Fourteen minutes--and a bit of faith--is all it takes to convert a plastic tray full of cooked retorted food into a hot tasty meal thanks to a chemical heater developed for military feeding. HeaterMeals Inc. Cincinnati OH markets several varieties of shelf-stable meals under that name that are now sold in truck stops and convenience stores around the country. What makes HeaterMeals unusual is described on a violator on the main panel of the folding carton: "There's a stove inside!" That "stove" is a flameless chemical heating system developed by HM's parent company ZestoTherm. It's sold 70 million of them to the U.S. military groups for heating up field rations especially the retorted pouches of entrees that are part of the Meals Ready-to-Eat (MRE) program. "I give them a lot of credit for coming up with a way to adapt the military ration heater to a consumer product" says Henry "Bud" Strassheim of Land O'Frost (Lansing IL). Land O'Frost is a well-known packer of retorted pouches for the MRE program. In this case the company prepares the meals and packs and retorts the trays that HM uses. However stresses Drew McLandrich director of marketing and sales for HM "this is truly civilian food."