The U.S. Navy’s new 21-day healthy menu, introduced in October, has gotten mixed results so far, according to a report in the Virginia Pilot. The new shipboard eating plan replaced a 35-day traditional menu with a slate of offerings designed to be lower in fat and calories and with more ethnic choices. Each meal has at least one entree with 15 or fewer grams of fat. The menu, which emphasizes baking over frying and uses more preprepared product, tries to compromise between traditional favorites and more healthful offerings. For example, while Fridays now feature low-fat seafood entrees at both lunch and dinner, Wednesday’s lunch remains Burger Day and Saturday dinner is still Pizza Night. In addition, the new menu uses only 500 ingredients, down from about 1,200 for the previous menu, allowing the service to save money and consolidate storage.
The new eating plan was initially introduced to about 40 ships. the entire surface fleet, about 100 ships altogether, is scheduled to be converted by September. An exception to the three-week cycle will be made on aircraft carriers, which will operate with two-week cycles because they offer multiple mess decks and larger ship stores, meaning more daily options.
The new standardized plan takes away some of the discretion ship captains have traditionally enjoyed regarding what is served on their vessels, but it does allow for some special meals and theme nights.