U.S. Army Seeks Volunteers for 3-Week MRE-Only Diet for Study

The U.S. Army is looking for volunteers who are willing to only eat the military’s pre-packaged food for soldiers, for three weeks.

The Meals, Ready-to-Eat, also known as MRE’s include such options as “parachute pork,” “battalion brownie pops” and “Ranger red hot party mix.”

The U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine is conducting the study on the impact of the MREs on gut health and researchers hope to discover how MREs influence bacteria in troops’ digestive systems.

Participants must be within a reasonable drive to ARIEM’s Natick, Massachusetts location and be willing to limit their diet to only MREs, water and black coffee for 21 days.

“Interactions between the millions of bacteria living in our gut and what we eat is a very important factor in gut health, but we don’t know how MRE foods interact with those bacteria to impact gut health,” Holly McClung, a research dietitian working on the project, said on the Army’s website. “Ultimately, discovering how eating MREs influences gut bacteria and gut health will help our efforts to continually improve the MRE.”