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(CNSNews)   Food police strike again: When is a soda machine no longer a soda machine? When the U.S. military renames it a "hydration station." That, and other new warning labels for desserts and fried foods at mess halls   (cnsnews.com) divider line 103
    More: Interesting, soda machine, fried foods, U.S., U.S. military, Center of Excellence, warnings labels, nutritionists, Assistant Secretary  
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5404 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Feb 2012 at 10:55 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-02-28 11:56:39 PM  

KingVJ: If my service mean wanna eat red, all day they can.

They signed up to serve my country & possibly day.

I say let em have a chicken fried fried steak, with a bowl of fried ice cream.


i was thinking along that line too. members of our armed forces give their all. in return we should take the BeefSteak Charlies approach: "all the Beer, Wine or Sangria you can drink, for free!"

/wonder how many forms & shady deals Radar O'Riley would have to negotiate to get a 'rehydration station'
 
2012-02-28 11:57:45 PM  

St_Francis_P: And so the Conservative love affair with the military reaches another snag. Healthy eating? That's a commie plot!


This is why we need a 'Stupid' button for posts.
 
2012-02-29 12:02:21 AM  
Someone needs a refresher in physics 101. When presented with "low calorie foods" and "high calorie foods" the "nutrient dense" label should go on the "high calorie foods".
 
2012-02-29 12:03:52 AM  
"Soldier Fueling Initiative"

FFS. It's food. Soldiers are people, not machines. People eat food, not fuel.
 
2012-02-29 12:06:53 AM  

jmadisonbiii: [www.frigginrandom.com image 403x604]


When I was in the Army and stationed overseas, we had a vending machine that dispensed beer. It only had Budweiser so I tried to plan ahead so I didn't have to use it much. Still, when it was late, everything was closed and you were out of beer, it was pretty much the best thing ever.

On a related topic, I always found it hilarious how you were able to go to the Class VI and buy cheap booze and cigarettes. The prices for both were around half of what you would pay out in public. So much for promoting healthy habits.
 
2012-02-29 12:10:53 AM  

NJR_ZA: Someone needs a refresher in physics 101. When presented with "low calorie foods" and "high calorie foods" the "nutrient dense" label should go on the "high calorie foods".


You sound fat.
 
2012-02-29 12:25:44 AM  

KingVJ: If my service mean wanna eat red, all day they can.

They signed up to serve my country & possibly day.

I say let em have a chicken fried fried steak, with a bowl of fried ice cream.


I think the military higher-ups would prefer soldiers capable of fighting. Or at least of walking instead of waddling.

I was in Sam's Club this past weekend and watched the people at the check-outs, including the cashiers. Out of the adults, I saw exactly two (one male, one female) of normal weight. Every other person, every single other person, probably three or four dozen, was at least overweight, and in several cases generating their own gravitational field. Admittedly this is in the South, and in a Wal-Mart subsidiary, but still ... that bloody many of them overweight, obese, or what-the-hell-is-that-thing? Three were riding little carts, not because they were on oxygen or something, but because they were too fat even to waddle. Three.

It's in the best interest of the military to have healthy, fit soldiers. A couple of hundred years ago, they came that way; people, at least young men, were fit by default. A hundred years ago, with the Industrial Revolution taking people out of the fields and into the factories, they weren't quite so fit, but still, not having cars, elevators, and whatnot, they were still far fitter than most people today. Now we've got people who don't walk anywhere, who don't climb stairs, who don't open doors, who don't do any kind of physical labor ... who don't even play outside as kids (what's with this "play date" thing? when I was a kid, we just played with each other, outdoors) and of course they're lardballs.

Getting back to the food issue, I've lost about 40% of my body weight in the past year+, mostly by not eating so damn much. I never noticed before just how little actual food there is in a grocery store anymore, generally because I was eating the non-food. When I was a kid, grocery stores sold food; now they sell processed food products. People grow up eating take-out McFood and salty/sweet/greasy pap from a bag. Way, way too much of it. As the average American's calorie usage has dropped (the whole sedentary lifestyle thing) their calorie intake has increased. So not only are our would-be soldiers, more often than not, at least incipient lardballs, they don't even know what actual food -- the stuff their grandparents ate -- is supposed to be.

One example: Coca-Cola bottles. I saw a batch of "classic" bottles and I was struck by how small they seemed. When I was a kid, those 8oz bottles were the norm; now, it's all 20oz bottles or more.

Unfortunately, the higher-ups do need to teach the new soldiers what to eat, and get them to eat the right kinds of things, because most of those people have never learned it anywhere else. They've eaten (or been fed) their way into blobularity, and unfit soldiers aren't assets; they're liabilities. It's not about whether or not they "deserve" that chicken-fried steak -- it's about whether or not they can do their jobs if they eat it. The mission comes first.
 
2012-02-29 12:35:40 AM  
Hello Soldier, This is your Fellation Station


3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-02-29 12:37:31 AM  

wotthefark: Hello Soldier, This is your Fellation Station

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 343x400]


Quite a bit roomier than the Santorum Forum.
 
2012-02-29 12:50:26 AM  

FunkOut: Where were the military food police when soldiers were being given the omelette MREs?


The omelette (egg and ham) was like a slice of heaven compared to the chicken a'la king.

TheDirtyNacho: That sounds pretty smart to me. These guys are not calorie counters. Informing dietary choices, while still offering the choice, gives a more likely chance that they won't just go to Burger King as you say.


I was in Army Intelligence, allegedly the smartest folks in that branch. I knew one soldier who survived off of potato chips when we weren't in the field (he supplemented his potato chips with MREs there). I knew another who would order the 10 large pizza special on the first of every month and re-heat slices as needed. Once I got out of training, I only ate in mess halls for special holiday meals or when I was particularly broke towards the end of the month; it was normally either fast food or something I whipped up in my barracks room.

When the post Burger King was running a $1 whopper special, I got permission to drive back into garrison from the field operations center, in an armored HMMWV, to buy whoppers for everyone. I walked in, covered in 2 days' worth of desert, and ordered 40 whoppers (20 w/o onions) to go; I had to walk in because the vehicle wouldn't fit in the drive-through lane. I could've charged $5/apiece for those things, cold as they were when I got back to the TOC at around midnight, but I was too nice to charge for them.

Anyway, to get back to my original point, there are soldiers who are very conscious of their diet and who don't need a color-coded cheat sheet to realize that the cheeseburger and french fries aren't as healthy as a baked chicken breast with vegetables. There are other soldiers (the majority, at least among lower enlisted ranks) who don't particularly care how healthy something is, and who just eat what they're familiar with and enjoy. In my experience (7 years spent on 6 different installations), the only mess halls in which soldiers commonly eat once or more per day are on initial training installations, and in most initial training scenarios the soldiers aren't given a choice about what they get anyway. Which basically makes this nothing more than yet another taxpayer-funded exercise in futility.
 
2012-02-29 01:01:48 AM  

Worldwalker: Unfortunately, the higher-ups do need to teach the new soldiers what to eat, and get them to eat the right kinds of things, because most of those people have never learned it anywhere else. They've eaten (or been fed) their way into blobularity, and unfit soldiers aren't assets; they're liabilities. It's not about whether or not they "deserve" that chicken-fried steak -- it's about whether or not they can do their jobs if they eat it. The mission comes first.


The snarky answer is that you've obviously never encountered an MRE.

The honest answer is that part of Army basic training (and I assume the other branches as well; maybe not the Navy because fat floats) is exactly that, or at least as much as you can teach someone about "healthy eating" in an institutionalized cafeteria setting. Once out of training, a combination of lots of physical activity plus strict height/weight standards tends to keep everyone's physical condition in check--soldiers who do approach their weight or body fat limit are given mandatory nutritional training and set up on a detailed roadmap to correct the issue. Failing that, they are promoted to PFC (Private Farking Citizen).

Spending millions of taxpayer dollars (which I'm quite sure they've done) in order to place color-coded nutritional warnings on the food served in mess halls is not only an unneeded waste, it's monumentally stupid. Of course, it doesn't surprise me that the Army did something stupid (I could write books), but it does surprise me that there are actually people outside of the program who think that this is a good idea.
 
2012-02-29 01:14:31 AM  

Harv72b: the only mess halls in which soldiers commonly eat once or more per day are on initial training installations


I don't know about that. In my experiences, most soldiers with a meal card took advantage of the free food. I skipped breakfast from time to time and dinner if we were going off base, but for the most part, the food was good so why waste money by not eating there? Even after I moved off base and was getting BAS, I still ate in the mess hall almost every day for lunch.
 
2012-02-29 01:24:35 AM  

9beers: jmadisonbiii: [www.frigginrandom.com image 403x604]

When I was in the Army and stationed overseas, we had a vending machine that dispensed beer. It only had Budweiser so I tried to plan ahead so I didn't have to use it much. Still, when it was late, everything was closed and you were out of beer, it was pretty much the best thing ever.

On a related topic, I always found it hilarious how you were able to go to the Class VI and buy cheap booze and cigarettes. The prices for both were around half of what you would pay out in public. So much for promoting healthy habits.


You poor bastard. Our machines dispensed local beers and Spezi for DM1,50. No horse urine allowed.
And grass-fed Yugoslav beef - the tenderloin roasts were $2.60 a pound. (Then Congress got into a pissing contest with Europe over the ban on hormone-fed beef, the pustules.)
 
2012-02-29 01:34:03 AM  

Harv72b: FTA:

If you walk into a basic training cafeteria today you will find far fewer fried foods and soda machines have been replaced with "hydration stations"

They had soda machines in my basic training mess hall (Fort Jackson, same ones mentioned in the article). They were never turned on, and even if one was you weren't allowed to take anything from it, but they were there. Instead we had the choice of milk, two different kinds of fruit drinks, or water.

I'm confused if they're talking about basic training dining. Unless things had changed a ton since '93, you walked in and got served what they made for that meal. The only way you got a different option is if you had a documented dietary need to (religious, allergies, etc). So if they're implementing this there, then it's completely useless.

If they're implementing this service-wide, it's only mostly useless. Just like anywhere else, most soldiers are going to opt for whatever they like when given a choice, regardless of its health value. If not given a choice in the mess hall, they'll go to Burger King instead.


Ft. Jackson: Where every meal tastes like sawdust, red clay and stale sweat.
Soda machines? How young are... Oh, I see. When I went through Jackson, "vegetarian" (don't make them snicker by telling them you're Jewish) meant three-bean salad - swimming in vinegar and butter - cooked to mush vegetables - also swimming in butter - and WonderBread. We had coffee, though. I lost so much weight my first week, they ordered me to eat meat. If it weren't for the Jewish chaplain, I'd have starved or been kicked out.
 
2012-02-29 01:38:34 AM  

demaL-demaL-yeH: Ft. Jackson: Where every meal tastes like sawdust, red clay and stale sweat.
Soda machines? How young are... Oh, I see. When I went through Jackson, "vegetarian" (don't make them snicker by telling them you're Jewish) meant three-bean salad - swimming in vinegar and butter - cooked to mush vegetables - also swimming in butter - and WonderBread. We had coffee, though. I lost so much weight my first week, they ordered me to eat meat. If it weren't for the Jewish chaplain, I'd have starved or been kicked out.


They're not allowed coffee now. Or sodas. Or desserts. True, those things are "available", but their Drill Sergeants won't permit them to actually EAT it, and anybody who dared to reach for it would be smoked like you wouldn't believe.

/CSS: Hubby wrote me from Ft. Jackson and told me that he was actually excited to get an MRE for dinner instead of chow hall food, because his MRE had a pack of peanut M&Ms and a packet of instant coffee! That was the first caffeine he had in weeks!
 
2012-02-29 01:39:01 AM  

demaL-demaL-yeH: You poor bastard. Our machines dispensed local beers and Spezi for DM1,50.


We didn't have vending machines in out barracks when I was in Germany. We did have a food truck that came by every night and a local firehouse that sold racks of beer though. Bratwursts, pommes frites and some good German beer made for a great evening. Also, I had forgotten about Spezi until I looked it up on Google. That stuff was delicious.
 
2012-02-29 01:43:41 AM  

9beers: demaL-demaL-yeH: You poor bastard. Our machines dispensed local beers and Spezi for DM1,50.

We didn't have vending machines in out barracks when I was in Germany. We did have a food truck that came by every night and a local firehouse that sold racks of beer though. Bratwursts, pommes frites and some good German beer made for a great evening. Also, I had forgotten about Spezi until I looked it up on Google. That stuff was delicious.


You can roll your own: Mexican cane sugar Coca-Cola and orange Fanta mixed 50-50.
/Standard US HFCS tastes BAD.
//Local brewery made us our own beer.
///Seriously. And it was good.
 
2012-02-29 01:47:49 AM  

demaL-demaL-yeH: You can roll your own: Mexican cane sugar Coca-Cola and orange Fanta mixed 50-50.


I'm going to have to try that. I have a local market that sells bottles of Coke with real sugar.
 
2012-02-29 01:52:23 AM  

morgantx: demaL-demaL-yeH: Ft. Jackson: Where every meal tastes like sawdust, red clay and stale sweat.

They're not allowed coffee now. Or sodas. Or desserts. True, those things are "available", but their Drill Sergeants won't permit them to actually EAT it, and anybody who dared to reach for it would be smoked like you wouldn't believe.

/CSS: Hubby wrote me from Ft. Jackson and told me that he was actually excited to get an MRE for dinner instead of chow hall food, because his MRE had a pack of peanut M&Ms and a packet of instant coffee! That was the first caffeine he had in weeks!


No coffee allowed?
That's...
That's...

unpossible. No NCO would deprive any soldier, even a lowly trainee, of coffee without major cause.

'Fess up, now: What did he do to piss them off so much?

Shoot the First Sergeant's Sergeant Major's dog kid?

/Spill it.
 
2012-02-29 01:53:31 AM  

oukewldave: What's a soda machine? Is it something like a pop machine?


I'm pretty sure they're talking about gedunk machines.
 
2012-02-29 01:57:14 AM  

demaL-demaL-yeH: No coffee allowed?
That's...
That's...

unpossible. No NCO would deprive any soldier, even a lowly trainee, of coffee without major cause.



For the first couple weeks of basic at Ft Leonard Wood, we weren't allowed coffee or soda. The eventually allowed it once they started giving us a little bit of freedom in the evenings.
 
2012-02-29 02:00:38 AM  

9beers: demaL-demaL-yeH: No coffee allowed?
That's...
That's...

unpossible. No NCO would deprive any soldier, even a lowly trainee, of coffee without major cause.


For the first couple weeks of basic at Ft Leonard Wood, we weren't allowed coffee or soda. The eventually allowed it once they started giving us a little bit of freedom in the evenings.


I hated coffee until I got to Ft. Jackson, and it was the only hot thing to drink in the late fall and early winter. Made all the difference.
 
2012-02-29 02:03:01 AM  

buckler: I hated coffee until I got to Ft. Jackson, and it was the only hot thing to drink in the late fall and early winter. Made all the difference.


I think everybody gets hooked on coffee while in the military. I didn't even like the stuff and drank it all the time.
 
2012-02-29 02:07:06 AM  

buckler: 9beers: demaL-demaL-yeH: No coffee allowed?
That's...
That's...

unpossible. No NCO would deprive any soldier, even a lowly trainee, of coffee without major cause.


For the first couple weeks of basic at Ft Leonard Wood, we weren't allowed coffee or soda. The eventually allowed it once they started giving us a little bit of freedom in the evenings.

I hated coffee until I got to Ft. Jackson, and it was the only hot thing to drink in the late fall and early winter. Made all the difference.


That picture brings back a nightmare: Canvas, bleach and iodine "flavored" warm "water." Those sweating canvas water buffalos were vile in the extreme.
 
2012-02-29 02:12:25 AM  
One would think with all the hype about nutrition that the military would quit serving unhealthy foods. But then the nutritionists hired by the military would squabble about what type of diet would be the best to serve. High or Low carb or Veggie etc. Or the Lobbyist for the food industry would go bat shiat crazy and push those politicians to bring it back.
 
2012-02-29 02:17:41 AM  
I'm getting a bit sick and tired of reading about the US military. Do they control the world now? And if so, is that a good thing?
 
2012-02-29 02:20:50 AM  

farkityfarker: I'm getting a bit sick and tired of reading about the US military. Do they control the world now? And if so, is that a good thing?


Then don't read it?
 
2012-02-29 02:46:39 AM  
So they were military food police corps then?
 
2012-02-29 03:10:42 AM  
So ignore the green, for for the red foods. Got it, thanks for highlighting the good stuff.
 
2012-02-29 03:44:25 AM  

sonorangal: One would think with all the hype about nutrition that the military would quit serving unhealthy foods. But then the nutritionists hired by the military would squabble about what type of diet would be the best to serve. High or Low carb or Veggie etc. Or the Lobbyist for the food industry would go bat shiat crazy and push those politicians to bring it back.


The problem is that most of the stuff out there is designed first in the name of ag subsidies, second for sedentary people, and thirdly for idiots.
 
2012-02-29 04:24:54 AM  

morgantx: They're not allowed coffee now. Or sodas. Or desserts. True, those things are "available", but their Drill Sergeants won't permit them to actually EAT it, and anybody who dared to reach for it would be smoked like you wouldn't believe.

/CSS: Hubby wrote me from Ft. Jackson and told me that he was actually excited to get an MRE for dinner instead of chow hall food, because his MRE had a pack of peanut M&Ms and a packet of instant coffee! That was the first caffeine he had in weeks!


We never had coffee available in the mess hall, but they did bring it out to us in the field a couple times (I went through basic in the dead of winter). I tried it once...weakest damn coffee I've ever had in my life.

/I actually rarely drank coffee while in the military, and still rarely do. I was all about the Gatorade when I was in, didn't really become a caffeine junkie until after my discharge.
//Give your hubby a big "HUAH!" from me, and to mind that first step on off Victory Tower--it is a doozy!
 
2012-02-29 04:32:29 AM  

9beers: I don't know about that. In my experiences, most soldiers with a meal card took advantage of the free food. I skipped breakfast from time to time and dinner if we were going off base, but for the most part, the food was good so why waste money by not eating there? Even after I moved off base and was getting BAS, I still ate in the mess hall almost every day for lunch.


The only times I really saw people use it regularly were during training (usually just for lunch basic/AIT). At Ft. Irwin I might've averaged one meal per week, and at the time our chow hall was the reigning best in command winner.

It might have just been me & the people I knew, perhaps. It was always fairly crowded when I did go there, but I got the feeling that if every eligible soldier ever showed up for a meal they'd have been screwed.
 
2012-02-29 04:33:10 AM  

Harv72b: 9beers: I don't know about that. In my experiences, most soldiers with a meal card took advantage of the free food. I skipped breakfast from time to time and dinner if we were going off base, but for the most part, the food was good so why waste money by not eating there? Even after I moved off base and was getting BAS, I still ate in the mess hall almost every day for lunch.

The only times I really saw people use it regularly were during training (usually just for lunch after basic/AIT). At Ft. Irwin I might've averaged one meal per week, and at the time our chow hall was the reigning best in command winner.

It might have just been me & the people I knew, perhaps. It was always fairly crowded when I did go there, but I got the feeling that if every eligible soldier ever showed up for a meal they'd have been screwed.


ftfm
 
2012-02-29 06:45:17 AM  

morgantx: They're not allowed coffee now.


Unconstitutional!

Look it up. Juan Valdez v. The State of California.

/Dr. Johnny Fever
 
2012-02-29 07:01:34 AM  
People used to eat to survive. Now, eating is a recreational activity. Therein lies the problem.

The media does not help. We are constantly bombarded with ads for fast food restaurants, grocery stores, specialty foods, etc. So food and eating is always on our mind. Drive through any city or town, and what's the first thing you look for? What restaurants are there. It's always in your face. No wonder we are such an overweight, obese society.
 
2012-02-29 07:05:45 AM  
That's "Pop Machine", subby.
 
2012-02-29 07:45:29 AM  

wowzer97pooh: You mean I can go into battle with a grenade in one hand and a Cherry Icee in the other hand?

Brother, where do I sign up?


upload.wikimedia.orgkatnip.files.wordpress.com

So according to the color danger chart, which one is worse for you?
 
2012-02-29 07:59:17 AM  
This actually looks like a semi-desparate Lt Col trying to come up with something flashy (and politically acceptable) to increase her visibility and her chances of putting a bird on her shoulder.
 
2012-02-29 08:20:58 AM  
Speaking as prior-service and disgusted with the deplorable level of fitness across the US armed services, I say this is idiotic. Changing the name changes nothing. Get rid of it. Want a drink? Have some water or coffee. Period. Our men and women should set the bar for physical fitness. You can drink all the soda and eat all the cream puffs you want when you get out. Until then, you'll exercise at least 180 minutes/day and you'll eat healthy. I did it and the vast majority of my fellow Unit members did the same. It's not only feasible, it's necessary for those who are willfully putting themselves in a situation where they will be required to rely upon their fitness to keep themselves and others alive. Sorry, not trying to sound like an old curmudgeon, but it's true. And no, I'm not some old WWI vet yelling at youngsters to get off my lawn. I separated from the service last July and I'm 39 years old.
 
2012-02-29 08:24:54 AM  

morgantx:
They're not allowed coffee now. Or sodas. Or desserts. True, those things are "available", but their Drill Sergeants won't permit them to actually EAT it, and anybody who dared to reach for it would be smoked like you wouldn't believe.


Basic Training CSB:

All through the cycle at Ft. Jackson (C 1/61) about two years ago, the DS's kept laying on the threats of what would happen if anybody touched the desserts that were present. "Fatty cakes" they called them. One screw-up who was being outprocessed and didn't give a damn went for them one day, the entire platoon would have gotten smoked like hell if our Platoon Guide (recruit in a temporary leadership role over the Platoon) hadn't stood up to the DS and pointed out that the person who ate it was being outprocessed, was antisocial, and had a no-PT profile so she couldn't be smoked, so she could eat cake and then watch us suffer for it and get her kicks like that. . .so we barely avoided a huge smoking that way.

It wasn't going to last. The bullshiat line the DS's fed us was that if we ate any desserts then we'd fail our PT test for sure. They even confiscated the M&M's and tootsie rolls from our MRE's. Never mind that we could have all the sugary sports drinks we wanted, and the forbidden dessert section had sugar free, fat free frozen yogurt. As one DS explained it to us: If the thought of eating it makes you smile, assume you are NOT allowed to have it.

Now for the record, we weren't banned from eating them. They couldn't write you up with an Article 15 or throw you out for eating dessert, if it's in the mess hall (DFAC in modern army parlance) it's fair game. The DS's could smoke you all they want, but that's all they could do.

Now, since the DS's kept saying that the only reason we weren't supposed to have any sweets was it would make us fail our PT test. On the day of our End of Cycle APFT (PT test needed for graduation) our platoon got together and decided to call the DS's on that little story. We agreed that anybody who passed the PT test would get dessert, and we'd stand up to the DS's saying the only reason we couldn't have it was that it would make us fail that test.

Most of the platoon passed on the first try. That evening, without fanfare or saying anything, every one of us that passed took one of those little saucers of cake or a little bowl and put some frozen yogurt into it.

That wasn't just a drop of blood in the water to the DS's, it was dumping a slaughtered cow into the water. DS's from other platoons started immediately coming over and giving us grief until our own showed up. Apparently, according to what a DS explained at graduation, what made it particularly bad was that the Brigade Commander himself was in the mess hall at the time, and our own Senior Drill Sergeant was boasting about how disciplined we were and what a textbook platoon we were and how he'd never seen us so much as touch the dessert shelf. . .and with timing appropriate for Hollywood, the Colonel then looks over and sees tables of soldiers all digging in to cake and frozen yogurt. . .making our Senior DS look like an idiot to the Colonel.

Yeah, we got extra special bonus smoked after dinner. By Army regs, or training command regulations more specifically, they can't smoke you for 30 minutes after a meal. . .so once those 30 minutes were up he gathered us all in the barracks and we exercised for 3 hours straight, until the windows of the room were covered in fog and every last one of us was sore in muscles we didn't even know we had.

. . .but being the first chocolate any of us had had in about 7 weeks, that was still some damn good cake.
 
zez
2012-02-29 08:45:21 AM  
Sounds like someone is going to have to answer to the coca-cola company

28.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-02-29 09:17:30 AM  
If you walk into a basic training cafeteria today you will find far fewer fried foods and soda machines have been replaced with "hydration stations," she explained.

What kinda of Mickey Mouse basic training do they have going on with soda machines in the mess hall? We had a drink fountain with fruit juice, poweraid and water and it was mandatory that you have at least one glass of water with your meal that you would drink FIRST or god help you, you WILL be PT'd to death. The only place where we had soda machines was outside the barracks next to the phone booths where we might get to go for 10 minutes once a week.
 
2012-02-29 10:35:07 AM  
www.whooya.net

Hydration station.
 
2012-02-29 10:45:05 AM  

Worldwalker: Unfortunately, the higher-ups do need to teach the new soldiers what to eat, and get them to eat the right kinds of things, because most of those people have never learned it anywhere else. They've eaten (or been fed) their way into blobularity, and unfit soldiers aren't assets; they're liabilities. It's not about whether or not they "deserve" that chicken-fried steak -- it's about whether or not they can do their jobs if they eat it. The mission comes first.


True. But learning what to eat and how much---I can see why the military is presenting it as a fuel issue, because they're exactly right. Combat arms soldiers have always needed to be athletes, and the changing structure of the battlefield, where anywhere can become the front, means that all modern soldiers need to be athletes. If a job can be done by a non-soldier-athlete, it can generally be done by a civilian contractor.

There are some missions in the military that are very, very high calorie demand. An example would be Navy and Marine personnel going through BUD/S. One of their challenges in training is learning the huge amount of fuel, and the balance of macro-nutrients, that their bodies require to maintain that level of physical performance. That's a very extreme and humanly unsustainable performance level in a lot of ways, but it's an example of no matter how many calories you can stuff down your gullet, it's not enough.

Then there's every day non-deployed military life, where you're doing a lot of PT to keep your body fit, and the calorie demand that goes with being an active athlete in whatever level of training you choose to maintain over and above the minimum of just doing your job. That affects what your non-deployed daily calorie count will be, and what your macro-nutrient mix will be.

And then there's deployment. On deployment, your opportunities for PT get all shaken up, unpredictably, depending on your MOS and what's available where you are. If you're a fobbit, you may have access to a gym. If you're infantry, it may be, "What PT?" And the stresses of deployment can play hob with your motivation and...um...priorities. Again, your caloric needs can change and your macro-nutrient mix might, too, depending on what you were doing stateside.

You do have to think of food as fuel. Also, presenting the idea of food as fuel is a way for the military to try to reduce the rank and file resentment that the brass is farking with their chow.

Mail and chow are sacred to the soldier. It really helps that modern technology has improved the experience of "mail" so much. There are downsides, but overall the changes there seem to be a big improvement.

As for chow, military commands have always been paternalistic about chow as fuel. "An army marches on its stomach." Putting colored labels on the food is a fairly harmless way for some staffer to justify his job. At least, that's how the rank and file are likely to view it.
 
2012-02-29 10:48:34 AM  
I'm sure the soldiers will pay close attention to those labels so that their tight uniforms won't make their ass look too big. It's important to always look fabulous.

/thinks this is ridiculous, since soldiers usually need calorie dense food.
 
2012-02-29 10:49:10 AM  

Silverstaff: . . .but being the first chocolate any of us had had in about 7 weeks, that was still some damn good cake.


My mother (prior service herself, so she should have known better) sent me a care package when I was at Jackson. My DS told me that the cookies were delicious.

We were allowed sweets and soda exactly once during basic training. Towards the end of the 8 weeks Super Bowl Sunday rolled around, and our other full time drill allowed us to roll a tv into the bay to watch, and escorted four soldiers over to the shoppette to buy candy and soda for everyone. As he told us, "It's just not right to come between a man and football" (this was before co-ed basic training). You had better believe that we paid for it the next day, but it was worth it.

There's just something not right about 60 grown men getting giggly-excited about having a coke and a snickers bar.
 
2012-02-29 12:18:26 PM  

TheDirtyNacho: Harv72b: FTA:

If you walk into a basic training cafeteria today you will find far fewer fried foods and soda machines have been replaced with "hydration stations"

They had soda machines in my basic training mess hall (Fort Jackson, same ones mentioned in the article). They were never turned on, and even if one was you weren't allowed to take anything from it, but they were there. Instead we had the choice of milk, two different kinds of fruit drinks, or water.

I'm confused if they're talking about basic training dining. Unless things had changed a ton since '93, you walked in and got served what they made for that meal. The only way you got a different option is if you had a documented dietary need to (religious, allergies, etc). So if they're implementing this there, then it's completely useless.

If they're implementing this service-wide, it's only mostly useless. Just like anywhere else, most soldiers are going to opt for whatever they like when given a choice, regardless of its health value. If not given a choice in the mess hall, they'll go to Burger King instead.

There's also this FTA:

"I had some folks say to me, 'Well, why on earth did you even include the red ones to begin with?' Two reasons - one, we've got soldiers who have racehorse metabolisms that they needed every calorie I could get into them. And by taking off the 'red' we just found that we couldn't get enough calories in them."

The second reason for including "red" foods, Cable said, was "so they could learn what contributed positively and maybe what contributed negatively. Not to say that every food is bad, it's just how they fit into your performance goals."

That sounds pretty smart to me. These guys are not calorie counters. Informing dietary choices, while still offering the choice, gives a more likely chance that they won't just go to Burger King as you say.


No, serving food that doesn't taste like crap, or taste like nothing will help keep them from going to Burger King.

I've eaten at many a chow hall and I know for a fact that the reason most Soldiers jump in the short order line is because A: the other menu items are garbage (ie: the yakisoba in the article) or B: they are just serving the lunchtime leftovers for dinner (mmmmm... warmed over nasty yakisoba).

When I was going through training 10 years ago you could get 4 meals a day, they served Krispy Kreme's on the salad bar at breakfast, and the recipe for "Roasted Broccoli" was 1 lb of butter to 5 lbs of frozen broccoli. And you know what? Soldiers were still not fat! What's that indicative of?
 
2012-02-29 01:20:58 PM  

Mr. Breeze: And you know what? Soldiers were still not fat! What's that indicative of?


That soldiering is a high-energy profession. Those guys burn a lot of calories and they must get them from somewhere. We had no short order line when I served. You ate what they served or nothing. And if you took it, you'd damned well better eat it. I've eaten in good mess halls and horrible ones. But what a mess sergeant knows is awesome. Imagine having to calculate how much food needs to be ordered and prepared each day, and each of those meals must have a prescribed number of calories. It isn't easy. One of the most delicious dishes I've ever eaten anywhere was a smother, stuffed pork chop. Imagine my amazement when I learned the mess sergeant used canned pork chops. He said it was the only way he had found to make them edible. He later won the Army's top mess sergeant award three years running.
 
2012-02-29 01:31:26 PM  

JackieRabbit: Mr. Breeze: And you know what? Soldiers were still not fat! What's that indicative of?

That soldiering is a high-energy profession. Those guys burn a lot of calories and they must get them from somewhere. We had no short order line when I served. You ate what they served or nothing. And if you took it, you'd damned well better eat it. I've eaten in good mess halls and horrible ones. But what a mess sergeant knows is awesome. Imagine having to calculate how much food needs to be ordered and prepared each day, and each of those meals must have a prescribed number of calories. It isn't easy. One of the most delicious dishes I've ever eaten anywhere was a smother, stuffed pork chop. Imagine my amazement when I learned the mess sergeant used canned pork chops. He said it was the only way he had found to make them edible. He later won the Army's top mess sergeant award three years running.


Cool story bro.

I think I'll steal it. :-)
 
2012-02-29 02:01:47 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Lt. Col. Sonya Cable speaks like she's having a small stroke.


From an article last year

img.photobucket.com
 
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