Is food anarchy the answer?

L.A. Times columnist calls for government to retreat from its attacks on our food choices.

Ironically, in Gunlock’s article she actually makes two pro-government points in attempting to prove its ineffectiveness. For example, she cites a 2009 study of the effect of New York’s edict to require restaurants to post calorie and nutrition information. She wrote that, according to the study, “only half even noticed the government-required calorie information displayed on menu boards. Of those, only 28% said the information influenced their ordering.”

I would argue that the posted information actually caught the eye of many customers and influenced the decisions of a significant number of them—people who might not otherwise have considered the choices they were making. Whether you believe the government should have the right to mandate nutrition posting, the study demonstrated that it was having some impact.

Gunlock also touched on the four states that currently have a “sin tax” on sodas. “They rank among the most obese states in the nation,” she wrote. “So much for the government's war on obesity.”

What Gunlock apparently failed to realize—or conveniently chooses not to point out—is that the taxes were imposed because these states have high rates of obesity. They haven’t been in effect long enough to have had any impact on obesity rates.  Are these taxes just? I’m not sure. The fact remains, it is far too early to measure their effectiveness.

The extent to which government entities should have control over our food and beverage choices certainly is debatable. But a government stripped of its power to influence the food, beverage and restaurant industries would have far more dire consequences for Americans.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Maryland will begin offering weekly specials at all of its dining halls this semester, The Diamond Back reports.

The weekday specials will allow Dining Services to offer past menu items that students miss as well as new dishes students have been requesting, according to a spokesperson.

Students can find out which specials are being offered each week via dining hall table tents as well as through Dining Services’ social media. During select weeks, the specials may reflect a particular theme, such as Taste of the South.

Read the full story via...

Menu Development
salad chicken

Vegetables and grains have stepped into the spotlight, thanks to the “flipping the plate” trend, but protein is still an important part of a balanced diet. Sources including meat, cheese, nuts, and meat alternatives such as tofu and tempeh can and should still be on the plate—albeit as a side dish or topping rather than the main event.

“Whatever we do [as FSDs] needs to be rooted in the culture, and today’s culture is all about healthy eating and plant-focused meals,” says Chris Studtmann, executive chef at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. “A recipe is an idea; culture is...

Menu Development
jackfruit

It emerged as a top food trend on Pinterest’s 2017 predictions, is “the latest miracle food” according to Epicurious, and was called “a nutritional bonanza” by NPR. Jackfruit is the latest superfood garnering buzz, and Even Stevens Sandwiches has gone after the vegetarian-friendly option for a recently launched torta. Here, Culinary Director Brandon Price shares three lessons learned from adding jackfruit to the menu.

Finding the best form

Using fresh jackfruit wasn’t the answer for the chain. It has to be sourced internationally, and breaking it down cuts into labor costs. But...

Ideas and Innovation
hibachi grill cooking

We saw in 2016 that many operators were trying to have some type of display cooking in their food operation. We installed a hibachi grill this fall, and within three months we had 300 residents and guests make reservations. We also use our hibachi grill for cooking classes twice a month, where our hibachi chef Abby Kramer does an excellent job teaching different cuisines. We have received so many compliments that we have decided to get another hibachi grill for a different dining venue in 2017.

FSD Resources