Tag Archives: military

Vegan options for the Coast Guard

Green beans being cooked at the Coast Guard Academy

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Yorktown Training Center has embraced vegan food options in its dining facility. From passionfruit panna cotta to Beyond Bolognese, students at the training center can now delight in high-quality vegan dishes. They launched the vegan program during COVID-19, when vegan trainees were unable leave the base to seek alternative food sources, with Petty Officer 2nd Class Ian Swoveland, a culinary specialist, serving as the brains and hands behind these dining options.

The menu is so popular that it attracts more diners than just the vegan students. Since Yorktown is one of the largest Coast Guard training centers in the country, the success of its vegan meal program is sure to have an impact on other locations. We have previously reported on other military installations offering vegan options, but overall there’s a lack of vegan options across U.S. military dining facilities and in rations. Sometimes a military member is forced to bring their own food to the field to self support, due to lack of options due to a lack of vegan Meals Ready to Eat (MREs).

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Vegetarians in the Military

Veterans DayIn observance of Veteran’s Day, Vegetarians of Washington asks you to join us in honoring all the service men and women, past, present, and future. Please remember especially all the vegetarians in the military today and everyday.

One such vegetarian was United States Marine Captain Alan Jones of Quantico, Virginia, nicknamed Captain America. Although crippled by polio when he was five years old, this able and fit vegetarian held the world record for performing 17,003 continuous sit-ups, and also set these impressive records:

September, 1974—Lifted a 75-pound barbell over his head 1,600 times in 19 hours
February, 1975—Made 3,802 basketball free throws in 12 hours, including 96 out of 100
June, 1975—Swam 500 miles in 11 days through the Snake and Columbia Rivers, from Lewiston, Idaho to the Pacific Ocean
September, 1975—Skipped rope 43,000 times in five hours
October, 1975—Skipped rope 100,000 times in 23 hours
November, 1975—Swam over 68 miles in the University of Oregon swimming pool, without a sleeping break
December, 1975—Swam one-half mile in 32°F (0°C) water, without a wet suit, in the Missouri River near Sioux City, Iowa
January, 1976—Performed 51,000 sit-ups in 76 hours

Vegetarians are becoming ever more common in the military. We recently wrote about how Norway’s military has gone veg one day a week.  For those in the US military wanting to connect we recommend Vegan and Vegetarians in the Military  Their mission is to provide information, resources, and support for vegans and vegetarians in the military and their families.

The food industry is doing their part as well to support our soldiers, sailors and marines. For instance, selected Amy’s products are available in all military commissaries, although each commissary may have a different selection of Amy’s items. Currently there are over 30 products approved for sale in military commissaries. Let’s hope that these products inspire more in the military to give veg a try!