FOOD: Condensed Meat

Claude Wickard looked, sniffed, tasted, grinned. The Department of Agriculture scientists watched him anxiously. On the plate they had served him were pork and beef croquettes and stew. This was the proof of a pudding three months in the making — an attempt to remove 90% of the water in pork and beef, to cut its weight 70% and its volume 65% for easier shipping to U.S. fighters and allies, and still keep the meat pleasantly edible.

The technicians had tried the condensed meat on rats (who waxed fat on it), then on suspicious tasters at the department's Beltsville Research Center.


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