Military Looking for Volunteers to Eat Only MREs for 3 Weeks
Can you survive for 21 days on nothing but MREs, black coffee and water? If so, Uncle Sam wants you!
The Army is hoping to improve their MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat, to give better nutrition to soldiers in the field. The Army is looking for volunteers who are willing to live on nothing but their MRE food for three entire weeks. They will the study the effects of the food on the body.
Researchers are looking into three things during this three week study:
1. Gut Health- researchers want to know how the MREs effect the bacteria in soldier's digestive system. During the research, they will attempt to find a base level of bacteria in the digestive system, and try to determine how MREs can help soldier's overall "gut health."
2. Nutrient Addition- the Army want to figure out what nutrients need to be added, or removed, from MREs to better benefit the soldiers.
3. Reaping the Rewards- soldiers may not notice the differences in the MREs, but they could help their bodies fight illness, and even help them in extreme situations. Nutrient differences could keep them from food borne illnesses and more.
Participants sadly have to live within driving distance to ARIEM's Natick, Massachusetts location and be willing to stick to a strict MRE, water and coffee only diet for three solid weeks. This includes no alcohol (this is where I drop out). The study will also include multiple blood draws along with other medical scans and is a full 6 week commitment.
There will be about 60 participants, and while half will be asked to stick to the strict MRE diet, the other half will maintain their regular eating habits for that 3 week period. They will participate in the blood tests and medical exams. All will be paid $200 at the end of the study.
One of the researchers acknowledged that sticking to the strict diet can be difficult for some. So they will be giving recipes that can be used with the MRE diet. Study participants will be able to create "Canteen Irish Cream Lattes," "Bunker Hill Burritos," "Fort Bliss-ful Pudding Cake" and more. Fort Bliss people, let me know how that pudding cake is!
You can learn more about the study through the Army Times. You can also check out our late and great Scott Ronson eating an MRE from 1993. Or at least it expired then.