DECA and L’Cafe team up against restrictions

Betsy Faris, Staff Writer

When DECA opened in October, it experienced the negative effects of the new nutritional guidelines: a 50% decrease in profit compared to last year’s sales.

“For us [the hardest part is] the sodium restriction. The sodium is such a small window for us to work in. The calorie stuff is easy for us to find things under the limit through smaller portions,” DECA teacher Chris Gapinski said. “But the calorie restriction isn’t doing a service to the students because you still can’t restrict how many of the item they order.”

The L-Café has decided to help DECA with their sodium and calorie challenges after they proposed a team-up. L-Café will be making DECA’s sauces, chicken and treats to replace the lost cookies.

“We are branching out into a new facet of food service where we package and sell food to DECA, similar to what you would buy at Starbucks or a grocery store,” Culinary arts teacher Zarah Mastuda said. We can really control what goes into the food and are able to control the sodium and calories. This gives DECA room to still make the dishes they want to sell, and be more creative with what they make by using our lower calorie items.” Instead of looking at the restrictions as a negative thing, L-Café and

DECA are looking at this as a chance to revamp their menus and create healthy food that tastes good.

“We have been spending a lot of time practicing the altered recipes to see if they taste good we are not going to serve gross food,” Matsuda said.

L-café will profit by selling certain foods to DECA as well as by selling them directly to the student body. The restrictions have forced the L-café team to revamp their menu. The restrictions affect each item because every recipe has to be altered. For example, instead of making pesto pasta salad, a small serving of pasta tops off a salad bowl to avoid going over the calorie confinements.

The purpose of the guidelines is to enforce a healthy lunch for all students, but teachers predict more and more students will bring their lunches instead, or be pushed off-campus, even though off-campus food isn’t as healthy as other options.

“It is unbelievable that this is the ‘healthy’ diet and this is what we are trying to ‘teach’ students about. Low calorie diets are not healthy, and restricting your calories doesn’t mean you are eating healthy food,” Matsuda said. “Fat is not bad for you, salt is not bad for you. Your body needs fat, your body needs salt, and it doesn’t need pre-packaged food. From the new restrictions, we plan to use healthier ingredients and turn this situation into a positive experience instead of a negative one.”