GO FOR GREEN®

BY JENNIFER PERSON-WHIPPO, MSHS, RD, NAVAL SUPPLY SYSTEMS COMMAND

BACKGROUND

GO FOR GREEN® (G4G) is a Department of Defense (DoD) food and recipe labeling program that teaches Sailors to recognize and select healthier foods. G4G Logo

CRITERIA FOR CODING

The G4G criteria take into consideration nutrient density. Assigning a green, yellow or red designation requires looking at each food as a whole, including additives, degree of processing, and nutrient values.

LABELS

The G4G labels will assist the patrons at the serving line through symbolic and color coded information by categorizing recipes as green, yellow or red. Additionally, a salt shaker symbol indicating low, moderate or high sodium content will be displayed to provide information on the level of salt in the recipe or food item.

TOOLS

G4G relies on two main methods to encourage Sailors to eat healthier–traffic-light labeling and choice architecture. Traffic-light labeling assigns a green, yellow, or red color to each menu item to designate its nutritional value. Choice architecture is a technique whereby green coded items are placed in the patrons’ view to encourage that item’s selection. When combined, these two techniques are even more effective in influencing food choices.

SECRETARY OF NAVY GUIDANCE

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced in July 2015 that “Go for Green,” will be implemented afloat and ashore by 2017. Secretary Mabus promised to “further develop the concept at one sea-based and one shore-based unit next year, and implement it fleetwide in 2017.” In the meantime, “Go for Green” (which started as an education program) will become the standard as galleys ashore and afloat prepare for change.

September/October 2015