Bon Appétit Management Company has added calorie counts to certain foods in the dining hall due to a new Food and Drug Administration regulation and student demand. It plans to proides similar counts to other places on campus such as A.J.’s Café.
“We just want to make that information available,” General Manager of Bon Appétit David Apthorpe said.
Earlier this year, the FDA moved to require food establishments that are part of a large chain, using the same name, and offering similar menu items must disclose nutritional information for those items by May 7, 2018. Bon Appétit falls under this regulation.
The guidelines, Apthorpe said, are “still being hashed out,” such as questions about enforcement and monitoring of this new legislation. The legislation requires that any one food served for 60 or more days must have the calorie information. This would include foods like the salad bar in the dining hall and A.J.’s beverages.
The counts are as accurate as they can be.
“Of course, it’s not all 100 percent accurate,” Apthorpe said, but he assures dietitians and scientists have been working to produce numbers as close as possible to reality for dining hall foods like ham, cheese, and vegetables, among others.
This addition has also not been just for the regulation requirement. For the college, this is an opportunity to connect with the students more about promoting good health.
“We saw a need to be more interactive with our guests, specifically our student body,” Apthorpe said.
Students received the new additions positively.
“I know a lot of people who do keep up on that stuff, so I think that’s a good thing,” junior Chad Schiller said. “For me, it would be fitness stuff, because dealing with a more regular fitness plan helps to try to balance my calories with my workouts.”
Junior Kathleen Russo appreciated the nutritional awareness aspect of the counts.
“I think we should always be mindful about what we’re putting in our bodies,” Russo said. “I think it’s all about being a well-rounded and healthy person.”
One of the goals of the calorie counts, Apthorpe said, is to provide an array of options to “have our guests make good choices.”
“I think balancing your choices to provide for a more moderate consumption would be ideal,” Apthorpe said.