Do you want fries with that? If you work for the United States Department of Agriculture, even if you do want a side of fries to go with your meal, you’re not gonna get it. The department’s cafeteria launched a new, healthier look today, which includes a menu devoid of deep-fried items. After deciding last year to go healthy, the USDA nixed deep fat fryers in both its cafeterias and will offer more healthful options for its employees.
The Agriculture Department is partly in charge of encouraging the public to eat healthy, and now the agency will be eating the way it preaches. Employees will still have the option to go elsewhere for lunch, reports the Washington Post, so it’s not like this healthy menu is being forced on workers. It’s just a little push, is all.
“Like many employers, USDA is taking important steps to improve our cafeteria to enhance the quality and healthfulness of food available for our employees to purchase,” said Gregory Parham, departmental management assistant secretary.
When diners order food at the new USDA cafeterias, workers will automatically serve up 100% whole-wheat breads and pastas unless the person specifies otherwise. And just like those food pyramids and other healthy eating charts, one station will show a daily MyPlate example of a basic, proper meal.
An on-site dietitian will also be around for any workers who have questions about their meals and how to eat healthy.
But if anyone is missing those fried, golden mounds of potatoes, they can just walk over to the Energy Department cafeteria and order up a side of fries.
Again, the department is not telling anyone what they can and can’t eat — it learned that lesson last year when it tried to encourage “Meatless Mondays,” and got an earful from the country’s meat industry.
In revamped cafeterias, USDA gets a taste of its own medicine [Washington Post]