Eateries Add Nutrition, Allergan Information

Eateries Add Nutrition, Allergan Information

01/21/2014 

The College’s Dining Services has listened to students’ requests and followed national trends by posting real-time nutrition and allergen information on its website and digital signage at campus eateries.

The information is “in your face,” just as students had requested.

Nutritional information on the digital signs and website includes: serving size, calories per serving, fat, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber and protein. Identified allergens include eggs, milk, soy and gluten. Symbols on the digital signs alert students to healthy food choices and gluten-friendly products.

The symbol for a healthy food choice is a white “H” with a red circle behind it.

ASC Dining Services
Across campus, Dining Services has added nutritional information such as gluten free and healthy options to the digital menus on display in the food service areas.

Dining Services rolled out the nutrition and allergen program in August 2013 on its website and in Neubig Dining, the residential facility.  It plans to bring the program to the retail facilities — all dining facilities except for Neubig — as the semester opens. A new residential facility, The Bistro, to be located inside the new Student Life Center currently under construction, will feature the enhancements in January 2015.

Dining Services, a unit of the SUNY Cortland Auxiliary Services Corporation, began work on the program when both the 2011 and 2012 National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) surveys showed nutritional content and variety of healthy menu choices increasing in importance to students.

“Dining Services offers a large variety of healthy foods,” says Bill McNamara, director of dining services. “But we do find that what students define and choose as healthy and what is actually healthy is not necessarily the same thing.”

As delighted as most were at seeing the nutritional information available on the digital signs, for some it turned to shock as they didn’t know how unhealthy their choices were, says McNamara.

“Having the nutritional and allergen information on the digital signs and on the website is not only helping to educate students and keep them safe from an allergic reaction, but it’s helping us create more nutritional menus,” he said.

Andrea Hart, ASC’s registered nutritionist and dietician, spells out what is necessary for a food item to qualify as a healthy choice.

“A serving must contain less than or equal to 15 percent of the daily value for calories, total fat, saturated fat and sodium and greater than or equal to 10 percent of the daily value for at least one of the following: dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron,” Hart said.

The symbol for gluten-friendly products is a white “GF.” Following a recent FDA ruling on what it means for labeling a food product as “gluten-free,” Dining Services renamed Neubig Dining’s Gluten Free Zone to Gluten Friendly Zone. While inputs of food products do not contain gluten, they are processed in a kitchen that is not gluten free and cannot use the title of gluten free.

The Gluten Friendly Zone helps students with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity make better food choices by stocking gluten-friendly foods (GF) such as cereal, bread, cookies, pasta, entrees, crackers and other products.  A cupboard, refrigerator, toaster, and microwave are provided for the sole use of GF diners.  Retail dining units also provide gluten-friendly foods. 

“This is very novel on campus,” McNamara said. “Most campuses don’t post nutrition information and in retail restaurants they aren’t posting this information up with the food.”

But that appears to be changing. SUNY Cortland’s effort appears to go further than that of other campuses, but more and more colleges are recognizing the importance of educating students about their food choices.

“It appears to be a trend now,” said Shannon Richard, executive director of campus operations at SUNY Morrisville’s auxiliary corporation and outgoing president of the SUNY Auxiliary Services Association. “Ours is listed online and is attached to each of our menu items online” but not posted on the menu message boards.  

The University at Buffalo currently features nutritional information on the website along with allergen information at the point of sale, according to Raymond Kohl, marketing director for UB Campus Dining and Shops.

Oneonta posts detailed menus online and on the digital signs in each dining site, and is currently upgrading the website with further improvements, according to Nikki S. Brown, who represents the campus food service operator, Sodexo, as marketing coordinator and district safety coordinator.

Cornell University hasn’t made the change yet, although the information is very important to the campus community, according to Michele Lefebvre, Cornell Dining’s director of nutrition management.


More News

Local Foundation Supports Musical Groups

Local Foundation Supports Musical Groups

The Dan & Rose McNeil Foundation will sponsor the College-Community Orchestra and Choral Union.


Justin Teague Academic All-American for Second Straight Season

Justin Teague Academic All-American for Second Straight Season

SUNY Cortland senior catcher Justin Teague has been selected as a 2018 Google Cloud Division III Baseball Third Team Academic All-American.


Summer Sports Camps Start Soon

Summer Sports Camps Start Soon

Young athletes can learn from college coaches and players in a variety of sports this summer.


Students Earn National Gilman Scholarships

Students Earn National Gilman Scholarships

The prestigious award supports a student's expenses to study abroad.


SUNY Cortland’s Vending Solution Earns National Recognition

SUNY Cortland’s Vending Solution Earns National Recognition

The College's solution for round-the-clock vending has drawn attention from other campuses.


SUNY Cortland’s Musical Theatre Major Named a Hidden Gem

SUNY Cortland’s Musical Theatre Major Named a Hidden Gem

The program was listed as one of the "five most underrated" in the Northeast.


SUNY Cortland Adds New Major in Healthcare Management

SUNY Cortland Adds New Major in Healthcare Management

The degree prepares students for roles in finance, human resources or business management across various healthcare settings.


Staffer Named ‘Honorary Alumna’

Staffer Named ‘Honorary Alumna’

Robin Wheeler Baroni will be honored during July at Alumni Reunion 2018.


SUNY Cortland Hosting Summer Art Program for High School Students

SUNY Cortland Hosting Summer Art Program for High School Students

Week-long program offers hands-on, immersive opportunities.


SUNY Cortland Partner OPEN a Finalist for National Award

SUNY Cortland Partner OPEN a Finalist for National Award

The Partnership for a Healthier America has nominated OPEN for its Catalyst for Change Award.


Explore

Visit

Contact