More than 100 food service professionals converged at the Larkin Hall Conference Center here for an Army Food Program Advisory Board/Symposium March 4-5.
Hosting the event was the Quartermaster School’s Joint Culinary Center of Excellence. Guest speakers included Peter Bechtel, Army G-4, who spoke via teleconference, and Ed Walden from the National Restaurant Association.
John Dale, action officer for the Army Food Program, DA G-4, said the symposium brings together culinary career field Soldiers and civilians from all over the world to share best practices and get the latest updates on programs and policies.
“This is an opportunity to share the Army Food Program’s lines of effort with the food service community,” he said. “We also needed to inform the attendees about our Healthy Food Initiative as we synchronize with holistic health and fitness efforts and move forward under the Go for Green Army project.”
Go for Green Army is a new dining facility food education program using a color-coded labeling system to indicate different levels of nutritional value.
“Menu planning is a key vehicle to deliver the nutrition Soldiers need to perform optimally, (also enabling them to) recover rapidly from stress, illness and injury, and remain healthy and alert for the long term,” read a mission statement on the JCCoE webpage. “The dietitian and menu planner collaborate and advise on nutrition concepts, nutrition programs, ingredients and food products. Their work includes creating models for diner education and food service practices to enhance better nutrient balance in food choices, preparation and delivery.”
To read more about the program, visit www.hprc-online.org.
The symposium agenda included presentations on facilities and equipment. Senior officials covered several subjects relating to the general state of Army Food Service.
Also discussed during the conference were the Army’s efforts to offer alternatives to eating in dining facilities. They include food trucks and kiosks that provide a convenient meal option for Soldiers working irregular hours or not located in close proximity to dining facilities. A good example of the project’s success is the implementation at Fort Drum, N.Y., home of the 10th Mountain Division. To read more about it, visit home.army.mil/drum/index.php/my-fort/all-services/culinary-outpost-food-truck.
The symposium was organized as a companion event to the annual Joint Culinary Training Exercise that began today and concludes with an awards ceremony March 13 at the Lee Theater. This year’s training event has attracted roughly 175 U.S. military personnel from installations and activities around the world as well as allied forces teams from France, Germany and Great Britain.