Is this really a good deal?
When I was a kid, my mom taught me a very valuable health and economics lesson at the grocery store. I would always look at the great value offered by family size cereal boxes, meat packages, and juice containers, and I would point them out to my mom. She would walk down the aisle, pick out the smaller (worse bang for your buck) cereal box and continue shopping. Being the opinionated loving daughter that I still am, I would of course have to point out that she was not making very good use of her money. She explained to me that the value package would be worth her money if we had a big family, but that our small family of four would not, and should not, eat that much cereal(or milk or meat…) in a week before it would go bad. It might be a better deal for all of that food, but it is not a better deal to spend $5 instead of $3 if we are going to throw half of the big package away.
The other food lesson my mom taught me was to NOT eat everything on my plate if I was full. I know… it is crazy. It is wasteful to throw food away, but it is also wasteful to eat more food than my body needs. Ideally, of course, that large quantity of food would not make its way onto my plate in the first place, so that somebody else could eat it, but that is just not always the case. As an adult, I make my own food decisions. That includes how much I will buy at the grocery store and how much I will eat off of my plate, but it also includes where I will chose to eat when I go out.
As a Team Lead at Amanda’s I am very conscious of this value vs. portion size dilemma in our society today. Some customers complain that our burgers are too small, or that they could buy a half pound burger somewhere else for a better value. Do we really want to eat that much burger in one meal? Do you end up throwing it away in the end anyway? One of Amanda’s neighbors, Saul’s deli, recently struggled with their decision to make pastrami sandwiches with better ingredients, but smaller. Does it really make sense to pay more for excess?
Shopping for healthy food in grocery stores today seems like a daunting task. With junk foods like Fruit Loops and Cocoa Krispies deemed “Smart Choices,” customers find nutrition labeling confusing and often misleading. The Federal Drug Administration hopes to put to stop to that.
By next year, the FDA will put in place a program that will scrutinize health
claims and consider setting government criteria for how and when companies can advertise a product’s nutritious value. Margaret Hamburg, the FDA commissioner, hopes to install a nutritional labeling program similar to the one in Great Britain. Products receive red, yellow, or green circles indicating whether they have high, moderate or low amounts of salt, saturated fat, sugar and total calories.
Ideally, foods would have the standard nutrition label and would be accompanied by this simplified nutrition number colored dot just to help people shop more wisely.
In an effort to curb the obesity epidemic in California, the state senate passed Senate Bill 1420 in 2008. The Bill requires chain restaurants in California to provide nutritional information including the total number of calories, grams of saturated fat, grams of trans fat, and milligrams of sodium, on their menus and menu boards. Furthermore, it defines a chain restaurant as a food facility with “at least 14 other food facilities with the same name in the state that offer for sale substantially the same menu items.”
Phase I of SB 1420 has been in effect since this July, but will it truly make a difference? A study conducted by New York University and Yale says otherwise. The study monitored McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in neighborhoods with high rates of obesity in New York City before and after New York menu labeling laws took effect in July 2008. They found that only half of customers noticed the menu labeling, and of those who noticed, only 28% said it influenced their ordering. Even more surprising, the receipts before and after the law took effect showed that people actually ordered more after menu boards displayed total calories.
The researchers that lead the study believe that there are multiple reasons why menu labeling has not been seen to work in these neighborhoods. They believe that the primary roadblock to healthy eating is money. At McDonald’s, customers can order two cheeseburgers that pack a whopping 600 calories total for only $2. Another possible reason is that in these neighborhoods with high rates of obesity, those who are already obese have already given up on trying to lose weight. Yet another reason is that it’s just plain hard to change behavior.
Advocates of menu labeling laws don’t see these findings as a reason to abandon calorie posting, however. They believe that by making people aware of the nutritional content in their food, they will be able to contemplate making healthier decisions in the long run.
Are fast food chains really serving healthy fast-food meals for children? According to a new study
At Amanda’s we are committed to offering the community healthier foods at their convenience and at an affordable cost. Everyone can get Feel Good Fresh Food at Amanda’s. Stop by and try our freshly made salads, naturally-raised burgers, freshly stirred sodas and milks, and healthy snacks. The apple fries with a honey yogurt dipping sauce are a must try!