Author Topic: What's the food like?  (Read 48096 times)

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Offline Jones28

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What's the food like?
« on: August 28, 2010, 22:47:02 »
Just a little curious what the food options are for people on base. Do you have a chance to make your own meals, or is it more a case of cafeteria style eating? I ask becasue I'm seriously considering joining. And no, I'm not some fat *** hoping there's plenty of cream puffs on hand. I'm a extremely active dude who competes is triathalons, ocean swim races etc etc....and a proper diet is key, I think, to my high level of athletic performace. My main reasons for joining would be to hopefully continue being active. Thing is I just picture my high school cafeteria when I think what it could be like in the military (which isn't a good thing).

So, do you guys (and gals) have access to plenty of fresh food options? What's it like day in, day out? I would think the military would be up to date with the conventional wisdom that a good diet begets the best performance out of active people. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated! 

 >:D

 

Offline HavokFour

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 02:32:25 »
http://www.forces.ca/en/job/cook-80

Give you a pretty good idea what to expect.
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Offline Pusser

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2010, 10:08:51 »
The food served in CF dining facilities is of a high quality and prepared to a high standard with a view to being both nutritious and enticing.  However, it is still institutional cooking, which means it aims at the lowest common denominator.  You won't find fresh caesar salad prepared at your table with homemade mayonnaise, fresh anchovies and fresh ground pepper, but you will find a generous salad bar with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  We don't cater to specialized diets, but there should be sufficient variety of things available to satisfy just about anybody (depending on circumstances).

If you live off base and buy your own groceries, you can eat what you like.
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Offline mariomike

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2010, 13:45:42 »
http://www.forces.ca/en/job/cook-80
Give you a pretty good idea what to expect.

Thank-you for posting that link. It looks to be recent.
Not only does the food look delicious, but I was particularly impressed by the cleanliness of the cooks and their kitchens.
 
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 14:09:34 by mariomike »

Offline srhodes

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2010, 23:46:30 »
Great question. 
Of all organizations, I would hope/imagine that the armed forces would be the most serious about putting good quality, low sodium/low fat, and nutritious food into their people.  Otherwise what kind of fighting force does one expect?  Please tell me that is the case. 

On another note, and out of curiosity, I see that the CF has been giving the message to the public that it wants a diverse military, made up of all backgrounds.  It was mentioned in a previous post about “We don’t cater to specialized diets”.  But that said, I am curious if the CF provides Kosher, Halal, Vegetarian, etc, options at its bases?
If not, their message is rather incongruent it would seem. 

Ps. Can anyone give some insights as to what the food on  a ship is like? Are their healthy, non-greasy options? 

Pss.  Are the meals at  BMQ/BMOQ especially nutritious/healthy given the physical demands of the program?

Thanks.

aesop081

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 00:11:55 »
it wants a diverse military, made up of all backgrounds.

That is meant to be of various ethnic background, national origin, that kind of thing.

Quote
It was mentioned in a previous post about “We don’t cater to specialized diets”.

Quote
If not, their message is rather incongruent it would seem. 

There are various forms of food avaiable in the CF to meet alot of different lifestyles. That being said, theres a limit and we cant accomodate everyone. To expect different is naiive and foolish.

 

Quote
Pss.  Are the meals at  BMQ/BMOQ especially nutritious/healthy given the physical demands of the program?


From what i saw at both major BMQ locations, its pretty good. That being said, i survived basic training years ago on what most people would consider a "poor diet" despite the "demands of the program". If one were to blame their poor performance there on what they had to eat, they had much bigger problems to begin with.

Offline Nauticus

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 00:16:26 »
Great question. 
Of all organizations, I would hope/imagine that the armed forces would be the most serious about putting good quality, low sodium/low fat, and nutritious food into their people.  Otherwise what kind of fighting force does one expect?  Please tell me that is the case. 

On another note, and out of curiosity, I see that the CF has been giving the message to the public that it wants a diverse military, made up of all backgrounds.  It was mentioned in a previous post about “We don’t cater to specialized diets”.  But that said, I am curious if the CF provides Kosher, Halal, Vegetarian, etc, options at its bases?
If not, their message is rather incongruent it would seem. 

Ps. Can anyone give some insights as to what the food on  a ship is like? Are their healthy, non-greasy options? 

Pss.  Are the meals at  BMQ/BMOQ especially nutritious/healthy given the physical demands of the program?

Thanks.
As far as specialized diets go, you *usually* have various options when you're eating and, yes, there are vegetarian options available. As far as culturally specific diets, to my knowledge, they are not offered (but if someone has more experience requesting one, they may add their comments). The food is generally nutritious and is good for you, but consider that there are often several choices of what to eat, and you may choose to eat as well or as poor as you'd like. You won't find organic veggies, but there are always salads, prepared nutritious meals of fish, chicken, etc, often hardboiled eggs, yogurts, and fresh fruits. Alternatively, there's also lots of soda pop, pizza, cakes and desserts, and this type of option as well.

With that said, when you're on the field, you're eating IMPs and although the nutritional value is very high (they are made to be full of vitamins, etc), they may not be comparable to a freshly prepared meal.
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Offline Shamrock

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 00:58:53 »
...As far as culturally specific diets, to my knowledge, they are not offered (but if someone has more experience requesting one, they may add their comments)...With that said, when you're on the field, you're eating IMPs and although the nutritional value is very high (they are made to be full of vitamins, etc), they may not be comparable to a freshly prepared meal.

Kosher/Halal & vegetarian meals are available at most, if not all, messes.  These dietary lifestyles are also available in IMP format.

Vegan, however, isn't an option.

Offline stealthylizard

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2010, 01:57:11 »
Reminds me of a translator that came over to my truck wanting some american mre's.  I told him that we only had Canadian rations.  Upon hearing that, he made a gagging sound, and said "No, thanks."

Offline EpicBeardedMan

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2010, 08:18:17 »
Reminds me of a translator that came over to my truck wanting some american mre's.  I told him that we only had Canadian rations.  Upon hearing that, he made a gagging sound, and said "No, thanks."

Maybe he'd prefer the French ones, they get wine with theirs :P
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Offline Pusser

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2010, 10:23:44 »
Kosher/Halal & vegetarian meals are available at most, if not all, messes.  These dietary lifestyles are also available in IMP format.

Vegan, however, isn't an option.
Careful here.  Just because foods that are acceptable to the Jewish/Muslim diet are available does not mean that they are Kosher or Halal.  Preparation is a key element to Kosher and  Halal foods and CF cooks are not trained in Kosher or Halal preparation.  Nor do we have the facilities to be able to offer Kosher or Halal meals (require separate preparation areas and in many cases separate dishes, utensils, etc.)  We do not have a sufficiently high enough population of either Jews or Muslims in the CF to make this feasible.  Can we prepare pork free meals?  Yes.  Are they Kosher or Halal?  No.

This reminds me of a course run on one base where box lunches were required.  One of the students on the course was Muslim and so the order for box lunches specified "no pork products" for his lunch, yet everyday there was a ham sandwich.  When the kitchen was queried on this, the guy in charge of box lunches said that he knew the lunch was supposed to be pork-free, which is why he made sure it was made with ham and not pork.  Sometimes the best laid plans can be completely sidelined by idiots.  He honestly didn't seem to realize that ham was a pork product.

As of this moment, the only separate dietary requirements that are protected by regulation are those for medical reasons as prescribed by a medical doctor.  Having said that, we try to be reasonably accomodating to the point that we don't simply point to the salad bar if there is a request for more vegetarian options.

Food on board ship and in field kitchens is prepared to at least the same standard as on bases and in many cases is even higher.  This is largely because CF cooks are trained to an exceptionally high standard, but the civilian cooks on bases are trained on the job (if they don't have a qualification before being hired) and so their training and experience can vary from base to base.  The limiting factor in ships and field kitchens is the availability of supplies.  Sometimes, things are just not available and so options and choices are limited.  When you run out of fresh fruit and vegetables, you just have to make do with pasta salad until you get re-supplied.  I remember one trip where we ran out of bread.  Thus our night baker had to bake forty loaves of fresh bread every night for about two weeks.  The ship's company took it in stride though and I never heard one complaint about the lack of wholewheat, 12-grain, low-sodium, non-fat Kosher bread.  Instead we all took one for the team and suffered daily with hot fresh bread!  Man it was rough. ;D
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2010, 10:49:41 »
Quote
. . . Thus our night baker had to bake forty loaves of fresh bread every night for about two weeks. . . .

Sounds almost biblical.  When requesting resupply of fresh bread, did the signal in reply read "Leviticus 24:5"?
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Offline Pusser

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2010, 10:53:27 »
Alas, no.  The man had a big enough ego as it was.  He was truly talented though.
Sure, apes read Nietzsche.  They just don't understand it.

Offline srhodes

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2010, 16:30:55 »
Thanks for the contributions.
Well it’s good to hear that a finger just isn’t pointed towards the salad bar and that efforts are made.  If that’s the case (only medically related dietary options protected by regulation) then I would definitely imagine there would be (has to be) many options/dishes (aside from just salad) that would be offered that are low fat (cholesterol) and low-sodium (blood pressure) as there are many people out there (many in the military too I’m sure) who suffer from conditions such as high cholesterol, hypertension, to name a few.    I don’t think anybody is expecting to have “Mom’s home cooking” or “Grandma’s ‘Sicilian style’ tomato sauce” and that one must be reasonable, but it is clear, beyond a doubt, that the ‘typical’ north American diet is responsible for many health problems in our society.  The link between good food and good health is undeniable.  If the CF doesn’t promote that concept, and encourage healthy eating habits, who will?  "Leadership" is an all-encompassing term that covers more than just bravery in combat.  The CF can be so much more than just a defense force.  It can be an organization that inspires young Canadians to lead active, healthy, and responsible lifestyles.


That’s great about the standard on ships being kept high.  I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the cooks are the most appreciated/loved people onboard.

Thanks.



Offline stealthylizard

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2010, 20:47:27 »
It's ultimately up to the individual.  There are healthy and unhealthy choices provided.  The food for the most part is pretty good, but you will get tired of it after awhile, especially when noticing the menu is very similar week to week.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2010, 21:45:40 »
Thursdays are Steak Nights.
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aesop081

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2010, 21:48:34 »
Thursdays are Steak Nights.

Its only steak night if you consider what they dish out to be "steak".......

Offline OkanaganHeat

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2010, 21:52:44 »
Is Friday still fish day?

I remember the clam chowder with fresh scallops during basic at Cornwallis and still start to salivate.

Offline Pusser

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2010, 10:43:37 »
Its only steak night if you consider what they dish out to be "steak".......

All food purchased by the CF is required to meet the standard laid out by the Canadian Governement Standards Board, which means Grade A for meat products.
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Offline acooper

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2010, 11:12:31 »
I'm REALLY surprised of the poor opinion of the IMP meals. I've had a few that my husband brought home, and I actually ENJOYED some of them. The omelet with salsa was quite good, and I think it was the beef stew(?) that was half decent as well. I've heard great things about IMPs, and TERRIBLE things only about MREs...

Offline drunknsubmrnr

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2010, 11:34:19 »
Quote
Its only steak night if you consider what they dish out to be "steak".......

I always enjoyed them. Especially washed down with a nice red on Super All-Nighters.

Offline Brutus

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2010, 12:29:37 »
The O/P mentioned 'low sodium/low fat', and I haven't heard it mentioned that this is certainly not a hallmark of CF food. Yes, you have a certain amount of choice in the messhall, and can choose (as you should) to eat at least half a plate of veggies, but in the field, the IMPs are certainly not low fat and are loaded in salt.

The CF is not a diet or a fat farm. But rhe food is reasonably good.

Offline Pusser

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2010, 13:35:20 »
IMPs are designed to sustain people who are working at maximum output.  Hence they have a lot of extra calories.  If you eat nothing but IMPs for a period of time, but don't do the physical activities for which they were designed, you will gain weight.
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Offline boboyer

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2010, 13:48:22 »
It's not worth the $550 a month. I talked to my folks about it and they said that even with five of us at home they didn't spend that much a month on food. I'm sure other people with a family can confirm/deny.
The food -is- good though, but after a year of eating at the mess, it gets a little repetitive.

Offline Pusser

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Re: What's the food like?
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2010, 14:04:43 »
It's not worth the $550 a month. I talked to my folks about it and they said that even with five of us at home they didn't spend that much a month on food. I'm sure other people with a family can confirm/deny.
The food -is- good though, but after a year of eating at the mess, it gets a little repetitive.

Your folks probably didn't take into account the cost of their time to go and get the food, the time to prepare it, the fuel to cook it, the lights they needed to prepare it, the cost to wash the dishes, the cost of replacing dishes, their own medical insurance plans, etc.  The cost of rations in a CF mess is not just about the food itself.  If you think you're paying too much, move out of quarters and buy your own food, store it, prepare it and pay all the other bills that enable you to "save" money.
Sure, apes read Nietzsche.  They just don't understand it.