Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Etc

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Etc

Article excerpt

Meet me for lunch, in 2005

It tops a US Army most-wanted list, unleashes potent chemicals that suck the immediate vicinity dry - and it goes great with grape jelly.

The struggle to make the classic peanut butter and jelly combination battle-ready for soldiers in the field highlights an effort by top Army scientists to develop pocket sandwiches that will keep without refrigeration for three years.

Researchers working on the latest innovation in "meals ready to eat,'' army lingo for anytime, anywhere munchies, were drawn to the stuffed bread rolls now in supermarket frozen food sections. Convenience is the attraction: no utensils, not much to open yet makes for a satisfying meal, at least in theory.

"The trick was to get rid of the 6,000 mile extension cord to the freezer," said Jerry Darsch, who directs the Defense Department's feeding program in Natick, Mass.

Four years later, the Army has come up with formulas for two sandwiches - pepperoni and barbecue chicken - that use chemical and natural preservatives to lock moisture in place and inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold.

Darsch said his sandwiches are designed to be as resilient as the troops they feed. "This bad boy will last a minimum of three years at 80 degrees, six months at 100 degrees. They will travel to the swampiest swamp, the highest mountain, the most arid desert."

2FUNNY?

Divorce isn't a funny thing, but firefighter Larry VanHooser of Lexington, Ky., turned it into a gag - at least when it came to his license plate.

VanHooser won $5,000 for coming up with his vanity plate "D- WIFED," beating out the likes of "CYIMBRK" (See why I am broke) and MANOPOZ (male menopause). The results of the nationwide contest, sponsored by car-care products maker Eagle One, were announced on Monday.

VanHooser said he got the idea for the plate as he was driving around in the 1999 Chevrolet Corvette he purchased after his divorce, his third. …

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