My son and I like to watch science experiments on YouTube, like the Backyard Scientist channel and the Crazy Russian Hacker channel. Lately, the Crazy Russian Hacker has been filming the unpacking and consumption of MREs that people mail him from around the world. (MRE stands for Meal Ready to Eat. For more information on military chow in the field, click here.) It’s fascinating to see these military food kits, particularly the ones that include breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We like to get out and do things we see on video, within reason. Including science experiments. As I don’t have a 25-pound Gummy Bear and a bunch of M-80s to ram up its poop chute, let alone a slow-motion camera to capture what happens when it explodes, I figured the next best thing would be to acquire an MRE myself so we could see what was in it and how it tasted. Unlike the men and women in the United States military, we’re doing this in ease and air conditioning; we’re not fooling ourselves into thinking we’re roughing it in any fashion. The MRE I got is Meal 12: Penne With Vegetable Sausage Crumbles in Spicy Tomato Sauce.
Because we were eating this at home, I put all the non-food items, including the gum, coffee, creamer, and drink powder back into the bag and slipped it into our emergency kit in the hope that we would never have to use it. You do have one of those, don’t you? You should.
I was lucky to get the penne in tomato sauce variety; if it had been tuna noodle casserole or something similar, I would’ve had to pass on trying the main course. Obviously this isn’t as good as a home-cooked meal prepared by people who love you, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. If I can get a different variety, perhaps from another country, I’ll try that.