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Combat-Ready Kitchen

How the U.S. Military Shapes the Way You Eat
Narrated by: C.S.E Cooney
Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
4 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

You probably don't realize that your supermarket is filled with foods that have a military origin: canned goods, packaged deli meats, TV dinners, cling wrap, energy bars…the list is almost endless. In fact, there's a watered-down combat ration lurking in practically every bag, box, can, bottle, jar, and carton Americans buy. Anastacia Marx de Salcedo shows how the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate plans, funds, and spreads the food science that enables it to produce cheap, imperishable rations. It works with an immense network of university, government, and industry collaborators such as ADM, ConAgra, General Mills, Hershey, Hormel, Mars, Nabisco, Reynolds, Smithfield, Swift, Tyson and Unilever. It's a good deal for both sides: the conglomerates get exclusive patents or a headstart on the next breakthrough technology; the Army ensures that it has commercial suppliers if it ever needs to manufacture millions of rations. And for us consumers, who eat this food originally designed for soldiers on the battlefield? We're the guinea pigs in a giant public health experiment, one in which science and technology, at the beck of the military, have taken over our kitchens.

©2015 Anastacia Marx de Salcedo (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A well-researched effort that will undoubtedly add to general readers' knowledge about the food they consume on a daily basis." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Agonizing.

This book was not at all as presented. The military technology is interesting but goes into detail about the least beneficial or interesting pieces of knowledge. For being advertised as something an everyday consumer could relate too, it’s definitely off. The readers voice is boring and droning and I found myself tuning it out more than I should have. I wish it was more food and consumer-to-military rather just history with a little information about food here and there. The detail is all in the wrong places.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pronunciation Difficulties

Overall the information presented was interesting however the multiple mispronunciations throughout were distracting. The narrator mispronounced Natick and Pseudomonas consistently.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Came for the history, left from the clickbait writing.

What could have been an interesting history was framed like a clickbait blog entry. "YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT YOU'RE FEEDING YOUR CHILDREN!"

The attempt by the author (not helped by a performance that drips with sarcasm and holier-than-thou attitude) to scare the reader gets in the way of the facts and history. I had to stop when I reached the chapter on bread - the author attempts to draw a link between Celiac Disease and shelf stable bread without any evidence save a timeline. Similar to the false "vaccines cause autism" argument, the diagnostic criteria got better at the same time as an unrelated development, equalling correlation, not causation.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • M.
  • 08-10-16

Interesting subject, not-so-great writer

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you like long lists of names, you'll love this book.

Has Combat-Ready Kitchen turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. I am super duper interested in military technology.

What three words best describe C.S.E Cooney’s voice?

Clear, nice, loud-enough.

What character would you cut from Combat-Ready Kitchen?

The author.

Any additional comments?

The author is bogged down in reciting which school everyone went to before they made a discovery. It would be clearer with edits, less confusing technical metaphors, and a sharper focus. I love the subject matter but did not love her framing the story with how romantic it was when she used to make sandwiches for her husband.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kam
  • San Francisco, Ca, United States
  • 09-18-15

Kinda meh

The subject matter is fascinating, well researched, and presented in a cohesive, engaging manner...if you can get past the tinfoil-hat conspiracy undertones and liberal snark. Unfortunately, Cooney's style and tone only serve to amplify the snark making this a tough listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Natick - they say it Naydk

Interesting book; this held my attention throughout. The narrator pronounces the town name as Natt - ick which is not how the natives say it.