The DUC unveils new
food labeling program
In 1994 the Federal Food Labeling Act went into effect. Food labeling
helps consumers choose a healthy diet and encourages manufacturers to improve
the nutritional content of their foods.
While this information is helpful when purchasing food products, it leaves
consumers uninformed when eating out. Only restaurants that make a health
claim on their menus are required to give nutritional information. Does
that mean intentions of healthy eating must go down the drain when dining
out? Not necessarily.
Starting Jan. 14, the Dobbs Center food court initiated the "Keeping
Your Health in Check" food labeling program, a joint project of the
Seretean Center for Health Promotion and Campus Dining Services. The program
labels are placed on low-fat, low-sodium, vegan, vegetarian and kosher foods.
A pilot program was begun in December 1996 with a nutrition brochure
for the Rollins School snack bar, which identified the calories, fat and
percent of calories from fat in the foods sold there. Recently, brochures
also were created for the Goizueta School, the School of Law and the Seretean
Center snack bars.
What do the labels mean?
Low fat: No more than 30 percent of calories from fat per serving.
The easiest way to calculate the percentage of fat in a product is to remember
low-fat foods should have up to 3 grams of fat for every 100 calories. For
example, a sandwich of 250 calories should have no more than 7 grams of
fat to be considered low fat.
Low sodium: Up to 140 mg of sodium per serving. Nutrition experts
recommend consuming no more than 3,000 mg of sodium per day. Canned foods
have notoriously high sodium content. For example, a bowl of canned soup
might have 1,000 mg of sodium. To reduce salt content, eat fresh foods whenever
Vegan: According to the web site "Veggies Unite" <http://www.vegweb.com>, vegan eaters
exclude meat, fish, poultry, eggs, animal milks, honey and their derivatives
in their diets.
Vegetarian: The most common form of vegetarianism, ovo-lacto,
is similar to a vegan diet but includes eggs and milk products, which provide
Kosher: Jewish dietary laws preclude meat and dairy products being
cooked or eaten together. The pareve label means foods are made of neither
meat nor dairy products and therefore may be eaten with both. Packaged kosher
foods are stored in a freezer located by the deli counter in the DUC. During
Passover, prepared kosher foods will be labeled.
Helen Jenkins, food services liaison, is very excited about the venture.
"I hope the program in the DUC is a success, and I wish all food facilities
on the Emory Campus will adopt the program," she said. Susan Butler,
director of programming for the Seretean Center, added, "Today many
people are health conscious and concerned about what they eat. Being informed
about the contents of the food being served on campus will help them make
healthier food choices."
Leslie Teach is a graduate assistant in the School of Public Health.
"Wellness" is coordinated by the Seretean Center for Health Promotion.
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