Tales of Future Past v2

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Future Can

Future Food

One prediction that did come true, though with remarkable slowness was the self-heating can. It seems that every ten years or so someone again says that it would be great if someone makes a can that could heat itself up when you opened it and shortly thereafter someone claims to have perfected it. It was such a regular item on the grocery list of the future that Heinlein was writing about them in his juvenile novels in the '50s while Edmund Hillary was spooning through them on the slopes of Mount Everest.

Trouble is, the self-heating can is one of those things that is easy in theory and hard in practice. Basically all you need to make such a can is a compartment filled with slaked lime that you add water to at the appropriate moment. The water and the lime interact, you get an exothermic reaction and voila! You have a hot meal. Thing is, you've got to get the chemicals to mix just right or you either get lukewarm chicken soup or your pork and beans becomes a neat little hand grenade.

Thanks to decades of tinkering, and a big push from the military who regard self-heating food as a real plus for the infantry, the self-heating can is now a reality–though incredibly pricey compared to their non-heating cousins.

And the sausages still need some work.

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