Realistic Food Expectations in the Royal Navy?

Bobosi

Newbie
Hi all, I'm hoping qualified Chefs or general Royal Navy personell might be able to provide me with some insight into something that is a concerning topic for me regarding joining the Royal Navy. :)

In short, I've been interested in a career in the RN since childhood, as my father served as a mechanical engineer. Naturally, I've heard of his amazing experiences in that time. I'm currently in college, and I'm considering the possibility of signing up in the future. I understand the dedication and work and the mindset that have to go into such an undertaking and that they must align for any chance of success. Nonetheless, I still have some questions and wouldn't sign up with any doubt in my mind.

First and foremost, health and diet are something that I am extremely passionate about. Through all of my studying and research and experimentation, I believe I have a good idea of how to maintain a healthy diet that agrees with me. In many ways, I emphasise natural, whole foods. Not to sound too bold, but the government "Eatwell" diet and BHF's take on certain health topics such as the effects of saturated fat, cholesterol, salt, and the supposed safety of processed PUFA's in the diet are largely opposed in research.

There are certain ingredients and foods I always try to avoid, and I'm worried that they may be used in the Royal Navy. It would really mean a lot if someone could let me know about the variety of food choices available and how much control one can have over their diet (including meal prep).

In a rough order or significance:
  • (Polyunsaturated) seed oils (soya, sunflower, rapeseed, canola, etc.) and similar "Low-fat" spreads
  • sugar
  • general other processed foods like "baked beans" and sauces
  • refined carbs (flour, bread)
  • and antinutrients (such as in unprepared grains), are my main concerns.
I understand that the guidelines of the navy's diet is based largely around government nutritional allowances and recommendations. Unfortunately, although the Royal Navy career and lifestyle seem right for me in many ways, this isn't something I'd consider.

Don't get me wrong, I don't expect everyone here to understand my viewpoint as it does seem a bit extreme to some. However, it is one of my largest passions and makes up a large part of my lifestyle and who I am. :)

For anyone curious, I simply eat unprocessed and traditional foods, mostly. Fresh veg, meat, fish (including tinned sardines, tuna, etc.), and (Goat's) dairy, beans, bone broth, along with home fermented foods such as old fashioned oats, brown rice, and pickles.

If anyone knows whether it be possible to avoid certain foods like those above, and even perhaps stock and prepare some of my own food on board (within reason), please do let me know. The insight of a Chef here might be ideal. Thank you so much in advance, I appreciate it sincerely.

Kind wishes,
Bobosi
 

crash_evans

Lantern Swinger
He can serve with me any day, cheesy wham bam days, chips and beans will be all mine!


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RabC

MIA
I’d pay to be a fly on the wall first time he’s in the scran queue in Trash Galley (still exist at Raleigh?)
 

crash_evans

Lantern Swinger
He/she really will hate scran. All. Of. The. Scran. It’s literally everything they hate.


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SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
Ha Ha Ha! Are you a journalist? You do have a basic concept of how general messing works?

'Scuse me chef, budge over, I'm just going to whip up a quick prawn fricassee for me supper.......' - I don't think that's going to happen!

I remember when they tried to stop chips - there were a lot of very unhappy troops about!
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
I’d pay to be a fly on the wall first time he’s in the scran queue in Trash Galley (still exist at Raleigh?)
Traf galley is shutdown now, there's a new one (8 years old) called Victory galley (and it's already knackered :) )
 

Bobosi

Newbie
Ha Ha Ha! Are you a journalist? You do have a basic concept of how general messing works?

'Scuse me chef, budge over, I'm just going to whip up a quick prawn fricassee for me supper.......' - I don't think that's going to happen!

I remember when they tried to stop chips - there were a lot of very unhappy troops about!
If I were a journalist I might have more pressing topics! Either way, what I don't know is the purpose for me being here - you guys do. I was told that it might be a possibility for me to occasionally (such as during the mid shifts) access cooking equipment or a fridge if the head chef agreed, which seemed reasonable.

Especially if the PTI on board was aware of different people's dietary requirements or preferences for their health goals, and the chefs were made aware, finding a way to avoid certain ingredients or at least know what options there are without them doesn't seem like an impossibility?

I'd imagine not everyone opposed cutting back on the chips :)
 

soleil

War Hero
Bobosi

A propos of your potential application, what are you hoping to join as and when do you leave college?
 
You can tell those who've been at sea recently and those who haven't.

whilst you're going to have to compromise some on your ideal diet, you can follow your general tenets. Of course there will be times when food becomes a bit "stodge and processed meat", but we try to have a healthy and balanced diet.

Oh, and the biggest nay-sayers are consistently the WO&CPOs mess, who can't conceive of a life without a Daily full fry-up and chips with every meal...
 

RabC

MIA
You can tell those who've been at sea recently and those who haven't.

whilst you're going to have to compromise some on your ideal diet, you can follow your general tenets. Of course there will be times when food becomes a bit "stodge and processed meat", but we try to have a healthy and balanced diet.

Oh, and the biggest nay-sayers are consistently the WO&CPOs mess, who can't conceive of a life without a Daily full fry-up and chips with every meal...
Of course because the WO&CPOs are the antithesis of all that is good and healthy. I am sure as a senior officer you’d be less than happy to see someone other than a chef cooking in the galley, if not then you need a few lessons in HSE and hygiene.
 
Having left Queen Elizabeth this year, there’s no daily fry up for breakfast anymore, it’s all continental breakfasts. Always a salad bar for dinner too if that’s your preference also. The chief caterer tried to get the 1lt to ban people eating in the mess squares also, as they ere going to the naafi for micro-pizzas or koka-noodles rather than eating whatever his chefs had prepared. I think he was of the fitness persuasion as he’d make all his chefs and caterers do their fitness tests at least once a term during the dogs. Of course this is on a big ship where you can afford such luxuries.


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Of course because the WO&CPOs are the antithesis of all that is good and healthy. I am sure as a senior officer you’d be less than happy to see someone other than a chef cooking in the galley, if not then you need a few lessons in HSE and hygiene.
Given that I used to help out in the galley on a semi-regular basis, as did other members of the ships company, I'm afraid I'm all for random people in the galley.
 

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