Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Feeding in Flight, 1945.

In 1945 the U.S. Navy Department produced a book on Feeding in Flight, for the use of those involved in providing for flight crews. I think it provides some interesting reading - especially to those with an interest in nutrition. I will continue the story tomorrow.

Navy Department,
Bureau op. Supplies and Accounts, Washington, D. C, / August 1946.

This pamphlet is a supplement to the Navy Cook Book. It is issued as an aid to squadron commanders, air transport officers, squadron transportation officers, supply (commissary) officers, ships' cooks, flight orderlies and any other personnel engaged in the planning, preparation, and service of flight rations.

W. J. Carter,
Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts.

One of the most important factors in maintaining optimum health is the proper kind of food. Food served to airmen in flight must be sufficient in quantity, quality and variety to supplement that served to them on the ground, in order that the total ration be adequate to meet the nutritional requirements for optimum health and performance of duty. 
   The same food nutrients, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals essential for personnel on any type of duty are also essential for flight crews. The following groups of foods are recommended in the day's ration: One or more servings of meat, fish or fowl daily; 2 or more servings of vegetables in addition to potatoes, one of which is a green or yellow vegetable; 2 or more servings of fruit, one of these preferably a citrus fruit or tomatoes; 2 or more servings of cereals and bread; 1 egg; 1 pint of milk or its equivalent; butter and other fats; and sweets or desserts to satisfy the appetite. 
Individuals do not always react in the same manner to all foods. Some will find certain foods to be gas forming or laxative in effect to such an extent that they are incapacitating. Since foods do not affect all individuals in the same manner, it is the responsibility of aviation personnel to know their own reaction to foods served to them in the past and reject those which have been found to cause trouble. 
   As an aid to commissary personnel, those foods that may be occasionally rejected by aviation personnel are: Cabbage, cauliflower, raw onions, dried beans and peas, melons, radishes, cucumbers, fatty or rich foods. Frequently, carbonated beverages are found undesirable because of their gas content. 
   Long hours in flight without food or with inadequate amounts of food will cause the men to become fatigued so that they are not able to perform their duties in the most efficient manner. It is desirable that aviation personnel, even when on flights of only 3 to 4 hours' duration, have nourishment available for consumption in flight. Not infrequently the duration of a flight must be prolonged by several hours due to unforseen circumstances. A few otherwise "normal" persons are subject to symptoms caused by the low blood sugar which may supervene 4 hours after the last meal; it is likely that pilot performance is impaired by a low blood sugar which is therefore to be avoided. Low blood sugar symptoms may be avoided by the consumption of about 3 to 4 ounces of candy during a 4 hour period. If the candy available is hard to handle in warm climates, cookies or crackers may be more desirable. 
   Air-sickness that may be caused by the motion of the plane in bad weather is also considerably affected by the nature of the diet. Personnel who have eaten an easily digested meal will be less susceptible to air-sickness than personnel who have consumed a meal high in fat content or highly seasoned foods or those foods which are gas forming. When personnel are airsick, odors from the preparation of food should be kept at a minimum to prevent aggravating their condition. 
   A study made by a large commercial airline concludes that "there is no question but that mental and physical efficiency, as well as general comfort during a flight, can be greatly influenced by eating smaller amounts of the right kinds of food." Therefore if smaller amounts of food are eaten at meal-time, between-meal snacks are recommended in order to prevent the men from becoming hungry. 
   A snack that can be eaten at a man's duty station may prove to relieve monotony and boredom on a long patrol flight as well as to provide energy for him. These snacks may consist of any one or two of the following: Fruit, candy, cookies or crackers, nuts, a sandwich or beverage (not carbonated). 
   Where galley equipment is limited on transport planes, the pilots and crew should be given the preference in the service of hot meals. Passengers may be provided sandwich meals supplemented by hot soups or beverages. This policy is recommended because the primary object of the feeding in-flight program is to provide well balanced meals to those men who are taking a large number of their meals in flight and who must have proper diets to maintain their health and efficiency. 
Special diets have been recommended by some authorities for the purpose of delaying symptoms of anoxia resulting when aviation personnel are flying at altitudes above 10,000 feet without the benefits of oxygen equipment. Experiments indicate that high carbohydrate diets eaten at preflight and in-flight meals will raise the "ceiling of man" approximately 1,000 to 5,000 feet when supplementary oxygen is not available. Since high altitude flights for extended periods are not frequent in the Navy and adequate oxygen equipment is provided for the protection of personnel, changes in the Navy diet for this purpose are not necessary. 
Supplies and Accounts Memoranda, art. 1320-8, Procurement and Components, subpar. (b) states, 
“In Alaska and all other combat zones, personnel actually engaged in flight operations may be furnished flight rations before and after the flight when the regular messing facilities of such personnel are not available because of flight operations.”
   It is considered necessary that aviation personnel be furnished rations before a flight if the flight goes out 2 or more hours after the last meal and is to last 3 to 4 hours or longer. If rations are carried for consumption in flight, a preflight snack or meal is not always necessary. Effort must be made to see that men engaged in flight operations are not without food over a period longer than 5 to 6 hours. 
   Preflight snacks should be available for carrier aviation personnel in a room convenient to the ready room. Appropriate foods for serving are: Sandwiches, soups, fruit, fruit juices, cookies, and beverages. Candies and cookies that may be carried for in-flight consumption should be available here also. 
   Proper methods to employ in making sandwiches are given in the Navy Cook Book. If sandwiches are carried from the snack room by carrier aviation personnel for consumption in flight, commissary personnel should note information given on pages 28 and 31, regarding the kinds of sandwiches not suitable for in-flight feeding because they are potential sources of food poisoning. 
   For the most part, post-flight feeding can be cared for through regular messing facilities. On those occasions when aviators flying in combat zones return from long flights and are not physically ready to accept a full meal, they should (return to the snack room for the small amount of food they may prefer to eat during their rest or recovery period. 
Naturally, the only appropriate recipe for today is one from the U.S Navy Cook Book (1920.)

Coffee Cake.
5 lbs. 10 oz. flour
1 lb. sugar
1 oz. salt
9 oz. lard
2 oz. yeast
1 ⅝ qts. water
For 100 men at the rate of about 14/5 ounces per man, baked with streusel. Scale in pieces 5 ¼ pounds, make up in long shape, let set for about 20 minutes, roll out into squares the size of pan. Place in pan and brush over with melted butter, prick well with a fork to remove all air spaces in the dough, then sprinkle with the following streusel. This will make 2 pans 13 x 26 inches, cut 50 portions from each.

Streusel (For the Above Batch.)
7 oz. flour
6 oz. sugar
½ oz. cinnamon
⅛ oz. salt
3 ½ oz. butter or lard.

Do not use lard if butter can be obtained. If butter is used, do not use salt for making streusel. Mix flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon together, last add lard or butter and proceed to rub together the same as pie dough. 

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