Under a new provision in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, the Navy will launch a three-year pilot program where plant-based proteins will be available on naval bases, particularly in regions where animal meat is expensive to buy and store.
The United States Navy may soon test a three-year pilot program that will put plant-based meat on the menu for soldiers, particularly in areas where animal-derived meat is expensive and hard to source. The pilot program is part of a provision that was recently added to the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Submitted by House Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), the provision states that this program would begin by March 1, 2023 and would have to include at least two Naval bases.
The provision points to prioritizing bases “where livestock-based protein options may be costly to obtain or store” and suggests candidates such as Joint Region Marianas in Guam; Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean; and US Fleet Activities Sasebo in Japan.
Given global inflation and costs of exporting perishable goods to island regions, implementing this program can be a cost-cutting solution. The provision stipulates that plant-based meat will be an option at these naval bases but could be served alongside animal-derived meat.
After the three-year period, the Navy will compile a report that it will submit to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. The report will share learnings from the program about the consumption rate of plant-based protein at the selected Naval bases; a cost analysis that compares obtaining and storing plant-based protein compared to livestock-derived meat; and effective criteria for increasing plant-based meat options at other Naval facilities.