Meals (Really) Ready to Eat?

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The U.S. Army holds a taste test for new and improved Meals Ready to Eat, the pre-packaged and much-disparaged fodder for hungry soldiers — and others — in far-flung spots around the globe.

JOHN YDSTIE, host:

The U.S. Army had a taste testing this week at the Pentagon, looking to improve the cuisine for soldiers in the field. Staffers and new recruits sampled some innovative fare that will be rolled out in 2008. The soldier's staple, MREs, or meals ready to eat, have become more sophisticated over the years. But they still have a pretty bad rap in the military. Gerald Darsch from the Department of Defense told the New York Times that basically MREs stood for meals rejected by everybody. The latest menu offerings include chicken and dumplings, mango peach applesauce and chicken pesto pasta. Does that come with Chianti? The Army supplies its fighters with HOOAH! energy bars and Wrigley's Stay Alert gum. There's a cup of coffee's worth of caffeine in every stick. Hey, can I get some of that?

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