years I've wanted to get my hands on a military MRE (Meal-Ready-to-Eat). These are the meals our brave fighting men supposedly eat while they're out in the field. Prior to 9/11, they could be found in just about every military surplus store from here to Medford.

When I finally went looking for one it was after the US' invasion of Afghanistan. A guy working behind the counter at Andy and Bax explained that the companies that manufacture military-style MREs were shipping them all overseas and that they could no longer get any in stock. Bax had plenty of self-cooking camping meals for sale but their glossy cover art of hikers gazing at sunsets didn't suit my fancy. Regardless of the packaging, the contents were no doubt similar. Still, I wanted the real-deal- the same stuff Marines in Iraq are eating as I type these words. Authentic Rambo Chow.




A former roommate of mine enlisted in the armed forces a few years ago. He returned to the West Coast for winter break in 2004 and brought with him a gift: an actual MRE, beef stroganoff flavor.

While I was working as a media intern last winter, I tried to coax an editor into letting me review its contents for a food column. The idea was quickly shot down for obvious reasons. So the MRE sat on top of my refrigerator for over a year until I re-discovered it behind a box of ramen noodles. Bored one night, I decide to crack it open.

What did I find inside? How was it? Did the MRE make me want to spread democracy across the planet? To inadvertently bring a nation to the brink of civil war? Click here or on the photo above to find out the answers to these and other questions in a brand new Welcome to Blog photo set: "What Soldiers Eat."

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