Murphy's Law: Brits Fret Over Starving Troops


July 4, 2008: British troops in Afghanistan are having a problem keeping their weight up. It's not that they don't get enough to eat, it's just that the field rations (Multi Climate Rations, or MCR) are often not appetizing. The troops eat enough to satisfy their hunger, but not enough to keep the weight on. Soldiers and marines burn about 4,000 calories a day in Winter, and about ten percent less in warm weather.  But a six month tour in Afghanistan will often result in troops losing twenty pounds or more.

To solve the problem, the British military is upgrading the MCR to contain more appealing items. To find out what items were more likely to be eaten, the army conducted surveys. The result is that the chocolate bar is out and energy bars are in. Biscuits are being replaced with pasta pouches that can be eaten hot or cold (the latter is important in the hot Afghan Summers.) Along those lines, the baked bean breakfast has been replaced with muesli (uncooked rolled oats, fruit and nuts), another item that can be eaten cold. Fruit puree and fruit cocktail has replaced the hot custard deserts. In general, there's less coffee, tea and chocolate drinks, and more energy drinks. The army has also been distributing snack packs, containing energy bars, pretzels, powdered drink mix and a pasta pouch.

The army is also testing twenty new MCR main items, based on surveys. These will be tested next year.


Article Archive

Murphy's Law: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close