No battle was ever won on an empty stomach. According to historians, one Roman legion had to consume 120 sheep a day for their meat ration, crusaders would recharge on dry meat and grain, while Napoleon’s soldiers spent most of their time desperately hungry.

But fast forward to the modern day and we see a whole different story. Neatly packaged and super-compact, military food rations are an easy way to provide that much-needed nutrition. But it turns out, every country has its own take on front-line dining. Thanks to one Youtuber named David Hong, who tried a variety of MREs from different countries, we now know what exactly army troops’ taste buds can expect when they open one. And surprisingly, some look better than my dinner ever has.

More info: Youtube | Twitter | Facebook

#1

Russia

Russia

Apple sauce; Pea stew; Meatball; Bacon in fat; Crackers; Rice with peas and meat; Cheese spread; Carrot and potato substance

Alduin Hearth Report

mph seti
Community Member
3 months ago

"Potato Substance"

View More Replies...
View more comments
#2

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Muesli oats with milk; Sports drink, coffee and tea; Candy; Cranberry cereal bar; Fruit cake; Vegetarian pasta; Oatmeal cookie and hazelnut spread; Tomato pasta salad; Salted nuts

Alduin Hearth Report

JuJu
Community Member
3 months ago

Is that a teeny tiny Tabasco?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#3

Italy

Italy

Breakfast: Biscuits; Chocolate; Jelly; Spoon; Coffee; Sugar; Salt. Lunch: Tortellini; Beef; Fruit salad; Biscuits; Coffee. Supper: Crackers; An entry bar; Tuna; Soup

Alduin Hearth Report

Astrid Nineor
Community Member
3 months ago

Look better than many of the others

View More Replies...
View more comments

Bored Panda reached out to David Hong, a Youtuber behind the series of videos that revealed what’s inside these military food rations. It turns out, David is also an artist in the furry fandom and Warhammer Horus Heresy project, which recently became his main focus.

The thirty-year-old Youtuber started out back in 2011 and his channel was mainly about blogging and gaming. ”I never have thought it would be an MRE Review Channel since I first opened a US MRE ration that I bought from an expat living in my country,” he recounted.

#4

France

France

Terrine forestiere; Crackers; Chocolate, nougat and candy; Muesli, oats and fruits; Instant tomato soup; Braised ham; Crozets et diots

Alduin Hearth Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
3 months ago

I would gladly serve in french army. Especially if you compare it with than Yugoslavian army where I served more than 30 years ago

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

Germany

Germany

Hazelnut pudding; Rindfleischlyoner grob; Pea stew with mettwurstchen; Hackfleischrollchen with rice; Muesli, oats milk and fruits; Roggenschrotbrot; Cranberry cereal bar; Roggenschrotbrot; Dark chocolate; Crackers


Alduin Hearth Report

Marc
Community Member
3 months ago

If you eat too many of the crackers, then you can't go to the toilet for a few days. That's what they're mainly there for. The good thing is, if you smear Bundeswehr shoe polish on the crackers, you can easily light a fire with it, even wet wood. The stuff burns like tinder and glows like coal.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#6

Canada

Canada

Hot chocolate; Orange drink; Coffee; Coffee creamer; Banana flavoured oatmeal cereal; Bread; Sliced apples; Baked beans; Ketchup; Peanut butter; Strawberry jam

Alduin Hearth Report

Mike Crow
Community Member
3 months ago

I’ve had many of these when is was an aside Cadet and in basic training when I joined the Canadian Forces. Some of the entries were better than others but I never got the baked beans.

View More Replies...
View more comments

But it turns out, David isn’t connected to any military himself. “This question comes up due to the fact that MREs can only be had if provided by the army, or bought from a commissary in a base.” He explained that this isn’t the case anymore because military rations are now available publicly. 

It’s hard to say which food ration was David’s fave since “every ration is unique to the taste and culture of their corresponding nation.” Having said that, he loved “the Russian IRP because it offers the most protein of all the MREs I had. The pork fat or sowbelly is probably the oddest choice in it; it tastes like bacon when you mix it with the rice included.”

Other nice treats included meatballs that “feel and taste realer than manufactured ones that are soggy and bland” and crackers that “are great to snack on, dunking it in the sauces of the entrees is heavenly.”

#7

Croatia

Croatia

Biscuits with pepper; Salt crackers; Chocolate; Pineapple; Papaya; Turkey pate; Liver spread; Sardines Beans; Coffee taffy's; Orange drink; Tea; Beef soup

Alduin Hearth Report

ruthenium the ruther
Community Member
3 months ago

best one yet!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#8

U.S.

U.S.

Marble pound cake; Skittles; Grape flavor energy drink; Crackers; Chili; Macaroni

Alduin Hearth Report

Pandasrule
Community Member
3 months ago

oh my gosh they have skittles

Joshua Taylor
Community Member
3 months ago

Problem is they're typically 18 months past the expiration date. A bit hard and powdery but good enough. (Speaking from personal experience - Army vet)

Load More Replies...
BeazleBug
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

This photo does not reflect the full contents. At least 5 items are missing- crackers alternate, "cheese" or peanut butter spread and the now infamous "starbucks in a scrotal sack" disgusting mud drinks, and numerous condiments. And for those that don't know, the green bag on the left is a water activated heater, great for lukewarm meals, but even better for warming cold hands. As for the candy, it is random, but I assure you that for the last few years they have been using mostly sour skittles, which do not hold up well in storage. Oh, and they took away our beloved mini-tabasco and replaced them with what is effectively the mild sauce even Taco Bell won't give away... Got a loved one overseas right now? mail em a bottle each of red and green Tabasco...is worth its weight in gold to deployed troops.

Grace Cho
Community Member
3 months ago

cool!

Load More Replies...
ebony1k124 touch
Community Member
3 months ago

The Cheese Tortellini is one of the best MREs in the inventory. The beef stew is also surprising good.

Geth
Community Member
3 months ago

Is this the least nutritious one? Not surprising.

Joshua Burgess
Community Member
3 months ago

The US MRE is meant for high calorie intake (~1,200 cal.) not nutrition. This is 1 of 24 different meals, which change periodically. Each case (A/B) contains 12 meals/menus. In a pinch, one MRE can be split into 3 meals (skittles count) based on contents. They always contain a main, side, bread or crackers, dessert or snack, a drink pouch, and condiments that include a spread of some sort (cheese or peanut butter), salt/pepper, Tabasco or other "hot" sauce, coffee, a book of matches, and 6-12 individual sheets of toilet paper. Fun fact: bread and pound cakes are full loafs that have been vacuumed down to both save space and provide more food.

Meyer Weinstock
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

yes, I recall the book of matches, and a second (bad) chocolate bar, which was labeled for giveaway to the children that we'd meet in the streets of whatever place we invaded (SE Asia for my generation) with "A gift from the people of the United States" or some such drivel printed on the paper label. -Rev Dr M, retired professor, who knows that just because you burn your draft card, they can still find you (and don't care if you're a minister, a single parent, or the only son) when the draft board wants fresh meat (of ethnic minorities) for the front

Load More Replies...
mph seti
Community Member
3 months ago

Only way to make it truly 'mercan is to deep fry the whole thing. Yes, the Skittles too.

Katie the Anime Ghost
Community Member
3 months ago

Deep fry it all in the grape drink

Load More Replies...
DKS 001
Community Member
3 months ago

US is cheap with everything. MRE's, school lunches, food for those in need ..... "great country" ... cheap AF

blubfisher
Community Member
3 months ago

MREs are designed to be cheap. They are designed to keep your soldiers fed and nourished while they are in the field. From my understanding, There's a tradeoff between offering more and better food and weight which is important in combat. Also, they cause constipation.

Load More Replies...
iblowsheep
Community Member
3 months ago

'Merica!

TS Rhodes
Community Member
3 months ago

The Skittles remind me of how young we send them into combat.

Gina Babe
Community Member
3 months ago

It's so much less than the others

Perfumista Perfumista
Community Member
3 months ago

I think some of these were for the whole day and this is just one meal, otherwise why provide muesli and two pasta dishes.

Load More Replies...
Janet Dawson
Community Member
3 months ago

I love Skittles, but this is nutritionally poor...mostly sugar and starch crap, and a little protein. No fruits or veggies of ANY kind :(

Rhys Cernunnos
Community Member
3 months ago

Do not be fooled... the only thing palatable is the skittles. The crackers will turn your mouth into the Sahara desert.

Felicia Dale
Community Member
3 months ago

Ew...

Kjorn
Community Member
3 months ago

looks bad, like school's lunch

ruthenium the ruther
Community Member
3 months ago

Wow! U.S. sure does pack as much sugar into their meals as possible. I mean: Skittles?

Meyer Weinstock
Community Member
3 months ago

I'd offer that the Canuck meal has more sucrose per ounce that this one does, believe it or not...

Load More Replies...
Befitting Soup
Community Member
3 months ago

Looks like a child's meal. Somehow can't imagine huge buff men eating this.

I love Hermione
Community Member
3 months ago

I like the skittles...and the chili looks good...but compared to the amount of food by the other militaries...

Steve Cruz
Community Member
3 months ago

Looks like the least nutritious of any rations so far.

Hannah Burbridge
Community Member
3 months ago

I can now die happy knowing that the US army has included Skittles in their rations.

Bunzilla
Community Member
3 months ago

Because of course the American one has Skittles

Lulu
Community Member
2 months ago

us U.S. folk gotta eat our artificial flavored candies

Grace Perez-Grafals
Community Member
3 months ago

Best thing there seems to be the skittles. So sad

jamie1707
Community Member
3 months ago

Every other MRE here is much better than what we feed our US troops. Billions and billions go to the military each year and that is what we feed them? Does the general staff eat these? We should be ashamed.

Ted Lively
Community Member
3 months ago

In 1968, freshly arrived in Vietnam I got stuck working as a waiter in the dining hall of the Commanding General of 3rd Marine Division for a week. No, they they don't eat like troop in the field.

Load More Replies...
backatya
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

When did they get Skittles? Notice the USA has the smallest portion of all of them... OK almost all

Abbas Fahmy
Community Member
3 months ago

Junk

Jeanne Dansby
Community Member
3 months ago

Oh shit. We’re in trouble.

ChickyChicky
Community Member
3 months ago

No fruits, vegetables, or fiber. Seems about American.

Mark CM
Community Member
3 months ago

Candy? Gotta keep the soldiers looking like the population they're defending, I guess.

Mina Cede
Community Member
3 months ago

This one looks a little bit... scarce, don't you think?

Richard Wilson
Community Member
3 months ago

Sugar rush/slump? As useful as a headache

htbq
Community Member
3 months ago

i remember these. use to mix coffee creamer and cocoa powder.

Kandi Sofia Dahlan
Community Member
3 months ago

Awww .. I was hoping to see a more luxurious package from the richest Army in the World :-)

CORLEONE
Community Member
3 months ago

hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

𝓴𝓪𝔀𝓪𝓲𝓲_𝓐𝓾𝓭𝓻𝓮𝔂 💖
3 weeks ago

Yum Skittles!

Randy Klefbeck
Community Member
2 months ago

I heard one of the advanced combat members used to combine drink packets with crackers, and water in a bag to make a kind of pineapple upside down cake concoction.

Randy Klefbeck
Community Member
2 months ago

Menu 10.

Hannah Marshall
Community Member
2 months ago

Yes to chili and skittles... But the US's is a helluva lot smaller portion than anyone else's!

starhunter64
Community Member
2 months ago

dat pound cake and skittles look good!!

katboxjanitor
Community Member
3 months ago

Skittles are new since 1995. So is that marble cake. There used to be a "cookie" that looked like 1"x1"x3" block of pressed particle board. It was mildly sweet and as dry as the particle board it looked like. It could stop a system up fast.

Jack Courtney
Community Member
3 months ago

I did not get any Skittles in my MRE, I did get some M&Ms though and my chili was much more like a soup, but that was back in 1985 or 86. Cake and crackers were very dry, needed some peanut butter, butter, or jelly. Was glad that a friend and I both bought Noodles in a Cup with us.

Monika Napierala
Community Member
3 months ago

so many skittles

Dylan Vite
Community Member
3 months ago

America has some catching up to do in terms of size

Cat_Goddess
Community Member
3 months ago

The cake is surprisingly good.

LivLlama
Community Member
3 months ago

SKITTLES! (where do I sign up to be in the US army???)

B Hobbit
Community Member
3 months ago

is that gum the woman is holding?

Stannous Flouride
Community Member
3 months ago

I remember when these were first introduced that troops said MRE stands for "Meals, Rejected by Ethiopians" (this was during that country's terrible famine and civil war)

Ted Lively
Community Member
3 months ago

I've eaten C Rats, Long Rats, and MRE's. In this old Marine's opinion, they should've stuck with the C Rats.

Ann Abdelzaher
Community Member
3 months ago

looks better than the ones they had back in the 90's

WhatEvenIsLife
Community Member
3 months ago

My dad was in the Army and he used to bring home boxes of MREs that we would take on camping trips. Really... interesting.

Michelle Line
Community Member
3 months ago

Share the rainbow!

Tugg Ster
Community Member
3 months ago

Multiple if not ALL of the countries presented had candy and other sweets in their MRE’s

Maureen Peters
Community Member
3 months ago

The Chili Macaroni looks like Chicken Tikka Masala!

music_of_madness
Community Member
3 months ago

Skittles?

Dorothy Hutchison
Community Member
3 months ago

Nasty! Nasty! Nasty

Naomi Cline
Community Member
3 months ago

I used to think it was a treat to have a MRE. Ha! Kids!

okpkpkp
Community Member
3 months ago

When I served in the US Army, (the 1970s) everything came in cans. Most were awful but the beans and hotdogs were ok when you could get it hot. They also included a four-pack of different brands of cigarettes. The cigs were always stale.

Roy Phillips
Community Member
3 months ago

Chili mac, Jack!

Elisabeth Byrne
Community Member
3 months ago

Skittles taste like fruit so close enough lol???😅🙄

Doris Bennett
Community Member
3 months ago

Is that after dinner mints I see?

Curious Cat
Community Member
3 months ago

and a big can of WHOOP A$$

Jane W.
Community Member
3 months ago

Carb City!

Tanya Creighton
Community Member
3 months ago

Chili Mac is actually very good lol

Kayden Yan
Community Member
3 months ago

SKITTLES!!!

Paul Fritz
Community Member
3 months ago

Some of you are lucky..... when I went in we still had C-Rations. MRE's weren't half bad. I got a box of C-Rations one time in Germany that still had the cigarettes in them ( stale ... circa Korean war) LOL

Katie Pugg
Community Member
3 months ago

not as bad as the fruitcake

Jessica Cifelli
Community Member
3 months ago

Is the little white squares gum? Like the kind you get from a quarter candy machine?

Jessica Brand
Community Member
3 months ago

Yeah. Rumor has it that it has a laxative effect for after eating the other parts. I never got bound up eating these. And I've eaten A LOT of them. Beef stew: gross. Chili Mac: yum.

Load More Replies...
Sandralee Wagner
Community Member
3 months ago

Ate many MRE's in the Army and I loved them especially the deserts.

MRK
Community Member
3 months ago

Where's the food? This doesn't seem enough for someone marching all day or even riding. Hopefully they can double up.

fancy yet idiotic alien
Community Member
3 months ago

My mom retired from the army and my dad is still in the army, and they have these at the grocery store that is on base

Haniza Rahmat
Community Member
3 months ago

skittles? in food ration..wow

Katie the Anime Ghost
Community Member
3 months ago

What is the white squares? Gum?

Laura Rudgers
Community Member
3 months ago

yes

Load More Replies...
Layla Corman
Community Member
3 months ago

That's maccroni?!?!?

Laura Rudgers
Community Member
3 months ago

chili macaroni - American specialty and pretty darn good homemade. an Army vet said they are yummy, so....

Load More Replies...
Kat Bef
Community Member
3 months ago

And some chewing gum.

Alex Boyd
Community Member
3 months ago

I bought some of these surplus...never got the skittles, but I've come across Pop-Tarts several times, and Tootsie rolls once or twice. There's also an oatmeal cookie that is surprisingly good, and the entrees I've had *look* like dog food, but actually taste and smell reasonably OK.

Anya Miller
Community Member
3 months ago

They know the true secret to success: Skittles

Nightmare Scar Paladin
Community Member
3 months ago

I've had some of the US MREs because of a national guard presentation at my school, shiet is better than our school lunches

Aragorn II Elessar
Community Member
3 months ago

Yeah they’re actually not bad, and I’d kill for the crackers they have in there

Load More Replies...
Elizabeth Orozco
Community Member
3 months ago

SKITTLES!

Bill
Community Member
3 months ago

They taste funny. Just like the m&ms

Load More Replies...
savannah burrows
Community Member
3 months ago

this one actually isn't too bad. its not anywhere close to what we eat everyday but this is one meal that is fought over lol

Andrew Gibb
Community Member
3 months ago

baby food - Trump would approve

XianJaguar
Community Member
3 months ago

This wins solely for the Skittles!

Oskar vanZandt
Community Member
3 months ago

More organised and the main looks more appetising.

Marlowe Fitzpatrik
Community Member
3 months ago

Compared to which other one? Because I personally don't think ANY main looks especially appetising...

Load More Replies...
View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

Poland

Poland

Tea; Coffee; Chicken casserole; Hardtack; Hard candies; Stick of gum; Honey; Condensed milk ; Pepper; Salt; Raisins

Alduin Hearth Report

mph seti
Community Member
3 months ago

Is the condensed milk in that toothpaste tube?

View More Replies...
View more comments

Moreover, David believes that “the entrees in the Russia IRP are the best seasoned,” which means you don’t need to add salt or pepper. “The mini stove is also very cute when warming the entrees within their containers, as a civilian, I feel like camping when using it,” he added.

The Youtuber, who is originally from the Philippines, also told us about the time he tried living on “twenty-four colon-blocking [army ration] flavors to choose from.” It may sound fun, but in reality, “It is quite a fattening and a constipating endeavor as a civilian with moderate exercise, the amount of calories in each pack is designed for soldiers.”

#10

Lithuania

Lithuania

Drink; Chicken soup; Hazelnuts; Crackers; Chocolate; Chicken and rice


Alduin Hearth Report

ebony1k124 touch
Community Member
3 months ago

This looks decent but i would pour some of the soup over the chicken and rice to rescue it a bit.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

Biscuits; Tea bag; Jam; Pate; Squash; Rice; Corned beef with soup

Alduin Hearth Report

Oskar vanZandt
Community Member
3 months ago

Tins can double as close-range weapons... not enough fluids?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#12

Ukraine

Ukraine

Breakfast: Iced tea; Biscuits; Rice with beef; Wipes.

Lunch: Spoon and tissue paper; Pate; Pork; Drink; Sugar.

Supper:Biscuits;Tuna;Pate;Iced tea;Sugar


Alduin Hearth Report

Andrew Gibb
Community Member
3 months ago

wouldn't want to put the camouflaged pack on the ground ;-)

View more comments

Not only can the MREs truly be fattening since they’re packed with calories, they can also get dull easily. “Once you already cycled through the menus as they can have the same desserts or spreads in consecutive packs.”

All in all, David wouldn’t recommend relying on MREs as a quick meal even for an athlete because “they can really throw off your diet and bowels.”

#13

Spain

Spain

Tuna; Mix fruits; Beef and peas; Instant vege soup; Pate

Alduin Hearth Report

Gina Babe
Community Member
3 months ago

This one is gross looking

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#14

China

China

Cake; Fruit; Rice; Sausage; Hot Sauce


Alduin Hearth Report

ebony1k124 touch
Community Member
3 months ago

Rice and sausage looks like it may be a lil hard to swollow. It fell victim to the "evaporation fairy" that is known to suck all moisture and flavor out of MRE's or Equivalents.

View More Replies...
View more comments