Montana Airmen benefit from new food labeling system

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Michael Touchette
  • 120th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office
The 120th Airlift Wing's dining facility has adopted a labeling system that will make eating right easier for Airmen.

Go for Green is a labeling system providing Airmen with a quick assessment of menu offerings using stop light style labels.

"It's a DOD program designed to enhance the well-being of service members and their families," said Master Sgt. Michelle Rue, 120th Services Flight kitchen manager.

"Green" items are foods Airmen should eat often, including fewer calories, less fat and sodium, and more fiber, according to the G4G program website. "Yellow" items are suggested for occasional consumption, and contain an average amount of calories. "Red" items should be eaten rarely, and include foods high in calories, sugar, fats and sodium. 

"This has been in the works and the Air Force has been doing it for about two years," Rue said. "It just came down this year for the Air National Guard to start doing it."

The goal of the program is to educate and encourage Airmen to choose healthier options during meals in order to improve overall performance.

"It's something the Air Force is doing to help people make better choices when eating," said Tech. Sgt. Tunde Zimmerman, a shift leader at the dining facility. 

According to the G4G program website an ideal "Green" meal consists of:
· Entrees with less than 300 calories and 10 grams of fat
· Starchy sides with less than 200 calories
· Vegetables with less than 100 calories
· Desserts with less than 150 calories and 6 grams of fat
· Dairy from fat-free to 1 percent
· Low-calories or calorie-free beverages

"I think this program is wonderful because it makes it easy for people to choose the food they want without worrying about how much fat is in there, how many calories or anything. It's very simplistic," said Tech Sgt. Sara Hardy, a cook with the 120th Services Flight who holds a degree as a dietetic technician.

Performance nutrition is essential for improving warfighter readiness, muscle recovery, sustaining health, maintaining and enhancing mental performance, preventing disease, and enhancing sustainability and survivability. 

"You need a balance of the different foods and having this Go For Green makes it easy for people to see that," Hardy said.