Food at USNA

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Pippip, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Pippip

    Pippip Member

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    I was just wondering what the food is like. I know before every meal the midshipmen be in formation, and all eat together in the hall, but what do they eat? This isn't really a big deal, but I was just curious.
     
  2. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    Salt pork and hardtack.

    Actually, its fairly standard college dorm type food, all served "family style" pretty much all at once.

    There are no salad bars.
     
  3. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    USNA's made efforts in the past ~6 yr to offer more nutritious fare: higher in protein and complex carbs, lower in fats, and smarter fats too. There is plenty of it, even for plebes. At breakfast there are cold cereals and usually some kind of hot dishes: scrambled eggs, French toast, waffles or pancakes, sometimes a meat like bacon or sausage, toast, juices, milk. Lunch tends to be sandwich-centric: wraps, subs, burgers, hot dogs, pizza, tacos, that sort of thing. Dinners can run the gamut from fajitas to some kind of hot dish casserole to surf and turf but often looks like some iteration of meat, veggie, starch. On the table at every meal except the fancy ones are peanut butter and bread (if you don't care for any of the choices), milk and juice. Contemporary mids may remark on current favorite or loathed dishes. ( I really, genuinely used to like the meatloaf - is this still offered?)

    Unless you are a particularly picky eater, no one will care what you eat or do not eat, except your detailers during plebe summer making you drink fluids - everyone has their food or two they just can't stand and reaches for the PB from time to time. If you are a picky eater, you will be rapidly unburdened of that shortcoming. :wink:
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
  4. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Our reports are that MIHOSER is being kind. VERY kind.

    After a massive uprising 4 years ago due to a Fowler foul-up in which he ordered all Mids to eat all meals on the Yard, Sunday thru Thursday, which was a very big change. Many Mids were eating off campus as many nights as possible due to the poor quality and amount of food. Well, now you have 15 -25% MORE Mids eating, by mandate, w/ company mates. But ... someone forgot to order 15 -25% more chow. Getting the pic?

    Well, half the parents on the planet, and notably those from areas represented by the BoV members, are screaming about poor quality, insufficient amounts of chow. And trust me, based on only a few meals that one would think would be "show-case" quality, the problem was real and chronic.

    So, in typical governmental fashion, despite the Supe's attempts to squelch the bad news of no and/or lousy soups, an infusion of cash/Mid/meal was instantly made. Maybe part of the so-called "stimulus" bill? Mids were calling it "survival."

    Well, all of this is a bit over-stated. That said ... USNA chow is nothing to write home about, and not close to what one would have available at a non-SA. While some were bemoaning "lousy facilities, inadequate equipment", my own read on this is a situation that requires exceptional culinary management skills, current and substantial equipment and facilities (now there!), and a commitment to making it work both right and well. I'm not sure these are all in place, and the noise has died down substantially over the past couple of eating seasons. So hopefully it's better and improving.

    At its essence this is a significant culinary management and logistics challenge. 3 squares, 3 times daily, for 4,200 Mids ... all to be served, not buffet-lined or salad-barred, instantaneously and in the same general chow hall.

    That's the sorta "bad news."

    The sorta good news is that at last report, not a single Midshipman had been starved, treated for anorexia, or been treated for emaciation.
     
  5. mademu

    mademu Member

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    Nobody starves, but if you want to eat healthy I wouldn't recommend king hall.
     
  6. osdad

    osdad Member

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    The kitchen facilities in King Hall have been under renovation for some time. Because of this they didn't have the capability to employ a lot of different cooking methods, so almost everything they prepared was baked. Lots of chicken served lots of different ways. Baked fish. :thumbdown: Baked steaks. :eek: But that should be rectified this year so who knows what they'll come up with.

    Breakfast and lunch are fairly normal.
     
  7. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    DD said that meals picked up during the past two years after ADM Fowler. Still had to "steal" fruit to take back to room. Hide it in the cover. :shake: Rember the "Cod Dogs" from a few years ago? Only good Chow is "Midnight Chow". Sort of like a brunch after a night downtown but you had to be in uniform.:thumb: They will not starve.
     
  8. angiern

    angiern Member

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    My daughter is a current plebe and a vegetarian. They have accomodated her diet, which she is greatful for, but she says it gets pretty repetitive. She's not starving, though
     
  9. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    I know this isn't on point, but it may be interesting on the issue of diet at the academies. My daughter is a (junior) cadet at USAFA -- and a vegetarian (what can I say, lots of people in Boulder, Colorado are vegetarians or vegans). My daughter has been able to meet her dietary needs at USAFA but it has taken some real work on her part. It was difficult as a Freshman. As a Sophomore she was able to get a refrigerator and stock it with foods (including fruits and begetables) that she ate to supplement what was available in the dining hall. During Sophomore year she met with an Academy dietician who helped her to figure out what she should eat/how many calories she needed to meet her dietary requirements (my daughter works out alot -- the real challenge was getting enough calories and protein as a vegetarian). This summer she went to an Air Force base in Georgia for three weeks on Ops-- her commanding officer there told her that he had never met a vegetarian. Even at that base -- with fried food galore -- she was able, with some difficulty, to eat healthy food. It takes some work, but is possible. I am guessing that cadets at all of the academies can figure out a healthy diet -- but it may take some work -- at least at Air Force, there are dieticians who will meet with cadets to figure out a diet plan that is workable.
     
  10. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    I was an athlete and a vegetarian at USNA, way back in the 20th century, gasp. I was also able to meet with a dietician for dietetic suggestions and guidance - as a plebe and youngster. My sponsor family helped a lot - they had both been stationed in SE Asia, Okinawa, Hawaii, and the Mediterranean so I was introduced to a lot of really delicious and nutritious vegetarian dishes.
     
  11. futuremid

    futuremid Member

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    I actually really enjoyed it. Not my momma's cooking, but not too bad. Then again, I'll eat anything & love it. But really, it was fine.

    And regarding it's nutrition, I stayed the same weight during NASS.
     
  12. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    King Hall is okay. I think people overstate how awful it is.* The healthier options have grown in size and quality over the past two years: there's usually grilled chicken or some sort of fish (ew) at every lunch/dinner that's healthier than the main course. The bottom line is, with a little creativity and self-discipline, you can make it work.

    The real trick is going down for Sunday brunch. It can be a struggle to haul yourself out of bed by 1100 and put on a uniform to go down, but the options (breakfast AND lunch! eggs to order! salad bar! assorted foods to steal!) make up for it ten fold.

    *Sidenote: I spent two weeks out at Stanford this summer and ate in one of their dining halls a couple times. I was completely blown away by the options they had.
     
  13. navy2016

    navy2016 Member

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    I have gone to 2 summer programs (STEM and NASS) and ate at King's Hall. This may not reflect what mids have during the academic year but:

    overall, it is edible

    they really know how to serve potatoes; fried scalloped potatoes were delicious

    lunch was often some type of sandwich

    although I love seafood, the didn't like the fish (very smelly catfish)

    breakfast seem to be very similar items: eggs, assorted cereals, some type of meat-bacon, sausage

    I feel like you could eat healthy or you could make yourself gain weight depending on how you eat their food.
     
  14. mademu

    mademu Member

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    Sunday brunch is awesome. The only time I am able to even smell the eggs. Big problem with Sunday brunch is those little cheesecakes. I just end up eating them every damn time.
     
  15. subvet

    subvet Member

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    Food

    Back in 2006 when food was pretty bad the Washingtonm Post ran a hilarious cartoon showing a Mid standing outside the wall by Gate 3 holding a sign reading "Will serve my country for food" Got a lot of attention that one:shake:
     
  16. GabsmomFL

    GabsmomFL Member

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    Spoke w/my DD and she really likes the food. said it was better than her boarding school. Just a current mids point of view. and she is picky! lol:rolleyes:
     
  17. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Gabsmom ... I confess, reading sentence #1, I was wondering what kind of cook you are.:confused:

    Upon cleaning my screen and proceeding to sentence #2, I was certain your daughter's school was either a sad miscarriage of your name for it and/or a rip-off. "Boarding school?" And the chow was "worse" than USNA?:eek: You paid too much!

    Let me conclude that a #3 option might well be, King Hall fare is on the upswing.:thumb: Here's hoping so. :shake:
     
  18. GabsmomFL

    GabsmomFL Member

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    LOL your funny, i am a good cook, but your right the food at her school was not good and way over priced. LOL... but, truth is we all like different things, so was good for one, yuck for the other...

    :biggrin:
     

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