Technically, a ration is not one meal, but rather, all the foods provided for one soldier for one day. In essence, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and perhaps a snack such as soup and coffee.
Before the era of processed and canned foods, meat was generally issued either as salt pork, or perhaps dried beef. The daily ration was specified by the Militia Law of 1775 was:
One pound of beef, or 3/4 of a pound of pork or one pound of fish, per day. One pound of bread or flour per day. Three pints of peas or beans per week, or vegetables equivalent, at one dollar per bushel for peas or beans. One pint of milk per man per day. One half-pint of rice, or one pint of Indian meal per man per week. One quart of spruce beer, or cider, per man per day, or nine gallons of mollasses per company of one hundred men per week. Three pounds of candles to one hundred men per week, for guards. Twenty pounds of soft, or eight pounds of hard, soap for one hundred men per week.
Whenever possible, even in the field, the Army strives to avoid using MREs. When in garrison, meals are prepared like at any other institutional kitchen, with commercially procured foodstuffs.
Speaking of commercially procured foodstuffs, it was time to hit Costco and stock up on meats again.
As to combat rations, I *hope* to be able to make a video review of one of the rations I’ve long been fascinated by, the K-Ration.