If you got your hands on a U.S. Army K-ration from 1943, would you peel back the box top, dump out the contents, and chow down on the 74-year-old meal? I wouldn’t. But lucky for us, there’s one YouTuber who does: Prolific YouTuber Steve1989 has uploaded more than 100 videos where he not only reviews and explains vintage MREs throughout history, but also consumes them on video for your viewing pleasure.
The standard Meal, Ready to Eat is far from a delicacy, and even the best options need a hefty dose of hot sauce to create a mixture that even somewhat resembles a meal. But believe it or not, all it takes is a little imagination to transform a standard-issue military meal into a mouthwatering work of culinary art.
Here’s something that may sound odd or disgusting to anyone who’s ever served in the military: Field ration connoisseurship is a real thing. In fact, there’s a whole subculture around collecting meals ready to eat. Like, really — people pay good money for old MREs and then they eat them...because they want to.
Judging by the havoc MREs wreak on service members from beginning to end, you might guess that the military doesn’t give a shit about soldiers’ bowels. And you would be right. That means it falls on your humble Task & Purpose reporter to investigate the long-held myth that the gum in MREs will help you either release the floodgates or stop up the sewage, if you will, depending on what color it is.