Ration Reviewer or Critic??

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Ration Reviewer or Critic??

Post by gundog4314 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:57 pm

Here's an interesting topic I have been asked at least several thousand times is what is the best and worst ration I've ever had and why don't I have a rating system.

The reason I don't use ratings is everyone's palate is different from everyone elses. I'd hate to bias someone from buying something they actually would enjoy based on a review of mine saying how bad it sucked. Yes, there are some rations I care for less than others but every ration has it's pros and cons for someone. For example the last vegetarian ration I had was full of chocolate stuff. If you are not a chocolate fan you probably wouldn't like it, but if you were...you hit the jackpot! All that being said a review is purely subjective based off your perceptions and observations.

Also a thing to consider is not every country has a giant budget for feeding their troops. Most countries these days farm out their rations to manufactures around the globe that can provide quality for a sound price. Which is why it is pretty rare to see countries produce their own organic rations. So based on this how would you rate it fairly? I would concede the point if everyone had the same budget and one country fed them steak and another fed theirs grass.

Don't get me wrong I think you could do reviews based on ratings and get quite a following based on the critic approach, I mean Alduin got 30k subs for his style.

Personally, I never watch movie critics either as some movies they hate I happen to love, but maybe that is the obstinate bad boy in me HAHA! I'm interested in what you all have to say and your feedback

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Re: Ration Reviewer or Critic??

Post by Delicious » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:46 pm

I agree with you. Similar thing (or maybe even more complicated) is with restaurant reviews which I have on my blog (but I mean such reviews in general).
First thing is how it suits to your taste/palate - if somebody hates liver - the Eastern European ration will have often a bad surprise. When you are in a restaurant at least you don't order fried livers... With a restaurant it is still easier, because you have some independent criteria to judge (if it was clean, if the dish was warm, or maybe something was just spoiled, price/quality ratio)

Another issue is the regional taste - look at the mediterrain breakfast (French,Italian) - usually biscuits (instead of croissant), some jam, coffee (black !). My Russian friend was very disappointed with such meal - because he usually eats bread with meat, sausage, scrambled eggs or cheese etc.
You have to be aware of it.

Finally - the video ratings. Most of my vids have some "thumbs down" - not so much, but still. People vote for different reasons- mostly driven by emotions. In my review of Polish ration I have burnt a bit the can with bigos - somebody was reeeeally dissapointed ("how you could do this????") and I think I got this thumb down. Sometimes it is enough not to be enthusiastic for people which have nationalistic approach - my Turkish entree shows this (this meal was as plain and blant as you can only imagine...)
I haven't switched off this feature - it doesn't matter, but I;m still a niche publisher -no so many commenters and viewers.
Have access to: Polish, Russian, French, UK, US, sometimes other.
Interested in:Swedish/Finnish, Chinese, Korean, New Zealand , Hungarian, HDR
Ration reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo9H0e ... u9BsrZzK5g

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Re: Ration Reviewer or Critic??

Post by Asger » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:55 pm

I can't say I am a reviewer I'm more like presenter of the ration and a just a little critic, like when I criticise why Sweden don't want to give me a coffee whitener. When I watch someones review I want to see the ration and if it's somebody from the forum I like to see his opinion when tasting the food and drinks, in the same time check what leaked in it because of wrong packaging or did it survived best before date year or two after. My English isn't that well to get into the details and to be honest details I would keep for the wine drinkers not this. If someone feels that polish bigos taste like a kobe beef with touch of nuts mixed with orange that comes with light fresh mountain air in the summer morning, well... as you said it's just his opinion man, to me or you it can taste like prison food in Honduras.

I never hide that my favorite channel is yours (Gundog's, if someone reply before me lol). You seem to be very positive on every video and that's nice to feel while watching. You show everything, you also bring some emotions in the review when see something interesting or when you like something. Great presentation, clear and short explanations, clean and short taste decription and all that: that everyone can understand.

Since I'm already little offtopic: to me your greatest minus is something that most people don't even notice and that's when you compare something with American food and drinks. Like this chocolate reminds me of (I don't know, like) Joeys Pingpong drink pack. Imagine you watch me and I compare some cookie with Kraš Napolitanke. I know most of your viewers are English speaking countries, but nonetheless it's not fair to the rest of us :P
gundog4314 wrote:Also a thing to consider is not every country has a giant budget for feeding their troops. Most countries these days farm out their rations to manufactures around the globe that can provide quality for a sound price. Which is why it is pretty rare to see countries produce their own organic rations. So based on this how would you rate it fairly? I would concede the point if everyone had the same budget and one country fed them steak and another fed theirs grass.
With this I don't agree. To compare military budget for the rations is a little too much, this can be very clear when you divide I like this and hate that without mentioning "but they have like 100 times less budget so.."

You rate it as you see it like a guy that needs to eat it. If you don't like the amount, lack of something, food tasting like dog food why would their budget be something that gives them better rating... Imagine in postapocalypse you have that fake North Korean MRE and you say to hell with it I will smoke that half of cig and when you light it you think man I stopped smoking years ago and now I have only half of one cigarette but it's fine because NK Army didn't have a big budget, so thanks Kim Jong :mrgreen:

As for thumbs down that stuff happens. Gundog had BEST explanation why his ratings where unpublished and I have that somewhere in our chat.

But the one I just knew it will happen is with Russian and Ukrainian rations so most thumbs down for Russian rations comes from the Ukraine, most thumbs down for the Ukrainian ration comes from Russia :mrgreen: also we have some haters on Croatian rations, same as you all that reviewed one. And for some reason UN rations have thumbs down I presume because people in America think United Nations will make some kind of invasion and occupy their country...

sorry for this long text it would be shorter if I was English or something like that
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Re: Ration Reviewer or Critic??

Post by Synthpeter » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:04 pm

A score-system for reviews.. I considered it, but I quickly realized there's no way I'll be able to keep it consistent unless I can compare everything side by side simultaneously :) Also, what might be a 5 out of 5 could very well be kicked down to a 4 out of 5 once I discover something new. It's very hard to make an absolute grading scale before you know the "extremes", which you don't until you've had them all, and then it's too late :mrgreen:
I just settle for using words, like Acceptable, OK, Nice, Delicious, Fantastic, etc... While that is a sort of a scale, it feels more loosely defined than actual digits on a 1 to 5 (or whatever) scale.

Maybe we review rations different ways depending on what we ourselves expect to get out of it.
Personally I want to see what everything tastes like and I try to convey the taste to the viewers. I of course will say "I love this!" if I love it, but I will also try to describe the flavor in an objective way so that it might be possible to imagine what it is I am tasting. Just saying "I like this, I don't like that" won't help anybody else, in the same way that just saying "This tastes like X and that tastes like Y" doesn't say if it's good or bad. Of course again it's a personal opinion, but we can all agree on that a well-seasoned meal made by a skilled chef tastes better than one made by an incompetent amateur, even if they both "taste like beef" for example. So I think a little bit of both objective description and personal impression is a natural way to describe things.

I don't care much for thumbs up or down (yet). I guess if I'd get consistently an overwhelming amount of thumbs down on my reviews I'd go back to doing music and electronics videos. Oh, and I'm sure I've lost some of my old subscribers because I stopped doing music and electronics :mrgreen: Think I better do some of those too, but then I'll lose ration viewers.. oh.. who cares, it's my channel, I'll show what I want :)

Getting thumbs down based on politics is stupid but expected. I'm sure I'll get some thumbs down for reviewing a ration from "the wrong country" in some people's opinion, but I don't care. It could be a "risk" using military photos and symbols when doing reviews. I've been thinking about this a lot before I decided how to present my reviews. While I don't care if others use military symbols/photos (as long as they're not ridiculously patriotic or hateful), I myself try to be neutral, "demilitarized" and respectful in my own reviews and not put any political weight in them. If that isn't good enough for some people, they're the ones having problems, not me.

But to answer "reviewer or critic?": I'd say a little bit of both. I wanna taste them all and share my experience.

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Re: Ration Reviewer or Critic??

Post by gundog4314 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:47 pm

Thanks for the responses, I always like to see views from other perspectives as I feel it helps to make things better for reviews, which is a great reason to be here. Whether it's information on editing software, lighting or simple presentation you can get honest feedback.

One thing that was mentioned twice was likes/dislikes....I never ever saw the point of them. I mean, youtube started with a Star Rating system, then went to a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down system and yes I understand it counts towards engagement but so do comments, shares and the like. I only just recently enabled them again cause I got so tired of explaining why I don't use them...sigh. The main youtube algorithm is based on "minutes watched".

Essentially, the longer a channel/creator can keep a person locked on youtube, watching youtube advertising and clicking on youtube product links....well, makes youtbe more money. (Now I'm off topic Asger LOL) But this is important for a creator to know. If you look at your channel and see the "Average minutes watched" and it says 4 minutes and your vids are 30 minutes....what does that tell you. Either people watch your vids in multiple spurts of a few minutes here or there or they are clicking off after 4 minutes to watch something else. From attending one of the youtube workshops I can say if your AMW time is over 7 minutes you are in good company of some of the superstar youtube channels.

If you are interested in learning more in detail there is a channel Derral Eves that does a good job explaining this. He does offer some bad advice from time to time like contacting all your subscribers to say "thank you" which got a few channels banned for spamming LOL! Talk about being a pissed off channel creator!

Here's a link for Derrals channel if you are interested, whether you subscribe or not is up to you, I primarily use this as a resource page and Steve1989 could do a great superchat sometime..now that would be AWESOME!


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Re: Ration Reviewer or Critic??

Post by hannonmc » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:56 pm

Interesting topic. BTW, gundog, love your videos!

I watch these videos to see what these other rations look like. I am fully aware that one person's likes will definitely not mirror mine.

Keep up the good work and I look forward to more videos from all of you.

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Re: Ration Reviewer or Critic??

Post by gundog4314 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:05 pm

Thanks! That's exactly why I got into this hobby too. Wish I had a larger budget to explore more but this has led me to some outstanding business opportunities not to mention the friendships and camaraderie within the community. Virtually drama free which is exceedingly rare.

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Re: Ration Reviewer or Critic??

Post by Biobrew » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:23 pm

I agree with the general sentiment on this thread - reviewing is much more valuable than rating or critiquing for a variety of reasons. I may react negatively or positively to a ration or ration component, but I try to put it into the perspective of either freshness or my preferred tastes. I think a straight review that shows contents and gives the viewer an idea of taste, freshness and aesthetics provides more valuable information than a rating, or noting that a ration or a component is good or bad.

This has me wondering - do any of you think that Natick, or the military inn general pay much attention to this site? I know they do their own studies to determine the menu compositions, but given the vast number of reviews on here now, you would think this site would provide a lot of useful information on the quality and more importantly the stability (shelf life) of the rations we try.

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Re: Ration Reviewer or Critic??

Post by alohakid » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:11 pm

Great topic with equally great responses... enjoy all the reviews I've watched... the best reviewer is The Boss with her assistant Kiwi Dude. :lol:


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Re: Ration Reviewer or Critic??

Post by RockyRaab » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:33 am

Allow me to answer this as a viewer, not a presenter. (I've done some text and photo reviews here. but never a video.)

I watch youtube videos of rations because I enjoy eating rations, and I want to know in advance what one is like. I'm more interested in the contents, menu choice, and general quality than in what one other person thinks of the taste. As Gundog says, that's completely subjective anyway. Besides, I like EVERYTHING, so unless it is spoiled or otherwise ruined, I'm going to enjoy eating it.

I watch every vid from end to end; I make comments based on suggestions I might think of; I almost never criticize; and I have never given a thumbs up or down.

My one general observation is that I'd like to see more rations reviewed as soldiers might actually eat them. That means outdoors, with gear a soldier might carry, and no luxuries like trays or hot water - unless it's heated in the field. (Making hot water is one of the most difficult and time-consuming things for a soldier to do in actual field conditions.)

The one thing we ALL agree on is this: the Boss is simply the best.
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