Tuesday, January 24, 2017

more homemade MRE's 1 of 2


I believe I’ve covered homemade MRE’s at least two if not three times before, but I’m also sure it was several years ago since the last time.  This constitutes an almost impossible to ignore requirement that I beat on this dead horse just a little bit more.  Of course, I don’t just write the same darn article with different words.  New prices, new techniques, new ingredients.  Hey, never a dull moment here at the Bison Headquarters.  I don’t want to be like American Survival Guide including both a severe weather survival article AND an overpriced super ninja semi-auto plastic carbine in every issue ( this was the old school magazine, barely making it past Y2K before going under.  The periodical has revived itself, but at $8 or $10 an issue at the newsstand, I for one refuse to see if it is worth my time or money.  I understand paper isn’t cheap anymore-witness how much a simple daily newspaper is going for [ although, hint, bribe your congress critters to legalize hemp-undoing what your syphilitic anal pirate Hearst &Co. did in the first place-and you might find raw material closer and cheaper than bark beetle damaged pine or Canadian boreal virgin wood ]- but when most of your cover price is going to the distributor who has huge waste to factor in with cost, I don’t think I should subsidize those kinds of practices ).


No, if you tune in to the flagship of my vast publishing empire, you get New And Exciting every single weekday ( well, okay, as new and exciting as I can possibly make it ).  Prior to this I’ve regaled you with wild adventures down your supermarket isle in search for cheap calories and protein in the vain search for that elusive replacement for everyone’s number one military taste treat, the Meal Rejected by Ethiopians.  Now, I have no problem with MRE’s.  I ate C-rations in Basic, leftovers from one or two decades previous.  Just as our training rifles were M-16A1’s, relicts from a bygone conflict, so were our rations.  The Army was of course in a huge hurry to put us in the newest and by no means improved field uniforms, but everything else was old, from the Jeep’s ( not your Yuppie Scum Grandparents civilian Jeep, now partially owned by the I-Talians, but the original Willies ) to the sidearms. 


Those MRE’s that came out just when everything else was being replaced ( not necessarily from need but from the huge Reagan military budget increases )?  They tasted just like the C-Rats.  Both of which were just marginally better tasting than if you opened up a can of beef hash and ate it cold.  MRE’s aren’t really bad for what they were meant for.  A days worth of calories ( okay, you might need two or three if you were really burning energy digging foxholes and directing drones to wedding parties-but one would do in a pinch ) which was compact as it was mostly fat and animal protein.  The taste isn’t even really an issue.  Out in the cold, camping with an attitude as it were, they were fine.  The problem came from eating them, and little to nothing else.  They bind you up pretty darn good.  In fact, if you are worried you’ll soil yourself in the stress of combat, I would wager that eating MRE’s should put your mind at rest.  My first prolonged ingestion of MRE’s led to a weeks constipation.  And of course, this being how the Fates plan such things, when I finally was able to relieve myself, WAYYY out in the boonies off road/off grid, wouldn’t you know it but the only vehicle seen that night/week shows up as I’m hovering over my cat hole, causing me to finish prematurely and leading to further days of agony and discomfort ( the vehicle was far away, but you try gauging distance peering over brush and being preoccupied answering the call of nature ).


All this of course was thirty plus odd years ago.  I have no idea how the military rations have changed.  If there is more variety and an improved taste, I would be surprised.  The military has been a bellwether on many issues.  They were one of the first to integrate the races ( in my view, not very successfully-it is about different cultures, not different colors ) and one of the first institutions to go Politically Correct.  They were ahead of many in instituting the Office Politics you see from your cubicle.  They are also leading the country in changing all things for the worse rather than for the better.  I think it is safe to imagine that even without having Hands On any of their new gear/equipment, I can safely say nothing has improved except by accident ( certainly not be design ).  But, again, taste isn’t really a huge issue.  If you can choke it down, mission accomplished.  No, my problem is mostly about the cost.


$7 for one MRE?  Are you joking?  Does it even have 1500 calories?  I understand a lot of Me Too Mini-Me quick buck artist companies sold ( or are still selling ) MRE copies that only had a pathetic 800 calories or so.  Just to cover metabolic functions and have enough energy to NOT cannibalize your body, you need 1500 minimum.  And I’m sure that those calorie deficient units sold for pretty much the same cost as better designed ones.  I think at Y2K you were paying $4-$5 an MRE, if memory serves.  But today they are $7.  Not as bad as some food inflation ( wheat kernels more than doubled ), but still too steep to indulge in bulk buying.  I don’t even know if I could stomach the cost for a single case of a dozen.  That is some expensive food ( freeze dried is even worse ).  They are great for bugging out and when under light/smoke discipline, granted.  But you should be able to feed yourself much better, much cheaper. 


I’ll be the first to admit my previous ideas sort of sucked.  Too much refined carbs, little fat and no animal protein.  Mostly it was peanut butter and Top Ramen packages.  The price was right, but the food was inferior.  I think we can do better this time.  More tomorrow.


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