My dissertation, like any story of canned food, has to begin with Napoleon.
Because it was Napoleon who launched a contest in 1795 to see who could invent a way for him to better feed his troops. The winner of the contest, ten years later, was Nicolas Appert, who won 12,000 francs from the government for his process of preserving food through heat and vacuum--canning was born.
So, war and food have been intimately connected for as long as the two have existed. (A friend of mine, KB, is writing his dissertation about this very relationship, with respect to World War II).
A recent development in this realm is the non-perishable sandwich for troops.
That's right, as shown in this BBC video that my friend AM shared with me, food scientists have created a sandwich--by omitting oxygen and water--that can last for two years without rotting or becoming overly soggy.
Check it out: US Army's hi-tech, two-year-old sandwich served fresh
What do you think? Would you want to eat this? How might access to good, familiar food shape military operations?