War is hell, and hell still doesn’t have pizza.
For years, the Pentagon has been developing a pizza-based Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) capable of lasting the requisite three years all US military rations have to endure. In that time, it’s been breathlessly covered by the likes of the BBC, Business Insider, VICE’s Munchies, Phys, Mediaite, the 99% Invisible podcast, Mental Floss—hell, even io9. The earliest reference we found was on Stars and Stripes in October of 2013.
“Pizza is the holy grail of MREs,” a Defense Department official told the paper at the time, “because for decades, people have been asking for this.”
A post from user RockyRaab on the forum MREinfo even notes that “that darn meal has been in ‘development’ for so long, it’s hard to believe it may finally be fielded.” Sadly, RockyRaab of Ogden, Utah, your skepticism was founded: according to Defense News, the damn pizzas turn brown.
Ahead of their projected 2018 debut, the MRE slices (which, if we’re being honest, look more like flatbread than pizza) were tossed into a 100-degree environment for six months. Somehow, this mimics the passage of three years, but we’re not sure that’s how time works. For whatever reason, this caused discoloration in both the cheese and pepperoni varieties of the MRE.
Jeremy Whitsitt, deputy director of the Pentagon’s Combat Feeding Directorate, told Defense News that the bungled pies aren’t unsafe to eat after enduring their simulated three-year shelf life. They just look weird and gross, and won’t be shipped out to soldiers yet. Because after at least four years of R&D and manufactured hype, the damn pizzas turn brown.