Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Besides the egg recall...

The start of the new academic year dawns a new light on health and wellness. Rice University is continuing with the mission of reducing salt, sugar, and saturated fat (3S's) which was started mid-term in the Spring of 2010. An interesting note about this exercise was that we did not inform the students, we just did it; with great success I might add.

What's new? The freshmen... I am always curious to see the reactions and comments of new freshmen each year, but specifically with the enhanced menu's and healthful options. This has become doubly important for me as my little girl just started public school and the menu's their are adequate at best. Pepperoni pizza, chicken nuggets, mac & cheese; you get the point... The aha moment was when I realized that we are providing home-style meals that do not reflect the primary school's menu's that most of our new student were used to.

The reactions have been positive and our goal is to educate or re-educate (if necessary) student dietary habits. We hope that the primary schools will help us in this endeavor so that we do not receive to much of the "damaged goods", but I fear this will be a long road of change. It can be done though. At least we have 3-4 years with these students to help them.

Around Rice:
The Baker kitchen has opened and we are eagerly awaiting the commissioning of the East Servery in January, 2011. We have published a food miles map that shows the sources of our products which I think will be a tremendous benefit towards student education and for Dining Services. We are still working on our farm project and other farm to market programs.

Have a healthy year and get involved,

1 comment:

  1. I think it's a great idea to reduce the "three S's" from university dining options. As a college student, I know it's always convenient to stop and grab something to eat on campus in between classes, but it's not always healthy. On my campus, there are some healthy options such as sandwiches and sushi, but there are more options like fried chicken, Chinese food and cheeseburgers that aren't so healthy. (Of course the less healthy options always seem the most appetizing!) If universities and schools in general (including high schools and middle schools) offered healthier options within all the food they serve, students' decisions to eat better would become a lot easier. Hopefully more universities will follow Rice's example!