Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Why is food onboard cargo ships generally poor?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Why is food onboard cargo ships generally poor?

    I've heard an overwhelming amount of cadets say that thier food onboard was, on the whole, poor. Cheap ingredients, over cooked, some of questionable nutritional value etc. This seems to be a common problem on ships (with the exception of cruises), with Nautilus and others reporting it.

    So, in your opinion, why is food onboard cargo ships generally sub-par with 21st century standards?

  • #2
    I wouldn't say it is "generally" sub-par, maybe on a few ships, but not certainly not a lot of them at all.

    I also wouldn't say that it is the quality of the ingredients that is the problem as most of the larger companies tend to use the same suppliers and they tend to be of a high standard (they lose the business otherwise). However, I do sometimes point the finger of blame towards the cook. We all know that the cook is the most important person on board, but sometimes they're great and sometimes they're ****e and it is really that hit or miss. I remember being on one ship a few years back, the ingredients were good, they were all high quality stuff, but he was bloody awful so the food, whilst there being lots of it, wasn't particularly great but then I have had worse....
    I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

    All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've sailed on ships where the cook had worked in restaurants shoreside, and on ships where the cook also happened to have AB and motorman certificates and just happened to be employed as a cook that trip. The latter being an example of a truly general purpose rating.

      Comment


      • #4
        Other than cruise ships the food sometimes isn't very good.

        On one of the ships I was on (I won't mention nationality but they're rather fond of beetroot) we didn't have any fruit or vegetables at all, and I ended up requiring surgery abroad due to lack of fibre in my diet. There was hardly any meat either, so not enough protein or fats in the diet either. Unsurprisingly there wasn't a lack of vodka that came with the stores so it wasn't about a low budget.

        From a purely nutritional perspective not many ships will have a healthy diet, people may say the food is good because they like the taste of it, but that doesn't mean its healthy. I have yet to be on board a cargo ship where the diet is adequate (I have been on 7 so far). Not having enough fresh fruit or vegetables is the most common, but this can be understandable being deep sea with long voyages.

        Best you can do is take a multivitamin and hope for the best. Do not underestimate what a poor diet can do to the body.

        Comment


        • #5
          Moved to Current Cadets forum - this is not a sensitive topic

          OP - to reply you will need to register an account
          sigpic
          Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

          Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

          Comment


          • #6
            I've sailed on different ships with good and bad food, some of the worst was in the Petty Officers Mess on a cruise ship, seriously couldn't work out why they cooked such awful food for the Officers who didn't want to get changed to eat up in the Lido...
            The best 'British' food I had was on a nasty old little offshore standby vessel, it was truly well cooked British comfort food.

            On the deep sea cargo ships that I worked on, the budget was generally fairly low, but overall we received onboard fairly good quality fruit, veg and meat. Although, we did once receive meat onboard in Antwerp which was marked 'Not for Human Consumption', but were advised by the chandler that we were travelling out of the EU so technically it was ok for us, needless to say we handed it back. As Guinnessman says its really down to the cook onboard, you have good ones and bad ones. I always sailed with Filipino cooks deep sea, and they either cooked really amazing food or Filipino style western food which was awful, never found a middle ground.

            If you are ever going to sail on a ship as the only Brit onboard, download loads of recipes or recipe apps to your ipad/iphone before you join, and then you can give the cook something to help him along, although sometimes the online recipes are far too complex with ingredients that you'll never have on a ship.

            One little piece of advice, If you ever sail with a Filipino cook, ask them to cook the Filipino dishes such as Adobo, Afritada, Menudo etc for you, but with just fillet meat, no bones or fat. This will shock them that you don't eat the fat or bones, but once removed, the dishes are actually really really tasty.

            Comment


            • #7
              Depends on the budget of the companies and the cook. I've seen brilliant cooks making excellent food on a shoe string budget and terrible cooks making **** food on a 5 star hotel budget.

              Comment


              • #8
                Correct me if Im wrong, but isnt the shoreside management responsible for crewing the ship which would include the cook. Surely its then just a case of saying not required back to the 'unpopular' cooks.

                Or do the management just ignore the issue until there forced to improve by some regulating body??
                Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by chris View Post
                  Correct me if Im wrong, but isnt the shoreside management responsible for crewing the ship which would include the cook. Surely its then just a case of saying not required back to the 'unpopular' cooks.

                  Or do the management just ignore the issue until there forced to improve by some regulating body??
                  The shoreside management don't have to eat the food. Why would they make the effort to do anything about it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    well I thought they had all signed up to the Intermanager key performance indicator / balanced scorecard idea.

                    http://www.intermanager.org/wp/wp-co...eport-v1.1.pdf

                    Page 17 in particular. Wouldnt providing decent food fall under crew management?
                    Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Were they not talking about bringing something into STCW about the training standard of cooks?

                      They should have to go through some kind of rigorous 2-3 year course.

                      There are far too many cooks out there that simply cannot cook. It's a huge drain on ships moral when that is the case.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pignutpilot View Post
                        Were they not talking about bringing something into STCW about the training standard of cooks?

                        They should have to go through some kind of rigorous 2-3 year course.

                        There are far too many cooks out there that simply cannot cook. It's a huge drain on ships moral when that is the case.
                        Yeah but in the real world there are countries out there issuing OOW tickets to people who are incompetent, I can't see a cooks COC being taken more seriously by the countries who supply most of the cooks to the worlds ships.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chris View Post
                          Correct me if Im wrong, but isnt the shoreside management responsible for crewing the ship which would include the cook. Surely its then just a case of saying not required back to the 'unpopular' cooks.

                          Or do the management just ignore the issue until there forced to improve by some regulating body??
                          Yes we are responsible for supplying the cooks and if we are told that the cook is bad, and it is included within their appraisal, then they will probably not be invited back. It's all down to the appraisal. Crew can sit, bitch and whine as much as they like, but unless you actually include it in their appraisal then there is nothing we can really do about it.

                          Originally posted by gadget123 View Post
                          The shoreside management don't have to eat the food. Why would they make the effort to do anything about it.
                          Contrary to your misguided belief we do actually care about your welfare on board and one aspect of that is that the food on board is good, nutritious, etc, etc. Now whilst that doesn't sound like much, it is surprising at how far it will go and the quality of the food that can be produced on it. The Captain's won't be skimming from that, they physically can't any longer as they don't actually pay for it in cash, we do it via bank transfers at the management office and if you're a larger ship manager you will have a specialized catering team who organize and advise the ship's staff on provisions that are delivered on board.
                          I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                          All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You might care but there are a lot of companies out there who really don't.

                            Also you might not want to invite the cook back, but that means that the bad cook is still probably on the ship for 8-10 months, so thats 8-10 months of bad food for the crew.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gadget123 View Post
                              Also you might not want to invite the cook back, but that means that the bad cook is still probably on the ship for 8-10 months, so thats 8-10 months of bad food for the crew.
                              And unless they're disciplined on board, then what can I do? Just sack him and then be sued afterwards?
                              I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                              All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X