By SSG Carolyn HartMay 6, 2019
According to the Consortium for Health and Military Performance, G4G is a joint service performance-nutrition initiative that improves the food environment where military service members live and work. The original version of the program was launched in 2008, with various versions used across the services.
"A revision had to be made to the original program," said Beth Moylan, director of performance nutrition projects at Uniformed Services University. "The original Go for Green is almost 10 years old and nutrition science changes."
The color coding system has been revamped according to new scientific data. In the past the codes would account for calories and not nutritional value of the foods, whereas now the coding is focused on identifying nutritional quality. With this new system, food placement will also be an essential part, with displays of green-coded foods and beverages being more visible and red-coded foods and beverages in less visible places. This strategy will urge diners to choose the healthier green-coded foods.
In order to revise the program, research was conducted over five years to gain knowledge on what works for soldiers and their lifestyles. The first training for the program was conducted April 16-19 at Freeman Café on Fort Hood.
"There's a research study on G4G 2.0 here at Fort Hood," said Moylan. "We are helping Freeman Café implement G4G 2.0 and to be a gold standard, showcase-level facility for the program."
Freeman Café's staff is used to preparing food at the highest level, having won best dining facility on Fort Hood. The staff volunteered for the chance to be the first to train under the new G4G 2.0 program and set the standard.
"This means a great deal to us," said Master Sgt. David Gull, dining facility manager of Freeman Café with 120th Quartermaster Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade. "It lets the cooks that work in this facility know that they can affect change, and the Army is bigger than just what we do."
According to the Uniformed Services University, G4G 2.0 is a more robust nutrition initiative, combining multiple approaches to provide a greater performance-enhancing food environment for military service members.
"The point of the training today is to ensure that the soldiers working in the dining facility know how to make the healthier recipes tasty," said Matthew Kominsky, a food scientist with Combat Feeding.
The soldiers of Freeman Café had the opportunity to work with food scientists over the three-day training period, which included honing their knife skills, station set-up, recipe reading, weighing and measuring, seasoning, and made-from-scratch soups and desserts.
"This was really a chance for us to learn the correct and healthy way to do our job," said Pfc. Irmadaneli Guzman Flores, a culinary specialist assigned to 120th QM Co. "We go to train with professionals on how to make really healthy food that people will actually want to eat and how to educate ourselves and the soldiers that come in the DFAC about the Go 4 Green program."
The revamped G4G program will launch June 21 at Freeman Café.