Opinion: It’s not ready-to-eat. You have to open, mix, and heat it

The following is an opinion piece by the Specialist with a juris doctorate degree in your Basic Training platoon.

The Meal: Ready-to-Eat military ration is one of the greatest myths perpetrated on our nation’s armed forces. Despite its name, the meal is anything but prepared for human consumption.

First, you have to open the box the foodstuffs come in, choose one of the menu options, trade it with someone else for a better one, and then cut open the plastic bag everything is contained in. This already proves that the meal is not ready-to-eat, but the Department of Defense adds insult to injury.

You must then open the main entree’s box within the bag, then open the heater, then insert the meal into the heater, add water, lean it on a rock or something, wait for 10 minutes while it cooks, and then you must still open the meal’s pouch, burn your tongue, and blow on the food to cool it down.

Ready to eat? My ass.

This doesn’t even factor in the steps and time necessary to add your jalapeño cheese spread or any other condiments. Is the milk shake ready to eat, or is it exempt because you don’t eat it, you gag on it? Can you eat the creamer right away, or are you expected to mix it with the suppository of coffee-flavored ashes?

But while we’re on the subject: is the whole experience really even a meal, or just a random assortment of snack foods? Do you really even eat it, or simply ingest it as fast as you can for basic survival purposes?

I demand that the name be removed, and I suggest that we now call it Calories: Some Assembly Required (CSAR)

Your move, Pentagon.