IDF Marches on Healthy Stomach

Napoleon said an army marches on its stomach, and the IDF is in the midst of a “revolution” in the kitchen to make the stomachs healthier.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu , | updated: 14:32

Israeli Army cooks
Israeli Army cooks
Israel news photo from IDF

Napoleon said an army marches on it stomach, and the IDF is in the midst of a “revolution” in the kitchen to make the stomachs healthier. One indication is that army cooks in the past year have reduced their purchases of cooking oil by 40 percent.

Last week, 40 cooks from the 162nd Division "Steel Formation" came to the military logistics school for a course on healthy cooking, heard lectures on theory from a chef at the Crown Plaza Hotel and also cooked dishes based on what they had learned.

"This is the first time that we've had a day like this for cooks who are all from the same division," said Maj. Yossi Nidam, head of the Nutrition Department in the Logistics Branch. "Our goal is that they will pass this on to their units. At the end of the day, it is people in the field who can change the makeup of military cuisine."

The highlight of the day was the cooking workshop during which the cooks were divided into teams and required to prepare complete meals using healthy ingredients and methods. The dishes were invented by the teams of cooks themselves using only ingredients that exist in IDF kitchens.  

The fact that an abundance of healthy products such as wholewheat couscous, canola oil and raw sesame tahina have been added to military kitchens this year and jachnun [a fried-dough Yemenite food] and margarine (which have trans fats.ed.)  have been taken out has helped a good deal,” according to Master Sergeant Maoz Ben Shaul.

Maj. Nidam added that next year an annual contest would be inaugurated to find the cook who prepares the healthiest and tastiest food in the IDF.