Combat Ready Kitchen (Gravy Ep. 23)

One of the more important places for the modern Southern (and American) diet may be… an obscure army base in Natick, Massachusetts. The Combat Feeding Directorate looks just like any other suburban office park, but it’s an origin point for many of the processed foods that find their way onto our grocery store shelves. In this episode of Gravy, Anastacia Marx de Salcedo takes host Tina Antolini along on an investigation of how the military’s food engineering research for combat rations has filtered down to the food we civilians eat.

You can find a link to Anastacia Marx de Salcedo’s book Combat Ready Kitchen: How the U.S. Military Shapes the Way You Eat here.

Anastacia Marx de Salcedo looking for retort packages in a grocery store.
Anastacia Marx de Salcedo looking for retort packages in a grocery store.

An excerpt of the book on the military’s involvement in the invention of Cheetos is here.

Osmoroni in the Natick Center’s pilot plant.
Osmoroni in the Natick Center’s pilot plant.

You can learn more about the Combat Feeding Directorate at the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center here.

Shelf-stable pizza.
Shelf-stable pizza.
A display of rations history in the War Fighter Cafe at the Natick Center.
A display of rations history in the War Fighter Cafe at the Natick Center.