U.S. Army Influences Food Available in the Market

Mar 05, 2016 06:50 AM EST | By Josine Macaspac (media@latinospost.com)

Close

Did you know that a lot of the food you can find in the supermarket nowadays was actually invented exclusively for soldiers, and not for public consumption?

It's true. Goldfish crackers, ready-to-eat guacamole, canned goods, deli meats, and energy bars-their origins can all be traced back to the military.

Anastacia Marx de Salcedo, the author of Combat-Ready Kitchen: How The U.S. Military Shapes The Way You Eat, says in her new book that a lot of the packaged or processed food that are stocked in shelves of supermarkets began as Army science experiments. They were initially intended to form part of the combat rations for our soldiers. We have the military to thank for most advancements in food-preservation.

Take a look her interview:

How do products from Army experiments end up on shelves in the supermarket?

Most people don't realize that the military has a policy to get the science that it uses for rations into the public's food. The reason is military preparedness. This dates back to a policy that was made after World War II, which is designed to make sure both the military and its supporters can be ready at a moment's notice to convert over to producing rations or to create consumer products that they might be substituted in their stead. The key point here is that companies don't generally invest in basic and applied food science. What the Army is looking at is the big questions in food science. There are not many other places interested or able to do the research, so the Army guides the direction of food science.

Give us an example of a food technology unique to the U.S. military.

There's something called high-pressure processing. It's not so much a surprise, but a wonderful example of how the Army organizes itself. They pick a topic, decide to pursue it and organize a team to solve the problem. The issue was finding new ways to preserve food, and HPP came out of that.

HPP is the application of a tremendous amount of pressure to food. The example I usually give is: Picture 20 minivans on a single penny. [The force applied] is that extreme, and what that does is it kills any bacteria that may be in the food.

The important thing here is that along the way, companies took the technique and began applying it to their own products. Many of the single-serving fresh juices use this [method] - it's a way to sterilize juice without losing the flavor. Ready-to-eat guacamole uses HPP, and so do many salsas. The big one is Hormel. In the mid-2000s, it applied the technique to deli meats. This whole line of deli meats now says no preservatives on the label, and that probably means it was produced with HPP.

 Can you give us a sneak peek on what the Army might come up with next?

One thing they're working on is shelf-stable pizza. What I mean by that is the vision of the future is really a place where we don't need refrigeration. This pizza could just be left in your pantry for a long time, like as long as you leave [canned goods].

They're also working on shelf-stable sandwiches, wraps and bagels. In fact, it seems like the military is moving to a system where they want to reduce or eliminate regular hot meals like breakfast, lunch and dinners. Instead, they'd just provide day-long grazing options for soldiers. I think we could definitely see this affect the consumer market in the future.

© 2018 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
Food Biz
5 Foods To Eat To Get A Perfect Nights Sleep

5 Foods To Eat To Get A Perfect Nights Sleep

Everyone wants to sleep well at night, but it seems that so few of us actually understand the correlation between what we eat and how we sleep. While we understand that getting a great night of sleep on a regular basis is essential for good health, it is another thing entirely to understand how we can actually get to that point.

How what you eat affects your teeth

How What you Eat Affects your Teeth

We constantly hear how diet influences our health, after all, we know that eating too much of the wrong type of food can make you overweight and lead to you developing dangerous diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

How to Attract New Followers to Your Instagram Food Page

How to Attract New Followers to Your Instagram Food Page

Instagram fame has become all the rage in the last few years, not just for the amount of attention and recognition that a bustling page can offer, but also the opportunity to make some cash on the side as an influencer. Instagram has changed a lot since its debut in 2010, but as of today, it’s one of the most widely-used apps on both the Android and iTunes stores. Whether you’re a business owner looking to boost your sales and expand your reach or an Instagrammer looking to cement your place among the app’s biggest names, this guide is for you. Keep reading to learn how to attract more followers to your Instagram page.

Food Tech
Elizabeth Reid In New York City: Eat Like A Local

How to Eat Well When on Vacation

Finding new restaurants to eat at while on vacation doesn't need to be a stressful experience. With a little research, making the most of your surroundings, and some help from the locals, you can have a culinary experience that enhances the whole trip.

What to Consider When Camping through Wine Countries?

What to Consider When Camping through Wine Countries?

It's absolutely and insanely expensive, so never mind. You would probably think like this when somebody invited you to spend a weekend in a wine region. Perhaps you presume that wines are expensive, so as its origin, right? That makes sense. But you, my friend, should know that there is a way to enjoy and explore the valley on a dime.

Everything You Need to Know About Cardamom Pods

Everything You Need to Know About Cardamom Pods

Cardamom is a spice made from the seed pods of a tropical plant related to ginger and is one of the world's most expensive spices. It is local to India and Sri Lanka but is now also harvested in Cambodia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Mexico, and Vietnam.

Real Time Analytics