No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


This morning.

Further to Government proposals which call for the mandatory addition of calories on menus for all restaurants, pubs, catering establishments and eateries…

Gary (Gaz) Smith, chef at Michael’s seafood restaurant in Mount Merrion, Dublin 4, tweetz:

“So we’ve changed our minds after a think and have added calorie counts on today’s specials to avoid any fines or punishments.”

Row over calories on restaurant menus erupts as legislation looms (Marie Claire Digby, The Irish Times)

Yesterday: The Menu Is The Meal

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11 thoughts on “No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

  1. Alex

    Michael’s is a fantastic restaurant. Super fresh Irish seafood and steaks, cooked simply, drenched in garlic butter and sold at a good price in a non-stuck up environment. Every September they offer free seafood for kids as a means of getting them hooked. My son first had garlic prawns there and is addicted to them.

  2. Harry

    Gaz makes a very valid point here. Restaurants like Michaels have daily specials, Is he supposed to calorie count each special each day, starters, mains & desserts? Its not fair on restaurants that have an ever changing menu to be expected to do that. Its fine for bog standard set menu places but unfair to decent and up and coming restaurants.

    1. Cian

      I was in a certain US fast-food restaurant recently and noticed that all the food-items have a calorie/fat/sugar/salt/etc count on them. And I was wondering how accurate they could be.

      For some, like the burgers, they are (I assume) based on a ‘standard’ dressed bun. But there can be big variances in the amount of, say, ketchup on a bun;.or the amount of salt added to the meat on the grill.

      For things like fries, it is based on a standard serving size – but there can be huge differences in the number/weight of chips in a “medium fries” from one day to the next… then the amount of fat (are the baskets shaken properly) and salt….

      So it can give you an idea of how good/bad food is (a double-bacon-quarter-Pounder™ is worse than an naked salad… but the salad dressing has more fat than a large fries) it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt (sorry).

      For restaurants with a changeable menu – I can’t see how it would be possible to do with any accuracy.

      1. missred

        It’s completely unrealistic unless you send the food samples to a lab!

        If you wish to gauge for your health what the food is like, ask the restaurant staff as many questions as you can about the menu on offer, within reason. How it is cooked, what sauce, how big, does it come with veg and if not can you have some extra. Calories are not an accurate measurement of food anyway.

  3. Leoppold Gloom

    When I go to certain restaurants, and restaurants like this, I am not worrying about the calorie count. Any sensible person could probably work it out roughly enough anyway. There are better ways of attacking thism and this type of legislation is merely optics.

    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      cooking classes in schools, with veg preferably from a school veggie garden, from the age of 8, and/or proper school lunches and I don’t mean chips and pizza, it starts early the problem here with this idea of ” kids menu” like they will only eat chicken nuggets, there is a generation growing up fast on processed crap given to them by parents who haven’t a clue how to cook cheap nutritional meals,
      you shouldn’t have to care about calories when u eat out if you eat healthy at home

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