Collector eats WWII era rations, fails to die on camera


#21

It wouldn’t surprise me if time actually makes some things safer after peak pathogen: that dish of whatever you cooked and ought to have refrigerated has nigh-unlimited nutrients from the perspective of a bacterium in the short term, with ridiculous geometric growth rates limited largely by competition; but it doesn’t actually contain unlimited nutrients in the medium to long term, so if you wait long enough the bacterial population should decline from peak levels from simple starvation(assurances by teeny bacterial economists that perpetual growth is a reality nonwithstanding).

But all that would be less useful in the case of a potential spore former who can ruin your day merely on the basis of the proteins they left behind even if they’ve died off.


#22

According to my father, the WWII corned beef was better than the 60s version.

Father brought Grandfather (they were on the same ship, 25 years apart) samples of old cans and new ones. Grandfather agreed. They did that in 1969, I think. During Father’s 1st leave between tours.

If my father had just said it, I’d assume it was bullshit and he was just making up a story. My grandfather, however, was a straight arrow if there ever was one. He had a beautifully dry, ironic sense of humor, but he was not given to exaggeration, tall tales or embellishment for the sake of narrative. He found the truth more amusing than a clever misdirection. (Father, however, is most generously described as “gentleman and a scholar” - bully and bullshitter.)

So I don’t doubt that there were still old rations around, and making their way out of depots and into use. The amount of stuff manufactured between 1941 and 1945 was truly epic. Even Korea didn’t use it all up, and no quartermaster is 100% FIFO all the time. Lazy supply clerks fail to rotate the stock and a pallet of chipped beef just waits. Times 10,000. (And this is an argument against conscription, since a conscript is far more likely to do the bare minimum necessary for the duration of service.)

If it’s canned, it can last a lot longer than the date stamp. If the can is intact, the contents are inert.

Still think it’s a damned shame that a collector destroyed samples.


#23

Oh eyyy, it’s Steve!

Fantastic standup guy. Played with him in a gaming clan. He dropshipped my brother vintage cigs and rations.

Steve, if you read this, “Hayley” says hi.


#24

I think this is the guy that others are referring to. He tries old rations.
This one is civil war hardtack…


#25

I’m old enough that I remember these in C Rations


#26

I’ve tried C and K rations years back. Most of them had bulged or rusted cans. Many smelled nasty. I ended up throwing most of them away. Even twenty year old MREs are generally funky.


#27


#28

Hardtack! I think this subject (old packaged food) has come up here before; one person mentioned 19th-century hardtack and someone else mentioned dense, canned bread from circa WWII.

I just threw out a big jar of cumin that was at least 16 years old, possibly 24 or 25 (I know I bought in in Austin, where I haven’t lived [nor purchased any more cumin] since 2002). It was starting to smell more like urine than cumin and I figured 16 to 25 years was a good run for a jar of spice.

We’ve got wat in the deep freeze that’s older than my 3rd grader. My better half insists it will be OK and we’ll thaw it out for a special occasion.


#29

How rare are these things exactly? If this is one of, like, 5 remaining on Earth I can see your point, but otherwise I’m inclined to to think there’s more historical-studies value in the video than in the mere existence of the ration kit.


#30

Incidentally, Steve occasionally mentions that he doesn’t have health insurance.


#31

Even if it was. The remaining 4 will continue to deteriorate, and now there will be a video examination, and whatever bits that can be saved for display purposes. It’s not like there are any great mysteries that keeping it intact will solve.

Hmm. Archeological food critic. There might be some movies in that.

Raiders of the Lost Lunch.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Snacks.


#32

But just as the alcohol produced by yeasts are left in the beer after they have died, the toxins generated by pathogens will be left after they have died.


#33

The majority of rations have some acidic element like jam or tinned fruit that will inevitably leak and ruin the whole lot. At the point well have no contemporary documented exploration of the contents and the packaging will be ruined too. This sort of effort informs a thriving replica market that gives a more realistic taste of what they were like fresh.


#34

That is motherfarking suicidal


#35
  1. If the food is good enough, the grunts will stop complaining about the incoming fire.

The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries


#36

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