Military Chocolate  

D ration chocolate bar.jpg

I’ve been thinking about chocolate this week. (Actually, I think about chocolate a lot. Easter is just around the corner, and chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs are showing up everywhere!) My research led me to explore “Military Chocolate.”
In April 1937, Army Quartermaster Colonel Paul Logan (famed for developing dehydrated potatoes and onions) approached Hersey Chocolate with a proposal for an emergency military ration. There were four specifications:

  1. Weigh 4 ounces (113.4 g)
  2. Be high in food energy value.
  3. Be able to withstand high temperatures.
  4. Taste “a little better than a boiled potato” (to keep soldiers from eating their emergency rations in non-emergency situations)

Milton Hersey was intrigued. They had never been asked to produce candy that didn’t taste good. Chemists at the Hersey Chocolate company went to work. The result was the Army “D Ration.”
“The technologists came up with ‘Field Ration D’ bars; a chocolate bar that met all of Captain Logan’s requirements. The bars were stabilized with oat flour, cacao fat, skim milk powder, sugar, and artificial flavoring. They didn’t actually melt in the mouth: instead, they had the power to break the soldier’s teeth. Not even the insides of the chocolate bar tasted good.” [1]
Soldiers called the chocolate bars “Hitler’s Secret Weapon.” Usually, the G.I.s didn’t eat them. Instead, the rations were traded to unsuspecting civilians for something more palatable.
The point is not everything called “chocolate” is yummy. I remember as a little boy sneaking into the kitchen and finding mom’s giant chocolate bar! That’s when I discovered “baking chocolate.”
By the end of the war, Hersey changed the formula for something a bit tastier called “Tropical Chocolate,” and more than 3 billion bars were manufactured over the course of the Second World War.
For us, we need to be careful. Not everything labeled “Gospel” is truly God’s Word.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *