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MoD brings variety to soldiers' diet

10 February 2005 by
MoD brings variety to soldiers' diet

The Ministry of Defence is testing "variety" ration packs in an effort to make the food troops eat on military operations more varied and palatable.

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The move follows an overhaul of operational ration packs (ORPs) last summer by the Defence Catering Group to develop healthier, more diverse menus, including things such as chicken balti and rice.

The Army has for some time been examining how to make rations more healthy and nutritional generally, in an effort to tackle conditions such as obesity and heart disease, while keeping troops' performing at a high level.

In the current experiment, the Army has created variety boxes of ORPs, each of which contains six different menus.

The new packs have already been tested by troops on exercises and a shipment has been sent to troops serving in Afghanistan.

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All the taste… but more choice
Assuming it gets a good response from the squaddies - and soldiers throughout history have been notoriously hard to please when it comes to rations - the system will be extended to all ORPs. Up to now the logistics of transporting ration packs quickly, in bulk and over thousands of miles has meant the issue of variety slipped down the agenda. "Instead of sending out large boxes containing identical ration packs and relying on the hard-pressed teams in theatre to sort them into different types, we are going to do this for them back in the UK," said Brigadier Jeff Little, head of the Defence Catering Group. "The new variety boxes will contain up to six different menus, which means that soldiers can expect to eat something different for every meal, and they can swap meals among themselves if they receive anything they are not keen on," he added. by Nic Paton Buy this week's *Caterer* magazine for more industry news and analysis
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