The Army's MREs (Meals, Ready-to-Eat) have a bit of a bad rap, as you might expect from any food products that have been engineered to remain edible and nutritious after three years in the desert and a thousand foot parachute drop. But the Army has put some work into them recently, adding in things like caffeinated beef jerky and something called "zapplesauce."
The number one priority of MREs has always been edibility and nutrition, with taste clocking in as a distant second. But no matter how nutritious, a MRE is no good if soldiers refuse to eat it, and that's exactly what was happening: the taste was apparently so bad that soldiers would often just toss some of the least appetizing items, leading to a nutritionally incomplete meal.
This next generation of MREs is apparently much, much tastier. The Army has an... army... of food technologists intent on combining nutrition with yummyness, taking every dish through professional taste testing, a 17 point survey from service members, and then they go through the trash to figure out what's actually being eaten and what's being covertly dumped.
There are now 24 different MREs to choose from (up from 12), including items like apple-cinnamon muffin tops, Asian pepper steak, chicken and rice, and beef lo-mein. A brand new snack food is caffeinated beef jerky sticks, which provide as much wake-up power as a cup of coffee. And as for the zapplesauce, it's the same slurpable applesauce that you know and love with the addition of maltodextrin for an extra zap of zenergy. I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty appealing, although I haven't been able to find anywhere to buy it. The caffeinated meat, however, can be purchased here.
Via Washington Post