Many of us made New Year’s resolutions. We promised to make a fresh start, to do better. So with Aramark, which has resolved to ring in the new year with improvements to their dining services at the University of Dallas. Perhaps the most notable of these improvements is the publication of nutritional information for each menu item in the cafeteria. Now, little cards placed next to each item provide an index of ingredients and nutritional facts, such as a calorie count and fat content.
Without a doubt, Aramark’s increased transparency about the contents and nutritional value of its food will help students to navigate more easily the range of healthy choices in the cafeteria. Already I have witnessed the impact that the accessibility of this nutritional information has had on cafeteria patrons. I have seen several students express shock at the realization that their favorite potato cheddar soup has more than 200 calories per serving and choose the 90 calorie vegetable soup instead.
Not only has Aramark taken measures to provide nutritional information to UD students, but they have also made an effort to address dietary concerns within the UD community. In past semesters, the regular features in the cafeteria included chicken-fried steak, spaghetti, pizza and many other foods that do not accommodate those who face dietary concerns or who are health-conscious. Thankfully,
Aramark now offers a gluten-free station to meet those concerns. As a gluten-intolerant health-nut myself, I appreciate these efforts to be more sensitive to those with dietary needs or health concerns.
This summer, UD plans to renovate the cafeteria while Aramark refreshes its image on campus. Hopefully Aaramark’s recent steps forward are indicative of the kind of progress that is to come in future months.