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Major Strong’s Iron Rations

This article originally appeared in the July 2011 issue of the magazine.

Major Strong’s Iron Rations is a line of canned foods produced by the Welles-LeHatte corporation.

The boiler plate, riveted, early Industrial Age appearance of the cans harkens back to the halcyon days of yesteryear, when Major Strong apparently served with the Imperial Quartermaster’s Corps.

Each can is produced with images in bas-relief all round, with the gruff face of Major Strong himself smiling the way only a drill instructor can when addressing a recruit; the brand prominently above him in heavy Gothic splendor, with the name of the meal beneath.

Depending on where you go, Strong’s seems to have only three or four different meals. Near Sol, it’s Noodles with Chicken, Delicious Barbeque, Spaghetti, and Beef Stew. In other areas, the choices would be different, matching favorites of the region. Near Ilelish, for example, one of the popular choices is simply five pickled and spiced eggs in a can.

Each can has an entry from an endless series of military trivia printed on them, from Zhodani Officer Uniforms of the 3rd Frontier War, to the top 10 SAWs used by Imperial Ground Forces, to the tactics used in clearing a room. Often prominent battles or personages are featured.

It all seems quite frivolous, but the fact-checking behind the information used on Strong’s cans is top-notch. The prestigious Journal of Imperial Defense Technologies, popular with both professional defense industry insiders and interested civilians, has, on more than a dozen occasions, explicitly verified the facts on a can of Strong’s.

Generations of impressionable, militarily-bent youngsters have consumed Major Strong’s Iron Rations dutifully, to, as the commercials on the Tri-V insinuate, “Be a Proper Citizen!”, or the more visceral “Fight Like a Tiger!”

Each can is packed with more than 4,000 calories, and eating more than about a third of a can will drive the hunger from the eater for an entire day. Eating an entire can oneself will curb any hunger for 1D+3 days, and make it very unlikely the eater will pass anything within that same time period.

A single 0.5 liter can of Strong’s weighs about 1 kg, and costs only Cr3.