How do we keep the best fighting force in the world, the best fed fighting force in the world? You might think that our troops in Iraq are suffering through Arab dishes they don't recognize, but actually, what they're eating is the product of a lot of research and development over the years.
They're called MRE's. Picture this: you cook a meal, store it in a warehouse, drop it out of an airplane, drag it through the desert, and eat it three years later that's an MRE (Meals Ready to Eat).
"This is a Jamaican style pork chop and actually has a jerky taste to it," says one troop.
"The soldier that moves constantly and loses a lot of calories, it basically replenishes their calories and gets them back to complete the mission," says Shawn Richardson, 643rd Area Support Group.
Texas A&M is one of five food science and technology departments in the country comissioned by the Army now to try to improve the quality and nutrition of MRE's. So, how many meals are we talking about?
So far, nearly 50 million, and the Army says, if laid side by side, that's enough to criss cross America three times. Other sites comissioned by the military to improve MRE's are: Ohio State University, Washington State University, Illinios Institute of Technology, and Rutgers University.