System gives students quick info about the relative healthfulness of different dishes.
University of New Hampshire Dining Services has entered into a partnership with the Guiding Stars nutritional ranking system that gives diners enhanced nutritional guidance when making meal selections. Currently in use in more than 2,500 grocery stores, Guiding Stars rates food from zero to three stars based on nutritional value according to the recommendations of the FDA and the USDA. Foods are rated on fiber, vitamins, minerals and whole grain content as well as trans and saturated fats, cholesterol, added sugar and sodium.
“All of our product identifiers that say things like ‘chicken cacciatore’ will have the Guiding Stars symbol,” says Jon Plodzik, director of dining. “People will know whether the food is high in fiber, a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron — it will help them make good choices.
“It's so simple, we're anxious to see how students react. We hope they'll say ‘Hey, this is great.’ It's not meant as a deterrent from choices that they might still want to make once in a while, but we hope this will help people think more holistically.”