Dining services publishes calorie counts on website
The number of calories in a Dana grilled cheese will no longer remain a mystery. Thanks to Dining Services' newest addition to its website, the nutritional information for every meal at Dana, Foss, or Roberts is available for curious students to peruse.
When asked why Dining Services was providing students with such a nutritional resource this year, Joe Klaus, assistant director of dining services, responded that "a lot of students have been asking for it for awhile" but that more importantly, in recent years "there has been a real increased focus on eating well" here on the Hill.
These new initiatives, aimed at a greater awareness of nutritional habits at the College, have much to do with American society's recent impulse towards change. People all over the nation are taking notice of unhealthy diet's negative medical consequences.
"As a population we realize we need to do better," Klaus said, "Everyone is taking a new look at our diet and realizing we eat too much carbs [carbohydrates] and meats and not enough fruit and vegetables. They are realizing that type II diabetes and heart attacks are more prevalent in the Western diet."
Thus, Dining Services is taking serious steps to provide students with the necessary tools to eat healthy and make well-educated decisions on their own when they eat in the dining halls.
Klaus said "some people are afraid that having this kind of nutritional information can be used in a bad way. But people shouldn't be using this to count calories—our largest hope is that people use common sense."
By going onto Dining Services' webpage and clicking on the nutritional information for any of the three dining halls, students can learn how to create a balanced meal and be more aware of what they're eating.
Dining Services is promoting healthy eating habits through other methods as well. In addition to continuing Meatless Mondays this year-a program in which students pledge to eat vegetarian once a week-they have introduced The Balanced Way Entrees. "Each one is less than 600 calories, has less than 800 milligrams of sodium, and contains 3 grams of fiber; and each dining hall has one meal featured a day that follows these guidelines," said Klaus.
Additionally, a new Colby Outdoor Orientation Trip (COOT2) called "Local Organic Cooking" was added to the first-year orientation program this year. Incoming students worked with Klaus and Andy Goodspeed, Assistant Manager of Roberts, to learn about the importance of taking the time to cook healthy meals and made dishes like pasta caprese with food from the student garden.
Klaus' final message to students was that "it's good to be aware of what's there but if you get too caught up you won't be able to eat in a balanced manner. That's what is most important."