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We posted a few weeks ago about the specifications that define mil-spec 550lb paracord, via a document known as C-5040H. This 20-page standard outlines the construction, assembly, and strength requirements for cordage used by the U.S. Military.
Military specifications like C-5040H are extremely detailed, almost to the point of absurdity, but many would argue that it's a necessary evil. Love them or hate them, these bureaucratic regulations eliminate minuscule variations in quality, and prevent corner-cutting that might cost the lives of military personnel.
This also got us thinking: what other military products have rules and regulations this specific? Oddly enough, there is actually a military specification for brownies, specifically the brownies found in MRE (meal ready-to-eat) ration packages. The 26-page specification is known as C-44072C, and you can click here to read it in its entirety.
Here are a few highlights from the C-44072C mil-spec brownies regulations:
Mmm, extraneous material. While we get that C-44072C needs to be specific, we would hope this part goes without saying.
That doesn't seem too specific… until you get to the next part.
Now we're imagining some guy in a lab coat spot-checking walnut diameter under a magnifying glass. This next statement doesn't help us forget that image, either.
We actually had to look that word up. Organoleptic means “involving the use of the sense organs”, so it's basically saying the ingredients should be visually checked and taste-tested. Remember that one next time you lick some batter off the spoon—it's not a snack, it's an organoleptic examination to ensure quality.
29 percent uniform chocolate enrobement by weight, just like grandma used to make.
We may laugh at these absurd rules for mil-spec brownies, but like other mil-spec products, they're held to a high standard. So, next time you chow down on an MRE, remember that there have been teams of government employees analyzing every detail of its contents.