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"Concentrated vitamin enriched nutritional supplements."
– Tuvok, 2372 ("Innocence")

Rations, or food packs, were controlled portions of certain foodstuffs, distributed in times of emergency or scarcity, or in situations where carrying large amounts of food was impractical. Rations would often contain carefully balanced mixes of nutritional supplements designed to nourish the body in place of normal food. A common problem with such rations was that their taste left much to be desired.

Rationing in time of crisis or scarcity

Rationing food and water was a strategy employed in many cultures to deal with scarce supplies and shortages. If the situation grew worse, it might become necessary to cut the rations. Rationing was sometimes necessary on newly-colonized planets.

During the last years of the planet Kataan, water was rationed to deal with droughts. (TNG: "The Inner Light")

In an alternative 1944, Nazis occupying New York rationed meat for the local population, and subsequently cut the rations multiple times. (ENT: "Storm Front")

Food in the San Francisco Sanctuary Districts was distributed based on a system of ration cards. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I")

Carmen Davila, a colonist on Melona IV, saved a ration of dried chicken curry for a very special occasion. (TNG: "Silicon Avatar")

During the USS Voyager's time in the Delta Quadrant, Captain Janeway and her crew were forced to invent a system of replicator rationing in order to save energy and supplies. (VOY: "Meld")

In 2372, when Lieutenant commander Tuvok was stranded on a Drayan moon with three apparent Drayan children, he offered Starfleet rations when Corin complained that he was hungry. When Corin asked for takka berries and Elani added "with cherel sauce," Tuvok replied "We have only rations." (VOY: "Innocence")

Field rations, combat rations and emergency rations

During away missions and many other types of deployments, rations were widely used to feed personnel, as it obviously not always possible to reach a mess or replicator for meals. While such rations were used for practical reasons rather than due to scarcity, often shuttles and isolated facilities would also contain emergency rations, which could keep a person alive until help arrived should they find themselves cut of from their support structure. This was standard practice in Starfleet and amongst many other cultures.

Klingons used ration packs during planetary excursions, and left a few empty ones on an unnamed planet. (ENT: "Observer Effect") Klingon food packs were a form of nutrition available aboard their Birds-of-Prey during the late 23rd century. While making repairs to the captured HMS Bounty, Montgomery Scott replaced the Klingon food packs with something more tolerable for their return to Earth, noting that the Klingon food packs were giving him "a sour stomach." (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) In the late 24th century, Jankom Pog, a Tellarite, once cooked Klingon rations his crew had found in a derelict Bird-of-Prey, opining that the food was "still better than eating mud." (PRO: "Terror Firma")

The Federation also made extensive use of rations, who went by many nicknames. Starfleet rations were specifically, "concentrated vitamin-enriched nutritional supplements." (VOY: "Innocence"). Although use of these rations were considered by many Starfleet officers to be a necessary evil, Julian Bashir developed a candy bar with superior nutritional value. (DS9: "The Siege")

Other types of rationing

Prisons would often distribute food to their inmates in the form of prison rations. 22nd century Enolian prison rations were particularly infamous for their bad taste. (ENT: "Canamar")

Specific ration packs

See also

External links