Look up the PLU Code and Learn More About Your Produce
See those numbers on your produce? They are there to make life easier for the retailer but they also may give you more information about the food you are eating. Here is a site where you can look up the PLU code on your food and find out whether it really is organic, genetically modified etc. Please note that the codes are not mandatory so your food may not be in the system but if it is, you will have access to the information.
Christoph Egel’s Friday Blog: Food in Chain Restaurants - A Nutritional Disaster
It seems that eating in chain restaurants is still an unhealthy option!
Several recently published studies highlight how bad many of the menu choices in chain restaurants really are:
According to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the nutritional quality of fast food produced by the eight most common fast food chains in the United States barely improved over the last 14 years.
According to University of Toronto researchers, who analyzed the nutritional information of food ordered at 19 sit-down restaurant chains, the average meal contained 56 percent of the recommended daily 2,000-calorie intake for a healthy adult.
According to researchers from Tufts University, who tested 157 meals from 33 individual or small-chain restaurants near Boston, the average meal contains two to three times the calories a person needs at a single sitting, and more than half what is needed for an entire day.
Results like this do not support the the health claims made by the fast food chains - market research for 2010-2011 showed an increase in the use of the word “healthy” by 86 percent and of the term “low-fat” by 33 percent. Maybe this is one reason why “more than one quarter of American adults consume fast food two or more times per week.” … “Fast food accounts for 15 percent of Americans’ daily energy intake. Speciﬁcally, 37.4 percent of sales of meals and snacks away from home are at limited-service eating places such as fast-food restaurants.”
Obviously, fast-food restaurants still deserve their bad reputation for the high nutritional quality of their meals. But, as the Tuft study demonstrates, simply sticking to smaller chains and independent restaurants won’t guarantee healthier choices. It is particularly frustrating that these smaller chains will be exempt from a new regulation, which requires chains with 20 or more locations to post calorie content for all of their menu items.
One has to wonder, who is to blame for this lack of progress. Given the dire predictions surrounding the obesity epidemic, we would expect to see tangible improvements in the nutritional quality of chain restaurant meals. It seems that the restaurant chains respond to regulatory pressure by offereing some healthy menu choices while the American consumer continues to order the unhealthy meals. Restaurants will unltimately sell what the consumer buys - as long as we super-size burgers, fries, shakes, and soft drinks, the situation will not improve!
So, next time you eat out, conciously select healthy food!