Calorie counts could help produce - The Packer

Calorie counts could help produce

12/09/2011 12:10:00 PM
Tom Burfield

“It depends on the consumer and how much knowledge they have about it,” said Vince Choate, director of marketing for Hollandia Produce LLC, Carpinteria, Calif.

The information might be confusing to some diners, he said.

“It’s just a helpful hint,” he added. “I’m sure those who are familiar with the system can look at it and understand it.”

The regulation could benefit the produce industry, since fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories, said Jay Iverson, partner and vice president of sales and marketing for GreenGate Fresh LLP, Salinas, Calif. But he doesn’t think a calorie count should be mandatory.

“We don’t need more regulations,” he said.

Most people who go out to dinner on a Friday night will eat what they want anyway, unless they’re on a diet, Iverson said.

“If you eat at a white-tablecloth restaurant, you expect to a down a few calories,” he said.

However, he added that he might pay more attention to calories if he’s buying a sandwich for lunch at a Subway restaurant.

“The nutrition and calorie information has to be there because, until people see what’s in those foods, they’re going to splurge,” said Jayne Hurley, a senior nutritionist for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest.

“If you’re churning out appetizers that are 1,000 calories, entrees that are 1,000 calories and desserts that are 1,000 calories, that information should be on the menu,” she said.

Hurley would like to see restaurants post the information even before it becomes the law.

“If they would put calories up before they were mandated, I think that would help a lot,” she said.

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