6 of the Most Disgusting Rations that were actually Given to Soldiers

An MRE contains a main course, side dish, bread, dessert, and flameless ration heater (Photo Credit: Christopherlin / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0)
An MRE contains a main course, side dish, bread, dessert, and flameless ration heater (Photo Credit: Christopherlin / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Military rations have varied significantly over the years and often reflect the era in which they were produced. After a long day of tiring activities, rations can certainly raise spirits, but they are also known for being just… well… not very nice. In recent years rations have improved somewhat, especially in terms of longevity, but there are still many that some troops detest with a passion.

Everyone has their favorites and their most disliked.

Here’s a list of some of the worst rations issued out by the US military in particular.

Jamaican Pork Chop

This meal is an insult to any Jamaican who has even the smallest amount of pride in their cooking. Okay, apparently it’s not as bad as some of the others on this list, but it’s not exactly five-star dining. The pork chop is not actually a solid piece of pork but rather processed meat squeezed into a pork chop-shaped slab.

Noodles and a smokey sauce liven the party up a bit, but this one gets a solid pass from us.

Buffalo Chicken

One of the only good things about this one is you won’t die while eating it. Probably.

The MRE version of buffalo chicken is sort of like the real stuff if the real stuff looked awful, tasted bad, and had a weird texture. Honestly, this one looks like the mess left behind after carving a pumpkin.

Overall, buffalo chicken has rated much higher than items like the veggie omelet and ham and lima beans, but it still wasn’t great and had a strong kick to it.

Vegetable Omelet

A "Veggie Omelet" aka the Vomelet found in the 2008 US Government Meal Ready to Eat (MRE.) from shittyfoodporn

There are few things in life that are universally agreed upon, but most of those who endured the torture of the “vomelet” will likely agree that it was the worst MRE ever. The vegetable omelet was meant to be a vegetarian option for troops. Your pet cat may be happy with this cold lump of matter, but the people eating them in the field hated them. It had a slimy, jelly-like texture and when mixed with hash browns quite literally looked like vomit.

Putting an egg in food that is meant to last for years was probably not the best idea, although there was always one madman who enjoyed it.

The rest of the MRE was actually quite good and contained a few valuable tradable items. Nevertheless, soldiers hated the vomelet then, and have nightmares about it now.

Country Captain Chicken

Colonel Sanders should probably look away from this one. This MRE is like asking for a cuddle and getting punched in the face instead. Like the Jamaican pork chop, the reformed meat did not come from a chicken in this way. It also has a cardboard texture. Perhaps it came from a cardboard chicken. Who knows.

In addition to the piece of cardboardy chicken, the meal is mixed with raisins, bits of fruit, and almonds. And just in case you happened to like the taste of any of those ingredients, you can forget them because the entire thing is drenched in strong curry sauce.

This MRE was introduced in the early 2000s and probably would have slipped under the radar if it wasn’t for the pesky Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Ham and Lima Beans

Ham & Lima Beans Vintage MRE Review (Photo Credit:Steve1989MREInfo / YouTube)
Ham & Lima Beans Vintage MRE Review (Photo Credit:
Steve1989MREInfo / YouTube)

The nickname for this one best describes how soldiers’ felt about ham and lima beans: “Ham and Motherf**kers.” If you took a loaf of bread, two liters of milk and blended it up with a hand grenade you’d probably end up with something that looked like ham and lima beans. Some say that if you gave this C-Ration to a POW you’d be committing a war crime.

Some soldiers (who couldn’t have been feeling okay) quite liked this particular ration, and as a result, would have an endless supply of them from the poor souls who hated them. Reportedly the meal was edible when warm and mixed with overbearing sauces, and absolutely awful when cold.

Chicken a la King

MRE for Army
U.S. Army soldiers load MREs onto a CH-47 Chinook helicopter in September 2005. (Photo Credit: DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby, U.S. Air Force.)

Another one made in the hand grenade blender, chicken a la king is one of the worst MREs. Some vets speak of this meal actually putting a number of troops out for some time with a bout of food poisoning. Admittedly this was probably a manufacturer issue rather than anything wrong with the meal. We like to think even the human body hates chicken a la king so bad it would rather spend some time in hospital than consume more of this slop.

It supposedly got better when warm, but that was likely little consolation to the troops in the field.

Jesse Beckett

Jesse Beckett is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE