The Defense Department hopes that the American military's meal ticket just became much more valuable. Gone are the K-rations made famous in World War II. So are the prepackaged ham and chicken loaf dinners prepared for the Persian Gulf War.
This war's menu could include suave dishes like Thai chicken, beef teriyaki, burritos, and shrimp jambalaya. M&Ms and Tootsie Rolls are available for soldiers with a sweet tooth. The rations won't expire for three years-even under extreme temperatures.
Military officials won't say how many Meals Ready to Eat are made now, but they say it is enough to feed every soldier in the field. Ameriqual Foods, one of three major ration suppliers, has upped its work force from 425 to 850 and increased production from 90,000 to 350,000 cases per month.