Well THAT got your attention, didn't it?
I've been roaming lately, running back and forth to PA to help sooth mom as my father's health fails and cutting myself some slack and hitting the outlets in Leesburg (oh Crate & Barrel outlet, how do I love thee, let me count the ways...). Anywho, I noticed that both in VA & PA, nutritional information is posted for restaurants (Panera, and yes, I beg your food-snobby forgiveness for eating at a chain) and the ready-made foods at Wegmans. And let me tell you something, it REALLY changes how you order when you figure out that a whole sandwich is in the mid-900 calorie range. Yowsa! I still got the darn cookie though -- my sweet tooth would not be stopped.
I have to say, I liked being able to see the damage that would be done before it occurred. I changed my mind on what I ordered in both cases and felt a little better for the decision. With a little research, I found that the MD General Assembly proposed a bill in March 2009 that will require all chain restaurants with more than 15 locations to post nutritional info (here's a link for more info: http://www.cspinet.org/new/200903031.html), but I have no clue when this would be enacted, or if it has even passed a vote yet.
I'm definitely NOT a big chain-restaurant fan, but I like knowing that if there's no alternative close-by, at least I'll have the info to make a good decision. What do you think? Yay or nay?
I see it as a good thing- it's not that expensive to analyze food for nutritional info, and it helps the consumer to make an informed choice. A lot of what we eat we do without thinking about. I think a lot of the bigger chains entice us with extra calories and they don't want us to know; what better way to deal with this than to relieve an information aysmmetry?
I don't think the government needs to get involved with this. If you like chains that post the information, frequent those and let the other chains know (by calls, email, letters) that you aren't dining there because they don't post nutritional information. I hate it when our solution is to pass a bill. We have power as consumers, we should use it more often!
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