Saturday, May 12, 2012

Military recipe committee meets to explore healthy options

By Kathy Adams
Naval Supply Systems Command Corporate Communications

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (NNS) -- Members of the Joint Services Recipe Committee met April 25 at Naval Supply Systems Command headquarters to collaborate on new recipes and suggest new food products that provide healthy options for the 21st Century Sailor and Marine.

PERTH, Australia (April 26, 2012) -- Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Darrius Thomas, left, assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Bunker Hill (DDG 52), and Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Roosevelt Roberts, right, assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), prepare vegetables at the Incontro Restaurant in Perth during a chef exchange visit. The visit is part of the Cooks and Chefs Exchange Program, which allows U.S. Navy culinary specialists and restaurant chefs to meet and exchange information. Carl Vinson was anchored in Perth for a port visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dean M. Cates.)
The Joint Services Recipe Committee is comprised of Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy dietitians, and Army Public Health Command personnel. The committee meets quarterly to review recipes and determine new products to be tested at the Armed Forces Recipe Service testing site in Natick, Mass.

"It all starts with a great recipe," said Cmdr. Danny King, director of food service for the Navy. "Our recipes bring quality ingredients together creating the base for our menus. By choosing healthy ingredients, we make healthy recipes that create healthy menus."

The recipe committee's efforts contribute toward the goal of producing healthy, nutritious meals that taste great, sustain the warfighter and support a one-catalog concept that can be supportable worldwide by Defense Logistics Agency-Troop Support for all services (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard).

"Taking a fresh look at recipes is an important part of incorporating healthy alternatives in food prepared for all services," King said.

"The Joint Services Recipe Committee is the backbone of nutrition for Sailors and Marines," said Jennifer Person-Whippo, Navy nutrition program manager and registered dietician. "The committee ensures that quality ingredients are available for use by food service personnel around the world.

"Ethnic flavors and food trends are considered during recipe development and revision," said Person-Whippo. "Feedback from service members who prepare the food is key to determining what works and what food items are well-liked in the field. When new recipes are proposed, dietitians prepare the recipes and scale them to quantities of 100 portions for all services to use.

"From a Navy perspective, food is the biggest factor affecting morale on the ship," said King. "Nothing impacts Sailors more on a daily basis than meals. Trained culinary specialists prepare top quality, fresh, and nutritious foods, contributing to the quality of life for Sailors and Marines who are deployed as well as those stationed ashore."

The Navy's more than 7,300 culinary specialists, deployed around the globe feed on average more than 92.5 million wholesome and nutritious meals per year, ensuring the Navy's fighting forces operate at peak performance and are ready to respond to threats worldwide.

Navy commanding officers agree that nothing impacts Sailors on a day-to-day basis more than the food culinary specialists prepare for them; they believe these top quality meals contribute directly to Sailor quality of life and morale.

Today's culinary specialists have greater culinary instruction than ever before. With even more advanced training on the way, Sailors, both afloat and ashore, can look forward to even healthier and better-tasting meals in the near future.

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