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Marine Corps Means Fine Food?



Who has better food advice, an organic gardener, a holistic butcher, or the Marine Corps?

The shocking answer is all three since the Marine Corps is all about good nutrition.

What? No more SOS (Sh#t On A Shingle), boiled baloney, or powdered eggs?

Since when did a Drill Instructor give a damn about food?

When did the gunny become an Iron Chef?

Consider the evidence.

The Fitness Center makes the sort of recommendations any good dietician makes.

Smaller portions, more vegetables, less fried food.

Is this the Marine Corps or a luxury spa?

For example:

Choose More of Limit or omit these foods
Fish and Shellfish Fried Chicken / poultry
No skin Fatty ground meat
No fat meats (all trimmed) Liver / Organ meats
Smaller servings of meat, seafood, poultry Bacon
Beans, peanut butter, tofu, whole wheat pasta, nuts Sausage and other high fat meats
Egg whites Eggs with yolks
Protein Bars (if needed) 2% or whole milk / ice cream/ whipped cream
Skim or 1% milk Whole milk cheeses / sour cream
Yogurt, low fat cheese


On the whole the Marine Corps has advanced past the days of serving bad food because no one knew the difference.

You might find it odd that a branch of the service known as ‘The Point Of The Spear’ wants their people to embrace good nutrition.

At one time all Marines needed 20/20 vision and all of their teeth to qualify for service.

Combat footage shows what happens in the field. It’s pretty awful for both sides, but Marines have more motivation on their missions.

Food standards make a huge difference.

Choose More of Limit or omit these foods
Raw, steamed, boiled, colorful vegetables Fat – Fried vegetables
Green leafy / romaine lettuce Iceberg lettuce (little value)
Whole grain / multi grain bread / pasta White bread / regular pasta
Fruit juice seasoning (lime / lemon etc) Cream sauce, cheese sauce, butter
Fruits with skin – apples, pears, peaches… Canned fruits in syrup
Other fruits – banana, oranges, grapes Coconut – high in saturated fat


Is Marine Corps food better than what you ate before joining?

Is it better than the food you’ll fix after you leave?

If nothing else, you’ll have better awareness of good nutrition if you start out a junk food junkie.

A unique aspect of the Marines is they expect everyone to grab a weapon and join the battle when needed.

When that happens today you won’t find someone coming down from a sugar high, or bloated on fat food.

Choose More of Limit or omit these foods
Non trans fat bread spreads Avoid partially hydrogenated oils
Some heart healthy margarines Cooking with lard, meat fat, grease
Cooking with olive oils, sunflower oil … Salad dressings with cheese / creams
Salad dressing without saturated fat Some chocolates – high in saturated fat
Nuts in moderation – high calorie content Cakes, cookies, pies, chips, crackers
Fried rice / beans,
Donuts, pastries, croissants


As Baby Boomers age the past turns more forgiving.

The sports star understands what the scrubs went through. The scrubs become stars. Losers turn into winners.

The closer to retirement age we all get, the more lenient we feel toward others. The smart guys don’t hold it over the screw-ups. The CEO’s feel for the wage slaves.

At some point non-service people wonder how they’d have fit into the military lifestyle. They usually see themselves as generals and admirals and decide they’d be a fine fit.

That’s the dream, wearing a sharp uniform everyone salutes instead of a sweating Lance Corporal digging a hole or a sailor chipping paint.

The experience is a little different. I was Army, my Dad was a Marine. Here’s his experience.

All through childhood the old man always made a mean pot of chipped beef on toast, (SOS.)

Our dinner table had a certain Marine quality: “Eat now and taste it later.”

He’d love the Marine menu. Eat like a Marine.


The Okinawa Diet via




About David Gillaspie
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