Ministry of Defence of the Government of India and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote use of millets and healthy eating practices among the Armed Forces and to ensure availability of safe as well as nutritious food with the aim of introducing millet-based menus in messes, canteens and other food outlets under the Ministry. This will also create awareness among personnel about dietary diversity and nutritional benefits of millet-based food products
The MoU was signed by Lt Gen Preet Mohinder Singh, Director General (Supply & Transport) on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and G Kamala Vardhan Rao, CEO, FSSAI in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Health & Family Welfare Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya on July 13, 2023 in New Delhi.
Both the ministers also released a book titled ‘Healthy Recipes for Defence’ to promote the consumption and health benefits of SRIANNA (millet cereals). Chief of Defence Staff of India General Anil Chauhan, Defence Secretary Giridhar Armane, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and several senior officials of the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare were also present.
The collaboration will also ensure training of food handlers and chefs of messes, armed forces canteens and other food outlets on food safety and hygiene as per the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, said a Defence Ministry press release.
The MoU symbolizes a shared commitment to the health and well-being of the armed forces to enable them to maintain strength and resilience in their service to the nation. This will encourage Armed Forces families and the community at large to adopt a nutritious diet, make healthy food choices and maintain food security.
FSSAI’s book ‘Healthy Recipes for Defence’ includes a range of nutritious grain-based recipes. It will serve as a valuable resource for various canteens and food outlets under the Ministry of Defence. Experts believe that diversity in diet is of great importance given the challenging geographical areas and diverse climatic conditions faced by the defence personnel. Millets are known for their nutritional value and can contribute to a balanced and varied diet.