Meals While Covering War

Friday, October 07, 2011

Journalist and editor of Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar: Stories of Food During Wartime by the World's Leading Correspondents, Matthew McAllester, discusses his new book of stories told by war correspondents about the importance of meals while covering conflict. Contributor to McAllester's book, senior staff writer for the Wall Street Journal covering the Middle East and author of Waiting for an Ordinary Day:The Unraveling of Life in Iraq, Farnaz Fassihi, joins the discussion. 


Farnaz Fassihi and Matthew McAllester

Comments [7]

Amy from Manhattan

smitka, it sounded to me like the book's writers use the food angle as a way in to just the kinds of things you mention, like the students who were kidnapped in the middle of an interview.

Oct. 07 2011 12:26 PM

Totally enjoying this segment. When my brother and his buddies are home from Afghanistan, most of their funniest stories and jokes are about MREs.

ALSO - he used to send me postcards from the box they come in? They are like pre-made to cut out and mail.

Oct. 07 2011 11:26 AM
Andrew Meissner from Midtown East, New York

I could only eat the pasta with vegetables after a few months; the tankers were luckiest because they could heat up the brownies and coat with the peanut butter. They all came with Tabasco sauce regardless of entree inside. Army soldiers (of which I was one) have a myriad of non-edible uses for them, a great game was seeing how many Charms one could contain with their mouth at one time. My records was thirteen pieces.

Oct. 07 2011 11:24 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Wasn't the original MRE joke that they were Meals Rejected by Ethiopia (at a time when people were dying in a famine in Ethiopia)?

Oct. 07 2011 11:23 AM
Moye from 10012

Mike, MRE stands for Might Regurgitate Everything! B

Oct. 07 2011 11:22 AM
Soldier's Father from Westchester

In asking for call-ins, why did the substitute host not ask for soldiers or veterans? After 10+ years of war, doesn't he know anyone who served? I know the war hasn't directly touched 99.5% of Americans, but you would think a WNYC person would realize that a lot more soldiers have to eat these meals than correspondents, NGO volunteers, etc -- all of whom can leave if they get too hungry. For soldiers it's not an adventure, it's life and death.

Oct. 07 2011 11:21 AM
smitka from New York

I find this whole conversation very disturbing, the way it glamorizes correspondents, without actually talking about the people who can't come come back to their lives in (massachusetts), or the states. Given the poverty of these places, focusing on the tastes of journalists in war zones I find reprehensible.

Oct. 07 2011 11:20 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.