Cafeteria calories count too

The College cafeteria has a recipe book with the calories and nutritional information of each type of food they serve. Students are asking what would happen if the contents of this book were to suddenly appear on a huge menu board, like those found in restaurants such as McDonalds, Starbucks, and Taco Del Mar.

The Nutrition Labeling in Chain Restaurants Law of 2009-2010 exempts any form of cafeteria service to abide by this law, therefore the College cafeteria has no obligation to post the caloric content and ingredients of the food being served.

The law states that, under certain circumstances, chain restaurants must post their food’s nutritional information, such as calorie count, saturated fat, sodium, and carbohydrates in either a menu, insert, menu board, or brochure.

Some college students are afraid to know the nutritional content of the food they eat. “I would rather not know. I enjoy eating food that I love and I can’t stand walking into all these restaurants and feeling bad while ordering,” said Tobi Valikine, BC student.

Young adulthood is the prime time for weight gain, due to lack of high school sports, alcohol consumption, and poor diet. “I know a lot of people who started to change their [dietary] habits once fast food nutrition facts went public, and I think the same effect would happen if the cafeteria did the same,” said Kara McPherson, BC student.

However, many students don’t feel compelled to start counting calories, “I personally don’t care about calories, but I’d want better quality [of food]. For example I’d like them to cut down on the portion and have more nutritious food,” said Evelina Grigoryants, BC student.

Although the cafeteria does offer a myriad of healthy food items, there are still waffles, bagel pizza, doughnuts, and candy that line the shelves each day.

“ [There is a] well-balanced cereal or sugar kind, we get both in, but the sugar kind is what people want,” said Todd Juvrud, BC Director of Food Service/Events.

These “fast food” products are the main attraction for those that need sustenance, yet have little time to put together a salad. “Pizza is the number one seller, mostly because it is a quick “grab and go” item,” said Juvrud.

“I think everyone should care [about health], which is why they should have healthier options for students who are always in a hurry,” said Grigoryants.

Bellevue College’s cafeteria provides a broad range of different food items. However, it’s all a matter of choice when it comes to students and their eating habits. People have their options, and they will make their own decisions.