Blog Post Contributed by: Julia DeCecco, Dietetics Student at the University of Delaware
Since way, way back in 2009, Philadelphia Catering Company has been my summer job. From working in the office on our website, to the back room packing orders, to customer event sites as a server, I’ve always been able to put my skills to work as I progressed through middle school and high school.
In my junior year of high school, through a wild mess of AP classes, SATs and college visits, I found my passion – nutrition. It started with eating better and progressed into a love for healthy food, cooking and fitness. Before I knew it, I was off to University of Delaware to study nutrition and dietetics. As my knowledge of health and nutrition expanded through my lectures and labs, I began to crave more than just learning – I wanted hands-on experience. And that’s where I found my latest project for Philadelphia Catering: compiling the nutrition facts for all the items on the menu. However, my already seemingly extensive nutrition knowledge didn’t mean calculating nutrition was easy. Sure, I had experience tracking food, and I had a pretty general knowledge for how many calories are in this, how much fat is in that, etc. But starting from scratch was a whole different story. How will we organize the data? How much butter is actually in the French toast? How do you convert liquid ounces to weight ounces? Do the calories in a marinade get cooked off or do they factor in? How much ham is in the ham and swiss sandwich? And don’t even get me started on how to work excel…. the bottom line was there was a lot on our plate (pun intended). But, with a lot of time, effort, and collaboration, each and every piece slowly started to fit together until a clear picture of how the project was going to work surfaced.
As our nation’s knowledge of health and nutrition grows more and more, so does the desire to know what is actually in what we’re eating. Restaurants and food services have been increasingly releasing nutritional information for their company for exactly this reason. Thus, nutritional data has become even more accessible – from apps like MyFitnessPal and LoseIt to even the USDA’s Supertracker website. These small pieces of information, though seemingly unimportant in the long run, actually leads to healthier choices, and ultimately a healthier America. With many of the leading causes of death in the United States being nutrition related, it’s vital that Americans begin to really evaluate their lives from a nutritional standpoint. Even by just choosing a lower sugar scone, or turkey bacon over pork, or a vegetarian sandwich over one loaded with meat, you can make a difference in your diet.
So this is why Philadelphia Catering has decided to offer nutrition facts– because small choices can add up in the end to make a big difference.
We currently have the nutritional facts for our breakfasts and sandwich menu items. See our website at – http://www.philadelphiacatering.com/nutrition-facts.asp. This is a work in progress. We will add more pages and categories during my Winter & Spring Breaks and finish up next Summer. The idea will be eventually to provide a QR code on your buffet that will link you to the nutritional facts and allergens for your meal. Please feel free to let me know your comments at Info@philadelphiacatering.com.
Julia’s PCC Work History