Civilian Destroyed After Eating MREs For 21 Days

Discussions about US MREs and other US rations
Eddo36
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Civilian Destroyed After Eating MREs For 21 Days

Post by Eddo36 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:00 am

https://taskandpurpose.com/civilian-des ... es-21-days

In January 2016, the Army put out a call for 18 to 62 year-old people to risk the health of their insides by participating in a study to test what 21 days worth of Meals-Ready-to-Eat would do to the human body.

It’s unclear whether or not someone actually answered that call, but the Independent Journal Review decided to stage a similar study of its own. And as a guinea pig, they chose reporter Juan Leon, who had never consumed an MRE in his life.

“I was the lucky volunteer,” Leon wrote.

The rules for the IJ Review challenge were simple: Leon had to agree to eat nothing but MREs for 21 days, and he could only eat two of them per day. Easy, right?

Leon initially thought so, but by week two his confidence began to wane, giving way to something else: extreme physical discomfort.

“By the end of the first week, things started getting rough. Going into the second week I felt bloated all the time,” he wrote.

Of course Leon felt bloated. The sodium-packed meals are designed to last five years in extreme conditions, and each meal is meant to provide an average of 1,250 calories. Even the Defense Department admits they are not meant to be consumed for more than a few days at a time.

And while they’re incredibly nutritious, many of the food items found in MREs, like the bag of dehydrated chili with beans, can wreak unspeakable havoc on a person’s intestines. Any soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine could have warned young Leon that bathroom issues were bound to arise.

In a video documenting the challenge, a visibly uncomfortable Leon appears frequenting the bathroom both at home and at work. One of his colleagues even suggests he smells like dog food.



He wrote, “I would alternate between vicious cycles of spending hours in the bathroom and then not being able to go at all.”

After the three week trial was up, Leon wrote that he was grateful that “this godforsaken challenge” was over, adding: “So having gone through this challenge — eating nothing but MREs for 21 days — do I now know what it’s like to be a soldier? Of course not.”

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Re: Civilian Destroyed After Eating MREs For 21 Days

Post by ViperGTS » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:10 am

Brave soul, ha!

Steve1989 has had MREs/rations everyday for years and all it did was give him big biceps :P
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housil
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Re: Civilian Destroyed After Eating MREs For 21 Days

Post by housil » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:40 am

Ja, we talked about this over here:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5906&

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Salmon19
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Re: Civilian Destroyed After Eating MREs For 21 Days

Post by Salmon19 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:56 am

I'd gladly eat nothing but MREs for 21 days. The payment would probably go toward buying more rations as well. :)

Richard w.
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Re: Civilian Destroyed After Eating MREs For 21 Days

Post by Richard w. » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:08 pm

Having done this, I should say that I think they exaggerated the hardship for comic effect. Sure, menu fatigue sets in because, despite the efforts of the fine folks at Natick, most of the meals are kind of similar.

As far as intestinal issues go, I remember movements getting more seldom, not more frequent, and no discomfort. Yeah, you might start dreaming of a big leafy fresh salad, but it's hardly debilitating

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carlosflar
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Re: Civilian Destroyed After Eating MREs For 21 Days

Post by carlosflar » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:24 pm

The issue here is not the quality of the food or if there are toxins on it or that sort of things, but rather, the issue is a difference between the metabolism and activity of the reporter and the metabolism and activity that the meals and food in the MREs are oriented to...
If the reporter had gone for 21 days with HDR it would have been much different, he would have got tired of getting the same food over and over again, but probably not much more than that, aside of some constipation and maybe some low levels of some vitamins after the 21 days...
The thing with the MREs is they are made for people that are going to be doing more exercise, sweating more, burning through more fat than the average person, this is why it's normal for a daily ration to be 3500 kcal, but a regular person is expected to live with 1000kcal less...
That goes for mineral too... If you are drinking electrolites you don't need you are going to have issues secreting them, the feeling bloated could be easily caused by an unbalance in electrolites causing issues in the kidneys and water buildup in the system...
On a healthy person, more water intake and secretion would solve it, but it's quite posible that since the reporter wasn't doing as much exercise as the troops he wouldnt drink as much and sweat as much... Leading that to a those mineral issues I mentioned...

The problem with this article is that it's a easy to do article and attractive, people will find it interesting and curious, but you shouldn't draw certain conclusions from this article... One conclusion you can take is that MRE's are tested and designed for their use case, if consumed under different conditions, there may be issues that would exacerbate over time...
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housil
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Re: Civilian Destroyed After Eating MREs For 21 Days

Post by housil » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:30 am

carlosflar, I 100% agree

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RockyRaab
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Re: Civilian Destroyed After Eating MREs For 21 Days

Post by RockyRaab » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:49 am

Yup, spot on. MREs are not a sustainable diet, even for soldiers burning massive amounts of calories each day. They are only one step above survival rations - and a small step at that. They are absolutely not appropriate for a millennial couch potato.
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carlosflar
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Re: Civilian Destroyed After Eating MREs For 21 Days

Post by carlosflar » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:19 pm

I had an army document, I probably still have it Somewhere that explained the procedures for feeding the soldiers in the spanish army, and "only rations" was the last resort, they try to get the soldiers at least bags of fresh fruit and bread, it's not only good for their health but also for morale... An army marches on its stomach...
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Eddo36
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Re: Civilian Destroyed After Eating MREs For 21 Days

Post by Eddo36 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:51 am

carlosflar wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:24 pm

The thing with the MREs is they are made for people that are going to be doing more exercise, sweating more, burning through more fat than the average person, this is why it's normal for a daily ration to be 3500 kcal, but a regular person is expected to live with 1000kcal less...
Well it says he was only eating 2 MREs a day, not 3

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