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Author Topic: The Gum in MRE's
resELution
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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My husband who was in the Marines said that MRE meals are ment to stop people up. So why would an MRE include laxitive gum?

Even if MRE packagers wanted to include a laxative, gum is not for everyone so who's to say everyone would chew it?

I'll ask the SO if he's heard the laxative gum thing.

ETA: He did not hear of it, but said that he and practically everybody ate the gum, and that he and practically everybody would still get stopped up for a week.

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CannonFodder Global Trotter
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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It's a long standing rumor that the gum in MREs is a laxative. I can only tell you from many personal experiences that this doesn't seem to be the case.

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"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

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Lokiboss
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Delta-V:
Having eaten many an MRE, and chewed many a square of MRE gum, I can say it had no adverse effect on me. And I never chew gum anywhere but in the field. (I don't know why, but I crave gum out there, and don't anywhere else)

Besides, do you think the military would put anything into an MRE that could potentially cause diarrhea? That's about the worst thing you could have out in the field or in combat conditions.

From personel experence I agree.
Which is just as good becouse have you ever seen how little toliet paper comes with an MRE

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HollowMan
Deck the Malls


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I was in the Marines, and I consistently heard this rumor. Unforutnately, because of this rumor, I tried my best to avoid the gum, and therefore I cannot comment on whether or not it's a laxative or not.

On the point about MREs stopping you up, It was always supposed to be the chocolate covered granola "dessert bars" that did that.

However, If my mind isn't completely going on me, it did seem that we, or at least I, had to go see about horses less than usual out in the field. This could be due to other factors though, like the amount of MRE absorbed by the body as compared to regular food, the fact that the volume of food we were eating was less than normal, and psycological reasons.

--------------------
Heisenberg may have slept here.

I got an idea... an idea so smart my head would explode if I even began to know what I was talking about.

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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For the longest time the gum was officially, "Chicklets" in regular Chicklets boxes, the same as I used to get and hand out on Halloween.

And they don't make you poop at all.

They are included for two reasons - to give the soldier something to do with extra nervous energy, and to "brush" the teeth per the popular commercial for Trident.

And every so often it comes in handy to fix things...

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Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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Jon Up North
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Delta-V wrote"

quote:

Besides, do you think the military would put anything into an MRE that could potentially cause diarrhea? That's about the worst thing you could have out in the field or in combat conditions

Exactly! These things are used in the field of combat. A place where no sane government would want their troops to have any sort of gastrointestinal problems when the shooting could start any minute. On the contrary I think there is a fine argument that the blandness of military food is deliberate so as to prevent people who were raised on different stuff from having to experience discomfort.

I generally think there are a lot of things in combat which could cause a guy to $#!~ themselves. But the gum ain't one.

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We're not insured for pickles.

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Looking for Mister Goodbar
Billy, Don't Be a Hero Sandwich


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I don't recall my daughter ever complaining about the MRE's but, then again, she eats just about anything, bless her heart.

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Ah, the beauty of the rose and the sensation of the chocolate. Combine for joy.

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buffyvol
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I've never had an MRE, are they basically the same as C-rations? My sister and I used to think they were a treat when my Dad would bring them home. We used to fight over the bag with the Chicklets, toilet paper and chocolate candy. Funny thing, my Dad used to call them, the round chocolate coated candy thing, "shit Discs". I always thought that he called them that to make us giggle. I wonder if that is an old rumor.
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Joe Bentley
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
I've never had an MRE, are they basically the same as C-rations?
MREs replaced C-Rations in 1980. The main difference is that C-Rations are canned, while MREs are sealed in airtight plastic bags, making the much lighter and more compact, plus easier to open in the field. MREs also have a greater variety of food, with 24 different entrees. Additionally to keep up with more diversity in the ranks all MREs are suitable for all major religions, and 4 vegitarian variants have been introduced.

MREs are also available with a water activated heating pack, that removes the need to heat or boil water and the inherent safety and tactical issues with starting a fire or stove in the field.

Both contain a main entree, a side dish, a dessert, a drink powder mix, crackers and spread, gum, candies, and utensials. Both are approximatly 1200 calories a piece.

A standard C-Ration (The cigarettes were phased out in 1975)
 -

A typical MRE

 -

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"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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I remember reading that an MRE was about 3,000 calories, if you consumed all of it. I can't find my copy of the book where I read it (Tom Clancy's non-fiction "Armored Cav" - profiling a US Army Armored Cavalry Division, its weapons, etc.) With being issued 3 or even 4 MREs per day, that's a lot of food - reasonable for an active soldier - but still lots for a normal person.

Then again, if it's all you've had to eat for days...

--------------------
"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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Gunpilot
I Saw Three Shipments


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3,000 calories, to me, sounds a little, well, hard to swallow (rimshot). And although Tom Clancy does state that in his "Armored Cav", I think he may be only repeating something he's heard soldiers say. While he's usually pretty accurate, don't take him as gospel.

According to the Defense Logistics Agency , each MRE contains about 1,250 calories. Although they may have "shrunk" in caloric size some since 1994 (when Clancy wrote his book), I don't think they've shrunk that much.

Gun"take with a 3,000 calorie grain of salt"pilot

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CannonFodder Global Trotter
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Up North:
Exactly! These things are used in the field of combat. A place where no sane government would want their troops to have any sort of gastrointestinal problems when the shooting could start any minute.

I generally think there are a lot of things in combat which could cause a guy to $#!~ themselves. But the gum ain't one.

Once the bullets start flying or the IEDs detonate everyone has a brief gastro-intestinal problem. Trust me when I say that such occurrences are under reported.

--------------------
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

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Joe Bentley
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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MREs, while not freeze dried or dehydrated, do have a very low moisture content to reduce weight and improve shelf life. For someone who doesn't drink enough water and who's body is used to getting a larger percentage of its water intake from moisture in their food I can see where suddenly eating only MREs for a little while could definetly take a few days to get used to.

--------------------
"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

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buffyvol
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Thanks Joe Bentley. Those are the ones I was talking about. I don't remeber the cigs though, Daddy may have nicked them before my sis and I got hold of them. You know you can get C Rations on Ebay? I guess they are collectable now.
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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Hero_Mike:
I remember reading that an MRE was about 3,000 calories, if you consumed all of it. I can't find my copy of the book where I read it (Tom Clancy's non-fiction "Armored Cav" - profiling a US Army Armored Cavalry Division, its weapons, etc.)

First my nitpick: Clancy profiled the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (there are no "armored cavalry divisions, just the 1st Cavalry Division, but they're not real Cav).

Back on the calorie issue: I have heard that originally the idea was for MRE's to have 2,000-3,000 calories each on the principle of only needing to eat one a day. However, since eating only one a day may give you the calories but you would still be hungry (and eat another MRE if available), the calory content was dropped down.

New First Strike Rations do contain about 3,000/pouch and only one is supposed to be eaten a day. hmmm and the gum they include is caffeinated.


Humanitarian Daily Rations (HDRs) contain around 2,200 calories each, but are used only in relief efforts and not issued to military troops.

pinqy

--------------------
Don't Forget!
Winter Solstice Hanukkah Christmas Kwanzaa & Gurnenthar's Ascendance Are Coming!

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Island Manta
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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ooh - I can tell you cool things to do with that charcoal heat activated pack.

aah...the things my -ex used to do to amuse himself

(put said charcoal from the heating pack in an empty 20oz soda bottle and add water - and let it sit far away from anything it could hurt)

From what I recall about the MRE's the -ex had (and I sampled on occasion if one sounded good) the best dessert was the brownie. I do remember drinking a LOT of water to get it down, tho [lol] )

I kept some in the vehicle in winter along with a few other things in case said trusty mechanical steed broke down. When I cleaned my truck out to sell it, I found THREE of the things behind the back seat. Paranoid? nah.

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"You never know when you will be attacked by a wild tortilla" - José Zavala
"Happiness isn't happiness without a violin playing goat"
Be good and you will be lonesome

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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The brownies are very good.

/speaking from recent experience.

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This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

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Joe Bentley
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Actually I like the pound cake. I actually bought a package of just the pound cake packs to use as part of the "Hurricane/Winter Storm" kit I keep in my cloest.

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"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

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FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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While pregnant with child #1, 16 years ago, my husband was in the field nearly two weeks out of every month. I craved the chocolate covered cookie wafers. He traded any and everything he could for those wafers.

All I can say is MREs have improved vastly from those we had 16 years ago.

He just reminded me of "cooking" the main course part on the engine while they were driving. [Wink]

~Frog-nothing useful to add, just sharing memories-Feathers~

--------------------
"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
Die-Hard Engineers, Big Red One my Dad's website
"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

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CannonFodder Global Trotter
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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The treats are getting better too:

 -

--------------------
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

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Joe Bentley
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Hey now I had to work hard for E-5. I had to get both my name and my social right on the exam sheet [Razz]

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"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by pinqy:
quote:
Originally posted by Hero_Mike:
I remember reading that an MRE was about 3,000 calories, if you consumed all of it. I can't find my copy of the book where I read it (Tom Clancy's non-fiction "Armored Cav" - profiling a US Army Armored Cavalry Division, its weapons, etc.)

First my nitpick: Clancy profiled the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (there are no "armored cavalry divisions, just the 1st Cavalry Division, but they're not real Cav).
I said I couldn't find the book - and still can't - so I knew that my cite wasn't going to be correct. Had I found the book, I would have corrected myself....

--------------------
"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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Senior
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Joe Bentley:
Hey now I had to work hard for E-5. I had to get both my name and my social right on the exam sheet [Razz]

Now we know why you PNA'd the exam the first time.

My favorite rating exam question was on the YN1 exam. "What is the color of the second copy of the NAVPERS Form 1611/1?" Instead of blackening the appropriate circle, I wanted to write "Pink and who gives a damn?"

BTW, NAVPERS 1611/1 is the Officer Fitness Report.

--------------------
Ad astra per asparagus.

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Delta-V
Xboxing Day


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CannonFodder, YOMANK!

I actually liked the old "Oatmeal cookie bar (compressed)". Most of the guys thought they tasted like sawdust, so they were easy to trade for. Come to think of it, they did have the consistency of Medium Density Fiberboard...

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"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

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CannonFodder Global Trotter
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Delta-V:
CannonFodder, YOMANK!

If ya' liked that one check out the whole series:

Downrange

Another one of my long time personal faves:

Private Murphy's Law

--------------------
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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I always thought MREs were like Lunchables as a kid until I watched "Tremors 2" and the ex-military soldier was saying what was in it including a stick of gum, toothbrush and toothpaste, and toilet paper.

--------------------
Joseph Z

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Joe, sorry, but there are no toothbrushes or toothpaste in MREs issued to military. There might be in civilian versions, though.
________________________

And now, for the entertainment of all prior/present/future military members - and all that enjoy a good joke, may I offer The Skippy List. This is a list of 213 things that a guy either did or witnessed in his military career.

Oh, and NSFW if you are unable to stifle full-on belly laughs or if red eyes from tears of laughter might get you in trouble.

This guy is a genius!

--------------------
Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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Delta-V
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by CannonFodder Global Trotter:Another one of my long time personal faves:

Private Murphy's Law [/QB]

That's 2 you owe me now. I especially liked the 'S-2' one, having worked in an S-2 shop myself.

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"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

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RangerDog
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Malruhn, we had a discussion here of the Skippy list quite some time ago! It is brilliant, and makes me laugh my ass off. Thanks because I had forgotten about it.

Ranger "I don't care where you drop the bombs, Sir, just drop them. I'm too hung over to even think about unloading the damn things" Dog

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Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish

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oliviasmommy
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by buffyvol:
Funny thing, my Dad used to call them, the round chocolate coated candy thing, "shit Discs". I always thought that he called them that to make us giggle. I wonder if that is an old rumor.

My dad called them "shit discs" too. He also said the meat was really dog food. I'm not sure about that one.

Cathy

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RubyMoon
Deck the Malls


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Dog food smelles better than C rations
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Senior
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The canned fruit in C Rations was good. I liked to pour the syrup from the fruit over the pound cake. Plus I once successfully patched a hole in a poncho with the peanut butter.

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Ad astra per asparagus.

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Senior
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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There were several inedible entrees in C Rations. The beans and franks were pretty ghastly, and the ham and lima beans (better known as "ham and motherfuckers") didn't qualify as food even in an emergency.
 -

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Ad astra per asparagus.

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Which is why they had so many menus... as I used to LOVE Ham and Motherfuckers. I would trade for them every day. Now, Beef and Boulders (potatos) were nigh unto inedible...

John Wayne Bars were the bestest. I have never heard of "shit discs."

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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Warlok
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Oh, and who can forget goatnuts in gravy! a.k.a. mini-meatballs. One that carried into MREs and never got any better, if not worse!

Loved the MRE ham slice... but seriously, lets talk about the dehydrated pork patty.

War 'choke choke cough' lok

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Inconceivable

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