Thursday, February 16, 2012

Michelle Obama Condescends to Our Troops

“Don’t worry, you’ll be a vegetable guy soon,”

When Michelle Obama said this to a serviceman, she was not trying to reassure a confused person in any way - she was acting in a manner of the elitist that she is. She could at least have been honest and said that "I outrank you in influence with the Pentagon and I am going to decide what you will eat."

American servicemen have already long been treated like children when it comes to the food that is served in the mess halls. Their portions are carefully measured, they are not allowed to have creamed beef placed on their potatoes at breakfast if they were first given sausage or bacon because they already have a meat portion, and the meals have for a long time been heavy in low-in-nutrients/high-in-empty calories bread.

A grown man or woman in the military is allotted a portion of each food group (although the salad bar is open for multiple servings). While I can sit at my own table and have multiple portions of meat and greens beans and avoid bread, potatoes, etc, I would have no choice but to walk away unsatisfied in a mess hall, which I did on more than one occasion. It is a sad thing that our service members are treated like they are eight years-old. Why should a 6'4" 220 lb. guy get the same meat portion as a serviceman who is 95 lbs. soaking wet?

Those who recall being allowed to go back for seconds will need to be made aware that this too is long gone. The Marines got rid of that as far back as the eighties.

I will admit that it is easier to plan for a certain amount of each food group to avoid waste, but the amounts of military-style staples allowed to big strapping guys who carry machine guns, tripods, ammunition, body armor, and more is not close to what they would eat if they had any say in the matter.

The continual references to the amount of military personnel on weight control is misleading too. The height and weight charts employed in the armed forces are so out-of-date that they routinely cause big-bodied servicemen to have to undergo body fat or body mass testing. The charts are designed for slender-bodied people who will easily fall under their weight allowance even if they are physically weak and have potbellies.
If one is a big, strong person, then rest assured he or she will be sent for all sorts of further exams. I spent over sixteens years in the Marine Corps and National Guard and I never failed to notice a guy that would be my first choice to be next to me in a combat situation have to go through all sorts of fat/mass testing and often still wind up being put on weight control. Mind you that I also witnessed these same guys operate and rarely was a teammate able to hump a load of full combat gear on long marches as well as these guys could.

The mess halls have salad bars that provide all all sorts of fresh vegetables and that is of course a good thing. The First Lady is taking that a step further by making the servings of extra vegetables take the place of other things that they will want. The additional vegetables are not to be optional in the salad bar but will likely replace other foods. (Note again that they do not get to receive multiple servings of the same item, like a second pork chop, and that they cannot just get back in line and get more food) Her plan will reduce their ability to eat what they want. Even if it were true that 1 in 20 were overweight, how should that affect the other 19?

I once watched a documentary in which contrasts were drawn between the diets of ancient Greeks and their Persian enemies. Aside from the arms and armor, physical preparedness, cultural and tactical differences, the commentators made more than fair arguments that the high-protein* diet of the Greeks helped make them stronger and better able to endure the terrible grind of a long battle.

The Persians, being fead on a grain-based diet, would have had spurts of energy but less of the physical strength and, as anyone who has crashed after the carb-high has left the body knows, little of their opponents ability to exert themselves while carrying weapons and other gear during the fight. Once the initial clash ended, the Greeks were consistently able to shoulder their burdens and still engage the enemy while losing little of their strength and endurance. Don't forget that our servicemen carry a more than substantial physical burden into combat.

*Milk, cheese, meat, olives, olive oil, linseed, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment