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"I wrote many novels which contained the element of the projected collective unconscious, which made them simply incomprehensible to anyone who read them, because they required the reader to accept my premise that each of us lives in a unique world."
- Philip K. Dick

Microwavable Food  
  Food that is prepared specifically for use in a microwave (high-frequency) oven.  

Theoretically every ration taken aboard a Patrol vessel is pre-cooked and ready for eating as soon as it is taken out of freeze and subjected to the number of seconds, plainly marked on the package, of high-frequency heating required.
From Space Cadet, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Scribner's Sons in 1948
Additional resources -

The idea of using microwave radiation was patented by the end of 1946 by Raytheon; the first commercial microwave oven was introduced sometime in 1947. At almost six feet tall, 750 pounds and costing $5,000, it won few converts. It's not clear if it was offered as a consumer product, or to the food service industry.

Also, I believe that there were some canned soups that were available with self-heating bottoms in the 1930's. And packaged meals were certainly available in the form of military rations.

The first true heat-n-eat packaged meal was probably the Swanson TV Dinner, introduced in 1954. For 98 cents, you got an aluminum tray with roast turkey, stuffing and gravy, sweet potatoes and peas. I don't remember the cooking time, but it was at least thirty minutes in the oven. It wasn't until 1986 that Swanson introduced a plastic tray for microwave cooking. See the TV Dinner History page for references. Also, take a look at this history of the microwave oven - the Radarange; thanks to Doug for comments on this article.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Space Cadet
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Space Cadet
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

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