12/08/2011 02:55 pm ET

Sandwich Created For U.S. Army Stays Fresh For 2 Years With An 'Oxygen Scavenger'

The definition of "fresh" has been twisted a bit recently. We previously wrote about a gas-flushed sandwich that stays fresh for two weeks. How about a sandwich that stays fresh for two years? The BBC recently aired a fascinating video on the development of a two-year-old sandwich for the U.S. Army as part of the show After Life: The Strange Science of Decay (video not embeddable).

A challenge to creating the sandwich was to figure out how to make sure bacteria couldn't breed. The trick was to cut off the oxygen supply. In order to do that, an "oxygen scavenger" -- essentially a packet with iron shavings -- is inserted into the package. Mmmm iron shavings, so tasty.

At least according to some army members interviewed in the video, the sandwich is quite good, at least compared to an MRE. Watch the BBC video here.