Sunday, July 30, 2006

MMmmm Soldier Eats

I don't know that many people who are interested in an article that talks about the difference between American and Canadian military meal rations. But I've had my share of IMPs (Individual Meal Packets) and know how gross they are.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - When the going gets tough, the tough trade rations. After weeks in the field, Canadian combat and support troops become sick to death of their packaged rations.

The "rats," as they are known, come in brown paper sacks packed with tear-open boxes and pouches.

Soldiers eat rations for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

And while the Canadians appreciate their coalition counterparts for their roles in the multi-national force, they are deeply grateful for what comes out of their ration boxes: something other than the same old chow.

"Whoever made that enchilada is a god," says Cpl. Brian Gibson, who prefers the U.S. "meals ready to eat," or MREs, to the Canadian "individual meal packages," or IMPs.

"You don't get as much, but you eat everything in it."
At a British patrol base in Helmand province, Canadian troops set up their encampment on the fringes of the British and other coalition forces for two nights, after the Brits had run short on rations while under fire virtually every day and night for two weeks.

Each evening the Canadians spent at the base, the same British soldier came by with some none-too-hearty U.K. ration packs, hoping to make a trade.

Cpl. Shawn Hofman has little love for the measly British meals, but he felt sorry for the food-deprived paratrooper. "They don't get re-supplied that often. They were freakin' eating scraps," Hofman says.

Hofman traded three Canadian meal packages for one three-meal British package that's supposed to supply all the days' meals but is about the size of one Canadian ration pack.

"Their rations suck," Hofman says.

But it's a country renowned for its cuisine that sends its troops to war with the least-appetizing meals, according to Cpl. Wes Spencer.

"The worst rations are the French rations," Spencer says. "I wouldn't give it to the Taliban — I'm sure there's a law somewhere in the Geneva Convention against slowly poisoning the enemy."

Although IMPs suck, they do create memories. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
On my first cadet exercise, I once spilled my Hungarian Goulash on the shirt I was wearing and I remember the stain form was in the shape of the Blair Witch symbol (which had just come out a couple months prior). The other cadets were pretty spooked about it.

Another memory I had was on Army Cadet Challenge. I was the team's leader and we were given the new IMPs with new meals/menus (Very exciting). For breakfast I got the luck of pulling Cheesomeletet and Salsa. Being a WO, I was the highest ranking, and so last to eat). I opened it up and showed my CO, he called over one of the other Capt's urging him to call an ambulance because we had a lung that needed to get to a hospital.

My favourites were beans and wieners, beef ravioli, and mac and cheese. The rest were nasty. I can't imagine living of them. I thought the food on the exchange in Quebec was bad!

IMPs used to have a shelf life of 10 years, but now according to this website, it's down to three.


Blogger No said...

Do you know what these are called in the States?

MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat).

Wed Aug 09, 09:40:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Spitfire said...

yeah I read that in the article! Gotta love the life of acronyms! :D

Wed Aug 09, 09:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger No said...

woops..if I would've actually read the entire post and article, I see the MRE's were mentioned.

Wed Aug 09, 09:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger No said...

Man, you must have esp..(or I do)...We're posting at the same time...Do you have statcounter too?

Wed Aug 09, 09:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Spitfire said...

lol :-) you are forgiven ;)

Wed Aug 09, 09:43:00 PM EDT  
Blogger No said...

Oh, thank the Lord..

Wed Aug 09, 09:45:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check this out. A guy in Ottawa last year ate Canadian rations for a month and kept a blog about it.

Wed Sep 06, 03:25:00 PM EDT  

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