What do soldiers around the world eat?
What do soldiers around the world eat? A pile of Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) lies on the floor at a compound. (Thinkstock)
What do soldiers around the world eat?
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No matter who they're fighting for, soldiers around the world have something very basic in common. They need to eat.
 
Perhaps unsurprisingly, field rations, known among U.S. soldiers as "Meals, Ready to Eat," or "MREs," have a pretty bad reputation among the troops. They have to rely on the freeze-dried, vacuum-sealed meals while out on patrol or on the battlefield. While no one expects field rations to provide a five-star dining experience, many militaries do what they can to give their soldiers a decent meal. And that is whether it's serving traditional fare or measuring how eating MREs can affect their troops' health.

For American soldiers, Army-issued MREs come packed with everything soldiers need for a solid 1,200-calorie meal. They include several courses, beverages, flameless heating elements and utensils. But the Army isn't only concerned about fueling its soldiers. It wants them to enjoy their meal, as well.
 
"What is nutrition if you don't consume the food?" Army research dietitian Holly McClung says in a statement. "We need ways to keep warfighters interested in and excited about eating in the field after they have been training and eating MREs for several days."
 
The U.S. Army put out a call for volunteers. The Army wanted to find out who was willing to survive solely off of MREs for almost a month. It is an attempt to see how the field rations might affect the delicate ecosystem of gut bacteria in the digestive system. After all, considering that MREs have to meet a laundry list of requirements, such as being able to survive a 1,250-foot parachute drop and stay edible for up to 3 1/2 years in temperatures of up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it stands to reason that officers would want to know how these specific modifications might affect their troops health. This is according to reporter Emanuella Grinberg for CNN.
 
"Interactions between the millions of bacteria living in our gut and what we eat is a very important factor in gut health. But we don't know how MRE foods interact with those bacteria to impact gut health," McClung says in a statement. "Ultimately, discovering how eating MREs influences gut bacteria and gut health will help our efforts to continually improve the MRE."

Studying how eating MREs affect soldiers' microbiomes is one way that U.S. Army officials are trying to keep their troops healthy. The Army also does what it can to make sure that soldiers aren't eating the same meals over and over again. MREs cover a wide range of food, from spaghetti Bolognese to caffeine-infused beef jerky, David Whelan reports for Munchies. Army researchers even unveiled what some call the "holy grail of MRE’s."  It is pizza.
 
While the U.S. Army might offer one of the largest varieties of menu choices for its MREs, most countries try to offer their soldiers something that resembles their homeland's cuisine. South Korean soldiers get treated to bibimbap and kimchi. French fighters are offered deer pâté and duck confit. The range of food varies greatly. Colombian soldiers mostly live off of rice and beans, while the Italian Army issues its fighters a 40-percent alcohol "breakfast shot," Whelan writes.
 
"When you're in the deployed environment, it tends to be fear and the monotonous. So the only thing you have to look forward to is the chow," Army Materiel Command director Bill Bigelow tells C.J. Lin for Stars and Stripes. "And if it's monotonous chow, that just adds to your misery."

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween78/what-do-soldiers-around-world-eat/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why don't soldiers everywhere eat the same thing?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (63)
  • kayah-4-bar
    5/13/2016 - 02:13 a.m.

    Soldiers everywhere don't eat the same thing because if they ate the same thing they wouldn't get the right nutrition they need or even enough calories. This is shown, Studying how eating MREs affect soldiers' microbiomes is one way that U.S. Army officials are trying to keep their troops healthy. The Army also does what it can to make sure that soldiers aren't eating the same meals over and over again. MREs cover a wide range of food, from spaghetti Bolognese to caffeine-infused beef jerky, David Whelan reports for Munchies. (paragraph 7). The soldiers do get different varieties of food because it's the healthiest thing for them. I liked this article because my family has been part of the coast guard so they have experienced eating MRE's so its cool to learn about them.

  • shaelyng-ver
    5/13/2016 - 08:47 a.m.

    I agree with the soldiers, they deserve better meals that they can enjoy, especially while protecting our country.

  • emiliv-1-ric
    5/16/2016 - 01:36 p.m.

    Soldiers everywhere don't eat the same thing because they are adjusted to their homeland food. According to this article " most countries try to offer their soldiers something that resembles their homeland's cuisine". Also the food has to be able to withstand certain Requirements. For example colombia can have different temperatures and environments that the food wouldn't be able to survive in the United States. These foods can affect countries soldiers in different ways.

  • yairiv-ric
    5/16/2016 - 01:37 p.m.

    The soldiers everywhere around the world don't eat the same, because of where they are. Food sent to them have to be able to handle the temperature in the area they are in. Another thing is the distance, you have to have food that will last fresh for the soldiers to eat depending what it is that won't rot. In the passage above it says After all, considering that MREs have to meet a laundry list of requirement's such as being able to survive a 1,250-foot parachute drop and stay edible for 3 1/2 hours in up to 80 degrees fahrenheit.

  • mcshunw-ric
    5/16/2016 - 02:47 p.m.

    Soldiers don't eat the same things because, they won't get the same meal as the the other person. They also will not always get the same resources from other people. Which means the meals will be different from time to time. Also they want to give you food that reflect where your from.

  • humbertoc-ric
    5/16/2016 - 02:51 p.m.

    Soldiers don't eat the same thing because they don't always have the same recourses that they have around them. Soldiers can be in different biomes for example soldiers have less resources in desert biomes than any other biome. They also have to have healthy food to stay fit. They also like to reflect on where you're from so they can give you foods that you're used to.

  • giovannig-1-ric
    5/16/2016 - 03:06 p.m.

    Soldiers everywhere don't eat the same thing because the only thing soldiers really look forward to is food and if food is consistently the same then the food isn't much to look forward to. Holly McClung ,who is the Army's research dietitian, states how food is realistically the only thing the soldiers have to look forward to out in the battlefield. The military also has to keep in mind that the variety has to keep the soldiers' food good enough to taste decent as well as being able to survive certain conditions. Some armies like the South Korean Army and the French Army have MREs that taste and remind the soldiers of their homeland.

  • addiey-ric
    5/16/2016 - 04:24 p.m.

    Soldiers everywhere don't eat the same thing because it's not part of their tradition. There are soldiers of all different races. They like to give them food that reminds them of their home. It gives them comfort. A sense of being home. They want all of the soldiers to feel that while away from home and their loved ones.

  • lilyc-ric
    5/16/2016 - 04:24 p.m.

    Soldiers everywhere don't eat the same thing because they come from different places. Someone from Germany might now be familiar with the food from America, so they wont want to eat it. Also, depending on where they are in the world, they need different types of proteins and amount of calories. They have to be used to the food they are eating. That's why soldiers everywhere don't eat the same thing.

  • jonathanm1-ric
    5/16/2016 - 04:24 p.m.

    Soldiers everywhere don't eat the same because, some of their countries are poorer and like they don't have much money to focus on food. Plus, some places are used to what they eat. And a couple countries just focus more on war than just food. Also, they don't wanna spend lots of money on food so they can spend more money on war.

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