Dining Services provide accessible nutritional information

Malcolm Benedict

Michigan Tech Dining Services has recently begun to provide nutritional information at many stations in the dining halls, to assist diners in keeping track of their calorie intake. While the information was always available upon request, as of this semester, it is now displayed above the food. 

This information is printed on small paper placards, which are placed over the counters where the food is served. Their primary purpose is to provide caloric information to the diners in order to aid them in making dietary choices by informing them of the amount of calories in a single serving of the dish. This information also ensures that the dining halls are in compliance with Food and Drug Administration requirements for restaurants to disclose the caloric contents of menu items, a regulation that may apply to Michigan Tech. Previously, the nutritional information of the dining hall food had been available upon request.

Speaking on behalf of the dining services, Chuck Brown explained that the main goal of the labeling was to provide accessible caloric information to the diners. “It’s information that many students use to make good decisions in terms of their dining, and we want to do everything we can to try to help students… maintain a healthy dining experience.” He mentioned that in the future, nutritional information may be added to the salad bar, particularly for the relatively calorie-dense dressings. “We want to make sure we provide people the opportunity to make good choices… Maybe the light Italian dressing instead of the regular Italian dressing.”

While the main intent of the new labeling is to provide diners with caloric information, the labeling also provides information such as sugar and cholesterol contents. Allergen warnings for the nine largest allergens, such as fish, dairy, peanuts, and tree nuts, are also written next to the nutritional information.