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)
  • jaylaw-ric
    5/17/2016 - 02:45 p.m.

    All the soldiers don't get the same food because there are different states that can afford different food. There is different food for some soldiers because there is some special soldiers that get different food because they have been doing something different. There is also some people that just is doing training and then they can bring there own family. If some soldiers have different food that because they don't always get the same food as some of the other soldiers.

  • jaydenh1-ric
    5/17/2016 - 02:45 p.m.

    Soldiers elsewhere don't eat the same thing as American soldiers because of economic and cultural differences. The article states: "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." While America has the financial ability to supply its soldiers with these such luxuries, other countries are not so fortunate; some militaries/countries simply don't have the money to supply their armies with equal, sufficient, or qualitative food.

  • afrikab-ric
    5/17/2016 - 02:48 p.m.

    Soldiers everywhere do not eat the same thing because they come from different places with different cultures. Everyone knows that different cultures will eat different foods. Colombian soldiers, South Korean soldiers, are from different cultures/religions so they will be served different things. The Korean ones will get kimchi, while the Colombian ones get rice and beans.

  • charliet-orv
    5/17/2016 - 02:48 p.m.

    Because they might not have certain resources there.

  • alexr-6-ric
    5/17/2016 - 03:54 p.m.

    Soldiers around the world don't eat the same thing because there might be some places the food is unavailable. Some of the food may not be good by the time they get to the soldiers. Around the world there are many things Soldiers can eat and not the same thing as all the other soldiers.They get food depending on their location. Also different countries give different food like the asian countries.

  • josephr-ric
    5/17/2016 - 03:55 p.m.

    Soldiers don't eat the same things because, they won't get the same meal as the the other person.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. Plus, some places are used to what they eat. So they might won't eat the same things.

  • daleg-ric
    5/17/2016 - 04:12 p.m.

    Soldiers everywhere don't eat the same things because the MRE's are most countries offer food that resembles their homeland. South Korea soldiers get bibimbap and kimchi. French soldiers get deer pâté and duck confit. Columbia soldiers mostly live on rice and beans. The italian army issues its fighters a 40 percent alcohol "breakfast shot."

  • madelineg-1-ric
    5/17/2016 - 10:52 p.m.

    Soldiers everywhere don't eat the same thing because some of the soldiers are not used to certain foods and may not like it. Another reason is because they try to make the foods very close to their homelands and what they are used to. This is proven in paragraph 8 when it states "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."

  • jennab-ric
    5/18/2016 - 10:09 a.m.

    Soldiers everywhere don't eat the same thing because they get to pick with packages of food they wan. Some soldiers may want different things then another soldier. in Paragraph 2 it talks about how some soldiers may want different already made meals. some people may want or be hungry for different foods or they may like different foods.

  • jaredb-ric
    5/18/2016 - 10:14 a.m.

    Soldiers around the world don't eat the same things because some people around the world are used to different foods. Like some people are used to eating things that they usually eat and aren't really expecting to eat something new that they might not even like and starve. In the article it says that "Most countries try to offer their soldiers something that resembles their homeland's cuisine". That means that they give them food that their country usually eats.

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