SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Korea Bizwire) – There are roughly 650,000 enlisted soldiers serving in the South Korean military. Facing a million-strong force to the North, food is an essential part of the military in keeping soldiers in the best shape possible.
The Ministry of Defense announced Tuesday that it has recently made several changes to the diet of enlisted personnel after a study on the young soldiers’ taste and food preferences was conducted by an outside institution.
To no surprise, meat and seafood were among the most popular choices, and the ministry will take steps starting this year to better meet these dietary preferences.
Among the menu changes are pork cutlet, which will go from being served 24 times a year to 30 times; sweet and sour pork (from four to six times a year, and 100 grams per serving to 110 grams); grilled beef ribs (from 150 grams per serving to 175 grams, five times a year); abalone (20 to 25 grams per serving, from four to five times a year); and flatfish (from two to four times a year).
More vegetables, including cucumbers, zucchini, mushrooms, and potatoes, will be served as well, the ministry added, with an increase of 1.4 percent.
New dishes being introduced this year are Vietnamese rice noodles, Pho, and “Bibimmyeon” (Korean spicy noodles), which will be served 12 times throughout the year, while onion juice, which scored among the lowest in terms of soldier preference, will no longer be served, and will instead be replaced with fruits.
Furthermore, soldiers will be able to evaluate more food options, including crabmeat and fish cutlets, to choose the products they favor more.
This “selective contract policy” was introduced in May of last year, allowing soldiers to choose the most popular product after a three-month evaluation period of several options. At 96.1 percent, an overwhelming majority of enlisted personnel said they were satisfied with the new system.
Meanwhile, the ministry also adjusted the nutritional standards for soldiers for the first time in five years, taking into consideration their changing physique and the military environment. The daily recommended calorie intake was lowered to 3,000Kcal from 3,100Kcal, while the daily percentage of protein intake was increased from 15 percent to 17 percent.
“Our focus is on reducing the total calories in total daily rations, while continuing to provide high quality dishes,” an official said.
By Kevin Lee (email@example.com)