February 13, 2008

New calorie laws are actually making life more difficult for me

In case you didn’t know, NYC is cracking down on restaurants and trying to get them to provide calorie info.

I find it crazy that fine dining establishments think they shouldn’t have to obey the rules. How exactly is it “comparing apples and oranges?” You and McDonalds both serve food. (Well, kind of… some McDonalds items don’t quite qualify as “food” in my mind, but they are at least something you put in your mouth and that some people would count as food). If the argument is that people come to fine dining restaurants for the atmosphere, then they’re probably not going to care whether you post the calorie information or not.

And honestly, I’m in Boston right now, eating on an expense account, and yet I’ve been eating at a lot of fast food restaurants simply because I can find calorie information and know exactly what I’m eating. Most of the nicer places don’t provide that, so I don’t frequent them. You lose, Legal Sea Foods!

But what really makes me mad… I have a major ice cream craving right now, and there is a Coldstone Creamery across the street from my office. I knew it would probably be terrible for me, but I couldn’t resist browsing the nutritional information on their website to see what I could find. I punched in the zip code for Boston, and saw that there were some “grab and go” flavors that weren’t bad calorically, so I then checked out what those flavors were. The one that sounded good was “Cake Batter, Batter, Batter,” but that wasn’t available in Boston. So I punched in my NYC zip code, to see if they sold it there, and if so, what the facts were. What I got was this message:

“Unfortunately we can no longer provide caloric information to residents of New York City. This development is a result of the New York City Department of Health’s decision to pass a regulation requiring restaurants that already publicly provide caloric information, to post product calories on their menu boards – using the same type size as the product listing.
We fully support the intent of this regulation; however, since most of our products are made-to-order, there simply isn’t enough room on our existing menu boards to comply with the regulation. As a result, we will no longer be able to provide nutritional information to residents and customers of our New York City stores. We regret this inconvenience. For ingredient and allergen information, please click here. If you have questions about this regulation, please contact the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and refer to Health Code Section 81.50.”

How does that make sense at all??? They don’t want to redesign their menus, so they’re getting rid of their nutritional information altogether??? Wow, way for a corporation to completely circumvent the whole point of the law, and, as payback, make the situation even worse than before.


2 thoughts on “New calorie laws are actually making life more difficult for me”

  1. I think all dining establishment should give us their nutrional info. I also find myself eating at Wendy’s since I know what I can eat and not deplete all my WeWa points 🙁
    I love cold Stone, and it’s funny that the longer the name the more the calories.

  2. That’s really really strange! I think it has to happen in the near future that calories are open book… I mean come on half of Americans are on some kind of diet and 80 percent are over weight. Information decade.

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