Army food.

Having just watched Jamie's school dinners, I was wondering how we rate Army food on the health/variety front.
This isn't a slag off Army Caterers thread. To be honest I'm more interested in how we rate the contract catering which seems to be in most most mess and dining facilites.
The mess to which I'm a member is a Sodexho run facility. To be honest I find the food fairly poor, lunches tend to be easy cook, generally fried food. The salad bar is fairly inconsistent in selection and quality.
Any other views out there. Personnely I say bring back military chefs!


Cheaper than feeding yourself.

End of discussion really.

I SOOO love menu B by the way.
It used to be so easy for the military to feed its troops.. dried or salted beef or pork,six weeks out from England packed in barrels, a large hard roll and a ration of beer/rum/ whatever..

then someone got wise to the need for troops to be energized by food so they loaded the meal packets with carb/calorie items to keep the sugars flowing..
nowadays they have to be so mindful of nutirition, balance, health concerns.. plus ethnic/cultural restrictions - kosher/halal/vegetarian - that they find it easier to contract out..which means everyone gets bland, balanced,nutirionally sound, pablum....

Seems to me the boys in WWII used to complain that the food all looked the same - grey - guess we're to be thankful that the mound of crud on the tinny is, at least, another colour..

personally, I liked the ' Green Eggs and Ham 'combo in my IMP/MRE pack..
I am told that British Army messing ON OPERATIONS has often been, in recent years, much better than that offered by other national contingents in the same theatre.

Supervised by serving chefs, not by contractors, and presumably with much more generous budgets than at home.
As a military caterer i find it very frustrating trying to provide a quailty, balanced hotplate that appeals to all tastes on only £1.83 aday, i know you as single soldiers pay above £3.00 a day for food but only £1.83 comes to us the chef as the rest pays for the upkeep of equipment, food for exercises etc,etc,etc. Before we know it the military chef will be the exception and not the rule with more and more contractors taking over our job as at the end of the day it is cheaper for the powers that be.
They could go back to service catering. The ACC used to provide good food - I'm talking early 50s to late 74. The burger and chips mentality spoken of above had not got into things. The DID supplied local produce and meat that could be trusted. What was nice was being near a MP dog unit - they got meat issued without bones which generally meant steaks. Dogs did well on corned beef. When we had a mess do, we got the local school of cookery to cater and they did super job. Towards the end of the period I mention, there would be three or four choices. When things were hard or the shyt was flying, one could always rely on hot food and drink getting to where one was. Ideal really. But - of course - one has to accept progress and we have lost that sort of thing by the sound of reports here so far.
In my opinion the Army cooks do a better job than the civvy contractors who are quite happy to serve you grease with anything as long as you piss off and shut up. (Different in the officer's mess obviously.) They don't give a damn about the slop they put in front of us. The food not only tastes better but is healthier. Well done Army chefs. Well, most of you anyway.
Acc very good sodhexo or whatever they are called inbred morons
who produce small portions of inedible muck


Kit Reviewer
army_of_1 said:
In my opinion the Army cooks do a better job than the civvy contractors who are quite happy to serve you grease with anything as long as you urine off and shut up. (Different in the officer's mess obviously.) They don't give a damn about the slop they put in front of us. The food not only tastes better but is healthier. Well done Army chefs. Well, most of you anyway.
Also the Sodhexo 'caterers' tend to scream more when you hold their hands onto the hotplate.
I recently read that the ingredients for school dinners per kid cost 34p. A prisoner's lunch cost 54p, a squaddy's 74p, but Stumpy's cost the most of all.


Grub in my time 1980s seemed to vary from individual units to which chef was attached in a platoon patrol loc.If you looked after sloppy generally you were well fed. I remember 1 PWO in ballykinler being good, 1 R Hamps in XMG being dire, 42 cdo in XMG being very good, All RAF grub being so good it made our officers mess food look like dog scran. I did a few stints of RoPs over weekends and what the ruperts got on weekends was better than I had ever had. Our local TA sloppy the 300 year old scabby jack (the clue is in the name) seemd to think a slice of out of date mothers pride and a mug of mmuligatawny was a days rats. Most of the lads brought their own and rumours abounded about the sgts at Coy HQ having an agreement with a sweet shop on the south coast. Lympstone grub was exceptional but all I had had was my mums before that so there you go. 1 SG in bessbrook throwing a fit about camcream as we needed grub on the way between 2 ops. So many sgts in the wooden tops so it was nice of him to agree that when we were armed we could eat in the pink and crinklies for all he cared. Fecking canteen cowboy! Funny how a rem 870 and hk53 can cause people to concentrate!
Pon my nco cadre the qm explained about rations in camp and money allowed. The PRI used to donate a large sum that was collected through the NAAFI bar till. That helped make up the difference. Weeton camp (the wooden one) one step from field conditions.
Sodexho are complete rubbish - the food is well below standard, at times it is inedible. I am sick and tired of keeping my mouth shut and intentto complain in future.

How can you feed an adult human for under £2 a day?

Bring back miitary cooks
Just come back from a weekend at Wathgill - scoff v good, civvy staff v helpful, run by ESS. Mind you, they knew I was the one filling out the customer satisfaction survey!! :lol:

Sodhexo are bad tho, sullen, indifferent staff, food almost inedible - I take it all back what I said about the ACC :oops:
Whilst i can understand this thread, asi know nine times out of ten i would dread going to the cook house for the same bland menu's of sausage rolls chips and beans on a saturday, and the salad bar looking like some one had actually tossed off in it rather than it being a tossed salad, i can actually understand the chefs frustrations.
But its not just the food its also the attitude of some of the chefs i have met.
They seem to think that standing behind the hot plate holding a spatula is the right time to insult everyone as they are about eat the hairy bacon, or the egg that has won many olypmic medals from doing the back stroke in the grease!

If the chefs get 1.83 to actually feed the troops, then why dont they actually take some pride in doing it?
I have also stayed on RAF camps and there food is far superior to the stuff i was being offered, yet they pay the same as we do?

I have had the fortune of eating in the mess and that was good aswell, i have also met some really excellent Army chefs whom could make a gourmet meal with a rat Pack, so why dont these other ones take any pride in there work!
I had the unfortunate experience of waiting 10hrs in a&e for a knee injury to be looked at. By the time I got to a dr it had healed of its own accord. While wasting 10 hrs, I came across (no school boy jokes please) the nhs canteen. After having a plate of chips and beans, it slowly dawned on me.
The same excellent standards of hygiene, the cheerful manner of the serving staff, the culinary delights and the cups of hot brown.

Sure enough, a little sign by the door said 'Sodexho' :x


True comments there about motivation, we had some excellent chefs and as long as the Bn butcher was honest and the canteen cowboy behaved then the QM who held the responsibility for us being well fed was due his OBE. Trouble was we had rag tag combats, more patches than legs, and worn in/out DMS boots. At least we were well fed in Buller in Munster. When a detachment chef was good he was really good especially the ones trusted to work alone catering for up to 100 troops. We had the Bn Pasty champ as our sloppy in New Barnsley and the grub was excellent but the pasties were the reason the oc & co rover groups wouldnt stay away!
True enough about Sodallexo. I work in the NHS. They have crap canteens all over the NW of England. They also ruin the day of thousands of schoolchildren with their slops. The Army must be mad to let them in. But then again, it's always the lowest bidder gets the contract.
ugly said:
I remember 1 PWO in ballykinler being good.
I was in 1PWO, the reason why the grub was good cos we had a decent SQMS.

Chips were a bit soggy


What about the nazigormi, top quality for fried leftovers.
One of our lance jacks, Jake suffered the whole 6 weeks at NIPG from constipation. Funny to him even at first. Problem was a a ginger pale skinned bag of bones losing your appetite on a 6 week long physically demanding course must have been hell. Me I shat everywhere nearly running out of clingfilm at one point. Yes that was reasonable grub and the NAAFI beer was a nice introduction to Ulster style pissing it up.
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