Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Food rant

I was reading the news and I read an article in which prisoners were complaining about the food they have to eat in prison.


I spent six years in The United States Navy on active duty. I was stationed on a nuclear subarine in Pearl Harbor. When we went to sea we would load our own food. Almost 100% of the food was canned and it was terrible. Navy cooks can screw up ANYTHING.

When you load your own food you get in a long line and you pass cans and boxes down the line and load them into the submarine. Often we would load beef that had the following label on it:

"USDA, not fit for human consumption"

Yep, the navy often bought food that was not considered suitable for human consumption. They bought it because it was cheaper... After one of the stores loads some of the crew members did some research. Guess who is allowed to buy this beef, The United States Military and places that use it to feed various animals...

Can this food be fed to prisoners in our prison system?


What the heck...

Can someone please explain this to me?

Mike Sylvester


Tim Zank said...

My guess would be, as a voluntary member of the Armed Services you probably gave up any right to sue Uncle Sam for anything that happens to you as a result of your service, While prisoners and the general public can sue for ANYTHING (like tainted food or a stubbed toe). The Govt. knew as a soldier you had no choice but to grin and bear it...Bon Apetit!

Robert Enders said...

The USDA needs to revise its standards. Why was it considered not fit for human consumption, yet you seem to be fine after eating it?
And you would think that at least certain positions within the military would be entitled to better food just so that they are less likely to get sick on the job. I do not want, say, the guy who flys an F-16 over my head suddenly passing out from food poisoning.

Craig said...

Can't be any worse than what they fed us in high-school.

William Larsen said...


We were told "bubble heads" ate best. The food on the Fox, CG-33 was terrible. The best meal was "sliders” hamburgers to others. I am sure you can guess why they were called sliders on a ship that "rocked" and "rolled."

We had this thing called a New England dinner consisting of boiled cabbage, corn beef and quarter sliced potato. If they gave you four quarters of a potato, they took one back. Limit 3/4 of a potato. I would loose 15 to 20 pounds every time we went to sea. Each ship was given an allowance. I believe the quartermaster requisitioned the food within the allowance.

We also carried all rations down into the ship. Long days, no sleep, no showers for several days if the evaporator was down, working in an engine room where temps were 110 F with 100% humidity. If you were lucky you only had to stand two four-hour watches on Sunday.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Tim Zank hit that on the head... There were many times when I worked 18 hours a day; labor laws do not apply to the military; and they should not...

Robert Enders also has a great point. It did not hurt any one us...

Craig I went to Snider High School. The food at Snider was significantly better then on a submarine...

Bill also has some interesting points. I think the food on Naval bases ashore was pretty good... At sea is another story....

Robert Enders said...

Bingo! I think I figured it out. Was the food that was labeled "not fit" irradiated on the ship? I'm wondering if the Navy invented the practice of food irradiation before it was done in the consumer market.

I was told that when they first put radar on ships, some sailors would use the dish to warm up their sandwiches. This would have fortold the invention of the microwave oven.

tim zank said...

Hey Mike, I remember the food at Snider all too well (Class of 76)so if it was significantly better than what you got on the sub, You really must've had some BAD chow!!!

William Larsen said...

The food on shore was much better. In San Diego, while awaiting a Medical Board, I was TDA to the base and given two options. I could be paid a daily BAS (Basic Allowance for Substance) or given a Chow Chit. I took BAS and ate a good breakfast for 75 cents. No one ate breakfast because it closed at 7:30 am. They would cook any egg you wanted, waffles, pancakes, seven types of juices, pastries and more. It was the first giant buffet. With this large breakfast you could go till dinner. Dinner was not nearly as good as breakfast, but was 100 times better than ship food. I pocketed just under $1 a day, which I saved to eat out once a week.

For those who may not know it, ship life is long. There is nothing to do, mail call may come once every three or four weeks (worse on a boomer). They wanted you busy all the time. Standing a watch is being assigned to a station on the ship such as throttles (control speed of ship). Lower Level Engine room (operate all the equipment on lower level) etc. When not on watch between 0800 and 1700 you worked doing repairs, maintenance, training, etc. Therefore, if you have the 4 to 8 watch, they woke you at 0330 to relieve the watch at 0345. You were relieved at 0715 to eat breakfast and mustered at 0745 to begin your daily work assignments. At 1545 you relieved the watch for the 1600 to 2000 watch. If you were refueling, you would be up for this between 2000 and 2300 and your day starts over at 0330, just 4 1/2 hours later.

Jeannette Jaquish said...

Let's not fall prey to the tendency to say if government treats me bad or requires I do this, damn, I'm going to make sure everyone else suffers just as much.

I see that in businesses a lot. They hate unnecessary regulations but if they have to comply they snitch on other businesses who don't.

If people knew the conditions in the military fewer would volunteer and then the military would have to improve conditions.

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