PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NWSB) -- Hawaiian schools food services director plans to incorporate what he learned about food service aboard USS Independence (CV 62) into public school cafeterias in the state.
"The trip there was way beyond my expectations," said Gene Kaneshiro, who is responsible for setting up menus and other dietary plans for approximately 185,000 students in the Hawaii public school system. "The Navy went beyond the call to accommodate me.
"I expected to meet the ship pier side," Kaneshiro said. "I never expected to have them fly me out there, but landing on the flight deck was an experience." Independence, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, was in Hawaiian waters for the Rim of the Pacific 96 exercise this summer.
Kaneshiro said he wants to establish standardized nutrition labels for all foods on the serving line in their schools. All shore and shipboard galleys use nutrition labels to inform Sailors of the amount of cholesterol, fat and calories in each portion of food.
"By doing something similar in our cafeterias, the students will become aware of what's in the various foods we're feeding them," he said. "It will also show the faculty and parents that we're trying to meet the dietary guidelines that we're under.
"I especially had an interest in how the carriers served their meals, since they have a crew of about 5,000 people from different backgrounds," Kaneshiro said. "I expected the mess decks to be bigger. I was quite impressed though with the general atmosphere in all the dining areas. They try to make things as comfortable as possible under the circumstances."
Kaneshiro toured the enlisted and chiefs' mess decks and the officers' wardroom, sampling food prepared in each area.
"The pecan pie in the chiefs' mess area was excellent, and the homemade bread they made was better than the packaged bread they had," he said.
Kaneshiro also wants to follow the Navy's lead by serving students more fresh fruits and vegetables in the hopes that students "will make healthy choices as they become adults."
Navy News Wire "B" story NWSB321, dated August 12, 1996.
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