Sunday, July 29, 2012

You Are What You Eat...

Even the most conscientious of calorie counters typically can’t really explain a nutritional label. I certainly can’t pronounce most of the ingredients and I have no idea what’s important beyond the percentages of calories, fat, and sugar.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised to come across Pret’s humorous approach to informing consumers on the nutritional values of their products.  

Pret A Manger wanted to ensure you knew what, in addition to how much.

From Pret’s website:
“Often the media gets hung up on calories and fat. Of course, these have to be checked and regulated, but they should also be balanced with a factor that seems to get forgotten in today's fat-obsessed environment: nutrition. We talk about salt, sugar and fat but never anything else.

At Pret, we insist on a kitchen in every shop (apart from some of the tiny ones) where our sandwiches, salads, wraps, baguettes and hot wraps are handmade fresh every day using short shelf life, preservative-free, natural ingredients to ensure that they're nutritionally rich.
  As well as being fanatical about taste, the food team ensure our sandwiches and salads are free from the endless additives that plague modern food. This task is much harder than it sounds. Pret’s suppliers have to go to great lengths to meet our fanatically high standards.”

I hope more chains in more countries will choose to employ these types of standards in the quality of their food and their nutritional education. “Fast food” shouldn’t have to be synonymous with “pre-packaged death.”


  1. I love this. I found this so interesting about all the countries I have experienced in Europe. Most places, restaurants, fast food, grocery stores, etc put the calories on everything and explain the ingredients more in depth. I am fascinated by it. I think one of the reasons America has such an obesity problem is because we don't know what exactly is in the food we are eating. When I see all the labels here on food at restaurants and fast food places in makes me think twice about what I choose to eat. I think this is a brilliant idea and other countries should definitely follow in their footsteps.

  2. Prêt a Manger is doing great things with their food in general even beyond consumer consumption. I have a cup of coffee in front of me right now and the napkin reads "at the end of each day we give our unsold sandwiches and salads to local charities and shelters working with the homeless. We don't do this because we're 'nice people'. We do this because throwing good food (and hard work) in the bin is madness." I know some companies back in the states, like Publix for example, must throw away food that is not consumed in the bakery at the end of the day, which is really bothersome. Prêt a Manger seems to be doing so many things well! So glad companies like these exist! -Joanna