Recently, while standing in line at Starbucks for my morning coffee, I thought it would be nice to have little bite of something as well. I peered into the curved glass case averting my eyes from the glazed black and white cookies in a valiant effort to find a healthier, less frosted option. A nice croissant seemed to fit the bill until I noticed a small sign next to the plate: Butter Croissant 440 Calories.
440 calories! That’s equivalent to a Double Cheeseburger from McDonald’s–and far less satisfying–in my opinion at least.
I was so glad that Starbucks had posted the nutritional information of everything in that case. I was only assuming that the croissant was a healthy option. The little sign made it possible for me to make a fact-based food choice. The fruit cup, please!
Starbucks isn’t the only place that’s begun to post calories. Cities like New York and Seattle already have laws in place that require all restaurants to post nutritional information on their menus, and the FDA has recently proposed legislation that could be bring the same laws to your town.
If passed, the law will require 280,000 establishments across the country to include nutritional information on their menus so diners can make informed choices about what they are ordering. This doesn’t include alcohol. (Does that mean there are no calories in a Pina Colada?)
Legislation like this is not surprising considering the growing trend in consumer demand for more information about their food. People want to know where it’s coming from and what is in it. They also want the option to have fresh, whole foods everywhere they go, not just the grocery store.
Philadelphia, where the National Constitution Center is located, has been taking it’s own measures to help meet that demand as detailed here by Mark Bittman of the New York Times.
What do you think? Do you want to know the nutritional information of the food you’re eating or is ignorance bliss?