Photo: Beatrice Richardson, Sierra Vista Herald / AP Photo
Perhaps even more crucial to proper U.S. military training than learning how to shoot an M107, is learning how to fuel a body in order to be able to run with an M107. And the typical greasy grub and soda fountains at training camps aren't cutting it -- not to mention the candy bars oft-mistaken as sufficient energy boosters.
So a new system is entering the mess hall, adding more produce, whole grains, yogurt and granola, where sugary cereals and sausage-gravy topped biscuits once ruled the fort. Though these less-healthy standbys are still available, "color-coded labels point the way to healthy items, and drill sergeants stand watch over the chow line, calling out soldiers who don't put enough fruit on their plates" and making sure they hydrate with enough water after stacking their trays with two cups of coffee, reports the Associated Press
MREs -- those infamous "Meals Ready to Eat" packets taken onto the field -- may also see an update. A typical pack now contains an entrée of spaghetti or beef stew; a side of rice or mashed potatoes; crackers; cheese or peanut butter spread; a dessert of cookies or pound cake; candies like Skittles or Tootsie Rolls (a standard since World War II, in fact, for its non-melting qualities); and beverage mixes like Gatorade or coffee. On average, these run 1,250 calories (13% protein, 36% fat, 51% carbohydrates), states MREinfo.com
. So perhaps more pressure-packed whole grains and veggies are in the future?