About Them, Firefighters

By SOLO

According to 23andme, I share about 50% of my DNA with this handsome dude.

For those who haven’t had their coffee yet ;), this is my baby brother. He is a forest firefighter in Yukon, Canada. During fire season he works 12 hour days, and often commutes to work in a helicopter (um…. !!!!!!).

Few weeks ago, a fellow coach in a large FB group that I moderate started a thread about what forest firefighters eat on the job. She lamented that the below was a pretty sad offering for those working a physically and mentally demanding job in high risk environments. Indeed, we see very little protein, no vegetables, carb heavy and processed meal.

Understandably, I got curious. I wanted to see what my brother eats on a regular basis, so I asked him to send me some shots of what they were eating. Well, I was pleasantly surprised.

Here we have 1) pork chops, potatoes, rice, squash, vegetables, 2) prime rib with mashed potatoes, 3) fried chicken with four different types of salads, 4) scalloped potatoes with ham, salad, banana cream pie for dessert (not shown).

Food is provided by a designated teams of cooks, or large catering companies that serve the army, and prisons – well set up to feed 1,000+ people quickly. The process is dialled in – conveyor style. The meals are usually served buffet style, so you can serve yourself more or less.

Note – these are dinners, as lunches are often served on site, and tend to be much more bread heavy – e.g. sandwiches, snacks. But all in all, as Alex put it: “We are eating well up here”.

The big sister in me is satisfied.

This brings up interesting questions for folks who are fed on the job, however. When you must eat on the go, perishability is often a concern.

What food items do not spoil? What food items do not melt in the heat? Think your car’s glove box compartment in the summer. What could you keep there? I keep a Larabar, a small baggie of nuts, a pack of beef jerky and pretzels. And few bottles of water. They might be hot and not super pleasant to drink, but still would work in a pinch.

And, of course, notice how cost always plays a role. Consider the relative cost of a granola bar (cheap) with beef jerky and raw nuts (not cheap).

Hugs,
SOLO

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Posted September 4, 2018

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