Better Food for our Fighting Men

Better Food for our Fighting Men

Matthieu Nicol (FR, 1978)
22:00 → 01:00
3 – Screen

Soldiers often march and only sometimes go to war, but they eat every day!

Matthieu Nicol is a picture editor and avid collector of vintage photographs of food. His latest book, Better Food for our Fighting Men (2022), brings together around a hundred fairly mouthwatering photos taken at the Food Science Lab of an US Army research centre in the 1970s and 80s. They have since been declassified and placed in the public domain. The pictures show experiments in nutrition, hygiene, and logistics, to maintain soldiers’ physical health and morale.

Irradiation, drying, compacting, preserving, rehydrating, thermostabilising, delivering, reheating, serving: whether it’s food for a self-service canteen in the barracks or survival rations in hostile terrain, if you want to win a war, you have to be well-prepared! The techniques perfected to maximise troops’ efficiency and obedience are now widely used by the agri-food industry and helped develop the ‘ready meals’ on our supermarket shelves. 

Tray pack insulator, 1989 © US Army

Nuit des images

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