After a number of recommendations from other mreinfo.com visitors, I picked up a copy of January 2005's Maxim Magazine to check out their article on MREs from around the world.
For those of you who haven't seen it, it's on page 98 and is a two-page spread. They have pictures of a French RCIR on the left page - all the pieces opened and displayed - and a US MRE on the right page with all the parts opened and displayed. At the bottom of the page, they have pictures of the outside boxes of a German Einmannpackung, a Norweigian ration, a Canadian IMP, and a British 24-Hour ration pack.
For each of the French and US ration parts, they have short comments. For the other rations at the bottom of the screen, they just have a short summary it. I suppose the comments on the French and US ration parts are suppose to be funny and stereotypical. For example, every comment about the RCIRs are complementary...but in a backhanded manner. For example, the apricot energy bar is described as "excellent for eating while running away" and the crackers as "perfect for refreshing the palate during a wine-tasting battle".
But lest you think the article was pro-US article, check out the comments about the US MRE:
The spoon - "The color of this spoon camouflages perfectly the shit you're eating"
Beef w/ Mushrooms - "looks like vomit so you don't have to wait!"
What's funny is that they described the IMP spoon as a "prize inside" that actually reaches the bottom of the bag - and the IMP spoon and MRE spoons are very similar.
Most of the other ration packs (with the exception of the British ration pack) got glowing reviews and it should come as no surprise that they picked the RCIR as the winner. I won't argue the point with them - it's a personal thing which rations you prefer and I understand that the article was mostly tongue-in-cheek anyway. But the whole tone still came off as "all other rations are great and the US MREs are shit".
I just think the MREs deserve a better break than that. A lot of people put a lot of work into improving those things - we've gone from "Ham and Lima Beans" and "Turkey Loaf" to "Cheese Tortellini" and "Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce".
MRE and other ration news
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